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EDITION 13/2015










WITH THE MARIANI’S A first hand account of the 2015 Fuchs Winternationals


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It was a wild 2015 Winternationals that included some of the most horrific crashes in Australian Drag Racing history.















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s k t r o p e R d Roun ionals, Willowban








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FACES @ THE 35 Fastlane is produced by the Australian National Drag Racing Association LTD.


Editor: Tim Baker ( Design: YBI Creative ( Photography: Cackling Pipes,, Ed Forman - High RPM, High Octane Photos, David Hope, Jeremy Horvath - High RPM, Joe Maday, Mariani Motorsports, Luke Nieuwhof, Mike O’Neill - High RPM, Outlaw Images, Trout Photographics, Skidmarx Photography


CEO: Malcolm Bulley Accounts: Donna Jantke Business Manager: Jackie Mills Business Development Manager: Jennifer Harrison Competition Manager: Brett Stevens Licensing and Membership: Leanne Wright Media & PR Officer: Tim Baker Reception: Belinda Whittaker Technical Officer: Colin Brassington


Michael Fotheringham (SA) - Chairman Terry Jongen (WA) Phil Parker (VIC/TAS) Robin Judd (WA) Shayne Homes (QLD)


Contact Details

Phone: 08 8271 5355 Fax: 08 8721 6988 Email: Street: 11 McInnes St, Ridleyton SA 5008


staging stagingla ANDRA NEWS

Rule Submissions available for member feedback 2015 - 2016

The rule submissions received as a part of the 2015 intake are available for member feedback. Submissions can be found at > AUSTRALIAN IMPORTERS Technical&> Rules > RuleDISTRIBUTORS Submissions


Feedback on submissions should be sent to your Division Director, or to technical@andra. no later than w w w. n t t y r e s . c o m September 30.


Ray Treasure Appointed National Race Director


2015 2016

Ph. 08 8113 0600

In July, Ray Treasure was announced as the National Championship Race Director. The newly created role forms part of ANDRA’s long-term strategy toward a National approach. Treasure has a long history within Drag Racing as a racer, crew member, venue and events manager, ANDRA Classifier, ANDRA Steward and meeting director. “I’m excited to take on this new role and be a part of taking ANDRA Drag Racing forward,” said Treasure. “Having already worked with most tracks around the country at varying levels I have a very good rapport with local meeting directors and track officials.

Treasure will also travel to ANDRA championship events as required and will oversee track preparation, schedule modification and pit layout with the promoter and advise promoter’s representatives and event participants on ANDRA policies, procedures, rules and regulations that apply to their respective class. The role officially commenced at the Top Doorslammer ANDRA Drag Racing Series round at the NT Titles August 14-15 in Darwin. Treasure will also maintain active involvement with the Australian Pro Street Association (APSA).

“I’m looking forward to working with ANDRA staff and local track officials to assist in providing racers with the best possible racing conditions and ensure ANDRA National Championship events run as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

Career and Experience:

“Having been actively involved in the sport for 40 years at just about every level there is no doubt Drag Racing is well and truly in my blood. I couldn’t think of anything better than to have the opportunity to work with so many great people and being a part of a professional approach to the ANDRA Drag Racing Series.”

National ANDRA Classifier – 1998-2001

Working in conjunction with the express authority of the meeting director and the ANDRA Competition Manager, Treasure will manage the effective communications between championship competitors, track management, ANDRA representatives and the relevant ANDRA Division where the race meetings are conducted.


Racer and Crew Member – 1975-1985 Meeting Director at Ravenswood Raceway - 1985-1992 Drag Racing Manager at Ravenswood International Raceway - 1993-1996 ANDRA Steward – 1998-2003 Drag Racing Manager at Perth Motorplex – 2004-2010 Venue and Events Manager Sydney Dragway 2010-2014 Set up and trained officials at the first Quarter Mile Drag Strip in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Worked with NHRA Safety Safari in the late 1990’s to early 2000’s

Feedback will go to the Divisional Councils before the National Rules and Operations Committees who will meet formally and make recommendations to the Board per the ANDRA Rules Policy.

Get your FREE Summit Racing Equipment Tyre Cover Summit Racing Equipment is offering all ANDRA members free tyre covers! All you have to do is visit the ANDRA transporter at your next event and present a Summit Racing receipt from a previous purchase. *Limit 2 per racer while supplies last. If you don’t want to wait until the next event, purchase yours online directly from

anes 2015 Championship Dinner ticket bookings now available To be held on Monday 19 October, the dinner will honour our 2015 season champions, runners up, Arthur J. Gallagher Volunteer of the Year and the latest inductees into the ANDRA Drag Racing Hall of Fame. The dinner will be held at Mawson Lakes Hotel & Function Centre, 10 Main St, Mawson Lakes, South Australia. Entertainment will include a comedian to get everyone in a laughing mood! Tickets cost just $45 for adults, $30 for youths (12-17) and $10 for children under 12. To book your tickets and view payment options visit and click the ANDRA Championship Dinner banner at the top of the page.


Top Doorslammer Shootout Introduced at Hidden Valley You may have noticed a slight difference to the scheduling and Championship points scenario for Top Doorslammer at the first two rounds of the Championship held at Hidden Valley Drag Strip. For the first time ever ANDRA, in consultation with the Australian Top Doorslammer Association, introduced a ‘shootout’ for nonqualifiers of the race day field.

Each shootout round winner was allocated 20 points per round, each shootout round loser was allocated 15 points per round. The shootout is not compulsory and if a nonqualifier chooses not to compete, they are allocated 20 points for a non-qualifier.

This format will be implemented at selected events.

Issue 12 Snap-on Trivia Winner Congratulations to Kellie Kidd from Highfields in QLD on winning the Snap-on Trivia competition in issue 12 of Fastlane! Kellie has won $500 value in Snap-on Tools Gift Cards. Answers:

Do you own a business? You can now register your business for a free listing on the ANDRA website. Designed for members to help members, the ANDRA Member Business Directory will be a one stop shop where you can find the business or service you require while supporting your fellow ANDRA member.


The new format included two rounds of the ‘shootout’ for all non-qualifiers between eliminations contested by the top 8 qualifiers, giving fans hourly Top Doorslammer appearances.

Seeding for non-qualifiers initial run is based on the previous days qualifying position (ie 9 vs last place, 10 vs second last place etc). For round 2, seeding is based on the quickest winners from round 1.

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How to Choose a Fire Suppression System It doesn’t pay to take chances when it comes to safety. Things like race suits, harnesses, roll bar padding, ignition cutoff switches, and the like may not be glamorous, but your life may well depend on them. Some ANDRA classes require some type of fire suppression system. Even if yours doesn’t, we still recommend having one if you’re running something quicker than a Super Street car. Here are some handy tips on how to choose and install a fire suppression system in your race vehicle. The key is choosing the right one for your application. Start by looking at your race sanctioning body and class rules. Are you required to have an onboard fire suppression system? Does it need to be SFI or FIA certified? And what are the specific requirements for mounting, bottle size, and chemical agent type? CHOOSING THE FIRE SUPPRESSION AGENT The most widely used agents in fire suppression systems are: Halon: Halon is stored as a liquid under pressure and discharged as a combination of liquid and gas that flows around obstructions to smother the flame and cool the fire to reduce re-ignition. It is a clear gas, so it can fill the cockpit and suppress a fire without hindering your ability to find a way out. Plus, Halon won’t damage expensive electronics and doesn’t require cleanup under normal circumstances. However, Halon is not legal for use in Australia per the 1995 Federal Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Regulations. DuPont FE-36™: This is DuPont’s SFI-

This Stroud fire suppression system also uses DuPont FE-36. The SFIapproved system is designed to discharge the proper concentration of FE-36 within 10 seconds, keeping combustion from occurring. The pullcable activated discharge head has two ports to allow separate lines for the driver and engine compartments. Like the Safecraft system, you can tee off either line to run additional nozzles.

approved replacement for Halon. Unlike Halon, it doesn’t contain any ozone-depleting chemicals and is not as toxic. FE-36 offers similar performance to traditional Halon, but it takes quite a bit more of it to do the job. For that reason, you may need to use a larger extinguisher bottle with FE-36 compared to a Halon system. Many manufacturers are moving to the FE-36 agent, which is also friendly to electronics. AFFF: Popular in Europe and FIA-approved, Aqueous Film Forming Foam is a waterbased solution discharged as a soapy foam. AFFF does a good job quenching fires and cooling fuels, but it doesn’t spread out like Halon or FE-36. It does leave a bigger mess than its counterparts, but cleans up with water and doesn’t harm paint or other surfaces. Cold Fire: Cold Fire is a wetting agent that was developed specifically for motorsport applications. When discharged Cold Fire is both non-corrosive and non-slip and like DuPont FE-36 is approved under SFI 17.1 (Onboard Fire Suppression Systems)

It’s better to have a three-port system so you can route the nozzles to the cockpit (driver), engine compartment, and fuel source (either fuel cell or fuel pump). It takes more fire suppressant to supply a three-port setup so you’ll need a larger bottle. Some companies even recommend a second, smaller bottle just for the driver’s area. See Onboard Fire Suppression Systems on page 244 of the ANDRA Rulebook. Most fire suppression systems include all the nozzles, fittings, and necessary line. The type of line that comes in your kit—aluminum or steel—will often depend on the type of racing you do. For example, Safecraft uses steel discharge tubes for drag racing systems. MOUNTING TIPS

SYSTEM ACTIVATION METHOD The type of activation setup you use depends largely upon your budget and how involved you want the installation to be. A mechanical push or pull cable is inexpensive, and allows you to mount the handle for easy access. Some systems have a push-knob mounted directly on the bottle. This reduces the chance of cable bind, but the extinguisher itself must be mounted near the driver. Some fire suppression systems can be activated automatically using electricity or air (CO2) and a pressure/trigger switch. PORTS, NOZZLES AND SYSTEM SETUP Many suppression systems, like the Safecraft and Stroud systems offered by Summit Racing Equipment, have two or three discharge ports on the bottle. This is so you

This Safecraft Model LT fire suppression system uses DuPont FE-36 as the fire suppression agent. The cylinder has a very compact discharge head to make it easier to fit in cramped cockpits. The activation portion of the discharge head can be rotated to align with the activation cable and has two separate discharge ports. This lets you run separate lines to the driver and engine compartments. You can tee off either line to run additional nozzles to the engine or cockpit.

can route multiple discharge lines and aim the fire suppressant at several locations in your vehicle. You want to route one of the spray nozzles to the cockpit to protect the driver, and the other nozzles should go to potential sources of fire to actually stop the flames.

• The extinguisher should be mounted horizontally or vertically with head facing up • Mount the extinguisher so you can see the gauge and label. That makes life easier for the tech inspectors • When installing a pull-cable activated system, mount the pull handle in the desired location first, then route the cable to the extinguisher • Do not crimp tubing when routing—use a tubing bender Be sure to consult your race class rules— and be ready to race another day with the right fire suppression system.

This diagram shows a fire suppression system with a single discharge port and multiple nozzles. In this configuration, a fourth nozzle is added for extra coverage in the engine compartment. Most fire suppression systems come with a dual port discharge head, making plumbing multiple nozzles much easier.

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ANDRA LAUNCHES CONTINGENCY PROGRAMME Recently ANDRA announced the reestablishment of the ANDRA Contingency Programme. A vital component toward further professionalism and sponsor engagement, the ANDRA Contingency Programme was relaunched at the recent Meguiar’s MotorEx event held at the Sydney Showgrounds, Homebush. ANDRA partner Crow Cams has been a key driver in helping to re-establish the Programme following success throughout the 1990’s. Summit Racing Equipment have already commenced contingency payments as part of their commitment to the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series beginning with the now complete 2015 season.

could potentially generate business from drag racing to get involved.” The Programme will provide cash or product bonuses for participants in the ANDRA Drag Racing Series and Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series.

Bonuses will be paid to successful racers after each round of their respective Championship, where they reach the finals of their brackets, and meet the conditions of the programme, which include use of the sponsor’s product or service where required, and display of the sponsor’s decal. ANDRA Contingency sponsors receive direct exposure to the sizeable market inside ANDRA Drag Racing through promotional material circulated by ANDRA, and to numerous drag racing fans at each event through vehicle signage, television, online and print media coverage of ANDRA Drag Racing.

Crow Cams Marketing Manager Robert Henty said he was looking forward to the revamped ANDRA Contingency Programme and feels it is a great way to gain exposure and reward racers using their products.

ANDRA Business Development Manager Jennifer Harrison welcomed Crow Cams and Summit Racing Equipment’s involvement and said she was excited to re-establish the Programme as a key component of ANDRA Drag Racing moving forward.

“As a founding participant in the original ANDRA Contingency Programme some 20 years ago, Crow Cams where delighted to hear that the Programme is being reintroduced for the 2015/16 ANDRA Championship season,” he said.

“It’s great to be able to re-launch the Programme and offer racers the opportunity to receive contingency rewards along with providing a cost effective platform for sponsors to get involved in ANDRA Drag Racing,” she said.

“Crow Cams had gained great exposure from the ANDRA Contingency Programme over many years and we were more than happy to support successful racers who supported our products in an economical and well managed way.

Use of a product or service in a motorsport as demanding as ANDRA Drag Racing is a great endorsement, and sponsors are encouraged to take full advantage of the Programme to increase brand and product awareness.

“The new program annual fee of $500 per product and the win and runner up payouts are very reasonable, and if I recall the fee hasn’t increased over the original cost of 20 years ago! I would encourage any company that



For a Media Kit, further information as well as registration for both competitors and sponsors please visit the Contingency section at




Situated in Mackay, in central Queensland, Palmyra Dragway, a non-profit organisation, is the oldest privately owned and operated drag racing venue in Australia. Since opening in 1968, Palmyra Dragway has hosted many spectacular events enjoyed by the Mackay and district communities and those from further afield. Palmyra Dragway is the only drag racing facility in North Queensland currently sanctioned by the Australian National Drag Racing Association. In addition to adhering to strict safety guidelines outlined by ANDRA, Palmyra Dragway also hosts several ANDRA racing events attracting professional drivers, teams and fans to the track. Two of these events throughout the year are broadcast on national television, with other local events promoted widely throughout the local community. One of the committee’s proudest achievements is an initiative to promote vehicle safety and responsible vehicle use by developing a monthly ‘Keep Speed off the Street Challenge’. This is a legal and sanctioned off-street racing event where the young and young-at-heart can experience the thrill of street racing in a fun and safe environment.

Queensland Police where street car owners can challenge local Police in specially prepared vehicles to race. This also gives the Police the opportunity to interact with specific members of the community. With a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers, Palmyra Dragway has become a local haven for car racing enthusiasts and spectators alike, with over 50,000 people visiting the track every year from all over the country.


Beat the Heat is another initiative supported by Palmyra and





TERRY JONGEN Division Director

West Australian Division Council Ph: 0424 198 400 Email:




Terry Jongen has been a member of the WA Divisional Council since 1995 and Divisional Director for 10 years. He was part of the National Control Council (NCC) that oversaw the change of ANDRA from an Association to a Company limited by guarantee. Terry has been on the new ANDRA Board since the beginning of ANDRA as a company. “I have been drag racing for 28 years starting in Modified Bike and progressing to a nitrous Comp Bike,” says Jongen. “I have managed to win a State title and quite a few races, however the Gold Christmas tree still alludes me. “I have had other involvement in other motorsports. I was Chief Paramedic for Rally Australia for 10 years overseeing the emergency response for all drivers. I spent quite a few years providing medical cover for Speedway and Motocross tracks around Western Australia.”

DIVISIONAL COUNCIL MEMBERS Terry Jongen (DD) Murray O’Connor (Alt DD) Geoff Chaisty Nick Gardiner Ian Jenkins Alan Hudson Peter Glover Andrew Frost Tyron Begg Elizabeth Jonhs



Terry has also worked in the Emergency Department of Royal Perth Hospital (Major Trauma Centre) for 25 years and specialises in trauma management. “In my role on the Board I have attempted to bring a mantra we use in health care and that is decisions need to be “evidence based”. “For example prior to approving bolt in roll cages, ANDRA consulted with a Australian National University Dept of Engineering who tested and refined the design to meet ANDRA standards. “Once the research proved the cages were safe they were approved. ANDRA has an enviable safety record and we need to ensure we do all we can to protect the racer. I have a strong belief that everyone needs to be accountable and we all need to take responsibility to grow the sport.”

A largely forgotten drag racing track and the southernmost ANDRA sanctioned track in Australia is TAS Dragway situated 35km south of Launceston in Tasmania. This quarter mile track has been running continuously for more than 30 years at the same site. Developed from a rural airstrip, the facility has had a number of individual owners over this time and in recent years has had some difficulty with owners’ commitment to maintenance and improvement. This has resulted in ANDRA classifying the track as 1/8 mile, even though TAS Dragway has the longest run off in Australia at around 600 metres after the 1/4 mile finish line. From this coming season the track is under new management with a strategic plan to return to 1/4 mile racing and eventually be accredited as a National level ANDRA track. Since the track lease was negotiated, the new management has been working hard at the requirements handed down by ANDRA to return to 1/4 mile racing

for >11.00 street and Super Street vehicles and expect to achieve this by the end of the year. “Classes running this season are Street, Super Street, Comp and Bike,” says John Hanley. “Most of the 10 meetings for the year are for trophies only, but there are two “money” meets planned at this stage – one for a massive burnout comp on November 15th with up to $6,000 available, and a 1/8 drag meet on January 9th with up to $21,000 in prize money. “The prize outcomes are determined by the number of entries. Check out for all the details. Both of these events are open and by pre-entry with a limited field but interstate entries are most welcome. “While we are currently leasing the track, we would like to hear from anyone genuinely interested in becoming a part owner of the 114 acre facility that also includes a 4x4 competition track and Khanacross track.” For more details and information about TAS Dragway please contact John on 0400 426539 or Tim on 0408 464698.

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Beginning in 2015 with the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, three new awards were introduced at every Sportsman event around the country. Those awards are the Best Presented Team Award, Perfect Package awarded to the first racer to achieve a perfect light and dial in during eliminations, and the Perfect Light awarded to the first racer to achieve a perfect .000 reaction time during eliminations. Modified Bike competitor Kerry Ellis was the first racer to achieve the Perfect Light at the Fuchs Winternationals with the prize a spotlight right here in Fastlane! Ellis’ first taste of Drag Racing came back in 1970 at Surfers Paradise over Easter where he watched Eddie Castle on the Hagon Jap


Racing bike and Peter Allen (The Pom) on the twin engine Triumph. It didn’t stop there as Ray Eason (WA), Twinkle Taylor/ John Hoskins on Warlord, the Thornely Bros on the VW motor powered bike and Mark Walker on the 2 litre V-Twin motor, which he built himself, all inspired Ellis to try his hand at racing. “I haunted the local newsagent to get the new magazines to read the latest news on these guys,” he says. “I started my shop Bundaberg Bike Wreckers in 1978 and attended several drag meetings on various bombed up street machines. In 1983 I purchased a modified Kawasaki 1000 rolling frame with extended swing arm from Steve Harker, painted it black and gold, built a 1425cc motor, put it in and went racing. “The first meeting was the last ever held at Surfers Paradise International Raceway (Queens Birthday 1987) and I top qualified first run in Modified Bike at 9.8 seconds. I certainly had the bug by then.” Ellis grew up on a cane farm and as he puts it, “naturally you have to have a bike.” His first was a 98cc Adler that he paid $10 for as a 12 year old. Then came a Triumph T/ Bird when he was 15. This was followed

by a square four Ariel and a 1000cc V-Twin matchless – all ridden on the farm or raced on his local Moore Park Beach back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. “Back in the late 80’s there was talk of Nitrous Oxide being used for racing. I was interested and spoke to the late Jack O’Malley at Orient Express in America whom I was buying parts from for several years. “He gave me the good oil on NOS and not long later we were running 8.53 over the quarter mile and after destroying three GPX1100 gear boxes I rang J.O. and purchased the ex Jim Coopers Kosman rolling frame - a Falicon crank, three speed gear box and rear tyres etc to get serious.” His first meeting with the new bike (Gladstone all bike, May 1992) he ran under the AA/MB record but unfortunately didn’t back it up (8.56). The next meet was Palmyra where he got the record at 8.35. Over the next few years he achieved four records in the AA/MB class. In the mid 90’s there was a shortage of Top Bikes so Ellis decided to run that class with the help of Billy Vose from the USA when they added an extra disc and calliper on the front and running in the Top Bike bracket until 2006.




Following a major blow up in 2006 after he’d just purchased a house, the Southern Intruder was rested for nine years until the 2015 Fuchs Winternationals. “It came back with billet crank cases, three speed Orient Express gear box, a stroker crank and a new Nitrous setup with a big help from Billy Vose who we brought over for that meeting,” he explains. “We dropped back into AA/MB and ran 7.42 first run in qualifying, bike rider weighing 694Lbs, and backed up with a 7.44 first round of racing to give us another AA/MB record which was my intentions before going to Willowbank. Billy said we will start off soft to make sure everything works and later we can wind the wick up a bit more.” A nine year break was a test for Ellis, but he’s back now and his reasoning is pretty simple. “When the green light pops, the B/S stops. To have a reliable bike and put on a show. I just love the feeling of acceleration and the adrenaline rush.”


“It’s not easy as a moment longer is a red light. The feeling is sensational. I must say I have never done a .000 reaction time before. I have come close a few times. It sure was a good beginning for my first race on the bike for nine years and I had to impress Billy Vose from the USA. We achieved three feats on that run. We pulled a .000 reaction time, won the race and backed up the record run in qualifying.”


“The bike was run by Jim Cooper back in the 80’s in the USA. It is a Kosman Frame. I purchased it from Jack O’Malley (of Orient Express Racing) in November 91. Bill Mann Performance freighted it over for me with their orders. I built a 1425cc, three speed Kawasaki motor and put Nitrous on it. I have had five national records on the bike and have done over 250 passes on it since May 1992. It now weighs 593 lbs and 694 lbs bike and rider ready to race. After nine years break I decided to strip it all and repaint, polish and build a new motor to come back racing. I top qualified at the 2015 Winternationals (7.42) with a new AA/MB record. The bike ran 181mph at Eastern Creek back in 1996.”


“Back in late 92 I had a call from old time racer Gwyn-Endi-Kott Davies to join seven other bikes from Australia to go to New Zealand and race at two meetings (Feb 93) which he was organising. We took my first bike over and won five out of six races to bring back the Perpetual Trophy for Australia. “Two months later (May 93) I had a call from Hidden Valley Drag Strip in Darwin, which we went to every year, to do four meetings. I was to drive up and back as usual which they paid $1200 for fuel and they flew me back and forth between meetings. May 1994 I was invited to Alice Springs to race on the seven mile Aerodrome Drag Strip and broke the track record on the second run. They transported the bike and trailer back and forth to Alice Springs and flew me to and from Alice from 1995 to 2000, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed and reset the strip record several times. “The Grand Finals at Eastern Creek in 1996 was the first time ever two nitrous bikes were in the final of Top Bike - Gavin Spann and myself (Spann won). I have never won a Top Bike meeting but been runner up a few times.”


CHAMP 2015



“It was a great thing to do with the Rapisarda family to give them a Championship after such a long dry spell, it was a great achievement for everyone. We would have liked to go more rounds and had it well and truly locked away. I was a little nervous knowing Wayne (Newby) was in with a good chance. Having Lee Beard out to help the boys was an added sense of concern and generally it was a bit nervewracking out watching the final.”



“It’s an achievement in itself. No one else has won 17 Top Alcohol titles in the sport’s history. It was hard to win it like that, watching on with no control. Not being able to use the second car was like heading into a gunfight with no bullets.It was more nerve-wracking than when you race. Everyone takes shots at you but your hands are tied, you can’t come back at them. I’m excited to carry the #1 on the Lucas Oil Monte Carlo Funny Car again. The car was competitive all season, so it was just bad luck to have a fitting come loose and put fluid under the tyres.”



“A great season. Reminds me of our 2008/2009 season where we remained unbeaten after venturing consistently into the 5.9s. Here we are six years later and we are running 5.6s – an amazing advancement for our team. This is for Craig Pedley from Striker Crushing and Screening – thank you for 10 awesome years, it has been a fantastic ride Craig - this win is for you. None of this success would be possible without the support and quality products from all our sponsors.”



“Over the moon to take out the championship again. Last year was our rookie year at the championship. With the last championship season only being six months long I’m really happy to hold the #1 for the next 12 months. Thanks to Perth Harley Davidson, Southwest Harley Davidson, Stan’s Tyre Service, A & J Drilling and BAZ National for getting my bike there. Also Andrew, Cracker, Brendan, my pit crew, nothing is possible without the sponsorship and help at the track.”



It was a short sprint but the 2015 ANDRA Championship Drag Racing Season is in the books. The final weekend at the Fuchs Winternationals produced some of the most dramatic, exciting and historical moments in the sport’s history. Here is what each and every ANDRA Champion had to say:


“It was exciting to get top qualifier for the last 4 out of 5 meetings and I’m happy to be the 2015/16 champion for Fiat Chrysler Mopar Australia, Retreat Caravans and VP Racing Fuels. Our primary engine was swapped for the less powerful sister and we fell short to Nino Cavallo (in the Winternationals final). My reactions and driving has been as good as ever at the Winters. My highlight of the event was again being part of Australia’s quickest side by side pass with Emilio Spinozzi, 6.91 to a 6.92, it was a great race to be part of and it was great running 6.89 in Q3 when all competitors struggled to get down.”



“We are over the moon given the calibre of competitors we are surrounded by and have no doubt that for the 2015/16 Season that Pro Stock Motorcycle will provide some of the fastest side by side racing this country has seen. And to have the No 1 plate is great. I was definitely apprehensive watching Ryan Learmonth as I realised we were still alive in the Championship. Look, I feel for Ryan and his team as they were in control of the situation and we just had to sit back and watch.”



“It was great to be part of such an awesome event and to go back to back running out of Perth in a blown car is very satisfying. I knew we didn’t have a car as competitive as Craig Geddes so we went into race day knowing we had to save index damage in the early rounds as to put some pressure on Craig. I was pretty relaxed coming into the semi as the car was running well and we felt we could make a great race of it. After claiming our second championship we faced Wayne (Cartledge) in the final and feel I may have relaxed a little and left with a poor reaction time costing us dearly, but well deserved win to Cartledge. I am proud of my family and crew that travel the country giving up their time and holidays so I can compete and hassle the east coast boys.”



“This is the first Winternationals tree, we were glad to get it. Earlier in the day we took out the national championship again, so that’s awesome! I’ve got to thank my wife and my young bloke for their support, without them, none of this would happen.”




“It obviously means a lot to us to have won the championship, not just to Lynn and myself but to Reg and Ryan Lee who along with Mick Utting have been with us for a long time. We’ve been close before but have always managed to come up a bit short sometimes with a breakage but if I am honest more often than not its been the nut behind the steering wheel. I believe those days are behind us now and look forward to defending our title, after all it took me a long time to get it and I’m not giving it back! A special thankyou to the most tolerant woman I know, my wife Lynn, also Book Racing Enterprises and Peter Ridgeway for help and advice along the way.”



“I’ve been racing for around 15 years; last year was the first year we decided to start running the series and were over the moon with the win. To back it up for the second year was a big achievement to us and makes us more determined to continue. We’re still undecided if we will continue or if we’re going to give it a break and come out with something new. I’d like to thank my sponsors, my crew and fellow racers that have helped us through the season: Turbo by Garret, Super Tech, Fabre Australia, ARA Engine Reconditioning, Smithfield Diff & Gearbox and my crew Sam, Rob and Nelson.”



“It feels awesome. I got very emotional; I didn’t think we’d ever do this. We’ve taken a couple of West Australian championships. To come over to the Winternationals and win, words don’t do it justice. I was thinking (in the match up with Doina Day) I’ve got no reverse gear and no trans brake because we changed gearboxes Saturday night. We did have reverse but no trans, I took off at idle and I didn’t do a big burnout so I was pretty nervous in how the car was going to go.”



“When we started the year, my crew, my family said we want to be the first ones to win Top Sportsman. It’s a bracket we’ve wanted to get up and running for the last three or four years, there have been a lot of people involved, so we’re absolutely over the moon. We didn’t have a real good start to the year – we still had the car pulled apart from the previous season so we missed the first two rounds of the championship. When we finally got the car back together we decided to make a real go of it. Our season was a cut a lot shorter than we thought it would be so it was always going to be a lot tougher but we came out on top and everyone is just stoked.”



“Being eliminated in the first round of racing is never pleasant, especially with the championship on the line. I just watched in the stands, it was quite nerve-wracking but I wasn’t getting my hopes up. It was a great race between Kenny (Stewart) and Rob (Harrington). I had a bit of a discrete cheer and gave my boyfriend a hug. It was a relief, winning the National championship makes all your hard efforts and money spent feel worth it. “



JOHN KAPIRIS “I feel like a kid in a candy shop I know it’s a big achievement and I am proud of

it. Look, I knew it was going to be hard being a few rounds behind. My focus was made easy for me, get in the car and don’t give my opposition anything to play with, cut the light, run the dial in and hope everything around it falls into place. I must say this was the hardest one to win. Going rounds at the Winters is never easy. Plus being behind the eight ball and I had a lot of tough competitors to take on. The best round was against my good friend Neil Constantinou, father of Andrew Constantinou to win the championship. I would like to say well done to all racers, all tracks and track staff across Australia, ANDRA and most important of all our spectators. And thanks to all my sponsors family and friends.”



“It was a very humbling feeling and a very proud moment for me after such a long journey to return to the track. I clearly recall hearing the announcement at the commencement of elimination 5 just prior to my burnout, which was a bit bigger than usual. The joy I had made a dream comeback and accomplishing something that is no easy task is still sinking in. To win a championship is everyone’s ultimate goal in our sport. To get a Christmas tree along the way is a great reward for the competitor and his team of family and friends for their efforts.



“It feels great. Massive thank you to my family, my wife and my kids, they’ve supported me all the way. It’s been a hard journey, it’s not easy to travel with kids missing out on school. Also a massive thank you to my one and only crew member here this weekend, George Paradiso. If it weren’t for him I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now. Thanks to Enzo Dimizio, Paul Russo and Bob Sherry for their support and everyone back at home in Adelaide for supporting me on the internet. They kept ringing me every pass so thanks to all those guys, thanks to ANDRA for putting on such a brilliant event and to Summit for their sponsorship (of the series).”



“For me winning the championship was such an exciting moment, it was exciting for not only me but for the whole family and the Mopar team. It felt great to win it in the final against Toby. In the final I was thinking about what I have to do as a driver to give me the best opportunity to try and win the race. After I had got out of my car and the team realised that I had won they all came over and congratulated me, Lee (Bektash) gave me a hug, and said ‘you’re a gun mate.”



“I’m extremely happy about winning the Super Gas tittle for 2015. My first one was June 2006 being the 05/06 series. So it’s been a long nine years trying to secure a second Championship. I was runner up last year. I knew potentially other racers had a chance of taking this opportunity away from me. We were quietly nervous but we stuck to our plan and strategies. Round 1 was the most pressure, as I had to secure that win and achieved it on a 9.906. My crew and I didn’t know until we got back to the pits, checked the Round 1 results. We then calculated and knew that the Championship was secured after learning that our closest threat, Matty Forbes had been knocked out.”



WINTERNATIONALS 2015 WITH MARIANI MOTORSPORTS Mariani Motorsports Program Manager Bruce Mott gives a first hand account of the 2015 Winternationals.

Before we even hit the road modifications were made to the bus, Mariani Motorsports stickers went on and a couple of inverters were installed so we had 12v and 240v power, because after all, there was a fridge of refreshments on board that we had to keep running.

So where to start...

Not long out of the driveway and another modification to the bus started taking shape. A TV to watch movies was strung from the ceiling via elastic straps and the first movie up was ‘The Snake and Mongoose’, pretty fitting for this bunch of drag racers on a road trip to the biggest drag race in Australia.

I’ll try at the beginning, that’s when on Thursday, 3rd of June, the day the Winternationals started and only one day before Top Fuel is due out on the track, the Make-A-Wish dragster left Sydney at around 2pm with the trailer hooked up to the prime mover of trusted mate Rob ‘Bam Bam’ Vartuli from Bam Bam Transport. As the race car leaves, the crew started arriving at the workshop ready for the bus trip, 12 of us in a 25 seater bus were driving from Sydney to Willowbank Raceway in QLD. Another 4 crew were flying in from different directions and the all-important supporting ladies flying in also.


So we hit the road at 6pm with team chief Mario Mariani driving first, a driving schedule of 3 hours each for the 4 drivers had been planned.

Mario decided he wasn’t going to see out his 3 hour driving stint and a driver swap happened as we stopped for a quick bite at Hungry Jacks. I jumped into the driver’s seat, I’m Bruce Mott, Program Manager for Mariani Motorsports. At the same time, the driver of our nitro dragster, Mark Mariani started his hilarious crew talk segments where he was videoed as he interviewed

the crew and then posted it on Facebook. This created much laughter and ribbing as everyone started giving the interviewee a hard time. Mark’s brother, Matthew, declared that he was over being a passenger and wanted to take over the driving duties early, so at a fuel stop I swapped with Matthew who put in a long stint, by the time he handed over to supercharger crewman Ken, most the team are well and truly asleep.

FRIDAY 6.30am on Friday, 12 hours and 41 minutes after leaving Sydney, we arrived at the track and without any time to stretch or rest, the crew went straight into unpacking, setting up the pit area and getting the car up on jacks. An amazing amount of work that took another 5 hours. Throughout the rest of the day, the car was prepped, the remaining crew and supporting ladies had arrived and all was pretty calm in our pit area. Unknown to those on the outside, the team had strategically made the decision not to run the first qualifying round at 5pm that night. Instead choosing to watch from the

stands then leave for a relaxing night at a local Chinese restaurant to unwind from the trip. The strategy appeared to work as only one good run occurred in the first qualifier from the other teams and confidence was high that two shots at qualifying on Saturday would be enough.

SATURDAY The team was buoyed as we started to uncover the car and setup at 6am even though our first qualifier (the second for Top Fuel overall) was not scheduled until 2.33pm, it ensured that when we rolled out of the pits we were 100% ready. So at the biggest drag racing event ever outside of North America, a team that is racing in only our second event and racing at the pinnacle of the sport - Top Fuel - we watched the car roll into stage and we held our breath. One flash of the amber lights on the tree and the car disappeared into the distance. The result - a 400kmh run in just 4.98 seconds! We were very happy, our first run of the weekend and we were in the number 2 qualifying position, however, there was a lot of work to do before the next qualifying round as the engine pushed out a head gasket, which in turn torched a head and burnt up a lot of wiring and plumbing at the rear of the car. Many of the guys on our team are new to Top Fuel drag racing. All of them have had an interest in the sport for many years but have not had the opportunity to get involved on such a professional level before. One crew member, Ken Gardiner, has never been anything more than a casual spectator before becoming involved with the team and now he is in charge of servicing the superchargers between rounds. To introduce other crew members there is Steve Connor, our clutch specialist that has been with the team for a while and has become very much a leader of the team; Daniel Karakoc, on cylinder heads who has been part of the team for just over a year; Blake Morehouse who has the glamorous job of “diver” (translated he gets to lay underneath the car having hot oil and parts dropped on him whilst he services the bottom end of the engine) Marijan (Marz) Lisica who has the most experience having been a crew member with the Rapisarda Top Fuel team for many years, working for them both in Australia and in the USA; Tony Deluttis another cylinder head specialist; and Domenic Lucisano who has never worked on a race team before but is learning fast in his role as general assistant with the team. Chris Stipanovich and his longtime crewman Peter were also lending a hand for the weekend assisting and overseeing the crew. This weekend was the first race meeting with this team, and what a weekend we choose.

As a side note, the entire team sends heartfelt best wishes to Phil Lamattina and the Lamattina crew and family after his crash in the second round of qualifying. Mark was the next car due to go down the track and this was a chilling moment. For Top Fuel drivers, racing is what they do, but for the wives, partners and families it can be a harrowing experience seeing a loved one go through what Phil did. As we waited quietly on the start line, no-one knew quite what to say. I didn’t want to say anything that might distract Mark who was out of the car and walking around. Eventually we walked past one another and I said to Mark, “you good?” Mark nodded and replied, “yes mate” just as he always does, and that’s all that was needed in the circumstances. In these situations, it’s amazing how little words are spoken but the messages are conveyed through eye contact and body language. Mark’s wife Natalie has always been very supportive of his racing endeavours, in fact the whole team is very much a family orientated race team. As most people know, Mark’s parents Mario and Pamela own the race operation and are very involved, as is his brother Matthew, and it is not uncommon to see Mark and Natalie’s young daughter Ava running around the pit area as well. After all, the team started out as Mariani Family Motorsport before it morphed into the team it is today. The car was back in shape for the third qualifying round, and although we were hoping to improve on our first run, the car shook the tyres hard just off the start line and the run was aborted. At the end of qualifying we were in the top half of the field, an unbelievable achievement for our young team and it also meant that we would have lane choice in the first round of racing on Sunday.

SUNDAY After arriving at the track at 6am again, the car was uncovered, final checks done and the car was towed to the staging lanes. Marks wife Natalie always goes with Mark and the team to the staging lanes and the remaining supporting ladies all head off together to the stands. Whilst still outwardly calm, you can see the tension start to rise, not just with Mark and the crew, the ladies were starting to feel it just as much, probably more. Qualifying is always a little more relaxed than race day because you don’t get any second chances in eliminations, you can read the stress of race day on the faces of the crew, they are constantly going over the car checking, double checking and triple checking their work and everyone else’s on the team as well - two pairs of eyes are much better than one.



The wait in the staging lanes was a solid 40mins or more, lined up only two metres from our opponent Peter Xiberras and the PremiAir Racing team, but that was okay as they are a great bunch of guys. In fact when we suspected ignition issues after the second qualifier, Peter and his team loaned us some ignition parts. Despite being fierce competitors on the track, it’s noticeable once we are all back in the pits that the teams are pretty close knit and good friends away from the track as well. The car was fired with no problems and we went through the usual start up routine and burnout procedure. Once the car was fired, the stress and tension of the build-up was immediately lifted, there is no more dwelling on what might happen, just jobs that needed to be done, the car received its final touches and Mark was guided into stage. Both cars staged and launched, it was soon obvious we had won and almost unbelievably a spot in the semi-finals secured as (unfortunately for him) Peter smoked the tyres right at the launch.

on loan) the crew went to work diligently repairing and replacing everything that was damaged.

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Mark was so proud of the effort the entire crew put in just to get the car back to the start line for the semi-final, we were up against the might of the Rapisarda team who had three cars filling the other semifinal spots, complete with an American driver and crew chief in one of the cars.

We have plenty in store for the coming season and we can’t wait to see you at the track!

After a little problem firing the car in the warm up, which we sorted out quickly, we were pumped up and ready to do battle. The car started, which after such a big fire, was a relief and Mark rolled through the water box and nailed the throttle to do a nice burnout. As usual, the crew were performing their start line routine as the car reversed, but suddenly the engine note changed just a fraction, then it spluttered and went silent. We were devastated, the rules state that you cannot re-start the car so our weekend was over.

There was more excitement to come though, especially for Mark, as just after half-track a massive fireball enveloped the left hand side of the engine. The fire died down for a second or two, but once Mark got the car stopped it lit up once more, running on all the oil and fuel that was no longer inside the engine. The fire was big enough that it actually got into the cockpit and left some burn marks on Mark’s driving suit.

After the hard work of the past three days, to lose in that way felt a little hollow, but coming into the event, Mark was confident that this brand new team could compete at the highest level and he left the track knowing he was right.

Back in the pit area a big task lay ahead to be ready for the semi-final, with pieces of con rod in the engine containment nappy and holes in the side of the block, an engine change was going to be needed.

To our sponsors - Pro Signs, New Image Painting and Decorating, ManageMate, Translock, Luton Smash Repairs, Maracon Building and WDS, we thank you for your support. We would not be able to do what we do without your invaluable assistance.

This in itself is a mammoth task, but to add to the drama the fire had also burnt a lot of the wiring for the ignition systems and data logging, and the air lines for the clutch controls as well. Basically, anything that wasn’t made of metal was pretty well toasted, if it wasn’t for the assistance and generosity of competitors with providing parts and advice, there would have been no semi-final appearance for us. Under the watchful eye of Mario and Ben Patterson (Championship winning crew chief with Darren Morgan Racing who was


With a re-branding and new look for the car since the Winternationals, Mariani Motorsports cannot wait to hit the track again at the first round of the 2015/2016 ANDRA Championships.

To Make-A-Wish Australia- thank you for allowing us to represent your amazing organisation. Knowing that by partnering with you we are helping raise money and awareness to make the wishes of sick children come true is more important than any results we may achieve on the race track. In closing, we may be a new team but we are certainly here to stay!

- Bruce Mott





November 6-7, 1998, over 200 competitors came from far and wide to Adelaide International Raceway for the 1998 West End Springnationals. Five of those were Top Fuel competitors, Robin Kirby, Darren DiFilippo, Steve Read, Romeo Capitanio and Rachelle Splatt making her first national appearance since the birth of her daughter Kayla. Wild weather would hang over the event but thankfully the conditions would improve as 15,000 fans looked on with many of the crowd staying late for the


dramatic Top Fuel final run well after midnight. The first two qualifying sessions were a write off with only Kirby and Capitanio fronting for qualifying on Friday. Splatt and DiFillipo both made launches in session two while Kirby pushed out a crank. But once the teams found their stride, the fans were rewarded for their patience. Steve Read had set the early pace for Rapisarda Autosport in session three with a 5.03, good enough to top qualify while Rachelle Splatt brushed of the rust with a 5.211 at 275.73 mph. In Round 1, Read soloed to the semi finals, Capitanio recorded his first four second pass with a 4.973 to Kirby’s flaming 5.40 and Splatt secured her passage with a 5.24 to DiFillipo’s 5.89 after she initially couldn’t see the bulbs in the setting sun.

A solo semi final put Splatt into the decider leaving Read and Capitanio to duke it out in a good close race. Read had the reaction time advantage with a .007 light to a .032 reaction but Capitanio drove around him on a 4.94 at 283.37 mph from a 5.05 at 279.58 mph. The stage was set for an epic final. Could Splatt win on her return or would Capitanio continue to go deeper into the four-second zone? Splatt won the reaction time .019 to .090 but just past half-track both heads were torched. Luckily for her, Capitanio lost the blower belt leaving Splatt to cruise through for the win on a 5.66 at 179.74 mph.




Super Sedan, Super Stock

HIGHEST ACHIEVEMENTS: X-Champs (runner up, 2014), 6.922 ET, 198.09 mph A passion was installed into Emilio Spinozzi as a kid from an early age. His father had always owned fast cars and they were always going to different race meetings including Formula 1, V8’s and Trucks. But it was Drag Racing that won Emilio over at Eastern Creek during the Triple Challenge days. Spinozzi first raced at the Eastern Creek off street meets with an 11 second XY. When Sydney Dragway opened he bought his first chassis car – a Ford Cortina MK1 running a dry sumped twin carb running 8.30s in Super Sedan. He experimented a lot with the car and even ran a gear vendors overdrive to turn it into a 4 speed. From there he progressed to Super Stock purchasing an S-10 Ex Pro Stock Truck that still holds the B/GA record today of 7.651 seconds driven by his brother Adamo. In 2010 Spinozzi finally bit the bullet and bought an ex Jason Line RJ GTO, campaigning that car for two and a half years, before acquiring his current Camaro.


Spinozzi credits his crew and feels lucky to have a group with great experience and skills that have contributed to his recent success of late running into the low 6.90s and bordering on the cusp of 200 mph.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO DRAG RACING? As a teenager I would always try to attend the Triple Challenge at Eastern Creek. And the off street drags was an easy introduction to motorsports, as other forms of racing were not as accessible as it is these days.

WHAT IS IT THAT DREW YOU TO PRO STOCK? Would have to be the high RPM. But Pro Stock is a true drivers class. As a driver it is most challenging and ultra-competitive. You can’t beat banging 5 gears and running out the back door at 11,000 RPM.

IF NOT PRO STOCK, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I wouldn’t mind having a drive of a Doorslammer or even a turbo 5-speed.


Pro Stock is always going to be tight racing. After the performances at the Winternationals the Pro Stock class will only get tighter and more competitive.

HOW DO YOU VIEW THE RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM NHRA REGARDING PRO STOCK? DO YOU THINK ANY OF THOSE CHANGES COULD WORK/WOULD NOT WORK IN AUSTRALIA? EFI would be a massive cost; we build and develop our engines at RC performance in Adelaide – that would turn our whole engine programme on its head. I believe we would lose racers here, as the changes would be a massive expense let alone what it would do to our local engine builders. Really it’s not going to give the spectator more noise, excitement or faster times, I actually believe it will slow things up for a while. Some of the other changes are quite minimal and trivial, so it would be much of a much, wheels up is always fun but not always fast though!

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It was a Rapisarda Autosport International type of weekend as they had the monopoly on the Winternationals with all three cars passing go to reach the semi finals and set up an all RAI Top Fuel final. By negotiating Round 1, RAI wrapped up their first championship since Steve Read last won for the team in 2002, but the question was just which driver would be crowned champion. Damien Harris was eliminated by US star Cory McClenathan in the semis, meaning Wayne Newby could steal the championship in his first season in a Top Fuel dragster if he could win the final and set either top speed or low ET. It wasn’t to be for Newby as McClenathan took the win in a fireball handing the championship to Harris and a second ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree for the weekend to team owner Santo Rapisarda. “This is just so unbelievable, I have one of these on my mantle at home and now I have one to sit right next to it,” said McClenathan, who won the 2011 Nationals event in Sydney with RAI. “This is really cool to do this at the Fuchs Winternationals, I know it is a points deal for everyone and I didn’t want to disrupt that so whoever won, won - but I did not come out here to be second place,” said McClenathan. “Santo calls me, he expects me to come out here and stand on the gas and not let off and that’s what we did. We hurt some parts doing it, we had one good run today and you’ve gotta have a bit of luck in drag racing. “Thanks to Santo’s Cranes, Rapisarda Autosports, to Santino and Santo Junior who do a great job on their cars. Lee Beard did a fantastic job for me and all the guys over there - it’s a team thing not one guy as they say but thank you to all and to Santo Rapisarda - this is in memory for Louie, and I am just so glad to have brought it home.”


John Cannuli needed to reach the final to win his first ever Top Alcohol championship following Gary Phillips DNQ but his challenge literally went up in flames when a fuel line came loose sending fire through the cockpit of his funny car toward the finish line. Jamie Noonan drove around Cannuli for the win while he wrestled with the car to stop safely. That run also confirmed Noonan had backed up his earlier 5.504 ET with a 5.519 second pass securing a new Top Alcohol dragster national record while resetting the speed record to 260.91 mph. His victory also handed an emotional Phillips, looking on from the stands following his dramatic incident in qualifying on Friday, his 17th Top Alcohol championship. John Zappia, eight-time Top Doorslammer champion coming into the weekend, confirmed his status as one of the greatest racers in ANDRA Drag Racing history. The last to achieve a similar feat was Gary Phillips who won seven straight Top Alcohol championships between 1995-2001. Zappia celebrated number eight by resetting the national ET record to 5.693 seconds in a final win over Ben Bray who impressed in his return to drag racing after a horror smash almost exactly one year ago. Mark Drew notched his second successive Top Fuel Motorcycle championship without even twisting the throttle when Chris Porter shut down at the line in Round 1 allowing Chris Matheson to take a solo win. Drew celebrated by reaching the final in a defeat of Matheson and collected his second ANDRA Gold Tree of the day with a win over visiting American Darian Guillory who had earlier laid down one of the quickest nitrous motorcycle passes ever in Round 1. Lee Bektash has set a new standard in Australian Pro Stock and everyone expected him to not only claim the ANDRA Pro Stock championship but also the Fuchs Winternationals. Bektash took a solo in Round 1, defeated Tyronne

Tremayne in Round 2, and even though he had the reaction time advantage in the final, Nino Cavallo prevented him from making it a golden double after the event runner up was enough to secure the overall championship for the first time. Cavallo had run consistent 6.9-second passes all weekend and thoroughly deserved his victory taking out Jodi Racco and Emilio Spinozzi on his way. Sensationally Luke Crowley and Glenn Wooster dumped the top two in the Pro Stock Motorcycle championship, Maurice Allen and Scott White, out in the first round. That opened up the title for rookie Ryan Learmonth who defeated Locky Ireland to reach the semis. With it all to race for, Learmonth stalled just after twisting the throttle and could only watch as fellow rookie Brad Lemberg posted a 7.158 second pass, the quickest run of the weekend to that point, handing Maurice Allen his second championship. Lemberg went on to lower the ET even further in the final with a stunning 7.146 at 183.19 mph leaving Glenn Wooster to dream of what might have been with a red light. Also coming to a close was the first ANDRA Championship Drag Racing season under the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series banner. Alistair McClure secured his second consecutive Competition Eliminator championship with a semi final win over title rival Craig Geddes. The Victorian turned on the red light, allowing McClure to protect his index for the final where it was Wayne Cartledge who lifted the trophy for the Winternationals victory. Cartledge overcame Louis Galea, Ash Hamblin, Robert Coleman and then two-time champ McClure in the final to wrap up a solid weekend for the veteran. Newly crowned Super Stock champion Steve Norman could only watch after activating the red

COUNTDOWN The final action packed weekend at the Fuchs Winternationals brought down the curtain on the 2015 ANDRA Championship Drag Racing season in front of a capacity crowd at Willowbank Raceway.

light as Rob Nunn secured the Winternationals win for Tremaniac Racing in the final. Nunn’s journey involved wins over Rodney Moore, Jai Schluter and Jim Ioannidis. The Super Stock championship was decided in Round 2 when Steve Norman made a perfect pass, leaving Brett Glover at the line when his Mazda failed to fire. In doing so Norman built an unassailable lead to wrap up his first ever-national championship. Just by qualifying, Ross Smith wrapped up backto-back Competition Bike championships. He then enjoyed some good fortune with red lights in the other lane to take home his second Gold Tree of the weekend by winning the final over Rob Cassar following defeats of Tony Frost, Andy Roberts and Niki Zakrzewski. Domenic Rigoli had already sewn up the Super Compact title coming in, but unfortunately he couldn’t double up for the weekend as he found himself back on the trailer after Round 1. It was left to Matt Lisle to take the event win in a solo final after he dispatched Chris Hall, Rod Harvey and Michael Baghdadi earlier in the day. Daniel Morris took home the first ever Top Sportsman Winternationals trophy when he defeated Tony Agius in the final. Morris defeated Troy Daniel, Harry Somer then Steven Somer to set up his final win. Steven Fowler is the first ever ANDRA Top Sportsman champion despite a Round 2 loss to Harry Somer. Stuart McBain was ousted in Round 1 and the only other driver who could catch him, Graham Hargrave, eliminated himself at the tree with a red light against Neil Maxwell. Supercharged Outlaws was a tight contest all day but Josh Fletcher came away with the event win when newly crowned champion Donald Freind pulled a red light in the final. Fletcher negotiated round wins over Peter Wilson, Wade Wagstaff and

top qualifier Adam Murrihy in the semi finals. Doina Day and Donald Freind faced off in an early championship showdown with Freind coming out on top in a tight match-up. Paul Stephen still harboured title hopes as he lined up in the race immediately after but unfortunately he red lit, handing the championship to Freind at the Round 2 stage. Rob Harrington got a popular win in Modified, defeating Mark Allan, championship hopeful Kenny Stewart and Modified newcomer Matt Forbes on his way to a final victory against Paul Doeblein. Despite elimination in Round 1 on Saturday, Michelle Osborn took home the Modified championship when the last remaining challenger, Kenny Stewart made his exit in Round 3 against eventual winner Harrington. A relieved Andrew Saliba beat out his fellow South Australian, John Kapiris, in the final of Super Sedan following round wins over David Duncombe and Tony Rogers. David Yanko and Stephen Griffin, one and two in the championship points eliminated themselves with red lights in Round 3 while George Tipouikidis red lit in Round 2. John Kapiris took full advantage to claim his third consecutive championship on the way to a final runner-up. Ace Edwards scored an emotional final round win as he took home the Gold Tree with wins over Jessie Barbeler, Tammy Goldthorpe, Brian Alvisio and newly crowned champion Ian Read in the final. Joe Khoury and Ian Read went round for round all day in their hunt for the Modified Bike championship. In the end Khoury defeated himself with a red light in the quarter final, allowing Read to claim the championship with a win over Karl Pacey in the same round. Robert Winterburn is the Super Street Winternationals winner for the second year in a row

FINAL RESULTS TOP FUEL Cory McClenathan 6.645 def Wayne Newby 10.460 TOP ALCOHOL Jamie Noonan 5.522 def Steven Reed 5.656 TOP DOORSLAMMER John Zappia 5.693 def Ben Bray 6.662 TOP FUEL MOTORCYCLE Mark Drew 6.447 def Damian Guillory 6.861 PRO STOCK Nino Cavallo 6.957 def Lee Bektash 6.978 PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE Brad Lemberg 7.146 def Glenn Wooster 7.425 COMPETITION Wayne Cartledge 7.471 (7.69) def Alistair McClure 6.393 (6.76) SUPER STOCK Rob Nunn 7.167 (7.43) def Steve Norman 8.491 (8.17, -0.140 red light) COMPETITION BIKE Ross Smith 8.847 (8.46) def Rob Cassar 10.168 (7.70) SUPER COMPACT Matt Lisle 7.678 (7.93) solo SUPERCHARGED OUTLAWS Josh Fletcher 7.283 (7.26) def Donald Freind 7.375 (7.21, _0.169 red light) TOP SPORTSMAN Daniel Morris 8.320 (8.29) def Tony Agius 8.019 (8.03, break out) MODIFIED Rob Harrington 7.267 (7.08) def Paul Doeblien 9.317 (8.01) SUPER SEDAN Andrew Saliba 8.834 (8.84) def John Kapiris 10.880 (9.77, -0.015 red light) MODIFIED BIKE Ace Edwards 8.558 (8.81) def Ian Read 10.336 (10.20, -0.017 red light) SUPER STREET Robert Winterburn 11.304 (11.22) def Daryl Freeman 12.335 (12.25) JUNIOR DRAGSTER Eden Ward 8.089 (8.07) def Toby Austin 8.010 (8.00) SUPER GAS David Gauldie 12.416 (9.90) def Simon Isherwood 11.984 (9.90, -0.004 red light)

after defeating Mitchell Bauer, Philip Armstrong, Ben Dreyer and finally Daryl Freeman. South Aussie Enzo Clemente clinched the Super Street championship early in the day when he advanced through Round 2 against Rebekkah List. Fellow croweater Harry Harris fell by the wayside on a red light in the same round, meaning Clemente could not be caught. Defending Junior Dragster champion Toby Austin pushed all the way to win back-to-back championships, but Eden Ward went round for round the entire way. Fittingly, they met in the final with two trophies on the line and it was Ward who triumphed with an 8.089 ET on an 8.07 dial-in from Austin’s 8.010 ET on an 8.00 second dial-in. David Gauldie was the beneficiary of a .004 red light from Simon Isherwood in the Super Gas final, following early round wins over Dale O’Dwyer, Michael DeRose and Patrick Barron to take home another ANDRA Gold Tree. Two-time defending Super Gas champ Matt Forbes was a surprise elimination in Round 1 thanks to a red light, leaving Graeme Spencer, Colin Griffin and Michael DeRose to settle the championship. Last man standing was Graeme Spencer with a quarterfinal loss enough to guarantee the number #1.





A packed Darwin crowd was treated to some of the quickest, most electrifying ANDRA Drag Racing action ever seen at Hidden Valley Drag Strip in July. And to put the exclamation mark on the event, Rapisarda Autosport International turned it on in a big way over three Top Fuel exhibition passes.

Hometown hero Scott MacLean and Paul Cannuli opened their 2015/2016 ANDRA Championship season in style with popular first ever National event wins in Top Alcohol and Top Doorlsammer. Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association President MacLean had worked tirelessly behind the scenes with his team of volunteers to stage the event and he was rewarded in the best possible way defeating Paul’s brother John Cannuli in the final. MacLean got the jump with a huge reaction time advantage on Cannuli, who had been quickest all weekend, and never looked back reaching the finish line first with a 5.617 elapsed time at 260.76 mph to Cannuli’s quicker but losing 5.446 ET at 265.53 mph. “For the first time I think I’m speechless,” said


MacLean. “It’s just unbelievable, I’d like to thank my sponsors, this is for them. “It’s been a big week. Thanks to Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association for putting on such a big show this weekend. Thanks to the crowd, the sponsors, the NT Government. It’s the perfect ending.” To reach the final MacLean eliminated defending 17-time ANDRA Top Alcohol Champion Gary Phillips in Round 1 with a 5.579 ET at 262.03 mph when Phillips spun the tyres. MacLean then enjoyed a solo 5.810 ET second semi final win at 248.16 mph when Jamie Noonan’s dragster was shut down at the line with a broken oil pump. Crossroads Racing still had something to celebrate with Paul Cannuli securing his first ever ANDRA Drag Racing Series Top Doorslammer victory defeating Grant O’Rourke on a 6.097 ET at 240.12 mph from a 6.194 ET at 239.95 mph in the final. O’Rourke had been a pace setter all weekend alongside John Zappia but Cannuli came up with the goods when it counted after his team worked hard all day to ensure the car could even compete following damage to the front end in his final qualifier on Friday night. “Woohoo! Top of the world, so stoked,” said Cannuli. “A big thanks to my crew for getting us there, they had to get the car ready, they did an awesome job. “Thanks to Mike Janis in the States for helping us

and Andy McCoy, he built the car. Big thanks to everyone, my brother, family, everyone. I honestly can’t believe it.” Cannuli defeated Murray O’Connor in Round 1 with a 5.931 ET at 242.28 mph to a 6.215 ET at 236.05 mph. He backed that up with a 5.977 ET at 239.44 mph to defeat eight-time defending champ John Zappia in a dramatic semi final. Zappia touched up the wall after a messy launch as Cannuli powered to the win. Top Doorslammer non-qualifiers Pino Priolo, Stuart Bishop, Daniel Gregorini, Rob Taylor and Matt Abel all competed in a Chicago Shootout for 20 Championship points per win. Taking advantage were Priolo (solo in Round 1, Round 2 win vs Abel), Bishop (Round 1 win vs Taylor, Round 2 win vs Taylor) and Gregorini (Round 1 win vs Abel, solo in Round 2). While Top Alcohol and Top Doorslammer were the main event, the highlight for many of the dense crowd lining the hill and the rooftop of the V8 Supercars garages was seeing up to 20,000 horsepower from Top Fuel champ Damien Harris and teammate Wayne Newby. NT Chief Minister Adam Giles looked on from between the two Rapisarda Autosport International dragsters at the start line in his first ever nitro experience watching Harris power to a pass of 4.873 seconds at 246.35 mph while Newby recorded a 5.483 ET at 175.82 mph. Harris would go on to post a 4.738 ET at 280.25

PNORTH mph followed by a flying 4.639 ET at 317.49 for a new track record. Newby laid down passes of 5.032 ET at 233.23 mph then spun the tyres at the launch on his third pass to finish the night but the crowd didn’t care as they were left begging for more. As the crowd filtered home, the Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association were commended by ANDRA on a very well run and highly regarded event. ANDRA CEO Malcolm Bulley said; “It’s great to be here racing, we love coming up to Darwin. Nitro Up North was a fantastic event and the Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association, the local NT Government and all these enthusiastic fans have really shown what a great motorsport city Darwin truly is.”


TOP ALCOHOL Scott MacLean 5.617 def John Cannuli 5.446 (holeshot win) TOP DOORSLAMMER Paul Cannuli 6.097 def Grant O’Rourke 6.194





The 2015/2016 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series is off to a flying start following the 2015 Desert Nationals at Alice Springs Inland Dragway.

While the racers were the stars of the show, the volunteers of the Central Australian Drag Racing Association (CADRA) were gracious hosts delivering a quality event in front of a healthy crowd Red Centre crowd. Winners of the event were Craig Geddes (Super Comp), Darren White (Supercharged Outlaws), Simon Barlow (Modified), John Kapiris (Super Sedan), Brian Moore (Modified Bike), Harry Harris (Super Street) and Josh Baker (Junior Dragster). Although few in numbers, Super Comp was all about quality not quantity as five new National eighth-mile records were set while Geddes got his title tilt off to the perfect start.


Having qualified first in Super Comp, Victorian Geddes went on to claim the event win over Kim Fardella in the final, set new elapsed time and speed records for the B/D classification and takes home the Gridstar by YBI Creative Best Appearing Team Award for a perfect sweep. “We’re very pleased,” said Geddes. “Winning the Best Appearing Award is something we pride ourselves on having nice stuff, being presentable for the sport and putting the sport forward in a nice manner. “The car is going great, we’ve really got a handle on it now. We’ve got a nice head start in the Championship points and it’s something to build on as we move into the future. And we’re very please to be supporting ANDRA in these regional events, we’ll continue to do that and have a great time. “It was an awesome job by all the guys and girls and track officials. The event ran like clockwork, we couldn’t fault anything it was just the perfect weekend for us.” Geddes defeated David Dequen in Round 1, accepted a solo victory in the semi finals and finished off the job against Fardella with a 4.633 ET at 148.51 mph on

the 4.78 index from a 5.439 at 127.84 mph on a 5.49 index. The final speed for Geddes was a new National record as was his 4.615 ET in Round 1. Fardella also set a new speed record for the D/G class going 128.57 mph. Others in the record books were Steve Norman who reset the C/APA class to an ET of 5.073 and 135.95 mph while David Dequen set a new E/AA speed record reaching 143.77 mph. Alice Springs Inland Dragway now boasts 10 National records set in the past 12 months. As Supercharged Outlaws top qualifier, Darren White had a solo Round 1 pass but he got the job done when it mattered defeating Troy Wittwer in a heavyweight semi final. White was to meet 2014 Champion Doina Day in the final but unfortunately Day was unable to get the dragster started leaving White to take a solo 4.440 second win at 167.91 mph on a 4.41 dial in. “We’re relieved,” said White. “In Darwin before we got here it was a 4:30am morning and a 5am morning to

E RACIN’ sort the engine out with a bit of work to do when we got here. In the end it all turned out great, the car was all in one piece and did what it was supposed to. It was a big effort by all the crew, unbelievable.

“The Desert Nationals is awesome. The whole crowd that looks after it and runs the show were great. No one hesitates at all to lend a hand, it’s great.” Local Alice Springs resident Brian Moore scored a popular win in Modified Bike taking home his first ever ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy in a final against 2014 Desert Nationals winner Bryan Finn. Finn broke out going quicker than his 7.15 second dial in with a 7.112 ET allowing Moore to get a popular hometown win with a 6.796 ET at 93.56 mph on a 660 dial in.

FINAL RESULTS SUPER COMP Craig Geddes 4.633 (4.78) def Kim Fardella 5.439 (5.49) SUPERCHARGED OUTLAWS Darren White 4.440 (4.41) solo MODIFIED Simon Barlow 4.748 (4.71) def Matt Forbes 4.794 (4.78)

my air shifter so I’m very happy. Words can’t describe it.

SUPER SEDAN John Kapiris 6.333 (6.35, -0.010 red light) def Brett Matthew 6.881 (6.76, -

“Once again CADRA put on an awesome show together with Motorsports NT. Everyone put in, I know how hard everyone has worked here to get it going, everyone seems happy and the track was fantastic.”

MODIFIED BIKE Brian Moore 6.796 (6.60) def Bryan Finn 7.112 (7.15, break out)

Moore eliminated Gordon Crawford and Malcolm Price before a solo effort saw him into the final.

SUPER STREET Harry Harris 7.413 (7.41) def Kylie Tanner 7.512 (7.52, break out) JUNIOR DRAGSTER Josh Baker 9.088 (9.08) def Brodie Zappia 12.502 (12.50)

Other winners and grinners were Simon Barlow who defeated Matt Forbes in the Modified final. John Kapiris secured his back-to-back Desert Nationals titles over Brett Matthew in Super Sedan. Harry Harris ended Kylie Tanner’s hopes of a Desert Nationals three-peat with victory in Super Street. And last but not least Josh Baker scored the win in Junior Dragster over Brodie Zappia.

“I don’t know what to say it’s just been an awesome weekend,” said Moore. “I was lucky that Finny broke out because I had drama with




John Zappia bounced back from his Round 1 disappointment to take the points in Round 2 of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series for Top Doorslammer at the 2015 NT Titles in Darwin. On Friday night, Grant O’Rourke surged to the top of the qualifying charts in balmy conditions early during qualifying with an opening 5.922 ET at 246.84 mph. That effort looked to hold firm with only Peter Kapiris challenging in Q2 on a pass of 5.926 at 233.92 mph. A dramatic final session saw eight-time back-to-back champion John Zappia recover from a big backfire in Q1, missing Q2, and coming up big in the clutch moment with a 5.907 ET at 248.43 mph to temporarily take the number one. He wouldn’t stay there however as Territory local Matt Abel claimed a seemingly unbeatable 5.870 ET at 236.59 mph in the penultimate pass of the night to put the field on notice. But the best was yet to come as O’Rourke, enjoying a solid streak of consistency, blitzed the field with a 5.838 ET at 249.12 mph to secure the top position. Come Saturday it was old rivals Zappia and Kapiris squaring off in a fitting finale to another first class event at Hidden Valley Drag Strip defying the warm


Territory conditions in the quickest side by side pass of the night. Kapiris had the speed and the reaction time advantage but Zappia crossed the stripe first on the quickest pass of the weekend with a 5.786 ET at 250.74 mph to defeat a 5.897 ET at 253.71 mph. “We worked our arses off and the team of the Fuchs Monaro did a fantastic job all weekend,” said a relieved Zappia. “We were a little bit slow, missed the second qualifier but it doesn’t matter now, it all came together. We saved the best for last and this one is for Noleen, she was with us. “It was a fantastic weekend, we love racing here. It’s the best race track and definitely the best return road in the history of Australian drag racing – V8 Supercars race on our return road that’s how good it is. “Thanks to all the sponsors; Fuchs Lubricants, Taylor Tyres, Striker, Windrush, Bravo Resources, Hoosier Tyres – they just work so well. We put new ones on this weekend, it actually slowed us down but we just wanted to stay off the walls. “The track preparation was fantastic this weekend, they kept it really consistent. I nearly made it without pedalling (in the final) but I gave it a sympathy pedal just then, I probably didn’t need to do it but I did it.” Zappia defeated a tyre shaking Mark Belleri in Round 1 on a 5.861 second pass at 249.49 mph then knocked out a red lighting Pat Carbone on a 5.842 ET at 250.09 mph in the semi final.

Kapiris returned to form eliminating Gary Phillips on a holeshot in Round 1 with a close fought 5.956 ET at 243.72 mph to Phillips quicker but losing 5.954 second pass at 245.00 mph. Top qualifier Grant O’Rourke was next to fall at the hands of the Batmobile with a dropped valve in a 6.008 ET at 223.76 mph to 6.182 ET at 230.65 mph contest. Also banking points in the Non-Qualifier Shootout were Pino Priolo and Murray O’Connor with consecutive wins over Rob Taylor and Daniel Gregorini. The luck of the draw threw up identical pairings in each round with Priolo and O’Connor receiving 40 points for their efforts while Taylor and Gregorini each received 30 points. The NT Titles completed a highly successful swing through the Northern Territory encompassing Top Doorslammer, Top Alcohol and Top Fuel exhibitions at Hidden Valley Drag Strip the past two months in addition to the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series opener in Alice Springs.

FINAL RESULTS TOP DOORSLAMMER John Zappia 5.786 def Peter Kapiris 5.897






BE YOU! SIGHTS,SOUNDS, ANDSMELL! For the ultimate SENSORY OVERLOAD become an ANDRA Steward and get the best seat in the house at the MOST POWERFUL MOTORSPORT ON THE PLANET! As an ANDRA Steward you have the opportunity to experience the high-octane world of ANDRA Drag Racing like never before. Behind the scenes at every event is a hard working team of ANDRA Stewards ensuring vehicles meet strict safety guidelines and racing is conducted in accordance with the ANDRA Rulebook. Becoming an ANDRA Steward doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t require a high level of technical experience, people skills and a positive attitude are all you need. Our current team will provide you with the rest. If you want to see Drag Racing from a new perspective, contact ANDRA today!

OFFICIALEXCITEMENT > Free entry to events. > Interact with the stars of ANDRA Drag Racing. > Get up close and personal with the some of the fastest machinery in the world. > Ensuring compliance and classification of vehicles as per the ANDRA Rulebook. > Ensure strict safety standards are met.


Contact ANDRA Technical today on (08) 8271 5355, or your local ANDRA Division Director.


WHAT IS THE CONTINGENCY PROGRAMME? The ANDRA Contingency Programme 2015/16 provides cash or product bonuses for participants in a national point score series operated by the Australian National Drag Racing Association Ltd. during the 2015/16 season of ANDRA Championship Drag Racing. The ANDRA drag racing series is split into two segments; the ANDRA Drag Racing Series for our ‘Group 1’ brackets and the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series for ‘Group 2/3/4’. Bonuses are paid to successful racers after each round of their Australian Championship, where they reach the finals of their brackets, and meet the conditions of the programme, which include use of the Sponsor’s product or service where required, and display of the Sponsor’s decal. ANDRA Contingency Sponsors receive direct exposure to the sizeable market inside ANDRA Drag Racing through promotional material circulated by ANDRA, and to numerous drag racing fans at each event through vehicle signage.

ANDRA Contingency Sponsors may receive additional advertising through television, online and print media coverage of ANDRA drag racing. Use of a product or service in a motorsport as demanding as ANDRA Drag Racing is an great endorsement, and Sponsors are encouraged to take full advantage of that through the releases provided by ANDRA. The programme is not just limited to hard-core racing equipment. The nationally based series encourages racers to contest interstate events, so areas like travel, accommodation and transport requirements are also relevant.

HOW TO BECOME INVOLVED? To be a part of the 2015/16 ANDRA Contingency Programme please contact ANDRA reception on 08 8271 5355, email or visit and follow the links.