The commitment of drag racer Chris ‘The Hof’ Van’t Hof will be without question this weekend, with the Roma hotel owner set to knock-off work at around 4.00am Saturday before hopping on a plane to compete that same day at Willowbank Raceway’s round two of the QLD Drag Racing Championship.
The Saturday 15 March event will be the first outing for the new-for-2014 Donnelly Blasting Services QDRC Outlaws bracket in which ‘The Hof’ – owner of Roma’s Club Hotel Motel and The Zone nightclub - will contest his striking Team M2 ’63 Corvette
Unfortunately for the 42 year old, the event coincides with a large event in The Zone Nightclub at his hotel, requiring the former President of Roma’s Ironbark Raceway to stay on until the wee hours before flying down to Ipswich to indulge his passion.
“While I live in Roma, this year we have relocated the M2 team to be ten minutes away from Willowbank Raceway with a commitment to really getting behind the local events and especially the QLD Drag Racing Series,” said ‘The Hof’, who was runner-up to team-mate Luke Marsden in his rookie year of the ANDRA Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Series in 2013 (Supercharged Outlaws bracket).
“Unfortunately it seems that almost all the QDRC dates for my race bracket coincide with major events on my business calendar, but I won’t be letting that get in the way of being on track if I can help it.
“My awesome team of Luke Marsden and Toby Rice at M2 will be heading to the track early to get everything set-up so I can fly in that morning, catch some quick ‘Zs’ and then hop in the car for what I am betting is going to be a great day at the track.”
The event will be the first for the new-for-2014 Donnelly Blasting Services QDRC Outlaws class, which allows turbocharged and nitrous-powered vehicles to join supercharged vehicles in one action-packed bracket.
“The new format presents, in my opinion, a fantastic opportunity for the sport of drag racing and racers like me to really start to grow again with new challenges and increased competition meaning interesting action for racers and spectators,” said the long-time racer who will compete alongside team-mate Luke Marsden in the bracket this Saturday.
“My team and I will be doing everything we can to support the new bracket as we really want to see it prosper and develop with more and more cars and spectators turning up at the track to see a great show.”
While QDRC Outlaws is a core-focus the M2 team currently, there are some big plans on the horizon.
“I have been in and around the sport of drag racing for something like 15 years, and last year Luke Marsden and I made a commitment to the ANDRA sportsman national series and after travelling to every round some 31,000 kilometres later we were able to come away with the top two spots – for me in my rookie year in the Outlaws bracket to snatch that second place was pretty amazing,” said ‘The Hof’, who was quick to attribute his success so far to the dedication of Marsden and Rice as well as the support of sponsors like Club Hotel Motel Roma, The Zone Nightclub and Roma Tilt Trays and his family, including wife Deb and father Nik.
“My line of work can be extremely high pressure and stressful, so people often think it’s funny that the way I relax is to go and climb into a very high-pressure race vehicle and barrel down the track at more than 220 miles per hour, but for me it is a valuable way to relax and switch off from the demands of my business.
“I am very privileged to be able to do what I do and to race with guys like Luke Marsden and Toby Rice, we only want to be very professional in what we do and we do it right, or not at all.
“Together we are set on getting out there and getting great results while having a ball of fun, and at the same time we always have our eye on the next step-up for the team.
“Currently we are focusing on a planned step-up to Top Doorslammer for myself in 2015, with the goal to have both myself and Luke competing in the professional group one ranks in the near future while also keeping up our involvement in the Outlaws scene.
“While that is the long-term goal, for now we are focusing on getting to as many Willowbank Raceway events as possible and doing the absolute best we can to win events and set down good times – Luke has just finished fixing my gear box after I tore it up in the final of the recent Nostalgia Drags event and with that all sorted I am pretty confident I can run some quick times this weekend.”
Joining Van’t Hof and his fellow Donnelly Blasting Services QDRC Outlaws competitors on track for this Saturday’s QDRC round will be competitors across the QDRC SuperComp, QDRC Comp Bike, Knijff Earthmoving Modified, Powercruise Super Sedan, Prime Signs/Speed Elec Super Street, Modified Bike, Junior Dragster and Super Gas categories. Gates will open at 9.00am with qualifying from 1.00pm to 5.00pm and all racing from 5.00pm.
Entries are available online at www.willowbankraceway.com.au and will close at 5.00pm on Wednesday 12 March 2014, while spectator entry is available at the gate at just $20 for adults and $18 for students with ID, and children aged 13 and under gain free entry. For full event information, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au
This weekend’s QDRC event will be the second of four events being held at Willowbank Raceway during the month of March, with the ever-popular Australian Pro Street Association’s Pro Street Shootout (22 March 2014) and round three of the Street Series (29 March) still yet to come.
Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility, located 45 minutes from Brisbane or just a short drive from Ipswich, offering a year-round program of events for the entire family. For more information including a full event calendar, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au