FOR MANY years I have heard and read about Bindoon, and I can now say it’s all true! What a place!
The Bindoon Sand Drags are held on a property about an hour from Perth. I later found out this is where the Bindoon Festival (RIP) used to be held. The Coffin Cheaters have set out this place perfectly. Spectators have a top vantage point from anywhere. No matter where you are on the track, you can feel (and sometimes wear) the sand.
With everybody keen to be apart of Bindoon Sand Drags, there was a long list of competitors, ranging from five-year-old kids up to grandmothers and grandfathers. Many take this sport very seriously — you only had too look around at some of the machines, the time, the effort, let alone expense, on these awesome bikes.
Walking around the pits there were a few stand-out competitors racing their V8 bikes equipped with nitrous and paddle tyres that would send rooster tails 20 foot high at the start line. One fella had an immaculate bike with a 150 cube S&S motor running open belt-drive and one hell of a paddle tyre to help him with his traction. The machine should have been a show bike not a sand dragger.
Every third bike runs on nitrous for that little bit of extra power. Talk about bigger balls than brains — one squirt in the dirt and it’s all over.
The sport of sand dragging is more exciting for the spectators than your normal tar dragstrip. Many bikes are caught in ruts and run in directions the rider isn’t ready for. Many bikes run off the track or just break traction and wheel-stand. Exciting stuff.
During the day’s proceedings, the sandy track gets grooved up so the bobcats and graders come out to prepare it for the next procession of racers.
Dudes bring out their burnout cars too. One fella, Steve Williams, had his ’29 Ford Jailbird ute, powered by a 351 Clevo, doing some of the best burnouts the crowd had seen in a long time.
Another fella in an everyday driver, a Nissan Patrol 4WD, let loose on a five-minute burnout that will be forever memorable.
Benno even got out his bike for a burnout but it was short lived when he gave it a shot of nitrous and fried the clutch.
With the running of the drags on again, competitors were pushing their bikes to the absolute limits, and with the knockout rounds running in the late afternoon, it was great racing. A couple of fellas launched so hard at the start line they flipped their bikes, but still managed to climb back on and continue on down the track.
Racing was supposed to finish around 5 pm but went on well into the night. That’s what’s great about having an event on your own property — no curfew.
The finals were exciting to watch, some of the best sand drag racing the crowd would have ever seen. Do or die racing.
What’s better is that most of the competitors like to come out onto the burnout pad and let loose after racing has finished. Time for a new set of tyres anyway, why not burn them out and have fun doing it in front of the crowd. Nothing like a crowd’s reactions to spur a fella on even harder.
After the racing, burnouts and trophy presentations were over, many hung around for the night, watching the band, having a few ales and camping out.
What a top weekend. I’d highly recommend it to everybody. If you have never seen sand drag racing, get your arse over here for next year’s event.
Many thanks to Benno and the boys for a great time out.
photos by Gazza & Richie; words by Gazza