Hardass 1000: The world’s best pub run

We jump onboard the first running of the Hardass 1000 drag ‘n’ drive event
Hardass 1000 2024

Drag and drive events are popping up all over the world these days, and now the Hardass 1000 has entered the chat here in Australia.

The brainchild of two-time Street Machine Drag Challenge winner Harry Haig and best mate Ryan Ford, the Hardass 1000 combines their love of drag ‘n’ drive and pub runs.

“I’ve done enough of these to know what sucks and what doesn’t.” says Harry. “We’ve slept under bridges at 2am, spent hours in the staging lanes, eaten shit food – I wasn’t having any of that at our event.”

Two key differences with the Hardass 1000 compared to other drag ‘n’ drive was the willingness to encourage slow cars and first timers, and separating the racing and drive days to relieve the pressure.

So, you didn’t need a fast car in the slightest, and there was no four hour drive to do after a day’s racing. The whole event travelled in a large convoy, hitting up just about every pub, museum and twisting, scenic road along the way. It was a brilliant experience.

As for the classes, there was something for everyone. 'Dick Swingers' for the big tyre boys, plus less-colourfully-named radial classes for aspirated and blown machines. 'Big Pimpin’ was designed to get those 50s and 60s American lounges in the lanes, and 'Bottleshop Brawler's had your HK Holdens and Toranas with Aussie sixes raging down the track for 20-second ETs. We know the 'Hot One Foxy' class is a Running on Empty reference, but other than that, we're still a little in the dark about that one! 

'Young Guns' was the coolest addition in our eyes. Having taught his young fella Corty to race, Harry sees the value in getting the next generation on track. Young’uns stepped into their parents cars, and with them as passengers for guidance spent the week learning the ropes without the pressure.

Based in Victoria, the first day of racing took place at Heathcote Park Raceway. Day two was a drive day all to Yarrawonga via a heavy detour through Bonnie Doon, just nudging the Vic High Country.

Day three's racing was at the old-school but super-cool Wilby eighth-mile strip. There’s no formalities here, just a fantastic nostalgia trip to the golden age of grass roots racing.

The final road leg took us across the border to Tocumwal and Deniliquin, before plunging south for the final day of on-track fun back at Heathcote Park Raceway.

At the end of it all, Rod Lyall and his eight-second, turbo-LS VK Commodore took the top honours, with Andrew Baumgartner's crazy HB Toranaand Dylan Kane's blown HQ Holden in third.

Check out the full results list, day five video and a head of cool images over on Street Machine's website

Thanks to Michelle Porobic for the images. 


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