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insideSPEED NEWS Baily’s Breakthrough at Shannons Nationals Formula 3 Goes to Bathurst Modystach gets Momentum V8 Utes Gets Brutal
Racing is in the Blood A Family Affair Gary Phillips Not By Halves It’s a Top Fuel Title Duel Refresher for Reed Playtime Over For Matheson
Missed It By 10 Bucks Blown Lites Boat Racing with Attitude! FX Superbikes All Out Racing
2012 CALENDAR ANDRA PRO SERIES DRAG RACING June 8-11
June 30 - July 1
SHANNONS NATIONALS MOTOR RACING CHAMPIONSHIP June 22-24
YMF LOAN YAMAHA AUSTRALIAN FX-SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP July 20-22
Aug 31 - Sept 2
AUSTRALIAN V8 SUPERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP June 2-3
Round Six (FINAL)
SKI RACING AUSTRALIA
V8 SUPERCARS June 15-17
Ski City Triple Crown
Sucrogen Townsville 400
Coastes Hire Ipswich 300
Winton Motor Raceway
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000
Armor All Gold Coast 500
November 30 - Dec 2
Sydney Telstra 500
THE CREEK REBORN Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway has been rebranded following a $12 million transformation, and will be known officially as Sydney Motorsport Park, reflecting the facility’s significant physical and operational transformation. Funded in a joint partnership between the NSW state government and official venue manager the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club (ARDC), the facility has undergone a complete change in operations and aesthetics as part of the ARDC’s long-term strategic plan for the facility. ARDC CEO Glenn Matthews said that the name change was the next important phase of the transformation plan and positioned the facility as a truly international operation. “Firstly, I must thank the NSW state government for embracing our vision, their passion for the venue and for their decision to continue their contribution to the future of motorsport in NSW,” said Mr Matthews. “What we have in Sydney Motorsport Park is unique in Sydney, and indeed NSW. It is the only permanent race track in the Sydney basin, and as a result the decision was taken that its name should reflect this.
but rather a strong, flexible and willing partner to all those involved in Australian motorsport. Together we want to create the best environment for all of our stakeholders, be they racers or race-goers. “Apart from yearlong racing, Sydney Motorsport Park offers a dynamic range of motorsport experiences for the enthusiast, with track days, motorcycle ride days, V8 racing experiences, Radical race cars, classic and supercar experiences and much more,” Mr Matthews added. The ARDC will also offer a comprehensive range of driver and rider training and safety initiatives.
V8S RETURN TO EASTERN CREEK And the newly-named Sydney Motorsport Park will be ready to welcome back the V8 Supercars for round nine of the 2012 Championship Series on 24, 25 and 26 August. V8 Supercars Australia CEO David Malone praised the ARDC team for their management of the recent redevelopment works at Eastern Creek. “When we had to make changes to the 2012 calendar the opportunity to hold another round of the Championship in Sydney became viable,” said Mr Malone.
“There are now four different track configurations, with the ability for the North GP and South GP layouts to operate at the same time, which significantly increases our capacity.”
“Having now seen the Eastern Creek track redevelopment first hand it will be fantastic for the teams to have a crack at this new, highly competitive circuit.”
A new pitlane complex will allow Sydney Motorsport Park to hold two simultaneous race meetings.
“Having the V8 boys back in town is the perfect platform to relaunch the new Eastern Creek, with exhilarating new circuit layouts, refurbished pit lane and upgraded spectator facilities,” ARDC CEO Glenn Matthews said.
“We have experienced a spike in demand over the past two years, and all of these changes and upgrades have been made in order for us to be able to properly service Sydney’s motorsport public,” Mr Matthews said. “We no longer see ourselves as just a track-for-hire operation, 6
Round nine of the 2012 V8 Supercars season will also mark the official commencement of a week-long celebration of “All Things V8” at Eastern Creek Raceway, with the eighth running of the Australian Muscle Car Masters the following (Fathers’ Day) weekend. insideSPEED
NEWS CASEY STONER RETIRES Australia’s two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner has made the shock announcement that he will retire at the end of 2012. Stoner has two world titles and 35 wins in the premier class, as well as a win on each and every one of the tracks on the MotoGP circuit. “After so many years of trying to get to where we’ve gotten to this sport has changed a lot,” Stoner said. “It’s changed to the point where I’m not enjoying it. I’ve lost the passion and it’s time for me to retire.”
PIRELLI AND SCHUMACHER IN STOUSH The supplier of Formula 1’s control tyre, Pirelli, and multiple world champion Michael Schumacher have been engaged in a bitter battle of words over the performance of the tyre during races. Schumacher compared driving on the tyres to driving on “runny eggs”. “The main thing I feel unhappy about is that everyone has to drive well below a driver’s, and in particular, the car’s limits to maintain the tyres,” the German said. “I just question whether the tyres should play such a big
importance, or whether they should last a bit longer - and that you can drive at normal racing car speed and not cruise around like we have a Safety Car.” “And if it is 80 per cent of the field that has this problem, then maybe the tyre supplier should think about that.” Pirelli boss Paul Hembery responded by saying, “I’m disappointed to hear those comments from someone of Michael’s experience. “Others were getting on with the job and getting their tyres to work. His comments during winter testing were that he was very happy with the tyres and now he seems to have changed his tune.”
ENDURO PAIRINGS TAKING SHAPE The announcement that Scott Pye will partner iSelect driver Taz Douglas at Bathurst and Phillip Island has closed off one of the few remaining endurance race slots available in V8 Supercars while former F1 driver Christian Klien has signed on for the final enduro drive remaining and will partner Russell Ingall. Garth Tander is likely to drive with protégé Nick Percat and James Courtney will be paired with Cameron McConville. TeamVodafone have locked in their drivers Paul Dumbrell and Warren Luff while Ford Performance Racing will once again take on Steven Richards and Dean Canto, with Will Davison pairing with John McIntyre.
H T K A E R B S BAILY’HANNONS NATIONALS AT MALLALA S
erry Baily won the Clem Smith Cup and took a clean sweep in the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series under picture perfect conditions during round two of the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils at Mallala, in April. Baily and Corvette driver Des Wall led from the beginning and though Wall remained within a few seconds of the stunning new Aston Martin, he never got quite close enough to challenge for the win in Sports Sedans’ marquee race – named in honour of the former racer and Mallala circuit owner. Tony Ricciardello, in a borrowed Commodore, finished third. To make things even better, Baily’s comeback success came a day after his birthday. “Des was with me all the way but just dropped off a bit towards the end,” Baily said.
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ROUGH “I see Darren and Tony’s name on this trophy a few too many times so it’s about time they let me have a turn! “It’s a great feeling to win this race and have this kind of weekend in the debut of the car. The team have worked so hard and it’s been a perfect debut. “I can’t wait for Tony and Darren to get their cars sorted for round two with the kind of quality we have in the field now. It’s very exciting. “It’s a great birthday present!” Baily won the morning’s first race and also dominated the finale to clean-sweep the round, Des Wall finishing second and Monaro driver Michael Robinson completed the podium in third. John Modystach stamped his control over the Porsche Staff Continued on page 10
Continued from page 9 Solutions International GT3 Cup Challenge Australia to win the round and all three races. On Saturday, Modystach made the perfect start to the 50-minute Jim Richards Endurance Trophy season opener and led the field into turn one as drama unfolded at the back of the field, two cars coming together at turn one and bringing out the Safety Car. The restart was clean and saw Modystach start to make his mark on the 40 lap race by building an early lead. As the sun began to set, the track came alive and positions changed throughout the field. Michael Almond battled with Kane Rose as the fight for the lead between Modystach and Jeff Bobik heated up, though Modystach was able to hold off the speedy Victorian and take his maiden Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge victory.
The South Australian driver then took the final win in race three ahead of Jim Pollicina, with Hunter in third. The 16 year old charged through the pack once more and overcame minor contact to take a podium away from an otherwise rough weekend. Adam Beechey continued his dominance of the Southern Star Windows V8 Commodore Cup Series and took the chequered flag in all three races for round victory. Race one saw Chris Stevenson move from fourth to second, ahead of Ross McGregor in third. Beechey fought to win the second reverse grid race from the rear of the field. A mid race spin didnâ€™t stop the Donut King driver from making it two from two ahead of Chris Stevenson and Michael Tancredi before he went on to dominate the finale and win his second round in succession. Reece Murphy won races two and three of Hi-Tec Oils Australian Suzuki Swift Racing Series, to take his maiden round victory despite plenty of pressure from the chasing pack.
The Prosurv/Position Partners Porsche lead from start to finish in the safety car affected second race to back up his race one win yesterday in style. Kane Rose moved from fourth to finish second ahead of John Morriss in third. He then held out Rose from start to finish in the finale to sweep the weekend and take an early title lead into round two, at Phillip Island. First-time racer and local Michael Almond finished second with fellow Adelaidean Mark Krashos third overall. Chris Smerdon won the second and third races in round two of the Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car Series in an action-packed weekend. Smerdon capitalised on race one winner Mike Shepherdsâ€™ engine trouble to take the win in the race two, ahead of Justin Garioch and Michael Bartsch. Young gun Josh Hunter fought from last place to second before fuel pump dramas ended his race on the final lap.
The MGM Glass & Mirror driver moved from third into first to secure his first race win of the year in race two, Rob Jarvis second and Adam Brand third. Murphy went back to back in the final race of the round to take the chequered flag ahead of Rob and Allan Jarvis â€“ sealing the round in just his second ever seriesâ€™ start. Simon Tabinor dominated the second round of the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series with victories in races two and three, after Matt Lovell won race one. The Victorian improved on his second place in race one to take victory ahead of the race one winner and local driver Josh Keane. Race three never seemed out of his control, with Andrew Nowland and Sam Milton left to take the minor podium positions with Lovell limping to the flag with mechanical dramas.
FORMULA GOES TO
y argumentative friend, one I had only just met, was fired up. “There is no way,” he quietly stated, his understated yet firm tone indicating that he thought I was completely bananas, “that those cars will go around there quicker than a V8 Supercar. “In fact, there is no way they will go around there at all. They will bottom out, crash; fall off the top or something else. But the one thing they won’t do is lap Bathurst.” It’s funny how passions in Motorsport go to a new level when the most hallowed of turf – or bitumen, as it is – stands in the Aussie racing landscape. Here is guy I’d known for five minutes vehemently defending the October race’s position as the only real game in town on the Mountain. But I loved it.
Three years of work and hard grind from a very small team of people behind the scenes were about to come to fruition and I was up for a fight. Formula 3 was going to the Mountain, haters be damned.
Fortunately for those involved, nothing Mr. Opinionated said came true. The nimble little Dallaras and Mygales took to the 6.213kms of twists, turns and undulations like a Formula 1 car takes to Eau Rouge at Spa-Francorchamps; fast, seemingly effortless but yet, at the same time, particularly impressive to watch. History will show that, after just one 30-minute practice session it was John Magro who took pole position with a cracking 2:05.53 second lap. His team-mate, young Adelaide driver Jordan Skinner, then etched his name into the history books by winning the first race on a bright and sunny afternoon, edging out a charging James Winslow and Carrera Cup racer Nick Foster. Winslow, in only the way he can, went on to dominate the final two races with reigning champion Chris Gilmour slotting into second place.
He is now the most winning driver in Australian Formula 3 history and takes a substantial lead into the series’ fourth round, in Darwin this June, as he seeks an unprecedented second Gold Star. “It’s one of the best tracks I’ve ever driven a Formula 3 car at. It is direct competition to Macau in terms of the kind of challenge it is. Coming down the mountain you need huge commitment over skyline in 5th gear, and it’s flat out,” Winslow beamed after his win. Continued on page 14 insideSPEED
Continued from page 13 “We broke the outright lap record here this weekend – I think I was a few thousandths off – so to win the event and be that close to the record, we’re really happy. “I’ve got a 42 point lead at this stage is a good start,” he added. “An unbelievable start and we couldn’t have planned it better. Hopefully I can continue to win races and if I do the championship will look after itself.” Gilmour, however, got the most publicity out of the weekend thanks to his stunning 2:04.8597s lap on the final tour of the second race: officially, without question, the fastest ever lap officially recorded on the mountain. “I can die happy now,” he joked. “It’s pretty amazing to be here, full stop – but to do something like set the outright lap record that gets talked about so much is pretty special. It requires so much commitment and a great car to do the job here and we had that. “In the end our car came on a bit too late to tackle James but we’re gaining momentum and looking good going into Darwin.” The lap lives on in perpetuity on You Tube. Check it out – it’s impressive – you’ll quickly see where the four seconds difference between F3 and V8 is across the top of the mountain.
In the end, the weekend was a success. Sure, numbers on-track weren’t what was expected but F3 dominated the local media across the weekend. Locals who knew commented that there was a real buzz about having the open wheelers there and of the potential for it to build long-term. The drama surrounding lap times created multiple storylines that even the more mainstream media picked up on, exposing the category and the event to avenues it might not have gone had the risk and the trip to Bathurst never taken. The satisfied post-race faces from the drivers, the teams and those behind the scenes who made it happen told the full story. Wings and Slicks on the Mountain had just happened - and all was good. Several weeks after that Easter long weekend, I received a one-sentence email via the Formula 3 website. It turned out my argumentative friend had indeed paid attention and, if not feeling repentant, at least offered a conciliatory note to put an end to our verbal repartee. “I guess,” he wrote, “you weren’t totally wrong, were you?” I’ve never been more pleased to be not totally wrong in my life. Formula 3 will be in action with the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils at Eastern Creek Raceway this July, and will air on SBS Speedweek and SPEED TV in subsequent weeks after the round. Find out more at thenationals.com.au.
S T E G H C A T S Y MOD In 2011 John Modystach (it’s pronounced ‘Modista’) was the Porsche pilot who raced with stealth. The 39-year-old father of two more often than not qualified somewhere in the middle of the Porsche Staff Solutions GT3 Cup Challenge grid, but by the end of the weekend found himself a contender for podium finishes. As such, in his debut year in the challenging Porsche he finished a strong 4th in the 997 class. Not bad. However if that was the case last year it’s certainly not in 2012: Modystach has dominated the opening round of a feisty new Porsche season in emphatic fashion; taking his Position Partners McElrea Racing Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car to a clean sweep of race wins and the round at Mallala this April. The win was not the work of a moment; Modystach had two strong seasons in the now-defunct MINI Challenge series that offered him a chance to build his racecraft. Finishes of 7th (2009)
and 8th (2010) were followed up by a class win in the Bathurst 12 Hour the following year – not bad for a driver who only began driving in 2004 when he took to the wheel of a Formula Ford at Wakefield Park. But a move to Porsches that was coupled with a budding relationship with Andy McElrea’s experienced team was the tonic that, on a warm Saturday afternoon at a Mallala raceway bathed in sunlight, took him to a new level. Modystach quickly moved into the lead at the start of the weekend’s opening 40-lap race – the first of three that make up the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy series - before the safety car was called, caused by an opening corner incident. After the restart Modystach was unchallenged at the front of the field until late in the race when 2011 series runner up Jeff Bobik, who had progressed from fifth on the grid, closed in to battle for the race lead with 10 laps remaining.
MOMENTUM The McElrea Racing driver held his nerve and pulled away from Bobik in the closing laps, taking a convincing seven-second victory – his first in the all-Porsche series. “That’s excellent. I couldn’t be happier. I put a big effort into this weekend with a lot of training and a few practice days so I’m really happy,” said Modystach after his race one pressure-cooker win.
However he is also a realist. This year’s GT3 Cup Challenge field represents the strongest yet assembled in the series’ five-year, 69-race history; experienced hands like Jeff Bobik, Jon Trende, John Goodacre, and Terry Knight are joined by the likes of speedy Victorian Kane Rose and impressive newcomer Michael Almond – who took a stunning pole and round podium at Mallala – in a strong grid.
“I was fairly confident I could get the lead from the start and I did, but then there was the pace car. I didn’t get the gap that I wanted on the restart, but it wasn’t too bad as John Goodacre, Jeff Bobik and Terry Knight were already battling for position. That let me get a bit of a gap, and then towards the end of the race Jeff was hounding me. It was only towards the last five laps that he slowed up a bit.
The challenge for Modystach, then, remains to execute a full season and build on his early success.
“I’m stoked to have put in some consistent laps and take the win.”
“I think it will be tough to continue this form. Phillip Island is not my best circuit and there are a lot of Victorians in this series. Winton is new for a lot of us, which will be good. But hopefully I have the upper hand again when we get to our home track - Queensland Raceway.”
Sunday’s performances only emphasised the progress Modystach has made; taking both shorter races to sweep the round and build an early series lead.
“The McElrea Racing guys have really pushed me along and we’ve been working at a lot of things. I’ve also had some driver coaching from Jonny Reid, which has helped immensely,” said Modystach.
MASSIVE PRIZE FOR V8 UTES CHAMPION Ford and Holden have each offered a test with their respective factory V8 Supercar teams as a prize in this year’s Auto One Australian V8 Ute Series – protected by Armor All.
The tests with Ford Performance Racing and the Holden Racing Team in current-spec FG Falcon and VE Series II Commodore V8 Supercars will be awarded to each of the manufacturers’ highest-placed drivers at the end of the V8 Ute season.
Reigning V8 Ute Champion Chris Pither said the opportunity to test (as a Holden driver) for HRT could be career defining. “To have both Ford and Holden offer a test with their factory teams is fantastic, its could be a once in a lifetime chance to impress the best of the best – and who knows where that may lead?” Pither said.
The tests also highlight just how competitive the V8 Ute Series has become and how seriously it is now viewed as a feeder or development category.” Holden Sponsorship and Motorsport Manager Simon McNamara said the opportunity added further incentive for drivers to win. Continued on page 20 19
Continued from page 19 “Holden has a long and proud history in motorsport and has supported the V8 Ute Series since its inception,” McNamara said. “Rod Wilson won the first championship in a Holden SS Ute, and in its 11 years the series has fostered up-and-coming talent while never failing to deliver anything but close and entertaining racing. “The thrill of winning is every race driver’s greatest motivation, but a test in a Holden Racing Team Commodore with V8 Supercar’s most successful team is even further incentive to win.” Ford’s Group Manager for Motorsport, Sponsorship and Events, Graham Barrie is equally excited about the opportunity to foster new talent. “One of our current factory-backed drivers, James Moffat was a V8 Ute Rookie of the Year, so the series really stands up as a cost effective way to learn the tracks and, more importantly, learn how to race,” Barrie said. “The new Coyote-engined FG Ute has had a successful race debut and we are excited about our continuing involvement in the series. “Ford Performance Racing is currently leading the V8 Supercar Championship and the opportunity to test one of FPR’s racewinning Falcons is a great reward for drivers wanting to deliver the best result for the Blue Oval.”
FRESH MEAT FOR V8 UTES After testing the waters last season with one off lease drives, Tim Boyle, Kris Walton and Danny Buzadzic have moved to the V8 Utes category for a full season in the 2012 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All. Boyle made his debut on the Gold Coast last year, and although he was held up in an unlucky incident in Race 3, the part-time actor couldn’t get enough of the racing and has decided to come back for more. “The Series is a lot of fun and I’m ready to make the next step from state to national racing. It’s much more professional in the Utes and I enjoyed it a lot more than state competition. I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun this year,” said Boyle. Boyle is driving James Brock’s Holden, which was raced last year by Brendan Cook, who will step down from the Series this year. Cook’s 2011 Teammate Ryan Hansford is joined by fellow Queenslander Kris Walton in the Series. Walton drove in two rounds in 2012 after winning a race on debut at Sandown. Walton will also drive a Truckline backed Ford and the two are managed by Queensland based driver Rod Dawson. Danny Buzadzic is looking forward to a full year in the Series after testing his V8 Ute skills at Sandown and Sydney last year. Buzadzic is expecting some good advice from his cousin, former V8 Ute Champion Marcus Zukanovic. “Marcus will come to a few rounds and I’ll definitely call on him for some advice. I’m extremely excited about everything. I can’t wait to get the Western General Body Works Falcon on the grid. It has all new parts and we are working hard to get it ready for Clipsal,” said Buzadzic. 20
GRID GOSSIP Buzadzic bought his car off long-time V8 Ute supporter turned driver Gary Carson, who will step out of the Utes after driving for three years.
The V8 Utes headed back to Tasmania for the first time since 2009 and the Apple Isle put on the weather with temperatures in the early 20s and blue skies.
Motorsport veteran Charlie O’Brien will also hang up the gloves from V8 Ute driving and recently sold his car to 2011 runner-up David Sieders.
The week kicked off with a radio promotion through Chilli FM, followed by a signing session and car display at the Inveresk Bike Track. The ENZED/Auto One backed Ute and the McMahon Mining Ute followed in the V8 Supercar Transporter Parade to the event, which attracted local radio and fans alike.
V8 UTES ON THE BOX IN 2012 The 2012 TV Schedule for the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All has been released with 12 live races and 8 post-produced programs to be aired on Network Seven and 7 Mate.
On Thursday ENZED held a Roadshow for their guests with appearances from V8 Ute drivers and also a car display with the night deemed a success. There were radio interviews with Chilli FM and also LAFM.
Each round of the Series will be televised within a post produced one hour package that will be aired on Seven’s primary free to air channel. The series will feature at least one live race from each V8 Ute Round, and two live races from Adelaide, Darwin, Bathurst and Sydney.
Stand-in commentator, former V8 Ute driver George Elliot, conducted tours with The Friends School, Jordan River and Gagebrook schools. George also took special guests from ENZED and Century Batteries for tours and Auto One Ambassador Tim Blanchard gave a tour to Auto One Burnie representative Brad Watts.
The V8 Utes will air at Bathurst prior to the main V8 Supercar race, and kicked off with two live races at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
Drummond Suspension’s Jaimie and Trevor were on hand to assist with suspension requirements and Bob Jane T-Marts were displaying the new Rodney Jane Racing Wheels in the commercial partners display area.
Category Manager Bill West is extremely pleased with the telecast program. “Twelve live races again, that is great news and testament to the calibre of entertainment and racing the V8 Utes produce. The live race at Bathurst is always a crowd pleaser and it’s great to see we are once again on the program,” said West. With the combination of live races, and post produced programmes on the SEVEN Network, plus the replays on SPEED Channel, over 20 hours of television featuring V8 Utes will go to air in Australia alone.
Armor All grid staff were on hand for the Armor All Pole Award Presentation, grid and podium presentation. Brad Watts from Auto One and ENZED representative Dennis Bailey presented awards to the winning drivers. Signing Sessions were held on-track every day and 200 promotional bags were handed out. Race 2 was televised LIVE on Seven, as part of the Raceday Xtra program, and the post produced program went to air the week following the event. Continued on page 22
Continued from page 21
A V8 Ute After Party was held at Irish Murphy’s, which was also the official pub of the V8 Utes for the week.
HARRIS WINS FINAL WHILE JANE TAKES PERTH V8 UTE ROUND WIN Nathan Pretty holds onto the Series lead after a nail-biting finish to Round 3 of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series, which saw Kim “The Assassin” Jane claim the Round, Kris Walton win Race 2, and Ryal Harris Race 3 at Barbagallo Raceway. This is Jane’s first round win since Darwin last year and the veteran couldn’t be happier. “We’ve been struggling to a degree, I’ve been a bit conservative and there has been a bit of team comment that I’m driving around like a bit of a girl - so I was a lot more aggressive, which probably upset a few of my mates that I race with, but that’s bad luck, I’m back,” explained Jane. Jane took the round despite losing a fierce battle with Ryal Harris in race three. The win gave Harris second overall for the weekend and pushed him into third in the ENZED Drivers Championship. 22
“I did all I could within the rules to keep him (Jane) at bay, I had to try and outsmart the Old Fox I guess you could say, and I was happy to see the chequered flag,” said Harris. West Aussie Grant Johnson made up 7 spots from 18th to finish in 11th; he did the same earlier in the day in race 2 overtaking 15 Utes, which gave him the SS Inductions Hard Charger Award and $500 cash. Fellow West Aussies, Paul Williams and Allan Letcher started on the front row for race two which was a reverse of the 20 top twenty from race 1. Walton passed 15 utes to get to the top spot, and was already in eighth position before a safety car period was triggered after Jake McNally overshot at turn 1, burying him in the sand-trap. Only seconds earlier, Andrew Fisher had contact with the Bundaberg Holden of Cameron McConville on lap 2 in the bowl, which sent Fisher off the track in spectacular fashion and into the in-field. “I wouldn’t have expected that, from the supposed Driving Standards Advisor to another professional category. He just nailed me and kept the boot in until I was sideways and flying off the track,” Fisher stated. McConville was penalised 10 places for his role in the crash. On the restart, Walton caught Glenn McNally on lap 8 and on the final lap made the move on Letcher to take the win. Pretty now leads the ENZED Drivers Championship by 13 points from Kris Walton, and 35 points ahead of Ryal Harris in third. insideSPEED
RACING IS IN
FAMILY The recent purchase of the FW1 Aussie Racing Cars organisation by the Quinn family isn’t just the work of a moment. In fact, ask Klark Quinn about his favourite races and a trend quickly becomes clear. “My third favourite race was at Easter Bathurst this year,” he says. “We had a magic dice in the fourth race the entire distance and I’ve never driven in a race where aero has made such a difference to the way you race. “The second,” he continues, “is racing at the Nurburgring 24 hour race in 2009. I came out of pit lane and I got stuck behind a Lexus LFA and spent the entire hour of my stint behind him in a massive dice. It was crazy racing and I was on the grass, the mud and everything. “If Mum had seen it she would have killed me!” “But my favourite race of all was in FW1 Aussie Racing Cars back at Winton in 2003. I had a massive battle with Paul Kemal and it remains the best race of my life.” So it is apparent that there is a clear passion for the category evident amongst the Quinn clan – they have, after all, sponsored the likes of the above-mentioned multiple FW1 Aussie Racing Cars champion Kemal (amongst others) for many seasons, as well as raced in it themselves.
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AFFAIR The sale of the category will assist in taking the championship to the next level. The Quinn’s purchase of the FW1 Aussie Racing Cars isn’t just the work of a moment, either – the distinctive VIP Petfoods branding has been heavily involved both in front and behind the scenes of the sport for years. It’s not the first category they’ve owned, either. As well as the recent purchase of Australian GT, Tony Quinn was behind the introduction of Porsche Carrera Cup from 2003, so they know about servicing competitors and building a championship. VIP Petfoods was also one of Will Power’s first real commercial backers, supporting the then-young Toowoomba driver in Formula Ford and on the pathway to his current IndyCar stardom. “I think we’re suited to each other,” Klark continues, enthusiastic about the prospect of driving the category forward. “Dad often says ‘if you’re not three wide then you’re not trying’ so I think that’s appropriate for the category given the incredible racing it produces. “The old man (Tony) was involved in the foundation of Carrera Cup and this isn’t the first category we’ve owned. We know what we’re doing and what competitors want because we’re on both sides of the fence. We know what we look for from a category so that will help us deliver to our competitors joining the series. “It’s not going to be revolution but we’re going to evolve the
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category forward, grow it, add value and see it expand. “But the main thing is that we want to preserve the level of exciting racing and incredible competition it provides.” FW1 Aussie Racing Cars remain unique in the Australian Motorsport landscape as a uniquely local product that includes a manufacturing base. Where many series import racing cars from overseas, FW1 Aussie Racing Cars are designed and constructed locally and have evolved over a period of more than ten years to the product they are today. The introduction of the AU Falcon and VZ Commodore body shapes was followed by the unique Toyota Aurion body that has become increasingly popular. Quinn says that all of these attributes will help shape the long term direction of the company, and the series. “We’re not going to re-invent the wheel,” he says. “But we’re going to make decisions that increase stability, keep the fantastic competition and continue to build one of Australia’s most exciting categories. We can’t wait to work with everyone involved. “I just hope they don’t tell Mum about the Nurburgring...”
S E V L A H Y B NOT Gary Phillips is a 42-year veteran of Australian Drag Racing. A 14time Aussie Top Alcohol champion, and the 2007 Top Doorslammer champ. In 2008 this industry icon became the first person in the world to run more than 400km/h in a doorslammer. For those playing at home, that mean Gary Phillips is a seriously heavy hitter. For all that pedigree Gary Phillips had never run over an eighthmile circuit. Then, in 2011, along came Slamfest, and Phillips had an exciting new playground in which to run his 1953 Studebaker Commander. Phillips says his previous history helped with the learning curve. “You’ve still got your times to go off from your data on the quartermile track so you can learn from there,” Phillips said. “We’ve been pretty consistent, we’ve top qualified a couple of times. We were first at Heathcote and then first at Tasmania – both of those races we got to the semi-finals.” But even with his experience Phillips had to come to grips
with the frantic action of a 1/8 mile race. “Because the format is so cut-and-dried you really have to be on your game. Reaction times have a lot to do with it to because you don’t have the rest of the track to make it up.” The racing isn’t without drama either. Phillips knows all about the dangers of drag racing, and was fortunate to get away with a scary moment in Perth in December. In that incident the chutes on his funny car failed and Phillips ended up in the sand-trap at the end of the circuit. In Tasmania in February there was an ugly Slamfest moment when Maurice Fabietti’s car became tangled in the chutes of Tony Defelice’s car, pulling him into a barrel roll. In the cut-and-thrust of short-track drag racing it’s easy to make a mistake. “I think you just have to not overdrive the car and that’s where the “talent” comes into it,” Phillips says. Continued on page 28 27 27
Continued from page 27
“Just try to not drive over your head. Accidents do happen but you have to race the track. “There is no point trying to do a three-second run if the track can only hold a 4.2.
“It was a good addition to the quarter-mile stuff I was already doing. It gave us another opportunity to race and the 1/8th mile stuff suited me and my sponsor Lucas Oil products. “So we decided to go and do that, not in lieu of but in addition to the quarter mile stuff.
“You have to drive to the conditions. Mildura was the perfect example.”
“It was the challenge, and also the opportunity to take the car to a new market for Lucas in Tasmania, Portland, southern Victoria etc. And because it’s televised it’s another outlet and another place to show your wares for your sponsor.
In Mildura John Zappia posted the first three-second run for the Slamfest category, but track conditions went away as the final between he and Phillips drew near - making the final a risky proposition.
“The main thing is to keep the sponsors happy and this is just more exposure for them through the extra races and the extra TV. I run this as a business, it’s not just a hobby it’s a business.”
“It was 10.30 or 11 at night and the dew and the fog was in,” Phillips said.
A no-nonsense racer, the 58-year-old doesn’t muck about with his car between events, and surprisingly makes no changes between the quarter-mile and 1/8 mile races.
“It was a 4.05 to a 4.1 which was pretty good considering the conditions. The tyres were spinning from one end of the track to the other but you just have to be cautious and drive it. “That [the risk] is why the crowd pay the money to get in I reckon.” So what convinces a veteran quarter-mile racer with an established reputation to go racing in a brand new format?
“Some guys run [their cars] different but I don’t. I pretty much leave it the same as what it is on the 1/8th mile to quarter mile to be honest. “Obviously the tune up is a little bit different because the tracks are not as smooth as they are at some of the quarter-mile tracks so you have to be a little more conservative with what you do with the clutch setup and that.”
The different track conditions and the high-intensity of the shorter format may not demand much difference in the car, but does it demand much from the wheelman? “Absolutely it does,” Phillips says. “It’s way harder to do well because you have the track conditions to throw you a curveball. We’ve done pretty good at the eighth mile stuff. I think we’re third in the points – that’s just the challenge of doing it. “It’s a ‘wham, bam, thank you ma’am’ sort of thing!” That intensity makes for some pretty exciting racing, and asks the maximum from the drivers. “It makes you more focused because you know, the aim was for everyone to run a three-second run over the eighth mile which Zap did at Mildura. “But in 4.0 seconds you don’t get any time to make a mistake – and if you’re a bit slack on the lights you’re going to get beaten anyway. With this format, you actually have to win the race and be the quickest car, that part of it works well for the eighth mile thing.” Phillips raises a good point on the different formats between Slamfest and other racing series, explaining that the format requires drivers to beat both the time, and the person in the other lane.
“The first round is a seeding round, so everyone runs the first round, so it doesn’t matter if you win you just have to run as quick as you can,” he explained. “Then for the next round it’s seeded off the first round, so if there are 10 cars, one runs 10, two runs nine, and so forth. “Then for the next run, the quickest four winners from the second run, so you have to win and be one of the four quickest cars. If you have a bad light but run really quick you’re not going into the semi-finals – you have to be one of the four quickest and one of the four winners. “Then the two quickest winners go into the final.” Phillips currently sits third in the title behind Peter Kapiris and John Zappia, and says everyone in the series is a title contender. “Kapiris and Zappia they’re running good. It’s pretty cut-throat and you can’t be slack. They’re all good cars, there are no clunkers. “It’s fun doing the eighth mile stuff. It’s a big challenge - keeps you on your game!” Slamfest next heads to Townsville for round four of the championship.
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IT’S A TOP FUEL TITLE DUEL
ith just one round of the 2011/2012 ANDRA drag racing season remaining, a number of titles will go down to the wire at the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway, June 8-11.
Top Fuel has provided the scene for a dramatic end with Western Australian Damien Harris and his Best Tractor Parts team leading Victorian driver Darren Morgan by just 2.5 points. Harris recovered from a first round loss at the Pro Series 1000 in Adelaide to win at the Nitro Champs in Sydney, as well as taking bonus points for low time and top speed that elevated him into the number one position. The driver of the Best Tractor Parts dragster has impressed in his first full season, leading the championship with one event remaining and achieving his first event win earlier this season in
Perth, followed by the second victory in Sydney. “It’s all about consistency in Top Fuel and we have been chasing it; that is our thing, trying not to overstep the line,” he said. “It (the championship lead) has all come relatively quickly, now it is a matter of consolidating.” Harris said experience in racing is what makes the difference and what allows a team like Graeme Cowin’s Rocket Industries outfit, the prime championship rival to Harris, to be so successful. “As a group we all work well together, the guys in the crew are very experienced and very professional in the way they put the car together and that gives us an advantage on the racetrack,” he said. “Our crew chief Tim (Adams) from a tuning point of view Continued on page 32
IT’S A TOP FUEL TITLE DUEL
Continued from page 31 never goes for the big number on the board, just to go from A to B. “The experience is what helps. Some teams are in the situation where the depth of knowledge they have is not as deep as what Tim’s is, but everyone learns the more they race.” Darren Morgan and the AEG Powertools Top Fuel team put in a strong showing to finish second at the Nitro Champs, but lost precious position in one of the most thrilling Top Fuel title chases in years. After top qualifying with a 4.70sec, Morgan was unfortunate not to make it two on the trot in Top Fuel following his win at the Adelaide Pro Series 1000 in April. Morgan eliminated arch rival Phil Lamattina early on, and was knocked out by Harris in the final when he overpowered the track.
“It was a great weekend at the Nitro Champs but I’m disappointed we couldn’t grab the win at the end after such a strong performance in the elimination rounds,” he said. “We congratulate Damien and his team on their well deserved first gold Christmas tree. Those guys have been running excellently this season. “We’re just a couple of points off the championship lead with only the Winternationals left to go so from here we’re all charging 100% to Willowbank with a winning mentality. “It was fantastic to have two new sponsors on board for the event in Hedman Husler Hedders and Victorian American Imports now as a Major Associate Partner - I look forward to continuing our partnership together. “We have always performed well at the Winternationals and it’s the biggest event of the year so I can’t wait to get back there in June and continue our strong showing at the track.”
REFRESHER FOR REED Steve Reed was able to farewell his Allstar Batteries Camaro Funny Car in good fashion recently in Sydney with personal best times ahead of the debut of a Pontiac Firebird at the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway in June.
Reed qualified fourth at the Nitro Champs event with a 5.61sec pass putting him in proximity to his goal of a 5.5sec pass before the weekend was out. The first round would prove to be that time when he ran a 5.59sec to eliminate Brett White, who also ran a personal best of 5.64sec in the near ideal conditions. Reed then confronted 14 times Top Alcohol champion Gary Phillips in the semi finals where a 5.55sec was too good for Reed’s 5.64sec. “Sydney Dragway sure turned on the weather for the Nitro Champs and the crowds turned out in massive numbers to witness the best drag racing Sydney’s seen in a long time,” Reed said. “The Funny Car put down some great quarter mile passes but without the team’s hard work between rounds it would not even be possible, let alone setting a new PB. “It was a great way for the 2000 Camaro to be put into retirement while waiting in the background is the new addition to the Reed team, a Pontiac Firebird we will be ready to launch at the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway.”
PLAYTIME OVER FOR MATHESON
hris Matheson is setting out to push the boundaries of what is achievable on a drag racing motorcycle at the Fuchs Winternationals with his nitro-fuelled machine being tuned for a five second pass at Willowbank Raceway.
If Matheson can accomplish the goal, he will become the first rider in Australia to ever achieve the milestone. Matheson is arguably one of the bravest motorcycle riders in Australia and his Nitro Voodoo team is also one of the most dominant. Matheson has a win rate of over 90% and has lost only two finals in his career to date. The Nitro Champs event at Sydney Dragway recently was no different with the bike running quicker on every pass and besting with a 6.17sec. Matheson’s career best pass is a 6.05sec which he recorded at Willowbank Raceway two years ago. “We have focused on securing points all season and taking each round as a championship in itself,” he said. “We attack the qualifying rounds to ensure we are well positioned in eliminations come race day, then go all out to win the meeting.”
Matheson has had almost a perfect season. He has won every event, top qualified at all events except one and has missed only two out of eight bonus point allocations for low time and top speed. The results have been so good that Matheson wrapped up his third straight championship with one event remaining. Since importing the bike known as ‘The Hulk’ in 2008, Matheson has gone from strength to strength. “We aren’t done yet, we have a clear goal of running the first five second pass on a motorcycle in Australia and creating history in the sport,” he said. “The upcoming Fuchs Winternationals in June is at our home track and the scene of many great results in the past. We will be pushing the limits to try for the magic five second pass. We have run our best numbers at Willowbank and if conditions are there, we will go quick.”
honsy Mullan headed to New Zealand for his first tilt at the elite Unlimited Superboat title with one aim - to go hard or go home. And the RAM-JET-backed pilot went as hard a driver can go, coming within $10 of a stunning debut
Mullan took his RAM-JET boat across to the birthplace of Superboat racing, New Zealand, as part of a small but heavy-hitting Aussie contingent. In the Group A class Slade Stanely and Damien O’Leary wielded Kryoptonite, while in the Unlimited Class Mullan was perhaps one of the least-fancied entries. Then entire squad, backed by Bolt 360 included Greg Mercier (ACOL Skylights), Dean Finch (Loose Cannon), Phonsy Mullan (RAM-JET) and Daryl Hutton (Team Solo). As the field thinned throughout the event it was Mullan who rose to the top and after topping several of his qualifying heats Mullan’s RAMJET lined up for a trans-Tasman stoush against fellow Sprintec boats and Kiwi arch-rivals, Leighton Minnell and Peter Caughey. But after running his boat on the limit all day the former Australian International Group A champion’s luck ran out at the worst possible moment. “You wouldn’t believe it,” a stoic Mullan said. “We found that we were losing alternator belts fairly regularly, especially when we were on the limiter, and we were on the limiter a bit on this circuit rotation. “We got a great start in the final, but threw a belt 50 metres off the line – when that’s happened in the past we’ve been able to continue, but it took the fuel pump and oil pump drive belts off as well, and that was it. A $10 part!
“Worst of it is that [world champion] Leighton Minnell told me where to go and pick one up locally!” Mullen’s misfortune was Minnell’s gain though and the Kiwi was able to claim the title, despite almost missing the final altogether. A bobble for Minnell in the top 12 eliminator saw him travel the wrong way around the circuit and record a time well down on his best. With the threat of elimination looming only Lady Luck could get him through. Fortunately for Minnell Lady Luck seems to have a soft spot for Kiwis. “He was blessed,” Mullen said wryly, “both the rotary [Peter Huijs] and Nutsy [Daryl Hutton] fell out as well and ‘gifted’ Minnell an entry into the final. “Heading in all I needed to find was about three one hundredths on my best to topple Caughey - who had set a quicker time than Leighton - and it would have been a shootout for the title, but it wasn’t to be. The belt ended the run and speared us off into the tyres, fortunately without damage. “It was a disappointing end to the series for us, especially as we came so close, but it was the best result ever by an Australian team in the Unlimited Superboat class and it showed that we have the equipment to do the job.”
The fortunes of Australia’s two competitors in Group A were almost a perfect mirror. With Nathan Pretty and Slade Stanley seeking to defend Australia’s seven-straight titles it was Stanley who was on the insideSPEED
MISSED IT BY 10 BUCKS Phonsy Mullan
2012 UIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
pace early while Pretty looked bogged down. The V8 Utes regular was more than two-seconds off the pace early on.
International Group A
Reg Smith/Julie Smith [NZ]
Nathan Pretty/Josh Hunt [AUS]
Sam Newdick/Glenn Mason [NZ]
Bevan Muir/Kathy Muir [NZ]
Shane Wood/Hamish Riddell [NZ]
Richard Burt/Inga Tromp [NZ]
Peter Briant/Robyn Briant [NZ]
“We had dramas, big dramas,” Pretty said. “We just couldn’t get it to go, and we had no idea why.”
Richard Murray/Kesty Manning [NZ]
Baden Gray/Tanya Iremonger [NZ]
“The ignition was faulty. It was almost brand new, had very little time on it, and it just threw us off on a wild goose chase until we eventually uncovered it.
Rex Briant/Katie Quantrell [NZ]
Blake Briant/John Randell [NZ]
Blair Gibbard/Joy Bayliss [NZ]
Slade Stanley/Vanessa Stanley [AUS]
“When we put the new unit in, it came alive, but by then we didn’t have the setup to take it to [eventual winner] Reg Smith and [second placed] Sam Newdick.” While Pretty recovered for third in the opening round and second overall after a poor start, Stanley slid from the top of the early time sheets to a frustrating fifth in round one, before sitting out round two. Stanley too suffered electrical problems after a fast start, and despite the gracious offer from Rex Briant to borrow his brand new boat ‘Stinger’ Stanley felt it best to regroup for another day. Stanley praised new world champions Reg and Julie Smith and says their contribution to the sport deserved reward. “Despite all the dramas we had, and Nathan had, it was nice to see Reg and Julie win the title after trying for so long,” he said. “I think they’d been to every world championship ever contested, and Reg was suggesting this would be their last, so it was a great way for them to go out.” insideSPEED
Leighton Minnell/Kellie Minnell [NZ]
Phonsy Mullan/June Dyer [AUS]
Ray Ferguson/Nicky Ferguson [NZ]
Peter Caughey/Karen Marshall [NZ]
Steve Bron/Jared Fletcher [NZ]
Rob Coley/Reece Townsend [NZ]
Graeme Hill/Ray Lawson [NZ]
Dean Finch/Demi Finch [AUS]
Peter Huijs/Garry Huijs [NZ]
Chris Munro/Brent Scammell [NZ]
Greg Mercier/Dorinda Mercier [AUS]
Daryl Hutton/Shirl Rickard [AUS]
Pat Dillon/Steve Edmonds [NZ]
Brought to you by:
rooke Dixon is making more than waves in Group A Superboats in 2012. The daughter of Superboat veteran Phil Dixon, Brooke has her Hi-Tec Oils machine humming, and after two rounds has the better of fierce rival Jake Garlic. Garlic himself has a strong family connection to the sport. He’s the son-in-law of Australian Jet Sprint Association president Greg Harriman. In the season opener at Temora Brooke got up by just 0.035 seconds. In round two Brooke powered her way to the top by an unprecedented 1.8 seconds. So how does a young woman attack one of the most exciting sports around? “Consistency and driving smooth [is the key],” Brooke explains. “You’ve got to have your lines perfect. In the final and the top three if you muck up one corner by 100th of a second then that could be your title. Every run just has to be perfect.” Continued on page 40
Continued from page 39 Ever the professional, Brooke says her run at Temora wasn’t perfect. “It’s really exciting, it was quite close. I did muck up one corner out there but at the end of the day came in first so I’m very proud,” the 24-year-old said. “You can tell right from the start if it’s going to be a good lap or not and I could tell it was going to be a good one. The whole lap was quite smooth but the second-last corner I mucked it up a bit.” Winning in the Australian International Group A class is not the only goal for the woman nicknamed ‘Princess’. “I haven’t won a world series yet. So that’s on my books for the next time it happens. Normally I’m the only female there [at the World Series] battling against all the men. “The race that happened in New Zealand just a little while ago I probably would have done quite well at. There were a lot of blown engines and things like that so it’d be pretty close. “Everyone wants to win so I’m up to win everything I can.”
Hi Tech Engines need Hi-Tec Oils
s reported in the first edition of InsideSpeed Magazine, circuit power boat racingâ€™s newest class the Blown Lites will hold the first round of its Australian Championship series at the Windsor Spectacular power boat event this September. With this new class, new boats, new sponsors and new directions in promotion are all well underway. Chris Stone, series promoter and co-ordinator reports on some of the latest news and info to come out of the Blown Lites camp.
HI-INVOLVEMENT FROM HI-TEC OILS In edition one of the InsideSpeed Magazine it was announced that Hi-Tec Oils and the Blown Lites will team-up and stage an Australian Championship series and bring this exciting new class of circuit boat racing to the forefront. With Hi-Tec Oils involvement in the series it paves the way for regular interviews, reports and news to be announced on both free-to-air and pay television. It was also announced that a one-hour show would be televised after each round of the Hi-Tec Oils Blown Lites Championship highlighting all races, with some tech talks and interviews thrown in - should be good viewing if you are into speed and action on water.
the action. Saturday saw the debut of Darryl Quinn’s ultra-slick Blown Lite, ‘Bad Influence’ and his intentions were made clear - the boat showed all what was needed to be a serious contender in the series. Darryl ‘The Assassin’ Quinn made his mark in circuit racing in 2002 in his 6-Litre Carby boat, then made the switch in 2010 and competed in the annual Blown Lite Championship finishing second to Rod Mackay.
Slippery Little Sucker As well as Hi-Tec Oils taking on the major role in the Blown Lites Championship, they are also giving support to one of the boats that will contest the series. Hi-Tec Oils Managing Director George Gambino explains, “To be associated with the Lites is exciting and will help promote the business, but this sport in my mind is the best kept secret in motorsport and I wanted to see a boat with my branding on it out there.”
Posting impressive lap times early in the weekend in the Unlimited Class he continued to get quicker as the meeting progressed. The last race of the weekend was the ‘King of the River’ race and we saw Darryl produce his quickest run and his first podium finish at the Easter classic. “I’m extremely happy with how quick and comfortable I feel in the boat in such short time and can’t wait for the series to start later in the year,” said Darryl. Another Blown Lite making a statement at Taree was the Team Toxic boat of Chris Edmunds. The most talked about paint job in powerboat history was a real crowd pleaser with many fans and supporters seeing the boat for the first time. Continued on page 44
“Matty Stone and his boat ‘SuckerPunch’ ticked all the boxes - Mat has an unbelievable understanding of corporate sponsorship. He’s a hard charger and not frightened to be on the limit, and his boat preparation is second to none.” “Mat’s involvement and passion for the sport was also part of my decision, so you will be seeing more Hi-Tec Oils signage on the water. Hi-Tec Oils are involved in other mainstream motorsports including Sprint Cars - Robbie Farr, Jet Sprint Boats - Brooke Dixon, Drift Cars - Matt Hambridge, V8 Supercars - Dale Wood, Offroad Racing - Brad Gallard ab=nd Drag Racing - Ash Hamblin. Mat will now join this elite team of proactive people who will assist each other in cross promotion of their individual sports.
BRIGHT LITES OF TAREE One of the biggest powerboat meetings on the circuit boat calendar is the Easter Powerboat Classic at Taree. With some of Australia’s most prestigious trophies up for grabs the two day event attracts some of the best teams from all over Australia. With the all new Blown Lites set to contest the fourth round of their series in 2013 at Taree, promoter Chris Stone and the HiTec Oils crew made the journey to get a taste of
Continued from page 43 Chris had a mixed weekend with a blown head gasket late Saturday afternoon putting an end to Toxic’s campaign for the weekend. “It’s part of racing and not every day goes as planned … the boat is quick, but we will have to find the problem in the engine,” Chris explained. With a new Blown Lite boat on the way, Troy Marland drove his Unlimited Alcohol Displacement (BAD) boat over the weekend and won all the main trophy races contested. After talking with Troy about his Blown Lite boat, he explained that he was looking forward to the close competition the class will have. He is also excited about the series because he believes he will not be the favourite (which makes a change) and will have to rely on his experience to get the result he wants. Over the weekend the Blown Lite drivers signed plenty of posters and continued to promote the series.
TOXIC ... A MIXTURE OF NEW AND OLD As most of the powerboat community is aware, the ruling for running a forced induction boat was changed for safety purposes. Toxic Motorsports took a full year break from racing in order to have a capsule / cell fitted to conform to these new rules. They also took this opportunity to come back with a refreshed new look. Chris Edmunds from Toxic Motorsports put a lot of research into working out what type of capsule was to be fitted. Safety, a proven product and appearance were the main considerations for the final decision. The decision was made to retrofit a capsule by Dean Borg from Proformance Marine. “Dean Borg was a pleasure to work with and took the time to design and alter the capsule to suit me,” said Chris Edmunds. The capsule was positioned to Chris’ original driving position. This was a time consuming task but well worth the time and effort. When the retrofit of the capsule was complete, the boat was transported back to Sydney from Adelaide. The next step was to fit out the capsule. Fitting out the capsule was a lengthy process; it involved the custom installation of the locking mechanism, air supply system, dash arrangement, seating and seat belt. Once the capsule had been installed and fitted out, it was ready to be repainted. The boat was prepared and finished by Greg Bailey from Bailey Smash Repairs. It was re-sprayed inside and out, completely
ready for a new look from the air-brushers. Chris was never happy with the original airbrush design and could not wait to revisit the creative side of making his boat look good. The boat was taken to Wayne at Advanced Airbrush. Chris and his wife Tamar had discussed what they wanted the boat to look like; this was made a reality by the team at Advanced Airbrush. “We are extremely happy with the new design, it is what we had envisaged all along”, said Tamar Edmunds. Toxic was brought back to its resting shed and completely finished by Chris Edmunds. He re-mounted all the running gear and motor and was ready to take it out and give it a whirl. Chris ran the “renovated” Toxic at Deepwater Motor Boat Club’s Trophy Day. He said, “The boat ran great and I’m surprised at how comfortable I feel in the cell”. Due to the boat handling and riding the same as it has always done, no changes have had to be made to accommodate the capsule.
S E K I B R E P FX-SU cing All Out Ra
o quote Ernest Hemingway, one of the world’s great writers and adventurers, “ There are only three sports; bull fighting motorsport and mountaineering. All the rest are merely games.” Few scribes truly ever really measure mankind and their pursuits and even fewer actually talk from experience. Hemingway was one of those swashbuckling few so he is worthy of the odd quote here and there - especially if it raises the respectability bar on motorsport. While it takes guts and commitment to take part in any form of motorsport, to me anyway there is one form that stands head and shoulders above the rest - and that is motorcycle road racing. Few segments of motorsport offer the absolute challenges faced by motorcycle road racers. Modern sportsbikes - even in street trim - offer a level of performance, handling and braking that isn’t rivalled by any of the better known Euro $500,000 sports cars. Add in a number of carefully chosen and not-too-expensive performance improvements and your modern 1000 cc Continued on page 48 insideSPEED insideSPEED
Continued from page 47 sportsbike quickly transforms into an extremely fast race bike and one of the fastest things in the world on wheels. To make the most of a vehicle with this much power and handling ability takes a special type of rare individual, one who enjoys being on the limit in close proximity to other like minded competitive souls. Motorcycle road racers are indeed a rare and exceptional breed, few people would entertain the idea of scraping their knees around a corner at well over 200 kph or flying down a front straight at over 300 kph only inches away from other racers who are just as committed to beating everyone else on the track into turn one and ultimately to crossing the finishing line and meeting the chequered flag first. Few things on earth equal the spectacle of watching live 30 FX-Superbikes charging into the first corner at speed, it is something like watching a top fuel dragster at full noise for the first time that every motorsport fan should experience at least once. Australia over the last few decades has proven itself to be one of the very few countries that produces world championship quality racers on a regular basis. Motorcycle racing in this country is blessed with a large amount of talent. Now this just doesnâ€™t happen because of chance or birthright, it takes years of strong racing from entry level club racing right through to State and then ultimately Australian Championship series level for our
racers to hone their skills and become recognised as the best there is in the country. Many then head overseas to take their chance on the world stage. This is no longer an easy option as it once was though as it often isnâ€™t how good you are that gets you to the top ride/drive - it comes down to how much money you can bring to the table. To get to the top of the tree here in Australia is no easy task, competitors have to prove themselves against many other extremely talented riders who all want to wear the number one plate in their respective Australian class championship. That is where the YMF Loan Australian FX-Superbike Championship has filled a massive void. To provide an affordable level playing field set of classes and a national series where the vast majority of talented riders can get to the top based on skill and commitment, rather than how big their bank balance or team truck is. In these challenging times, making motorsport affordable while not lowering the bar on professionalism and on track spectacle is possibly one of the greatest challenges the sport has ever faced. That is what the ARTRP - the promoters of Australiaâ€™s largest national motorcycle series, the YMF Loan Yamaha Australian FX-Superbike Championship - are striving to do. So far they are achieving some excellent results. 2012 is shaping up as a watershed year for the YMF Loan Yamaha Australian FX-Superbike Championship, record numbers of competitors and a expansion of the series into Queensland
are just two major points that are seeing the championship series grow and gain higher recognition in motorsport circles in this country. Add in the most comprehensive electronic and nationally shown free to air and pay television coverage of any segment of two wheeled sport in the country and there are plenty of good reasons for racers, sponsors and motorsport fans alike to sit up and take notice. ARTRP have secured for 2012, 4 x 30 minute shows per round on long-standing SBS program Speedweek, and, on top of that, three one-hour Friday night Fox SPEED TV shows per round. This huge amount of coverage provides airtime for every class in the series at every round which is a real bonus for all competitors, no matter what class they race in. To date this year the Aussie FX championship series has so far had two of the six scheduled rounds for 2012 run and won, with round one being at Eastern Creek Raceway in mid March and round two at Wakefield Park Raceway in late April. To date the racing has been blisteringly fast and furious in each of the five championship classes with a number of the very experienced and more fancied big name riders coming under repeated attack by young up and comers wanting to beat the reigning champions. Which is no small feat at all, with big names like Yamaha mounted Kevin Curtain competing in the premier FXSuperbike and FX600 classes. Curtain was twice runner up in the World Supersport championship and is one of the current FX champions that the young guns need to topple on a regular basis to get to the top. Add in the many other current and past
Australian champions like Peter Galvin, Russell Holland, Rick Olsen, Phil Lovett - and many others all scattered throughout the five FX championship classes that compete at the FXSuperbike Championship series and the competition is fierce to say the least. Another prerequisite for a healthy motorsport series based on road registrable vehicles is to have rules and classes that allow as many brands as possible to be in with a good chance to win. This builds both brand loyalty as well as viewer and spectator interest. This is no one horse race. The five classes in the FX championship series achieve this goal, in the premier FXSuperbike class over the last two years there have been round wins by Yamaha, Honda, BMW and Ducati. The new Kawasaki ZX10R with riders like young Matt Walters isnâ€™t far away either from claiming a round win going by the first two rounds results this year. The real wildcard and one to watch out for in the FXSuperbike pack at the moment is Russell Holland on the Trinder Aprilia Team RSV4. Russell has come off of a year layoff after returning from racing overseas, his first round back was the first round this year at Eastern Creek and he is fast re-gaining the speed and daring that he was renowned for previously. Russell is day by day getting faster and is likely to take it right up to the front of the FX-Superbike pack at the next round at Trinder Racings home track.
Continued on page 50
Continued from page 49 That brings us to the next round, being the third and midway point of the FX series this year which is will take place at QR Raceway on the 20th -22nd July. Queensland Raceway for some reason has always produced with motorcycles close and exciting racing action as it would seem the combination of stop go and fast flowing corners really suit modern motorcycle racing. One of the best things about QR is that no matter where spectators choose to sit around the track they can see all the action, add in the Hi-tec Oils sponsored Superscreen located opposite the T1 spectator hill and everyone located around there will not only be able to see all the racing action on the screen but all of the rider interviews live.
As was said earlier we live in challenging times for all motorsport but that is no reason to back away or give up on building the sport up. When it comes to motorcycle road racing the Australian FX-Superbike Championship is aimed at doing just that. As there is no bull fighting, and no real mountains to climb in Australia I guess anyone who is truly interested in being involved in one of the only â€œrealâ€? three sports will have to settle for motorsport. Anyway motorsport is far more exciting than either bull fighting or climbing mountains. That being the case, we hope to see you all at one of the FX-Superbike Championship rounds soon. If you would like to find out more about the next round of the YMF Loan Yamaha Australian FXSuperbike Championship, just visit the website www.fxsuperbikes.com. au. Or, for further information on the upcoming rounds, or on how to go racing, contact the promoter of the series on 02 48 235 711 or by email on email@example.com in business hours.