20 championship leaders
GROWTH Some of Australia’s newest drag strips are heating up for racing!
DRAG RACING SET TO SHINE
D TAILEM BEN
Scott White embraces crowd funding
19 8 24 29 FLASHBACK Australia’s greatest
ever Drag Race
Go shopping at 500kmh!
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DEC2015 contents 3 11
16 SWANHILL 18 SPRINGMOUNT TAILEMBEND 19 TRACK NEWS
SCOTTWHITE& 22 FRIENDS 24 FLASHBACK 1995 AUSTRALIAN NATIONALS
38 FACES @ THE RACES Fastlane is produced by the Australian National Drag Racing AssociationÂ LTD.
Editor: Tim Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org) Design: YBI Creative (www.ybicreative.com.au) Photography: John Baremans, Cackling Pipes, Dragphotos.com.au, David Hope, Jeremy Horvath - High RPM, Joe Maday
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 Admin Support Officer: Kylie Hazelhurst Technical Officer: Colin Brassington
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Michael Fotheringham (SA) - Chairman Terry Jongen (WA) Nathan Peirano (QLD) Robin Judd (WA) Shayne Homes (QLD) Grant Wilson (SA)
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Christmas Closure Please be advised the ANDRA Office will be closed from the 12 noon on the 24th December to the 4th January. On behalf of all the head office staff (Rob Curkpatrick, Jennifer Harrison, Jackie Mills, Brett Stevens, Tim Baker, Colin Brassington, Donna Jantke, Kylie Hazelhurst and Leanne Wright) we wish all our members and their families a relaxing Christmas break and look forward to the rest of the season in 2016.
Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster Summit Racing Equipment has reaffirmed their commitment to ANDRA Drag Racing by agreeing to a multi-season deal to become title rights sponsor of the Junior Dragster bracket. The expanded role Down Under follows on from the successful sponsorship of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series beginning with the completed 2015 season. As Junior Dragster title rights sponsor, Summit Racing Equipment will inject significant investment into developing the future of the sport. “We’re very excited to be able to support the ANDRA Junior Dragster category,” said Jim Greenleaf, Summit Racing Motorsports & Events Manager. “It is gratifying to be able to watch these young racers hone their skills in the Junior ranks and move up the Sportsman and Group 1 categories and become tomorrow’s champions.”
“Juniors are the future of ANDRA Drag Racing,” said Jennifer Harrison, ANDRA Business Development Manager. “We applaud Summit Racing Equipment’s foresight in recognising this opportunity to expand their support and develop the best young racing talent Aussie drag racing has to offer. “This is a substantial first step toward a Junior development pathway enhancing the bracket and providing more opportunity for Juniors to become the drag racing and motorsport stars of tomorrow.” Thanks to the great support of Summit Racing Equipment, Junior Dragster licence fees have also been slashed to their lowest price since 2000/2001 following a previous reduction in 2014. The new cost of a Junior licence is now just $70 inclusive of GST. The new fee structure for Junior Dragsters takes effect from October 1, 2015. Racers who renewed their licence on or after October 1 are entitled to a credit by contacting the ANDRA Head Office on (08) 8271 5355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPORTS As a Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series competitor you too can have input into your show. Lights, Camera, Action In addition to the enhanced camera angles, on board and additional footage captured by the production team, Sportsman racers and teams can also submit their own on board action or footage captured from the start line directly to AVE. Just copy your footage to a usb stick and send immediately after the event to AVE, 18/76 Reserve Road Artarmon NSW 2064. Time permitting; if the footage is broadcast quality, chances are it will be used in the show!
The more we know the more we can promote you! The more information we have about you and your team, the more equipped the production team is to talk in detail about your career and performance on the track. Take advantage
4 I www.andra.com.au
anes ANDRA was please to recently announce the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series coverage on Speedweek will be enhanced in the coming months.
Following a recent membership survey, 77.53% of respondents voted in favour of a Sportsman TV show while the majority preference for that show was to air as part of Speedweek Sundays on SBS. It represents a significant step forward as the ongoing coverage on Speedweek ensures the broadcast of ANDRA Drag Racing will remain the only Free To Air drag racing action on Australian television. Speedweek can also be viewed on SBS on Demand, Fox Sports, Motorsports TV and the ANDRA website.
stag “It’s pleasing we get to maintain a presence on Free To Air TV and we will work with AVE to improve the existing show with more colour and more teams receiving air time in a variety of ways,” said Rob Curkpatrick, Interim ANDRA CEO. “We are also investigating other avenues to complement Speedweek for even greater coverage following Warwick Dragway for Round 4 of the Series.” The Sportsman TV show will air during the remainder of the 2015/2016 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series with an enhanced coverage featuring new camera angles, on board footage and super slow-mo featuring more Sportsman teams at more tracks than ever before.
In addition, the ANDRA Drag Racing component of the show is also broadcast on Fox Sports Australia and beamed around the world on MAVTV in North America and Motors TV across Europe.
of the new Competitor Information form located under Competitor > ANDRA Forms on the ANDRA website to ensure track commentators, TV commentators and the production team are completely up to date. The more we know the more we can promote you!
Just download the form from the ANDRA website (Competitor > ANDRA Forms), fill in the info about you, your racing career, sponsors and team info and send to media@ andra.com.au. The form can be filled out electronically, saved and emailed directly.
Gridstar by YBI Best Presented
We will compile the forms and send to the track commentators of the designated event you plan to attend.
Dress to Impress
It’s your chance to fill them in on what they may not know, particularly if you are racing interstate or a venue unfamiliar with your team. By extension the information obtained may be used for press releases and TV in the future.
Since the beginning of 2015, several Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series teams have raised the bar on presenting a professional looking outfit and captured the Best Presented Award for looking sharp at the startline.
Thanks to Gridstar by YBI and Summit Racing Equipment, ANDRA recently implemented the Best Presented Award given to the best appearing team at each Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series event. By presenting a professional race team and representing the Series, you not only could take home the award but you could feature heavily on Speedweek! It’s great exposure for your team and your sponsors! If you have any questions about how you can get involved or how you can submit footage, please direct your queries to email@example.com
Competitor Information Form for Track Commentators If you’re heading to an event ensure the track commentators have all the relevant info about you and your team by filling in the Competitor Information Form.
Winners of the Gridstar by YBI Best Presented Award are big grinners!
Winners of the award receive a cool trophy, six Gridstar Best Presented Caps and a $50 voucher thanks to Summit Racing Equipment.
Promote Drag Racing! Get out and about on activation displays and talk to the public about your vehicle, your sponsors and Championship Drag Racing leading into upcoming events. Everyone loves getting up close and personal with the beasts that belt down the track so join the ANDRA trailer on location and show everyone what Drag Racing is all about! Please note all display participants will receive and ANDRA shirt/merch as a token of appreciation. To check where the next activation will be held and/or to register your interest please visit the ANDRA Website, click Competitor and then click the Vehicle Displays tab.
FASTLANE I 5
2015 Annual General Meeting
Trick Flow joins ANDRA Drag Racing
The 2015 ANDRA Annual General Meeting took place at the Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre, 33 Ardlie Street, Attwood on Saturday 21st November 2015.
Key points: • Chairman, Michael Fotheringham, opened the meeting just after 11.00am by welcoming members and reading out apologies. • Michael introduced interim CEO, Robert Curkpatrick and went through the outcome of the meeting of directors that was conducted prior to the commencement of the AGM. Whilst still continuing in his Division Director position in Victoria, Phil Parker, after 3 years in the role, decided not to renominate for the ANDRA Board. Michael thanked Phil for all his work over that time. Nathan Peirano, Division Director for Northern Australia, steps into the Division Director board position for a three-year term. Nathan has been acting in an Alternate Board Director position for some time. Also announced was the appointment of Grant Wilson to the ANDRA Board filling a casual vacancy. Grant Wilson heads up the Corporate Advisory and Audit Division at William Buck Chartered Accountants and Advisors in Adelaide. Grant is a Mopar, motor and water sports enthusiast and specialises in business investigation and advisory work, project management, financial and business modelling, board and management representation, financial restructuring and business assurance. • The Chairman then thanked all of ANDRA’s sponsors, Summit Racing Equipment, Crow Cams, Hi-Tec Oils, Snap On Tools, Arthur J Gallagher, Zauch Transport with the assistance of AVE and welcomed new contingency partners Trick Flow and Ice Ignitions. • 2014 AGM minutes were tabled and accepted, the Chairman’s Report was read out, the 2015 Audited Financial Report was tabled for consideration and accepted and the Appointment of Auditor was conducted with MGI Assurance (SA) Pty Ltd confirmed as continuing appointment. • Two new Honorary Life Members were announced. The Chairman spoke of the fitting tribute to John Taverna (dec) and Joe Gatt (dec) at the 2015 ANDRA Championship Dinner • With the formalities of the 2015 AGM completed the Board addressed a number of written questions submitted by full ANDRA members and then opened the meeting to questions and comments in the room. Minutes from the 2015 ANDRA AGM will be made available in the near future.
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Trick Flow Specialties has signed to become an ANDRA Contingency Partner. Trick Flow Specialties is a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance cylinder heads, intake manifolds, and engine components. “Trick Flow Specialties is excited to be a part of ANDRA Drag Racing,” said Mike Downs, General Manager at Trick Flow Specialities. “We are looking forward to supporting the Australian drag racing community as well as rewarding those that use our products as the contingency program grows.” Commencing at the recent East Coast Nationals in Sydney and continuing through the South Coast 660 at Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Portland Victoria, all top qualifiers in the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series received a USD $50 Trick Flow voucher as part of their Top Qualifier award. The voucher can be used for any Trick Flow product purchased at Summit Racing Equipment online, by phone or mail. Trick Flow Specialties will continue to pay out the Top Qualifier prize in the interim whilst further Contingency Partners are sourced. ANDRA Business Development Manager Jennifer Harrison welcomed Trick Flow Specialties involvement and said she looked forward to announcing new Contingency Programme Partners in the near future. “We are really excited by Trick Flow coming on board as we grow the Contingency Programme in this initial phase,” she said. “More Contingency Partners will be announced in due course. The future of the Programme looks bright and racers are set to reap the benefits.” The ANDRA Contingency Programme will provide cash or product bonuses for participants in the ANDRA Drag Racing Series and Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series. For more information about Trick Flow Specialities, please visit www.trickflow.com
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10% off to all new ANDRA customers! Hussey Performance is the leading manufacturer of copper gaskets for the NHRA series in the United States. 2014 NHRA Top Fuel Funny Car champion, Matt Hagan, and 2014 U.S. Nationals Top Fuel winner and Australian great, Richie Crampton, both rely on Hussey Performance copper gaskets to keep their engines sealed! Our gasket catalog can be viewed online at HusseyPerformance.net. We specialize in NRE, BAE, AJ, TFX, KB, BBC, SBC, BBF, and SBF engines. We provide affordable and fast shipping to anywhere in Australia. We can have gaskets in your hands in less than 1 week from the day an order is placed! Give us a call at 1(724)318-8292 or email us at Gaskets@ HusseyPerformance.net for a quick free quote!
ICE Ignition joins ANDRA Drag Racing
ICE Ignition is the latest partner to sign up to the ANDRA Contingency Programme. ICE Ignition has a long-standing association with drag racing and many of their products are a direct result of their involvement in the sport. ICE ignition systems are offered as complete kits to take full advantage of the power and flexibility of ICE digital inductive spark and advance control. Michael Konstandinou, Managing Director Ice Ignition said he really liked the idea of being a part of the ANDRA Contingency Programme as a former racer himself. “I used to race myself and used to be part of the Programme so it’s good to be involved and give something back,” he said. “ICE Ignition is Australian made and a lot of our products stem from our involvement in drag racing. We have many racers using our products and we like to provide ongoing support and back up. We also provide an unrivalled warranty, even in race applications. “The ANDRA Contingency Programme is a great way for us to get out there, get involved and give back to our customers on the track.” ANDRA Business Development Manager Jennifer Harrison said momentum for the Programme is building following the additions of Trick Flow Specialties and ICE Ignition.
“On behalf of ANDRA I’d like to welcome ICE Ignition to the Programme and look forward to working with Michael and the team. “ICE Ignition offer great products and first class service and I encourage all ANDRA members to visit their website to find out more. “Momentum is building for the Programme and this is an exciting add-on for our racers.” For more information about ICE Ignition please visit www.iceignition.com
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TECH TORQUE How to Choose Connecting Rods
Proper rod selection is one of the most important decisions you can make when building an engine. Connecting rods not only affect how your engine fits (or doesn’t fit) together, they also play a role in engine performance and longevity. Not surprisingly, horsepower, torque, and rpm are major factors. But according to Alan Davis of Eagle Specialties, the way power is made is also important. “Horsepower, torque, and rpm are all things to consider,” Davis said. “But you must also consider the environment the engine will be used in and how the power is made. For instance, a 600 horsepower naturally aspirated engine that turns 10,000 rpm will have far different stresses than a 600 horsepower supercharged engine or a 400 horsepower engine with a 200 shot of nitrous.”
I-Beam vs. H-Beam Most factory connecting rods are I-beam. Stock V8 connecting rods can handle upward of 400 horsepower and 6,500 rpm. Once you exceed those performance levels, you’ll need to consider aftermarket rods. Depending on the type of steel used, aftermarket I-beams can handle hefty compressive loads, offer good tensile strength, and are often lighter than
Depending on the application, different types of stresses are applied to the connecting rods. For example, large amounts of torque will yield heavy compression and bending loads on the rods. High rpm can cause mostly tensile loading, or stretching, forces. In most cases, connecting rods don’t fail on the compression stroke—they break apart on the exhaust stroke at high rpm due to tensile loading. “This (tensile loading) is also much harder on rod bolts than horsepower and torque,” Davis said. “Other factors to consider are piston weight and the stroke of the crankshaft. Also, different fuel and nitrous use will have a different effect on combustion and how the load is delivered to the rods.” Other factors important to connecting rod selection are: • Application: street, drag race, endurance racing, etc. • Engine dimensions: stroke, rod ratio, piston height, etc. • Rod weight vs. reliability • Budget
This is a Callies Compstar H-Beam connecting rod for small block Chevy. Forged from 4340 steel, all Compstar rods are put through a lengthy stressrelief process along with burnishing of threads and bolt spot faces to ensure dimensional repeatability, no matter how many times rods are torn down and reassembled. Pin bushings are chamfered and honed, parting line edges are generously chamfered, and bearing locating tab slots are deburred. ARP 2000 rod bolts are included.
Eagle Specialties’ SIR I-Beam Connecting Rods are ideal for street class and bracket race engines. They’re forged from 5140 steel and have a lightweight design which places less stress on the rest of the rotating assembly to increase engine life and better handle high-rpm use. The rods are X-rayed, sonic-tested, magnafluxed, and shot-peened to stress-relieve the metal. They come with 12-point ARP Wave-Lok rod bolts and are weight-matched to within two grams. Maybe best of all, they’re less expensive than reconditioning a set of factory rods.
H-beams. Aftermarket I-beam rods typically have a thicker cross-section in critical areas to increase strength. H-beam connecting rods use a completely different design to increase stiffness and strength. They incorporate two large, flat sides with a thin section in the middle. This design makes these rods more rigid and able to handle stronger compression forces. “H-beam is a stronger design when bending stress is considered,” Eagle’s Davis explained. “H-beam rods are more difficult to machine, so they are often more expensive. I-beam rods are easier to produce and can sometimes be lighter than H-beams. All other variables being equal, H-beam rods are the strongest design.” Whether you choose H-beam or I-beam, overall strength and reliability is dependent upon the material, weight, and cross-section of the rods according to Nick Norris of Callies Performance Products. “All of our I-beam and some of our H-beam rods have a tapered beam design,” Norris said.
“Our H-beam design is a very good part that is typically 20 grams lighter than our I-beam in the standard configuration. We consider our I-beam to be the heavy duty rod due to larger material cross sections and pin support structure.” Steel, Aluminum, and Titanium The main material options for connecting rods are steel, aluminum, and titanium. Cast steel connecting rods are not ideal for any type of performance application. Most aftermarket steel connecting rods are made from forged steel. Depending on the specific material, forged steel connecting rods are suitable for most applications. There are different types of steel alloys. Eagle Specialties, for example, uses 5140 alloy steel for its entry-level rods. For competition applications, most rod manufacturers use high-carbon 4340 or 4330 steel. Aluminum rods can be as much as 25% lighter than steel rods. That reduces the overall mass of the reciprocating assembly, allowing the engine to rev faster and higher. According to Eagle’s Davis, aluminum is a great choice for supercharged applications. “Aluminum is often used in very high power blower engines,” he said. “Aluminum ‘gives’ slightly under violent combustion and acts like a shock absorber so the harmful shock of combustion does not propagate to the rod bearing and cause a bearing failure.” The downside to aluminum rods is fatigue life. Aluminum can begin to stretch, especially when the rods have made many passes down the drag strip. If you can afford to change
Titanium is a third option. Titanium connecting rods combine the lighter weight of aluminum with strength that’s more comparable to steel. That makes them a viable option for drag-only cars that require quick throttle response. However, they are very expensive. “Titanium is slightly weaker than steel, but due to the extremely light weight, far less stress is realised,” Davis said. “So effectively, titanium can be considered stronger as far as the entire reciprocating assembly is concerned.” Special Treatments Material is not the only thing that determines strength. Connecting rods must be heat-treated to meet most SAE/ASTM specifications. Shot peening is an absolute must for machined or forged parts, according to Eagle’s Davis. Polishing helps reduce microscopic pits, inclusions, and can extend service life. However, it must be done properly—aggressive grinding or polishing can actually do more harm than good.
How to Choose Connecting Rods
longest rod available to work within the stroke, the deck height, and available piston-compression heights,” Callies’ Norris explained. “This helps keep piston weight down and reduces stress on the connecting rod. An instance where that may not hold true would be a boosted or heavy nitrous application where the piston would need more compression height to allow the ring pack to be moved down.” “Rod length also has an effect on the dwell time of the piston at TDC,” Norris continued. “In cases where the stroke is short enough to allow some flexibility in rod selection, it can be factored in with port flow, valve timing, and rpm range to optimise the engine for a specific application.”
A Quick Word on Rod Bolts Pay attention to the connecting rod bolts when you install new connecting rods. These bolts are the single highest-stressed fastener in your engine. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for tightening and lubrication during assembly. Follow these rules of thumb, and choosing the right connecting rod will help you ensure maximum performance and reliability from your engine.
Common Chevy V8 Rod Lengths
Cryo-treatment is another finishing process. It essentially cools the material to a much lower temperature than room temperature right after heat treating. According to Davis, the process can increase strength by about 2-3% and improve wear resistance. Rod Length and Rod Ratio Rod ratio is the length of a connecting rod from center to center divided by crankshaft stroke. Rod ratio has a direct effect on power, torque, engine efficiency, and piston wear. Lower rod ratios are associated with lower-rpm engines. Higher rod ratios typically work with high-revving, high rpm engines. The typical rod ratio for gasoline automotive engines operating in street and bracket race rpm ranges is about 1.45:1 to 1.7:1. Some race engines have rod ratios up to a 2.1:1. There are a couple schools of thought on rod ratio.
This illustration shows how rod ratio is determined. Rod length (B) is divided by crank stroke (A). (Image courtesy of MustangsandFords.com)
out rods more frequently, aluminum is a good choice.
“The higher the maximum rod angle (short rod/lower rod ratio), the more piston side-loading you will have,” Eagle’s Davis said. “This results in higher friction and accelerated piston skirt wear. However, lower rod ratios tend to “mix” the air/fuel better in the cylinder due to more aggressive piston acceleration. Higher efficiency, more torque, and more horsepower can be the result.” “It’s still more typical to use the
Common Ford V8 Rod Lengths
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Calder Park Raceway was founded in the farming community of Diggers Rest and began as a dirt track carved into a paddock by a group of motoring enthusiasts who wanted somewhere to race their FJ Holdens. The Australian Motor Sports Club hosted their first meeting on a bitumen track on January 14, 1962. The track design back then was very similar to the existing Club Circuit, which is still in use today. In the early 70s Bob Jane purchased Calder Park and from there it became a Victorian motorsport icon with international events drawing in international superstars and crowds to the facility. This included a run of famous Australian Nationals events through the mid 90s to early 00s. Today Rodney Jane owns and operates the venue and in 2015 committed to upgrading the track surface. The work was carried out this past August ensuring drag racing has a bright future at the venue with the return of ANDRA Championship Drag Racing on 27th December 2015 and continuing throughout 2016.
Location: Calder Fwy, Calder Park VIC 3037 Altitude: 405ft TIMING SYSTEM: Compulink Racing surface: 330 feet concrete and remaining 990 feet asphalt Braking Area: Asphalt surface Track Records: 4.851 ET, 298.40 mph â€“ Charlie DiFilippo (Top Fuel)
www . c a l d e r p a r k d r a g r a cing . com . a u
Champions On November 9 following the East Coast Nationals, the 2015 ANDRA Championship Dinner was held at Atura Blacktown in NSW.
The gala event recognised the ANDRA Drag Racing Series and Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Champions and Runners Up of the completed 2015 ANDRA Championship Season. Gold and Silver Trees were awarded to Damien Harris and Wayne Newby (Top Fuel), Gary Phillips and John Cannuli (Top Alcohol), John Zappia and Mauirce Fabietti (Top Doorslammer), Mark Drew and Chris Porter (Top Fuel Motorcycle), Lee Bektash and Nino Cavallo
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(Pro Stock), Maurcie Allen and Ryan Learmonth (Pro Stock Motorcycle), Alistair McClure and Craig Geddes (Competition), Steve Norman and Brett Glover (Super Stock), Ross Smith and Blair Pennington (Competition Bike), Dom Rigoli and Chris Tait (Super Compact), Donald Freind and Doina Day (Supercharged Outlaws), Steven Fowler and Stuart McBain (Top Sportsman), Michelle Osborn and Simon Barlow (Modified), John Kapiris and David Yanko (Super Sedan), Ian Read and Joe Khoury (Modified Bike), Enzo Clemente and Robert Winterburn (Super Street), Eden Ward and Toby Austin (Junior Dragster), Graeme Spencer and David Gauldie (Super Gas).
The John Storm Memorial Trophy was awarded to Toby Austin for his 320 total points. Congratulations to all for a great 2015 season.
ship Dinner 2015 ANDRA Hall of Fame
Australian Drag Racing legends Joe ‘Buzzard’ Gatt and John Taverna were posthumously inducted into the ANDRA Hall of Fame at the 2015 ANDRA Championship Dinner on November 9.
Arthur J. Gallagher Volunteer of the Year
Family members were on hand to collect the honour and give emotional speeches about their loved ones involvement in Drag Racing.
Joe ‘Buzzard’ Gatt Joe’s involvement in drag racing dates all the way back to the early 60s. It first started with the Gladiators Car Club before testing his ‘34 Coupe with brother Ben at Riverside in Melbourne, including the first ever Australian Nationals in 1965. Later with help from good friend Gordon Davidson, Joe stepped up to a side-valve dragster called “Sundowner” but by 1970 he had stepped aside to Crew Chief for Ben in what would become a long line of iconic vehicles.
Accepted by Ben Gatt
Joe crewed his brother to national records, a Super Stock Championship and a 1991 Nationals win. But among the many accolades it was the 6.67-second world record for a Ford powered vehicle set in 1994, achieved in Joe’s favourite vehicle – the EA Falcon – that was one of his biggest career highlights. His passion for cars and drag racing was immense, he touched many lives and he often remarked to loved ones how grateful he was to have experienced the life he lived both at and away from the race track.
Wayne is passionate about drag racing and seemingly gives up every spare moment to serve the sport as an ANDRA Steward, Divisional Council member and National Classifier. He first became an ANDRA Steward in 2001 and has since progressed to being a National Steward while also serving on the South Queensland Divisional Council and representing the DC as the National Rules Committee Representative.
John got his start in drag racing in the early 70’s with his black ’57 Chev that was then followed by an FJ Holden originally called “Revolution” morphing into famous “The Grot” name that he became famous for. Following the FJ, John ran a HK Monaro in C/Gas, then an LH Torana Hatchback also in the C/Gas class. A string of acclaimed vehicles followed with the VC Commodore, JB Camira and of course the Kermit Green JD Camira spednign time in Pro Stock and Gas classes.
South Queensland Chief Steward Wayne Downes was on hand to receive his 2015 Arthur J. Gallagher Volunteer of the Year Award.
As the National Classifier, Wayne also volunteers his time to sit on the Index Review Committee as a non-voting member providing valuable input on Group Two categories.
Accepted by John Taverna Jr
John also became an active member of ANDRA where he served as a Technical Inspector, Division Director and member of the Competition Committee while continuing work in panel beating and spray painting along with establishing what would become the famed “John Taverna Chassis”. John’s involvement with ANDRA continued as business boomed with JTC building some of the best race cars to grace Australian tracks including cars for Peter Kapiris, Hans Van Dyk, Sammut Bros, Russell Simpson, Hugo DiGianvincenzo, Ian McCurdy, Paul Rogers, Maurice Fabietti, Tony Harrington and many more. He was a true innovator and his legacy lives on in both drag racing and the street machine world.
ANDRA wishes to extend our congratulations to Wayne on this prestigious award and we thank him for his tireless efforts serving the sport he loves not only in South Queensland but also around the country. As the recipient of the 2015 Arthur J. Gallagher Volunteer of the Year Award, Wayne was invited to the 2015 East Coast Nationals at Sydney Dragway including a complimentary flight, accommodation and Championship Dinner Ticket.
A full gallery of photos from the night can be found on the ANDRA Facebook page. FASTLANE I 13
DIVISIONALDIRECTOR? NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
Nathan Peirano Division Director
Northern Australia Division Council Ph: 0457 306 159 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
VICTORIA / TASMANIA
Web: www.andra.com.au > Competitor > Divisional Councils
Nathan started racing in 1998 completing a season in the Willowbank Raceway Track Championship in Modified eliminator driving a rear engine dragster from Ken Lowes Drag Race School. Following a five-year break he began racing again with the family in March 2003 with the Supercharged Outlaws 27 Roadster powered by a Qua Cam Lexus V8 engine. “I have competed ever since in that car winning Divisional Championships along the way and eventually ran a 7.34 at 181mph with the standard blocked 240ci engine before reaching it’s limit and changing over the a 413ci TFX engine.” Sydney Dragway has treated Nathan well picking up an ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree at the Summernationals in 2008 then followed that up in 2010 with a win at the Nitro Champs.
Divisional Council Members Nathan Peirano (DD) Ross Bryant Peter Peirano Aaron Stibbs Rod Scanlon Ross Lemberg Ash Hamblin
“I have also finished in the top three of the ANDRA Sportsman Series about three times and missed out on the Championship by one round in the 2009/2010 season. “I have travelled the country for the past 12 years competing at Palmyra, Benaraby, Willowbank, Warwick, Sydney and Perth. In 2013 we started running the Time Traveller Outlaw Nitro Funny Car, finishing third at the Sydney Finale in 2013.” Nathan joined the Divisional Council in 2012 and became the Divisional Director in March of 2015 after serving as the alternate for six months. “I really started out as a fan of drag racing at a young age back in Surfers Paradise and then Willowbank in the late 80’s early 90’s and I see it as the greatest motorsport on the planet.”
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new south w
Behind the Wheel with Jr. Dragster Driver Eden Ward “I race because I love the competitiveness of the sport.” 16-year-old Eden Ward was born into a drag racing family. He enjoys the competitiveness, power, and speed of drag racing. Ward is the 2015 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Junior Dragster Champion.
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A 20-year dream is about to come true for the Swan Hill Drag Racing Club with the completion of their own quarter mile. In 2007, the SHDRC reformed after a break with the intention of bringing Drag Racing into Swan Hill. At the start they were thinking small – an eighth mile track on an appointed piece of council land out at Chisholm Reserve located 10km heading west out of Swan Hill. Chisholm Reserve is considered a motorsport mecca in regional Victoria including seven different disciplines of motorsport on one property; Speedway, two forms of Moto X, Short Course (rally cross), Karts and a newly formed four-wheel drive club is in the process of building their own course. At the time Calder Park Raceway and AIR were not functioning as quarter mile strips and soon thoughts of a quarter mile track in Swan Hill began to gain momentum. The club upped the ante and approached the council with the help of ANDRA and the Lamattina family, to adopt the idea of a quarter mile and help source funding to make it happen.
The SHDRC also made the investment, at the time the concrete was being laid, to put in the now well documented heating/ cooling system into the foundation. The club assumed the responsibility of this investment as they believed it to one day extend their racing calendar and provide a consistent race track on marginal days when weather can pose a problem. Although the hydronic tubing is in the concrete the system will not be operational until more funds are secured to purchase the chilling/heating unit needed to make it all work. Seovic Civil Engineering completed the walls all the way through the primary breaking area in early October and a continuous pour of concrete down both sides, higher than the ANDRA minimum, are sure to provide safe racing to all that come to enjoy one of the newest tracks in Australia.
Fast forward to 2010 and after countless hours of work on feasibility studies and business cases, the SHDRC received word of an election promise from local Nationals state member Mr Peter Walsh of two million dollars. While the election worked out in their favour it didn’t yet mean the two million was just going to be handed over. More work was needed to prove the viability of the quarter mile and in August 2014, the funds were finally approved and released as well as $450,000 from local council and $225,000 of in kind work to be completed by the club itself.
Council has been in charge of construction of the entire racing area, with the completion scheduled for the end of November (or as you read this – Ed). The club has pushed to get as much done as quickly as possible so cars will be on the track as soon as possible.
Generosity from local businesses such as Chisholm Earth Moving and Murray Valley Lasers as well as veteran racer Ken Spence helped with the initial ground works which were completed in a matter of weeks. Another local earthmoving company won the tender to complete all other ground works as well as all the asphalt for the run off, return road and staging lanes.
Swan Hill will always be a club run track – the Swan Hill Drag Racing Club will be there making it happen but they needed a name and the SHDRC applied the KISS method (Keep It Simple Stupid) and opted to call the new quarter mile the Swan Hill Dragway. Through the help of Rob and Drew at YBI Creative they have created new branding and are now in pursuit of financial partners to bring the best racing possible to Swan Hill.
BD Concreting out of Gisborn won the tender for producing Australia’s longest concrete racing surface of 300mtrs (1000ft).
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By early 2016, SHDRC hope to be running test and tunes as well as street meets to learn the ropes and hone the art of running successful race meets and look forward to being part of the 2016/2017 ANDRA Championship.
BIRDS EYE VIEW Check out the fantastic birds eye view footage of the Swan Hill Dragway under construction by viewing the QR Code or going to the below link: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=lOGYDdIDatQ
The Springmount Raceway complex is the newest international standard raceway to be constructed in Australia. Situated a short distance from Mareeba, west of Cairns, the facility is in a prime position with low annual rainfall. Many people have been involved in the push for a drag strip in the Cairns region over several decades now. Historically, racers from the area travelled to Townsville, however with the closure of that track several years ago, Mackay is now the closest facility, at some 700km away. The dream of having a track in the region remained out of reach until about two years ago when local civil contracting company FGF Developments decided to fund the construction of the project on a site that they owned near Walkamin, about an hour west of Cairns. Since this time, significant works have been undertaken onsite
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to construct an International standard quarter mile track alongside existing infrastructure that was previously used as a 400-person workers camp for the upgrade of a nearby prison. At the time of writing (end of October â€“ Ed) the facility was very close to completion and will feature full concrete barriers, top of the range timing system, large time and speed displays, sealed pits, massive 25m x 65m burnout pad, undercover eating areas and large viewing mounds. The most recent update as production on this issue commenced highlighted the completion of timing gear and the track surface as well as a fit out of the control tower, signage
and construction of amenities through November. The facility already has several large events planned for 2016, with the Northern Nats car show in May, and the Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars booked in for August. Amongst these events will be a number of test and tune type events and possibly burnout competitions. 2017 will likely see the introduction of a local championship series and potentially an ANDRA Championship event.
Want to be a member? If you want to get in on the ground floor, you can support Springmount Raceway with a membership. By supporting the complex being built, you will also receive an official Springmount Raceway shirt, sticker and discount entry to the complex once completed. Membership is valid for 12 months and commences once the complex is completed. Visit www.springmountraceway.com for more information.
Park On the doorstep of the Murray River, the SA Motorsport Park development is located in Tailem Bend, a convenient one hour drive from the city of Adelaide. The Peregrine Corporation is proud to be developing SA Motorsport Park for all motor sport participants and enthusiasts, with a focus on creating unique and world class experiences for both competitors and spectators. South Australia’s largest private company, Peregrine Corporation is the developer and primary financier of this multi-million dollar project. The company has been operating for 30 years and is the state’s leading fuel and convenience retailer. Both the State Government of South Australia and the Federal Government have shown strong support throughout all stages of this project. The site is located on the intersection of the Princess Highway to Adelaide, the Dukes Highway to Melbourne and the Mallee Highway to Sydney, creating great access and many opportunities with neighbouring eastern states. Formerly the Mitsubishi testing track, the facility will become a multi-purpose motorsport complex catering for international events, national series racing, grass roots club events and driver safety training. The motorsport related development will provide circuit racing for cars and motorcycles, drag racing, drift racing, rally racing and rally school, specialist driver training and driver safety activities. Development supporting the Motorsport Park is envisaged to include tourism
accommodation featuring 4 star hotel rooms, caravan park and camping facilities, an airstrip, convention and expo building and food and catering services. Additionally an industrial park and commercial precinct will be developed adjacent to the motorsport facilities offering opportunities for motorsport services and other local industry. A unique community division of some 160 allotments will be established providing private garage and storage facilities for car and motorsport enthusiasts. Colloquially named as “Man-Caves”, owners have the opportunity to customise their garage in a variety of ways and house their vehicles on site. The drag strip will be an international standard for all forms of drag racing and has been designed in consultation with the ANDRA to meet Group 1 drag racing standards. The drag strip itself will be of concrete construction for the full quarter mile and sits inside an amphitheatre styled facility with grandstand seating, terracing and natural grass mounds for viewing.
Events will include: • Group 1 National Series events; • state and club based events; • regular off street events; • private test days. The drag strip will be serviced by a double storey main race control building featuring administration services, race control and corporate facilities.
The staging lanes are located directly behind the race control building with cars entering through the tunnels on to the track apron. The Group 1 pit area is located behind the race control building and is approximately 2ha in size. This large bitumen area will serve multiple functions, namely as the pit area as well as a driver training activities. Additionally this area will include a large scrutineering shed with close proximity to competitors. A secondary paddock (for major race meetings) will be a similar size and will be grassed with bitumen roadways. This will be used as public car park for the majority of smaller race meetings. Initial development approval was received from the Development Assessment Commission (DAC) in May 2015. Final additions and variations have now been submitted, with construction due to start toward the end of 2015. The expected date for total completion of the project is early 2017. Visit www.samotorsportpark.com.au for more information.
FASTLANE I 19
TOP FUEL Cory McClenathan
POINTS Points as of 7TH December 2015
Top Fuel Motorcycle
Pro Stock Motorcycle TOP5 Scott White
TOP ALCOHOL 20 I www.andra.com.au
COMPETITION BIKE Peter Everett Matthew Walker Paulo Pires
SUPER COMPACT Matt Lisle
MODIFIED BIKE Shane Walker
100 FASTLANE I 21
WITH A LITTLE
HELP FROM HIS
FRIENDS Drag Racing, and indeed most forms of motorsports, is expensive. Long gone are the days when a group of mates could pool their resources, go racing and have a weekend of fun. Today it’s a different animal and it costs a lot of $$$ to pursue what is essentially a passionate hobby for many. In the nineties, motorsport was riding a huge wave of popularity that saw many multi-national companies sponsor events and racers thanks to the huge crowds that flocked to venues throughout all major cities. The sponsorship pool is a lot smaller today as companies look elsewhere to sell and promote their goods and services. In the meantime the “Need for Speed” and the costs to stay competitive has risen to the point that racers have had to look elsewhere outside the circle for support. For Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Scott White, he has for the most part of his drag racing career funded his own racing operation. And based in Darwin certainly hasn’t helped,
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being some 4-5 thousand kilometers from the nearest championship hosting race venue! Prior to the start of the 2015/16 Australian Drag Racing Season, White was introduced to a new venture by his long-time crew member Paul Grey – Crowd Funding. Basically Crowd Funding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, today often performed via internet-mediated registries. However the concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events, and other methods.
Grey had seen a crowd funding effort of a fellow drag racer in the United States and figured it could be worth a go. What he found was a local platform called Team Bus…. Team Bus is a sports club and athlete fundraising vehicle, that has been created by sports fundraising experts as a platform that allows the community to contribute to the growth and development of sport in Australia. Any sports club or athlete can create a Team Bus crowd funding campaign. In order to compete at the East Coast Nationals at Sydney Dragway, White needed to raise some funds if he was going to get on the starting line.
“It was Paul’s idea a while back when he saw US Pro Stock motorcycle rider Angelle Sampey doing something similar”, said White. “We did it mainly because without it we were not going to have the funds to make it to the East Coast Nationals. “Last season in Adelaide (where the fairing broke off at the top end in spectacular fashion) was a costly exercise that took a big bite into the budget just so we could make it to the rained out Sydney round and Winternationals rounds. The rain out already had nonrefundable airfares paid for so there was little saved. “Paul set the whole campaign up and while I wasn’t sure if it would work, I was willing to give it a go. We had nothing to lose”, said White. “We allowed a time frame prior to Sydney to see what response we would get and to be honest it was encouraging. The initial packages ranged from $25.00 to $5,000. “Later we added smaller $5 and $10 donation points to allow people who wanted to be a part of Team Bus but couldn’t manage much in funds. “In the end the overall funds raised allowed us to go to Sydney. As part of the deal we put everyone’s name on the bike and I felt blessed and proud to carry them along the ride”, said White. “Its every racers dream to win a championship round and get handed those trophies. For me it’s what I have always wanted and to finally
see everything come together at the East Coast Nationals was a dream come true for my family, my crew and me. And best still was doing it with all our sponsors and supporters onboard. “We have discussed doing it again although not too often. We probably wouldn’t use the same company as Paul feels he could possibly make our own one especially when he did the whole set up and just utilised their back end. “We copped a bit of curry on social media at the start – some said things like ‘if you can’t afford to race – then don’t race! As a team Paul and I just looked at it and said – how can we make it to Sydney? A real racer does whatever they can to be there and compete. Our performance had stepped up and we could taste victory.” As it stood White took the win and leads the championship for the new season. “I can’t tell you what holding that ANDRA Christmas Tree felt like. It’s the one thing I have always wanted and now the focus has moved to winning a championship. “Thanks to everyone that donated and I feel blessed to have been supported from some unexpected and gracious people. Already we have had a few calls from supporters wanting us to go to Perth which is very uplifting,” finished White. White is also very grateful for the continued support from the Normist Group of companies including Darwin Bolt Supplies – see www. normist.com.au and to CAP (Christians Against Poverty).
You can find more info at www.scottwhite868.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. .
FASTLANE I 23
Australia’s Greatest Ever Drag Race! The 1995 Nationals took drag racing to a whole new level By John Baremans Over the years there have been many ‘standout’ events on the Australian Drag Racing Calendar. We had Ravenswood and the Westernationals, Willowbank’s Winternationals, Eastern Creek’s ADR Grand Finals and of course Calder Park and the Nationals. While I am not going to debate my opinion on the “single” most important drag racing event, it would be fair to say that the 1995 Nationals would be high on the list. The Nationals had a home in Melbourne starting in 1992 and three years later the media had no hesitation of quoting that the 29th Australian Drag Racing Championship was the biggest and brightest drag race ever staged in Australia. The Nationals also hit the spotlight on the world stage with the FIA. Carl Olsen was the President of the Drag Racing Commission at the time and along with representation from Denmark,
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Finland, France, Germany, the UK, Norway, Sweden, USA, Japan and New Zealand, Olsen had referred the Nationals as the second most important drag race in the world! Now that is some statement. I was one of the lucky ones to attend the event. It was stinking hot, and the days were long at the track, and while I don’t remember some things (thank God for photos), I do know that the Nationals delivered a brilliant overall package, for the fans, the racers, and the sport overall. The Nationals was held under very hot Melbourne conditions with Saturday reaching 42 in the shade. Track General Manager Steve Bettes renamed the event to the Scorcher Nationals. And still the figures continued to impress with 434 entries, topping the precious years 394. This increase forced Group 1 and 2 to move to the infield, however the Goodyear footbridge did make it accessible for fans to access.
Witnessing the three-day spectacle was a claimed count of 83,835 fans, again up from 1993’s crowd of 80,740. Despite the heat out on the track there was still enough traction to see 13 new national records broken. NHRA’s Melvyn Record, who had attended the Nationals in 1992 and 1994, was again present. Following the event, he reflected on what he labeled as one of the greatest, if not THE greatest drag race seen in Australia! Let’s take a look at some of the spectacles and highlights that made the 1995 Nationals one to remember.
Top Fuel The Kings of the Sport turned it on at Calder with 10 entries including two Rocket/Shell entries, two Winfield fuelers and two American Top Fuel pilots – Tom “Showtime” Hoover and Glenn Mikres. Other
US visitors included Robert Reehl, Richard Cotton and Rod Young all crewing for Rachelle Splatt, who was making a return in an ex-Scott Kallitta car. Qualifying saw Graeme Cowin sit on top with a 4.907 (Low ET of Meet) while Hoover and Jim Read filled the next two positions with times of 5.07 and 5.09. Read’s Winfield entry clocked Top Speed with a 290.22 blast. Robin Kirby sat on the bump leaving the new NEC entry of Bob Sherry and the Ostashkevich brothers as well as rookie Dwayne Riley on the outside. Top Fuel had two winners with Hoover (driving the second Winfield-backed dragster) becoming only the second Yank to win a Nationals title after young Brad Simpson went up in smoke. Then in the inaugural Wynn’s Top Fuel Shootout, it was Cowin taking the win over Read.
Funny Car Calder Park was always the home of nitro Funny Car and at the Nationals they were spectacular to say the least. Six entries saw Romeo Capitanio number one in qualifying with a 5.52/269.38 package and how about Darren Carter (son of Jim) who licensed with a 5.95 (Australia’s quickest FC licence pass), and then went number two with a 5.70. However the smiles turned to horror in the semi finals when Darren had just defeated Keith Agius with a 5.67 ET and was about to make the turn off when he was rear-ended by a rolling Oz Nitro fireball. Thankfully both drivers walked away but the footage of the two-car crash went viral worldwide and has been a regular on motorsport crash shows. But it didn’t end there. Repairs were made to get Carter to front in the final against Capitanio but young Darren felt something wasn’t right so shut off handing Romeo his first Nationals Funny Car victory in 5.48 seconds.
Top Alcohol The man affectionately known as “Pommie” Steve Read was a winner of the 1992 Nationals but leading up to the event was having a bit of a dry spell with his alky Dragster. The 95’ Nats field was a tough affair with Gary Phillips nailing No.1 with a 5.90 qualifier, and followed by Allan Dobson’s 6.00. Four other drivers missed the cut and watched from the stands. Phillips looked to have the event covered however “The Pom” was running the numbers and on the pace. Both met in the final however a surprise red light from Phillips handed Read his first major win in over a year.
Pro Stock It was local racer Bruno Cugnetto who sat on top with a 7.90 qualifier while Hans Van Dyk was on the bump with an 8.10 in his Commodore. How tough was Pro Stock? On the outside were Rob Tucker, Joe Polito, John O’Kearney, Mike Reilly, Nick Moutsos and Paul Rogers Snr. It was the biggest field in the sport’s history. Van Dyk faced Cugnetto in the first round and was not favored to go any further however luck was on his side when Bruno had a shift issue and slowed to a 8.58 allowing Van Dyk
to take the win with a 8.19. Van Dyk went through to the final where he faced Peter Ridgeway. A staging dual ensued and Rideway watched Van Dyk take an early lead but the Commodore just didn’t have the legs in the end. Ridgway scored his first Nationals Pro Stock victory with a 7.99 to an 8.14.
Top Bike This two-wheeled bracket was without doubt one of the highlights of the 95 Nats. We had the strongest showing ever and with 12 riders in the one place, things were going to happen. Following the departure of veteran rider Peter Allen from John Hoskin’s two-wheel fueler to Bill Curry’s “Party Time” bike, “Fat Cat” offered the ride to Pro Stock rider Phil Howard. With only a few pre-licence runs completed, “Bluey” made a solo run on Thursday dropping jaws recording the quickest Top Bike run ever on Australian soil, and the quickest TB licence pass. At the end of qualifying we had Howard in No.1 with a 7.08 and Allen in second with a 7.31. Kerry Ellis was on the bump with a 7.74. That cemented the first ever sevensecond field! On the way to the finals Howard went 6.81 in the first round while Allen’s went 7.01 in the semis. This set up the race we were all waiting to see. Allen had the advantage on the green but Howard had the power. Across the strip the win went to the nitro rookie with a 6.736 ET to a 6.954 from Allen. For the record that was the first 200mph pass by a Top Bike and the first side-by-side six-second pass. The start line crews, crowd and fireworks erupted but then came the PA announcer telling us that someone was down in the deep end. As it was Howard copped a face full of oil and while the bike had washed off a fair bit of speed, he dropped the bike at around 30mph. He even got on his feet and chased the bike to switch it off. Hollywood eat your heart out.
Pro Stock Motorcycle We had a full field and no surprise to see the Castrol team of Trevor Birrell and Les Donnon as firm favorites to win. In qualifying Donnon went quick with a 7.64 ET at 170 mph, but out of the blue comes Peter Turnbull who clocked a career best 7.638 ET on his US Bryce-powered Suzuki. Now that was a surprise!
Maurice Allen was eighth with an 8.81 ET. Eliminations saw Turnbull get past the first round, however in the second he had a “Choke and Fold” moment. Howard had hurt his transmission but kept it quiet. Turnbull had the performance advantage but his engine started playing up and he couldn’t wait any longer, leaving before the green. This moved “Bluey” into his second Nationals final. But Donnon wasn’t taking any chances or mucking around here, taking a solid win with a 7.68 to a 12-second pass from Howard.
Top Doorslammer Not the Top Doorslammer we know today. The Nationals effort saw plenty of controversy and frustration with racers from Comp, Super Stock and Super Sedan. And then throw in some mixed communication between officials and racers and we had some red faces and hot heads. However the non-championship bracket still produced some spectacular racing. How about Ben Gatt recording a 6.676 at 183 mph, during a Comp qualifying session, to becoming the quickest Ford in the world! The final was a classic all WA Ford vs Holden drag race between top qualifier John Zappia and Brendan McSweeney. In a dramatic race McSweeney left very early, turned the tyres and ended up over the centerline. This forced Zappia to take action, ending up on the grass before getting back on track and taking the win in 7.41 seconds.
Winner: John Handley R/Up: Wayne Jones
Winner: Juan Kudnig R/Up: Jamie Small
Winner: George Bailey Jnr R/Up: John Coulombourdos
Winner: Jason Lee R/Up: Dean Alford
Comp Bike Winner: Rhett Lougheed R/Up: Perry Mackie
Junior Dragster Winner: Angelique Stainer R/Up: Ryan Papavs
Modified Winner:Jon Sting R/Up: Robbie Jackson
Winner: Sam Strano R/Up: Craig Geddes
Winner: Robert Maggs R/Up: Tony Kurchert
1995 Nationals ANDRA Records T/B P/M BB/D C/MP D/MP D/G E/G A/AB P/CB B/SB C/SB AA/HR
6.81 Hoskins/Howard (SA) 200.71 Hoskins/Howard (SA) 7.64 Donnon/Birrell (SA) 203.43 J. Handley (SA) 9.43 J. Couloumbourdos (SA) 144.49 J. Couloumbourdos (SA) 9.92 D.Tucker (SQ) 143.42 Hogan/Wilkie (NSW) 9.43 Minimum 8.74 M.Sargent (WA) 142.74 Bonwick/Antoniazo (NSW) 9.46 Minimum 7.93 R. Lougheed (SQ) 7.93 G. Roberts (SA) 166.88 G. Roberts (SA)
FASTLANE I 25
O’ROURKE Team: O’Rourke Motorsport Bracket: Top Doorslammer Previous Brackets:
Super Street, Super Sedan, Competition Eliminator
Personal Best: 5.794 ET, 249.70 mph
ANDRA Christmas Trees: Spring Nationals (Top Doorslammer, 2014),
Favourite Track: Perth Motorplex www.orourkemotorsport.com.au
Hailing from Western Australia, Grant O’Rourke became a formidable competitor in the prestigious Top Doorslammer ranks in the early 2000s after a highly successful and worldrecord breaking sportsman career, consistently running amongst the top eight quickest and fastest TD competitors in the country as he chased the Series across the country. After taking an eight-year hiatus from 2004 during which he built, managed and maintained his wife Debbie’s race car, ‘The Jungle Boy’ returned to the track in 2013 with a significantly updated HK Monaro ready to make up for lost time. Upon his return to the sport, the HK Monaro was again his steed
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before 2014 saw him debut a 1968 Pontiac Firebird built by him to Top Doorslammer specs from an ex-G-Force Camaro. The Pontiac debuted with an impressive 5.99 second first full pass on its way to defeating category champion John Zappia in the first round of racing for the 2014 ANDRA Drag Racing Series. Since then, Grant has gone on to run a personal best time of 5.794 seconds at 249.70 miles per hour, finished his first full season back in the saddle third in the national title chase, registering a first Top Doorslammer event win at the 2014 Fuchs Spring Nationals in Adelaide and finished fourth in the Championship in 2015.
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CoryMa East Coast Nationals Sydney Dragway 7-8 November 2015 Photo credit: Cackling Pipes Joe Maday
Rain had threatened to end the East Coast Nationals before it started but thankfully the weather cleared up just enough and a full weekendâ€™s racing was complete. 28 I www.andra.com.au
acAttack Visiting NHRA star Cory McClenathan scored his second Top Fuel win in a row following his Winternationals victory in June ensuring he is now unbeaten in his last three starts Down Under since the 2011 Australian Nationals. McClenathan defeated teammates Wayne Newby and fellow American Dom Lagana to set up a showdown with returning three-time champ Darren Morgan. In a pulsating final it was the American who had the start line advantage on the Aussie with a superior .070 reaction time to a .150. A hard charging Morgan made up ground on McClenathan who burst into flames at approximately 1000 feet as Morgan ran out of real estate. Cory Mac kept his foot on the throttle taking a spectacular flaming holeshot win on a 4.685 ET at 314.17 mph from a 4.675 at 317.87 mph. “I come here to Australia to race, I come to have fun and enjoy myself and try to do the best I can for Santo (Rapisarda)” said McClenathan. “For some reason it just falls into the right place. “It must be the alcohol (laughs) or the food with Santo. He’s always saying ‘eat the meat!’ But the boys work really hard when I’m not here that’s the biggest thing and bringing Lee Beard (to Australia), that helps a lot.” Steven Reed was rewarded for his consistency in Top Alcohol eliminating Robert Ambruosi and Peter Zellow to reach his third final in a row at Sydney Dragway dating back to May 2014. It was an emotional final win for Reed who dedicated the win to his sick mother who could not be at the track to cheer him on. Having run consistent 5.50-5.60s all weekend, a 6.028 at 238.98 mph was good enough to defeat Wayne Price in the final running a 6.466 at 188.07 mph.
“We’ve had a pretty good luck here I guess,” said Reed. “This weekend was pretty important, Mum and Dad weren’t here. “Mum is really sick and she asked to win this race for her. It’s just amazing how you can do it.”
John Zappia wrapped up another Series win making it two in a row for the 8-time Top Doorslammer champion following the NT Titles in Darwin. Zap first defeated former champ Peter Kapiris in Round 1 before the returning Andrew Searle fouled at the tree by just .001 seconds trying to get the edge in the semi final. In a rematch of the Winternationals Top Doorslammer final, Zappia faced another former champ in Ben Bray. Although it wasn’t a repeat record setting pass, the result was the same as Zappia ran low ET of the weekend on a 5.762 at 249.58 mph to Bray’s 6.325 at 186.74 mph. “We dropped a valve, that could have caught us out and we had to change a motor,” said Zappia. “We found a little crack in the chassis (before the final qualifier) so luckily Craig Burns from SCF Racecars was around and did a repair and reinforcement. “We dropped the number two valve but it didn’t matter, we dropped one point (from qualifying) and it worked out better. I got to take out Kapiris first round, I didn’t think he’d end up there but he did. So that’s got us ahead in the points.” Mark Drew didn’t quite reach the heights of the 6.4-second passes of the night before but still went all the way to claim another Top Fuel Motorcycle trophy and start his title defence in perfect fashion. A solo in Round 1 set up a semi final with Michael Gregg in what turned out to be his only paired pass in eliminations. Unfortunately Chris Porter could not take
his place in the final allowing Drew to make a solo 7.758-second pass at 163.73 for the win. Tremayne is a familiar name on the winners list in Pro Stock and this time it was Tyronne taking his first win since the Benaraby Nationals over a year ago. Tremayne first drove around Emilio Spinozzi in Round 1 before taking out Nino Cavallo on a holeshot in a side-by-side 6.94-second pass. Lee Bektash awaited in the final but he could not recapture his earlier low-6.90 second form as Tremayne got away clean and led all the way to the finish on a 7.026 at 195.48 mph from a 7.547 at 136.15 mph. Pro Stock Motorcycle has a new name on the winners list as Scott White claimed his first ever ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree in over 20 years of racing. White first overcame Locky Ireland in Round 1 and then Glenn Wooster in the semi final to set up a final with Corey Buttegieg on the Harley Buell. Having fallen at the final hurdle on numerous occasions, White was not to be denied running a strong 7.295-second pass at 178.76 mph to claim a historic triumph and the early lead in the Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship. Competition Bike winner Peter Everett came within inches of a perfect weekend almost setting the D/SB speed record to go with top qualifier, winning the final and resetting the national ET record from 9.679 to 9.639 seconds. Everett’s 9.668 on the 9.97 index in the final was enough to back up his qualifying time for the new record.
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“I’m really happy with it, this bike is a little trooper,” said Everett. “What it’s done for me since I’ve had it – I’ve put a lot into it but it’s just a trooper of a little bike.
Australia’s Tom Dimitropoulos lived up to the name to get the job done in the Super Stock final against Clint George.
“I’m really happy for the conditions we had. It would have been nice to take that speed record too but a Gold Tree, a record and top qualifier what else could you ask for?”
With two solo passes in Round 1 and the semi final, his only other paired pass was to come against Jodanna Pullen in Round 2 but her Holden Monaro was shutdown at the start line giving Dimitropoulos a clear path to advance.
Unlike Everett, Super Compact top qualifier and subsequent event winner Matt Lisle did secure the perfect weekend adding the ET and speed record to his accolades.
Once in the final, George had the reaction advantage but Dimitropoulos held on to record a 9.164 ET on a 9.58 index and claim victory over the 7.362 ET and 7.83 index to score an impressive upset.
Fresh off his Winternationals win in June, Lisle reset the AA/DM ET record from 7.656 to a new mark of 7.567 and increased the speed record from 193.68 mph to 197.48 mph.
“I was the underdog today!” laughed Dimitropoulos. “It was a good win and for the boys too, it’s not just me. The boys do a good job and thanks to my family and my wife, it was a good day in the office.
In doing so Lisle defeated Rod Harvey and Philip Karpathios following a first round bye to take home maximum points and the Gold Tree.
“We went to Queensland twice this year and had bad luck. We broke the diff at the Summit event in April then deep staged and red lit in the semi finals of the Winters so it’s nice to have the luck swing the other way.
“I set both ends of the record and got top qualifier for the trifecta (added to the race win), I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend,” said Lisle. “It’s the first time we’ve had the car in Sydney, it’s a Queensland car. I usually fly up to Queensland and race it at Willowbank but we’ve wanted to get it down here for a little while and it’s good to do it at your home track.
“Big thanks to PM Engines for building me a good engine and to all the guys.” Sydneysider George had some consolation at least by resetting the B/APA national ET record from 7.332 seconds to the new mark of 7.328.
“It’s what we race for, everyone wants a Gold Christmas Tree and once you get one, you don’t stop there.”
In Group Three action Peter Byrne took the win in Supercharged Outlaws with a final effort of 6.909 on a 6.88 dial in to defeat Kane Finn with a 7.311 on the 7.20 dial in.
Driving the ‘Underdog’ 90’ Chevy Camaro, South
The team of top qualifier Rob Coote, was awarded
Final Results Top Fuel Cory McClenathan 4.685 (holeshot win) def Darren Morgan 4.675 Top Alcohol Steven Reed 6.028 def Wayne Price 6.466 Top Doorslammer John Zappia 5.762 def Ben Bray 6.325 Top Fuel Motorcycle Mark Drew 7.758 (solo) Pro Stock Tyronne Tremayne 7.026 def Lee Bektash 7.547 Pro Stock Motorcycle Scott White 7.295 def Corey Buttegieg 20.286 Super Stock Tom Dimitropoulos 9.164 (9.58) def Clint George 7.362 (7.58) the Gridstar by YBI Best Presented Award for their professionalism and overall presentation. The team received the Best Presented trophy, six Gridstar Best Presented caps and a $50 Summit Racing Equipment voucher. Following a staging duel in Top Sportsman, Neale Constantinou took the honours driving his Ford Mustang to a final round win of 7.772 seconds on the 7.75 dial in from Mitchell Sammut in the Chevy Corvette with a 7.441 on the 7.38 dial in. In Modified Rocco Romano overcame the reaction time to drive around Michael Braggs in the final with a winning effort of 7.923 on the 7.87 dial in. Braggs slowed to an 8.500 on a 7.42 dial in after he looked to have the upper hand from the start line. Also in Modified, Rob Bailey achieved a perfect .000 light in Round 1 of eliminations. As the first racer to register a perfect light during eliminators, Bailey is the recipient of the Perfect Light Award. Agonisingly the .000 reaction time was for naught as Bailey broke out by .001 to end his weekend. A big -.150 red light to Enio Marrocco allowed Sean Maher in the HB Torana to claim the win in Super Sedan running a 10.030 on a 9.57 dial in following earlier wins over Paul Foley and Danny Bucella. Modified Bike Winternationals winner Ace Edwards was looking for his second Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series win
in a row but fellow Queenslander Phil White proved too good on the day. White had the reaction advantage and crossed the finished line first with a 9.399 ET on a 9.29 dial in from Edwards’ 8.812 and 8.81 dial in. Much like Edwards, Robert Winterburn was hoping to win his second Summit Series event in a row following his own Winternationals win but he couldn’t overcome Samuel Franze in the Ford ZC Fairlane in a double break out. Franze stopped the timers for an 11.567 ET on the 11.58 dial in from Winterburn’s 11.231 and 11.25 dial in. Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster ended in all smiles for Tasmanian Brooke Farrelly making the trip across Bass Strait worth the effort. Farrelly recorded a 9.250 on a 9.15 dial in following a -.061 red light from opponent Josh Leonello. And finally in Super Gas, a breakout from Roy Romeo running a 9.859 ET as he chased to make up for the reaction time, handed victory to Joe Catanzariti who recorded a near perfect 9.903 that would have been tough to beat in any race.
Competition Bike Peter Everett 9.668 (9.97) def Matthew Walker 16.614 (8.55) Super Compact Matt Lisle 7.629 (7.86) def Philip Karpathios 9.567 (7.66) Supercharged Outlaws Peter Byrne 6.909 (6.88) def Kane Finn 7.311 (7.20) Top Sportsman Neale Contantinou 7.772 (7.75) def Mitchell Sammut 7.441 (7.38) Modified Rocco Romano 7.923 (7.87) def Michael Braggs 8.500 (7.42) Super Sedan Sean Maher 10.303 (9.57) def Enio Marrocco 9.686 (9.34, red light) Modified Bike Phil White 9.399 (9.29) def Ace Edwards 8.812 (8.81) Super Street Samuel Franze 11.567 (11.58) def Robert Winterburn 11.231 (11.25) Junior Dragster Brooke Farrelly 9.250 (9.15) def Josh Leonello 8.091 (8.03) Super Gas Joe Catanzariti 9.903 (9.90) def Roy Romeo 9.859 (9.90, break out)
FASTLANE I 31
FINAL 660 SOUTH COAST 660 14-15 NOVEMBER FUCHS SOUTH COAST RACEWAY
Photo credit: DAVE HOPE, BRIGHT DESIGN
s outh co a s t
Matt Forbes won a historic double in the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series at South Coast Raceway by becoming the first Sportsman racer to win two ANDRA Christmas Trees at one event.
Forbes took honours in both Super Gas and Modified to sweep the event following his top qualifying efforts in both classes a day prior. He was made to work for it early with a tough first round against Jeff Romeo in Super Gas where he was pinned to the tree following Romeo’s .010 reaction time. Forbes needed to be perfect running a 6.300, the exact fixed index for Super Gas over the eighthmile, to win from a 6.27 break out in the other lane. A solo semi final saw Forbes coast into the decider where he met Colin Griffin and this time the twotime Super Gas champ had the start line advantage. Forbes led all the way to win on a holeshot with a 6.332 second pass to Griffin’s quicker but losing 6.317. Modified was even tougher with three blockbuster matchups following a solo Round 1 against former champion Shane Wynd and Kenny Stewart before a showdown with Leanne Braggs in the final.
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Once again Forbes had the reaction time advantage to record a winning 4.634 ET on a 4.63 dial in leaving Braggs to chase and ultimately breakout with a 4.653 on a 4.66 dial in.
“It was a lot of hard work (to win two) that’s for sure, a lot of dedication and time at the shop getting ready,” said Forbes. “We have a lot of great support, great sponsors and great crew guys. It was our goal when I purchased a dragster – Modified is such a tough class – I wanted to purchase a dragster and win Christmas Trees in Modified. That was my goal, I’m a goal setter and we work hard to achieve it. “The next goal was going to be to double up somewhere and take the two cars. I’ve been fortunate enough to double up in Modified and Super Gas at the same event. I’m still a bit numb at the moment, it’s a great feeling.” Jim Read previously won two Group One Gold Christmas Trees in Top Fuel and Nitro Funny Car at the 1976 Nationals. Craig Geddes made it two wins from two Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series starts following his Super Comp victory at the Desert Nationals in Alice Springs. He also added another national record to his tally. To reach the final Geddes needed to defeat Wayne Talbot and Shane Baxter to secure a meeting against top qualifier Jim Ioannidis.
Chasing a National Championship this season, Geddes reacted quickly with a .022 reaction time to Ioannidis’ .165 RT. Geddes never looked back to win with a new B/D national record 4.578 elapsed time on a 4.75 index from a 5.911 ET on a 6.03 index.
“The car is going really well, we’re learning a lot,” said Geddes. “We love supporting regional tracks and had some really tough competition this weekend. “We did much better than we thought with the competition that’s there but we felt we had some good numbers at the right times, cut some good lights when it mattered and got there in the end.” Ioannidis gained some consolation setting a new B/ MSA record speed of 117.90 mph. Kim Fardella and Shane Baxter are also new national record holders with Fardella resetting the D/G records for ET and speed with a 5.215 second pass and 131.69 mph. Baxter set new marks for CC/DA with a 4.328 ET and 159.39 mph. In Supercharged Outlaws Jason Keily won his first ever ANDRA Christmas Tree defeating Warren Leonard and Brian Lockman on his way to a win against David Thornton. Keily recorded a 4.951 ET on a 4.65 dial in and just when it looked as though he would settle for the runner up, Thornton went too quick for his nominated dial in with a 4.623 second pass on a 6.63 dial in. “It feels fantastic, I didn’t think we’d ever get one,” said Keily
Final Results “We’ve run the car at a few meetings and haven’t had a lot of luck. We think we’ve finally sorted it out and it’s a credit to the crew, it’s fantastic. Thanks to ANDRA and South Coast Raceway, it’s been a great weekend.” Jason Arbery took the honours in Top Sportsman defeating Jeff Fitzgerald in a final decided at the start line. Fitzgerald fouled for a red light by just 0.012 seconds allowing Arbery to take the win on a 5.449 ET on the 5.39 dial in. Arbery needed to advance past Stuart McBain and Julian Carafa to reach the final. Steve Hunt pushed his Ford XW Panel Van through four rounds of racing to meet Danny Buccella in the Super Sedan final. Near identical reaction times of .013 to .014 meant Buccella closed in fast on Hunt who had the advantage. But Buccella ran out of real estate as Hunt crossed the line first with a 6.458 ET on the 6.45 dial in from a 5.722 ET with a 5.67 dial in. Tasmanian Shane Walker won Modified Bike first defeating Johnny Ireland, Jamie Dohnt and Jake MacFarlane before a solo semi final cruise into the final. Walker defeated Wally Hosta with a 5.991 ET on a 5.95 dial in from a break out 6.112 ET on a 6.14 dial in. South Australian’s Harry Harris and Kylie Tanner met in the Super Street final with Harris winning for the second consecutive occasion in Portland with a 7.264 ET on the 7.26 dial in to Tanner’s breakout 7.307 ET and 7.31 dial in. Harris earlier eliminated John Kalantzis, Chris Tatchell, Samuel Franze and Jodie Kendall. In Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster, Daniel Carranza almost completed a fairy tale run reaching his first ever National Championship final. It wasn’t to be as top qualifier Kelly Donnelly reeled Carranza in to win with an 8.114 ET on the 8.01 dial in from a 12.383 on a 12.30 dial in. A solo bye run in Round 1 set Donnelly on her way to defeating Tim Baker and Jordan Spencer to reach the final.
Super Comp Craig Geddes 4.578 (4.75) def Jim Ioannidis 5.911 (6.03) Supercharged Outlaws Jason Keily 4.951 (4.65) def David Thornton 4.623 (4.64, break out) Top Sportsman Jason Arbery 5.449 (5.39) def 5.505 (5.40, red light) Modified Matt Forbes 4.634 (4.63) def Leanne Braggs 4.653 (4.66, break out) Super Sedan Steve Hunt 6.458 (6.45) def Danny Bucella 5.722 (5.67) Modified Bike Shane Walker 5.991 (5.91) def Wally Hosta 6.112 (6.14, break out) Junior Dragster Kelly Donnelly 8.114 (8.01) def Daniel Carranza 12.383 (12.30) Super Gas Matt Forbes 6.332 (6.30, holeshot win) def Colin Griffin 6.317 (6.30)
Kenny Stewart’s Fuchs Modified Team was awarded the Gridstar by YBI Best Presented Award as the best appearing team of the weekend. The team received the Best Presented trophy, six Gridstar Best Presented caps and a $50 Summit Racing Equipment voucher. ANDRA thanks all the staff and volunteers at South Coast Raceway for a great weekend of racing and look forward to returning on January 16-17, 2016. FASTLANE I 33
CALENDAR JULY 17-18, 2015
November 7-8, 2015
August 14-15, 2015
January 23-24, 2016
Nitro Up North Hidden Valley Drag Strip
NT Titles Hidden Valley Drag Strip
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East Coast Nationals Sydney Dragway
Australian Nationals Calder Park Raceway
March 12-13, 2016 Calder Park Raceway ANDRA DRAG RACING SERIES
April 8-10, 2016
Adelaide International Raceway ANDRA DRAG RACING SERIES
OFEVENTS July 25-26, 2015
Desert Nationals Alice Springs Inland Dragway
November 7-8, 2015 East Coast Nationals Sydney Dragway
November 14-15, 2015 Fuchs South Coast Raceway Portland
November 28-29, 2015 Warwick Dragway
December 4-5, 2015 Mildura Sunset Strip
December 27, 2015 Rowe Memorial Calder Park Raceway
January 23-24, 2016 Australian Nationals Calder Park Raceway
March 12-13, 2016 Steel City Raceway Whyalla
April 8-10, 2016
Adelaide International Raceway
January 16-17, 2016 South Coast Raceway Portland
FASTLANE I 35
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