Now that's fast:
Our new 500kmh man
By Chris. Gable
Tuesday June 11 2002
Australia has a new drag racing hero in 22-year-old Andrew Cowin, who has become the first man to break the 500kmh barrier outside America.
Cowin, who races in the US, recorded an incredible 506.07kmh (314.46 miles per hour) terminal speed in his 5215kW (7000 horsepower) Top Fuel dragster at the Willowbank Raceway, near Brisbane, on Saturday night.
That's a mind-boggling 506-plus kmh from a standing start to 402 metres, by the way.
To put all that into perspective, consider that Porsche's 340kW GT2 was clocked by Motor magazine at 12.19 seconds from 0-400m and reach 100kmh from standstill in 4.14 seconds.
Son of legendary drag racer Graeme, Cowin also recorded the fastest standing quarter mile time recorded outside America. His 4.750 second run surpassed the previous best time of 4.81 seconds, set by his father at the same event in 1997.
His standing quarter mile (0-400 metre) elapsed time was 4.750 seconds, the fastest drag racing time recorded outside America.
The car was running on "rocket fuel" nitro-methane.
Cowin, who drives with great success in the US NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, returned home for a special one-off appearance with his own Rocket Industries/Cowin Family Racing team.
With veteran Australian racer Jim Read running 4.90-seconds alongside Cowin during the historic Willowbank run, it was also the first side-by-side four-second pass in Australian drag racing history.
The showdown between Cowin and Read helped draw a crowd of almost 50,000 to the Willowbank Raceway during the obviously-popular Winternationals meeting.
"What a weekend, it's certainly been a dream come true for both myself and my team – we've had great fun," Cowin said after his record-breaking run.
"This is the same car we ran in America last year and, even though we had to tame it down to meet the conditions, it still ran fast.
"My dad gave me one bad hot rod to drive," he said.
Cowin returns to the US today to rejoin the Darrell Gwynn, New York Yankees-sponsored team in time for next weekend's Pontiac Excitement Nationals in Columbus, Ohio – the 11th round in the 24-race NHRA POWERade series.