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The Elapsed Times : June 2008
r u 1968 W;nternat;onals In overcast and windy conditions, the first Australian Winternationals went ahead in front of 2500 spectators on June 23, 1968 at Surfers Paradise International Raceway. The entry list of 85 included three motorcycles but there were only nine interstaters, somewhat different to the huge participation of other states at the event today. The Winternationals name was copied from an American championship drag race and the event was awarded to Surfers by the Australian Hot Rod Federation, then the governing body of Australian drag racing. At that stage, Surfers Raceway had only been open for two years. The day started with qualifying, then class eliminations were run, followed by the running of Middle, Competition, Gas, Street and Stock eliminators where the eight fastest cars from class eliminations competed. Class winners in Dragster and Gas were paid $7, while Stock, Street and Competition class winners were paid $10 because they had more rounds of racing. First and second-round losers were paid $2. Middle, Competition and Gas Eliminator winners were paid $75, and $50 went to Stock and Street Eliminator winners. ABOVE: Jim Reed's T'bucket runs against the "Big Red" C/Altered Anglia of Ray Lankowski. Reed's AlAltered went on to run 12.21 sec to later win Competition eliminator. RIGHT: The supercharged 186 Thames van of Ron Richards won Gas Eliminator and was the AlGas class winner with a time of 14. 10sec. BELOW: The Plymouth Ram- charger of Des Leonard won AlStreet class in 14.48sec and Stock Eliminator with a 13.85. Pictures: Brier Thomas Page 34 - The Elapsed Times, June 2008 . IS r World: Communist forces launch the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War. Czechoslovakia invaded by Russian forces. Martin Luther King Jnr and Senator Robert Kennedy assassinated in the US. Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey Romeo and Juliet. Funny Girl. The Lion in the Winter. Oliver. Music: Hey Jude - The Beatles. Sadie - Johnny Farnham. Drag racing: The National Hot Rod Association runs the eighth Winternationals at Pomona in Los Angeles. Tom Grove runs the first 200mph pass in a Funny Car. Sydney International Dragway secretary John Fleming announces a $50 award for the first six cylinder Holden to run 13-second times and 100mph. ABOVE: The Holden-powered B/Dragster of Sydney's Warren Armour won class honours and Middle Eliminator, with a final- round time of 11.95sec, but had earlier run 11.11 sec. LEFT: Cedric "von" Keller's B/Modified Production "Fugi- tive" FX, framed in front of Surfers' famous Dunlop Bridge, was unopposed to win class honours in 14.49sec and also won Street Eliminator at 14.46sec. BELOW: Cliff Kiss's Norman supercharger-equipped Holden AlDragster was the only one in its class at the event and was runner-up to Warren Armour in Middle Eliminator with an 11.48. ABOVE: Wally Pushkey's D/Stock HR Holden runs the E/Stock FX Holden of M. Kenwrick.