This is the official program from the 1979 ADR Finals event at Sydney’s Castlereagh and as can be seen inside Thornton’s car was one of the cars used to illustrate the program.

: Can you give us a bit of background about your role with the FIA Drag Racing Commission and what was achieved there. Unlike most other motorsports, drag racing is only held in a small number of countries. Would it be safe to say that Australia would be No.2 in world?

The chop top car was built in 1978 and was a national record holder. The car is seen here at the old Surfers Paradise track at the 1981 Nationals.

TT: The commission was formed in 1992. Before that there had been no specific focus on drag racing by the FIA, despite the fact that NHRA and ANDRA had been delegated by the FIA for many years. In Europe, and this was before the advent of the European Union, the drag racing rules varied from country to country and the various drag racing groups wanted something in common. The solution to that was seen as the NHRA rules and those essentially became the international regulations.

In Australia, ANDRA already had a very good range of classes and regulations. Many rules were the same or similar and it was not practical to change. Some of our processes and classes have been adopted in Europe and the early FIA Drag Strip requirements were ANDRA’s. I was the only remaining Delegate from that inaugural meeting. In recent years I’ve taken the minutes and even undertaken the revisions to the international rules. As an international focus for our sport, the Commission is very important and I’m very pleased that ANDRA made a strong contribution and continues to be an important part of that.