2014 CALENDAR InsIde!
Australian drag racing farewells racer, administrator and track manager dennis syrmis
INSIDE SYDNEY DRAGWAY TRACK SPOTLIGHT • NITROMAX WRAP UP • PORTLAND WRAP UP 19
LIGHTS UP NITROMAX
ceo’sdesk It’s a new year and a new season, the first season held in a calendar year. It is also a new era at the ANDRA Head Office after moving from our previous base at Eastwood to premises located in Ridleyton, SA. I can’t thank the staff enough for their tireless efforts in arranging the shift across town whilst keeping the office running with minimal disruption. The new office increases our storage capacity and allows us to house our brand new ANDRA Transporter that some of you may have seen in Perth at the 43rd Westernationals as this issue was going to print. ANDRA is now in a position to take our Member Services, Media and Merchandise on the road to most national events and provides us and our members with the opportunity to promote ANDRA Drag Racing to the wider community. We’ve all spoken about the need for broader general awareness and recognition outside our current market in order to bring new faces to the track and expose them to our sport. Well it’s time to make it happen and it’s not just ANDRA’s responsibility, we need racers to commit a little time to show their cars and we need tracks commitment to activation and promotion of upcoming events. There is also quite a bit of dialogue going on in regards to change, something we all believe we are good at yet it’s a far bigger challenge to some than others. Change is not about tweaking the show or spending more money on promotion or having a professional series etc, it’s all of these things put together in a sequence which will bring about real and discernable differences to the consumer mindset. What triggers do we activate to attract ‘outsiders’ to our sport and keep them. Attraction and retention of these fans will bring the spoils we are all looking for.
can’t turn back time and even if we could the market has changed so much the same actions would bring different results. Making our show an ‘EVENT’ not to be missed is a good analogy of what’s possible. Limited attention spans and short sharp shows work well in some areas and circumstances however there is an opportunity to also make the show an event of real value, making current consumer preferences and behaviours available at events. Half the show is in the pit area and yet we rely on teams to activate and promote the show while they’re busy trying to win a championship or title. Our racers, tracks and sponsors need help and it’s only a ‘one in all in’ approach which will bring the results we desire. Media days, trade shows, real life ‘touch experiences’ are all part of the consumer experience which are available to us. Similar to the consumer mindset and probably one of the biggest challenges we face are our own mindsets, this includes all stakeholder groups with a strong vested interest. While we have our own primary objectives, whether we like it or not our second and third tier objectives rely on others to work and assist in a common direction. Crowd numbers are not a primary objective of racers or sponsors yet they do contribute to track sustainability and sponsorship ROI.
stagIng 3 LANES
NOMINATION FORMS CHAMPIONSHIP 10
PoInts 12 FareWell
19 COWBOYJoHnnY BatDAN 22
We all need to lower our resistance to change and accept and assist with a direction which may not be totally agreeable with everyone but palatable and beneficial to everyone. This is an exciting time for ANDRA Drag Racing and we look forward to the continued growth of our sport. See you at the track. Malcolm Bulley CEO
I have heard and seen many excellent ideas and some not so good, one thing that’s certain is we
Fastlane is produced by the Australian National Drag Racing Association LTD. Editor: Tim Baker (email@example.com) Design: YBI Creative (www.ybicreative.com.au) Photography: Darren Bingham, Phil Luyer (High Octane Photos), David Murray, Willowbank Raceway ANDRA Staff 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: Kylie Hazelhurst Contact Details Phone: 08 8271 5355 Fax: 08 8721 6988 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Post: PO Box 250, Kent Town SA, 5071 Street: 11 McInnes St, Ridleyton SA 5008
s t r o p e RoundflRow @ Portland
ero itro Max 1 A 5 2 h N Max 2 t r e P 26 ro t i N h t r 28 - Pe
30 TRACK sPotlIgHt
staging stagingla We have moved premises
tweet to @ANDRA_NEWS and we will retweet your info during our live updates.
The ANDRA head office has changed locations. We are now located at 11 McInnes St, Ridleyton, SA , 5008. Our telephone number and PO Box will remain the same.
With hundreds of race teams competing at every event there are also hundreds of stories, so take the opportunity to tell us yours.
divisional council nominations open until March 31, 2014 During 2014, elections are due for ANDRA Division Directors in New South Wales, South Queensland and South Australia.
Find the media brief at this link: http://www.andra.com. au/competitor/media-brief.html
Feel free to fill out this form whenever you have something to tell us.
Nominations are hereby invited for the various positions, from Full Members of ANDRA. They must be lodged with the ANDRA Office no later than 12 noon (CDST) Monday, March 31st, 2014 on the appropriate forms included on page 8.
new merch in store! If you head to the ANDRA Shop you will find a number of new items including a t-shirt, bar mat, and stubby holders. More items are on their way so be sure to check in regularly for all the latest ANDRA merch!
It should be remembered that Division Directors will be eligible for appointment to the ANDRA Board.
Positions due for election in 2014 can be found in the ANDRA Updates section on the website or this link: http://andra.com.au/latest-news/andraupdates/20882014-andra-divisional-elections-nominations-invited. html
tell us what you’re up to! Teams can now tell ANDRA exactly what they have been up to by visiting the Competitor section on the website and filling out the media brief. The ANDRA media brief section is designed for racers and teams to easily pass on any information they wish to share no less than three days prior to an event or immediately thereafter.
Potentially this information can be used by ANDRA in press releases pre or post event, TV shows or forwarded to track commentators in the event lead up.
Additionally, teams recording their own on board footage are also encouraged to tell us through the same form. Footage can be sent to email@example.com for potential usage in ANDRA TV shows or on YouTube. We also remind competitors that during events you can
records fall at Perth Motorplex Despite the heat in Perth for Round 2 of the Aeroﬂow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship at Nitro Max, no less than six new records were set over 1320ft.
advertIse IN THE ANDRA CLASSIFIEDS FOR JUST $50! eMaIl InFo@andra.coM.au
Front engIne dragster Front engine dragster, was top fuel car in 1964, 460 Ford engine, power glide 4500 stall speed converter, 9 inch Ford rear end with 4.10 gears, 17.33 tires with chrome molly chassis torsion bar front suspension, Wilwood disc brakes, ET 9.90s – 10.0s in quarter mile. Oregon, usa $18,000 Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org
car and transPorter I have race car and transporter for sale. Car and transporter is POA and can separate. The car is race ready an comes with lots spares for more info call / text Jeff 0406101500
4 I WWW.ANDRA.COM.AU
FunnY car Turn key, Beretta body 125” moly chassis, 9” braced rear, 4:11 Pro Gears, M.W. axles 16x16 with 34.5 slicks, Chev 454 grout filled , hardened Eagle crank, Manley alloy rods, Pro Topline alloy heads, stainless valves, two speed Lenco with three plate Crower glide clutch, Ken Lowe hat and port injection system, 14/71 Littlefield blower, (polished) magnesium buzzard hat, 110 Enderle pump, polished alloy 65 litre fuel tank. Runs 7.4 @ 311kph on a regional track at 26% over. $45,000 ONO. Will separate, complete engine, clutch and Lenco $25,000 ONO, rolling chassis $24,000 ONO. Call John on 0418 178 896 or 03 6263 7472 (Tasmania).
anes Once the track settled down, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Perth Motorplex crew, records tumbled in the balmy conditions. Rob Pilkington set the mark for AA/FC with an ET of 5.842 pushing the speed record to 245.23 mph in the process. Jake & Jamie Chaisty set a new mark for H/MSA with an ET of 9.462 and a new speed of 141.50 mph. And finally Brenton Baxter reset the ET and speed for A/MR with an 8.420 run at 166.97 mph. Congratulations to all three teams.
Hall of Fame nominations open Nominations are now open for the 2014 inductions to the ANDRA Drag Racing Hall of Fame. The ANDRA Drag Racing Hall of Fame has been established to acknowledge those persons who have made significant contributions to all aspects of drag racing, including those who have excelled in drag racing competition, business, history or engineering. Recipients of this award will be announced at the Annual General Meeting and will be invited to attend the ANDRA Drag Racing Awards Dinner to be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame. Nomination forms and selection criteria are available on the ANDRA website or by emailing email@example.com
andra appoints new team member Media and Public Relations Officer Tim Baker recently commenced with ANDRA at the Nitro Max Top Fuel season opener in Perth. Tim has taken over from Luke Nieuwhof and comes to ANDRA with a long history working within a range of media. Tim has been a motor racing and drag racing fan from a young age and has extensive experience working in the print and online environments and ANDRA are confident he has the attributes to assist in promoting the sport of drag racing to our members and fans.
Hi-tec oils joins as ofﬁcial oil for andra
Hi-Tec Oils has become the Official Oil for the Australian National Drag Racing Association for 2014. Hi-Tec Oils is a family owned Australian company providing Australian made lubricants, greases and specialty products to customers for better engine protection, superior performance and cost effective choices. The company has a long history supporting Australian motorsport including V8 Supercars, Blown Lites, V8 Superboats, Trophy Trucks and Sprintcars. Hi-Tec Oils owner George Gambino said the company were pleased to come on board as the Official Oil for ANDRA. “ANDRA provide a fantastic family friendly environment, where its members can safely participate in the sport,” he said. “Hi-Tec Oils are pleased to come on board again in 2014, as the Official Oil of ANDRA. We hope to provide a great support network for ANDRA and its members, through the supply of our high quality, great performance oils and we look forward to a strong partnership for the year ahead.” ANDRA Business Development Manager Jennifer Harrison welcomed Hi-Tec Oils to the fold as the Official Oil for ANDRA, enabling the association to further invest in promoting the sport of drag racing. “We look forward to our partnership with Hi-Tec Oils in 2014 and welcome the support shown by a great, home grown company,” she said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with or write about most of my interests and I’m very excited to add drag racing to the list,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to see this kind of support that allows ANDRA to continue growth of the sport Australia-wide. I encourage our members to look into the great products Hi-Tec Oils can offer them.”
“It was a baptism of fire in Perth, at times it felt like I was on fire in the heat. But I really enjoyed my first event of the season.”
The partnership will significantly raise the profile of Hi-Tec Oils at all ANDRA events throughout 2014, as the series heads to more tracks than ever before.
Tim grew up in the stands at Adelaide International Raceway and Speedway City and is looking forward to getting to work with drag racing and ANDRA members around the country.
For more information about Hi-Tec Oils visit www.hi-tecoils.com.au.
ANDRA CEO Malcolm Bulley said the addition of Tim to head office comes at a time of growth for the organisation with more resources to promote the sport including the new ANDRA trailer providing a mobile presence. “We’re excited to welcome Tim to the ANDRA team,” he said. “We‘re very confident Tim will continue to build on the foundations Luke has set over the past two years.” Tim hopes to meet as many people as possible as the season progresses so please keep an eye out for him around the pits and make him feel welcome”.
FASTLANE I 5
– DIVISIONAL COUNCIL DELEGATE
This form is to be completed by the person making the nomination, and the person seconding the nomination. Both must be current Full Members of the Australian National Drag Racing Association Ltd. Further information is provided on the attached sheet. ANDRA Full Members may nominate themselves. Please ensure that all details apart from the signatures are printed clearly, all spaces are completed, and all sections are signed as directed. Incomplete forms will render the Nomination invalid.
1. SECTION ONE – NOMINATION
2. SECTION TWO – SECONDED BY
ANDRA Member No
ANDRA Member No
Second the nomination of
For the position of ANDRA Divisional Council Delegate in the
For the position of ANDRA Divisional Council Delegate in the Division
Division Signature: __________________________________________________________________________ Date: _________________________
Signature: __________________________________________________________________________ Date: _________________________
3. SECTION THREE – INFORMATION ON NOMINEE FOR USE IN ELECTION MATERIAL – NO MORE THAN 50 WORDS
4. SECTION FOUR – DIVISIONAL DELEGATE CODE OF CONDUCT I, the undersigned Nominee, agree to be bound by the Code of Conduct in all its facets.
CODE OF CONDUCT 1) Maintain complete loyalty to the ANDRA and, having regard to the interests of the community; actively pursue the objectives and policies of the ANDRA. 2) Respect completely the confidential relationship between individual members of the Company and myself and maintain the confidentiality of any information entrusted to me through my duties as a director/committee member of the ANDRA. 3) Serve all members impartially and provide immediate full disclosure of any personal interest whilst refraining from any activities which could conflict with the interests of the ANDRA. 4) Exercise and insist on sound and ethical business principles and practices in the conduct of the affairs of ANDRA. 5) Co-operate in every reasonable and proper way with other ANDRA officers. 6) To always promote the development of Drag Racing in Australia. 7) Uphold high standards of personal integrity and humanity and avoid all discriminatory practices. 8) Encourage the development of effective communication, understanding and co-operation between all members of the ANDRA to their mutual benefit
NOMINEE DECLARATION Name:
The Nomination Form should be returned to ANDRA, PO Box 250 Kent Town SA 5071, by no later than 12 noon (CDST) on 31/3/2014 May be faxed to 08 8271 6988, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, but original must be received by mail WITHIN THREE working days.
– DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR
• This form is to be completed by the Member making the nomination, the Member seconding the nomination, and the Nominee if he or she is not nominating themselves. • All nominees and seconder of nominees must be current Full Members of the Australian National Drag Racing Association Ltd. • All details apart from the signatures must be printed. Only originals of completed forms will be accepted. • A Current Photo and Information on the nominee, suitable for circulation, MUST accompany this nomination form. 1. SECTION ONE – NOMINATION
2. SECTION TWO – SECONDED BY
ANDRA Member No
ANDRA Member No
Second the nomination of
For the position of ANDRA Divisional Director in the
For the position of ANDRA Divisional Director in the Division
3. SECTION THREE – ANDRA BOARD AND COMMITTEE MEMBER CODE OF CONDUCT I, the undersigned Nominee, agree to be bound by the Code of Conduct in all its facets.
CODE OF CONDUCT 1) Maintain complete loyalty to the ANDRA and, having regard to the interests of the community; actively pursue the objectives and policies of the ANDRA. 2) Respect completely the confidential relationship between individual members of the Company and myself and maintain the confidentiality of any information entrusted to me through my duties as a director/committee member of the ANDRA. 3) Serve all members impartially and provide immediate full disclosure of any personal interest whilst refraining from any activities which could conflict with the interests of the ANDRA. 4) Exercise and insist on sound and ethical business principles and practices in the conduct of the affairs of ANDRA. 5) Co-operate in every reasonable and proper way with other ANDRA executives. 6) To always promote the development of Drag Racing in Australia. 7) Uphold high standards of personal integrity and humanity and avoid all discriminatory practices. 8) Encourage the development of effective communication, understanding and co-operation between all members of the ANDRA to their mutual benefit
NOMINEE DECLARATION Name:
The Nomination Form should be returned to ANDRA, PO Box 250 Kent Town SA 5071, by no later than 12 noon (CDST) on 31/3/2014 May be faxed to 08 8271 6988, or emailed to email@example.com, but original must be received by mail WITHIN THREE working days.
The ANDRA transporter recently made its long awaited debut at various locations around Perth in the lead up to the 43rd Westernationals before teaming up with Sydney Dragway at the Top Gear Festival. Many thanks go out to the members who joined us on the road to create an impressive, positive experience for our new and existing fans. If you would like get involved and display your vehicle in the week leading to an event, please visit the competitor section on the ANDRA website and fill out the vehicle display registration form.
uPcoMIng events April 4-5 – Calder Park April 18-19 – Super 3, Willowbank Raceway May 2-4 – X-Champs, Sydney Dragway June 5-8 – FUCHS Winternationals, Willowbank Raceway July 11-12 – Hidden Valley Drag Strip July 19-20 – Desert Nationals, Alice Springs Inland Dragway October 4-5 – Springnationals, Adelaide International Raceway October 31 – November 2 – Australian Nationals, Sydney Dragway December 5-7 – Grand Finals, Calder Park
FASTLANE I 9
PERTH SHOWDOWN WINNER
FROM 1 FEB 2014 TOP5
1 Phil lamattina
1 Mark ashelford
2 Mark Sheehan
2 Mark Drew
3 Martin Stamatis
3 Chris Porter
4 Damien Harris
4 Greg Durack
5 Allan Dobson
5 Gordon Crawford
TOP DOORSLAMMER 1 stuart Bishop
1 John cannuli
2 Craig Glassby
2 Pino Priolo
3 Shane Weston
3 Martyn Dack
4 Gary Phillips
4 Grant O’Rourke
5 Steve Ham
5 Murray O’Connor
1 rob Pilkington 2 Adam Marchant
2 Lorenzo Gullotto
3 Murray Oâ€™Connor 4 Pino Priolo
3 Paul Downe
4 Lisa Powell
5 Andrew Katavatis
5 Martin Mirco
1 leigh Fallon
1 luke nieuwhof
2 Juston Townson
3 Brett Glover 4 Errol Quartermaine
3 Roger Harris
4 Phill Paton
5 Brad Crutenden
5 Stephen Anderson
1 Jake chaisty 2 Colin Mortimore
COMPETITION BIKE 1 ross smith 2 Stan Lisle
SUPER STREET 1 craig caton
2 Nicholas Wroe
3 Ross Green 4 Lindsay Wood
3 Jay Jeffreys
4 Ashleigh Wroe
5 Daniel Natalotto
5 Bernie Ellerby
SUPERCHARGED OUTLAWS TOP5
1 Makenah Begg
2 Craig Gerdes
2 Jasmine Slamar
3 Kelvin Lyle
3 Dylan Pettigrew
4 Jon Ferguson
4 Connor McClure
5 Nigel Johnson
5 Natalie Bishop
1 gregory James
1 sam treasure
1 adrian Mcgrotty
2 Michael Lanigan
2 Matt Forbes
3 Shane Wynd
3 Graeme Spencer
4 Cameron Turner
4 Micheal DeRose
5 Dale Gummow
5 Anthony Panetta
FASTLANE I 11
dennis syrmis, the man who led australian drag racing from the early years of andra and was instrumental in the establishment of Willowbank raceway, was farewelled in a moving ceremony at the track on Friday, december 6.
Dennis had suffered from the effects of Alzheimer’s for more than a decade and passed away, aged 71, on December 1. He was ANDRA national director from 1974 until 1983 and during that time instituted a wide range of policies that lifted drag racing from what was little more than a club-based hobby into a championship sport.
Dennis continued to help guide the sport once he resigned as ANDRA’s head and took up the position of manager of Willowbank Raceway in 1983.
Willowbank board member Lex Swayn, who worked with Dennis from the early years of Willowbank, said Dennis had an enormously positive impact on the sport of championship drag racing as a racer of his “Time Machine’’ cars, as an administrator with ANDRA and as Willowbank track manager.
“It is generally acknowledged that no individual has contributed as much to the advancement of Australian drag racing as Dennis and the reason he stands out from all others is that his endeavours stretch across the three main areas of the sport – racing, national governing organisation and track manager/ promoter,” he said. “Overwhelmingly, the impacts of his contributions have been enormously positive and in all these genuine efforts over a 35-year period of service to the sport, I am unaware of anything Dennis did that benefited him personally, either financially or in the area of racing competition.”
> drag racing titles and positions held by dennis syrmis gas eliminator national champion 1970, 1972 south Queensland division representative 1971-1974 secretary Queensland drag racing association – 30 years australian national drag racing association national director 1974-1983 Manager Willowbank raceway 1983-2002
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“He was the right man at the right time for the sport of drag racing and for Willowbank Raceway.’’ Around 370 people, including the Syrmis and Emslie families and many friends from interstate, gathered at the raceway to celebrate Dennis’s life. At the conclusion of the service, Dennis’s casket, inscribed with his race number 186, was placed in the hearse and driven through an honour guard of Willowbank officials, staff and board members to the start line where Sue Syrmis activated the starting lights to send her husband on his last pass down the Willowbank quarter mile. The hearse made the trip down the racing surface accompanied by the sounds of Pat Benatar’s “All Fired Up’’, a song Dennis always believed was made for drag racing. In 2010, the Willowbank quarter mile was named Dennis Syrmis Way in honour of the man who was the driving force behind construction of the raceway in the early 1980s.
Representatives of Willowbank and the Syrmis and Emslie families praised Dennis’s achievements, but speaker after speaker also brought howls of laughter from those in attendance as they related stories from his youth and classic examples of his fiery temper. Ms Gillam told the gathering that in examining the many stories of Dennis’s life, one of his quotes stuck out. “One phrase tells us about the principles by which Dennis lived life and conducted business, and that was ‘Forget it, change it, do whatever, just move on’,” she said. “I guess that is what he’d be saying to us now if he could hear us. I know you won’t forget Dennis, you certainly couldn’t have changed him, and you have done whatever you could for him, especially in recent times, so now all we have to do is move on.’’ Dennis was honoured by ANDRA with the Award of Merit in 1993, a Lifetime Achievement award in 2000 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.
In a moving but uplifting ceremony conducted by the Reverend Jeanette Gillam, Sue Syrmis urged those present to work together to keep Dennis’ dream alive.
FASTLANE I 13
the enormous legacy of dennis syrmis Dennis Syrmis began his involvement in drag racing as a competitor and earned fame as the driver of the popular “Time Machine’’ and “Little Gas’’ cars in the 1960s and 1970s, but from the very early stages, he demonstrated an instinct to lead. While eventually moving on to an administrative role, Dennis still competed at various levels in the sport from 1965 until the 1990s. In 1973, Dennis, then the South Queensland Division delegate to the Australian Hot Rod Federation, assisted a number of the sport’s leaders to plan and implement a strategy which saw drag racers break away from hot rodders and form the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA). With drag racing separated from the show/street activities of hot rodders, the sport blossomed. Following the introduction of the new governing body devoted solely to drag racing, Dennis strongly pushed for the implementation of rules that introduced handicap racing. All racing had previously been a heads-up or even start, giving an unfair advantage to those classes that allowed the biggest engines. Dennis saw that this was a limiting factor in participation rates and the sport grew enormously after this change. John Storm resigned as ANDRA national director in July, 1974, handing the sport’s administration to Dennis, who had been deputy national director. In 1975, Dennis conceived and implemented the Australian Drag Racing Series, which created for the first time a true national series that culminated in a season-ending Grand Final event. Until then, the sport’s champions had been determined by winning on one day of the year at the Nationals. Dennis’ system is still the basis on which Australian drag racing championships are won. Also in 1975, Dennis instituted the Injured Drivers Fund, which for the first time provided insurance cover for drivers, riders and their crews against injury at ANDRA-sanctioned drag racing events.
Cups of all shapes and sizes had been used as winning trophies for Australian drag racing champions since the sport began in the 1960s, but in 1975 Dennis came up with the concept for one of the drag racing world’s most outstanding awards, the ANDRA Christmas Tree championship trophy. Dennis successfully pushed to have tech inspections included in drag racing’s safety checks. This was a great step forward for the sport and no doubt led to the saving of lives and the prevention of many serious injuries. Observing bracket racing in the United States in 1979 convinced Dennis of the need for Dial-Your-Own in Australia and in 1980 he drafted the policies to create DYO eliminators. These were pushed through by Dennis and implemented in 1981, despite fierce opposition in some quarters. The subsequent massive increase in entry numbers vindicated the position he took and it is recognised as one of the reasons grassroots drag racing is stronger in Australia than any other nation except Canada and the United States. Among the varied administrative positions Dennis held, the longest was the 30 years he spent as secretary of the Queensland Drag Racing Association, which was for most of those years the largest and most inﬂuential drag racing club in Australia. Largely through Dennis’s urging, the QDRA introduced Street Meets to Surfers Raceway in July, 1972, in order to foster grassroots-level drag racing. Dennis resigned as national director of ANDRA in 1983 to take up the role of manager of Willowbank Raceway and he left the national body in a secure financial position due to his sound business management. The construction of Willowbank was a joint effort by a large number of people but all would acknowledge that it was Dennis’ drive, leadership and enthusiasm that ensured it happened. He was Willowbank manager from 1983 until 2002 when he retired for health reasons. With Dennis at the helm, the track grew from a basic facility in 1985 to a multimillion dollar raceway by the 1990s. In 1992, Dennis presented a proposal to ANDRA’s National Control Council that the Winternationals be elevated to national championship status as compensation for Melbourne’s Calder Park being allocated the Nationals for a contracted period of time and Sydney’s Eastern Creek having the Grand Finals on a permanent basis. The Willowbank Winternationals grew to become the largest championship drag race outside of North America and it was Dennis’ vision that once again produced an event that was a huge success.
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Dennis was always alert to the advantages to the sport of technology. He taught himself computer programming language. Willowbank was also the first Australian track to have a website, a direct result of Dennis’ work. In 1999, Dennis initiated the use of a secure server to allow the purchase of reserved seating and corporate club bookings and racers were also able to use their credit cards to enter events online. Dennis was also responsible for the introduction of a web cam at Willowbank, so that members of the public could log on and check the weather at the track without having to battle overloaded phone systems. No outside assistance from computer experts was sought in these advances. Dennis used whatever information was available to teach himself how something such as a web cam functioned, and got it to work himself. It was all for the advancement of drag racing. He purchased the source code for the track’s Electronics 2000 timing system, which had been built by a computer expert to a design drawn up by Dennis. He learned how to comprehend the source code and then set about improving the system, which was replaced in 2009 (only because Dennis’s Alzheimer’s illness prevented him from being able to continue his work on it). The timing system has been acknowledged by Compulink owner Bob Brockmeyer and many others as being years ahead of its time. Dennis modernised and Australianised a sport adopted from the US. While many countries around the world simply adopted the NHRA or IHRA class systems, Dennis molded the US concepts with his own to come up with what turned out to be a very successful formula for the Australian scene.
> lifetime achievements and awards 1993 – award of Merit - From the australian national drag racing association 2000 – australian sports Medal - From Her Majesty Queen elizabeth 2001 – recognition of 15 years’ volunteer service and dedication to Willowbank raceway - Board of Willowbank raceway 2002 – lifetime achievement award - national control council of andra 2002 – recognition from Ipswich city council 2002 – Paul Harris Fellowship – rotary club Ipswich 2005 – Member nostalgia drag racing Hall of Fame 2005 – Honorary lifetime director - Willowbank raceway 2010 – 25-year service award – Willowbank raceway 2012 – australian nostalgia Fuel association Pioneer award 2013 – andra Hall of Fame
The creation of the Wild Bunch group of supercharged sedans, initiated by Dennis, is acknowledged as one of the most significant developments in the advancement of the sport. His observation of the US Wild Bunch led him to believe this form of racing would work well in Australia. He was proved correct. This style of racing eventually evolved into an eliminator called Top Doorslammer that in 1996 became a fully ﬂedged Group One bracket. It went on to become the largest of the six Group One Australian eliminators. Other hugely successful eliminators started by Dennis include Supercharged Outlaws and Super Street. When Super Sedan grew too large and unwieldy to handle, in 1987 Dennis created a second major sedan eliminator called Super Street that provided an even easier entry level for beginners to the sport. Split-seeding, a simple and effective manner of managing the huge Group Three DYO fields and avoiding large numbers of first-round single runs, was also introduced by Dennis to Australian racing in the late 1980s. After the three-amber Christmas tree became standard in the US, Dennis bought one for Willowbank and fought to have it accepted in Australia. As a visionary, Dennis was unsurpassed in Australian drag racing and the positive inﬂuence he had, through racing, administration and track management, was profound. His absence from involvement in the raceway, and the sport, is immeasurable. He was 71. Words: Lex Swayn
FASTLANE I 15
Nitro Max, Perth Motorplex Top Fuel Round 1 & 2, Top Fuel Motorcycle Round 1 & 2
JanuarY 31-FeBurarY 1
Pro Showdown, Perth Motorplex Top Doorslammer Round 1, Top Alcohol Round 1
FeBruarY 28-MarcH 2
Westernationals, Perth Motorplex Top Fuel Round 3 & 4, Top Doorslammer Round 2 & 3
Calder Park Top Doorslammer Round 4, Pro Stock Round 1, Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 1
Super 3, Willowbank Raceway Top Fuel Round 5 and 6, Top Alcohol Round 2 and 3,
Nitro Champs, Sydney Dragway Top Fuel Round 7, Top Doorslammer Round 5, Top Alcohol Round 4, Pro Stock Round 3, Top Fuel Motorcycle Round 3, Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 2
Winternationals, Willowbank Raceway Top Fuel Round 8, Top Doorslammer Round 6, Top Alcohol Round 5, Pro Stock Round 4, Top Fuel Motorcycle Round 4, Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 3
Fuchs South Coast Raceway
JanuarY 10-11 Perth Motorplex
FeB 28 â€“ MarcH 2 Perth Motorplex
Adelaide International Raceway
Hidden Valley Drag Strip Top Doorslammer Round 7, Top Alcohol Round 6, Top Fuel Motorcycle Round 5
Desert Nationals, Alice Springs Inland Dragway Top Doorslammer Round 8, Top Fuel Motorcycle Round 6
Springnationals, Adelaide International Raceway Top Fuel Round 9, Top Doorslammer Round 9, Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 4
octoBer 4-5 Benaraby Raceway Pro Stock Round 4
oct 31 - nov 2
Australian Nationals, Sydney Dragway Top Fuel Round 10, Top Doorslammer Round 10, Top Alcohol Round 7, Pro Stock Round 5, Top Fuel Motorcycle Round 7 and Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 5
Grand Finals, Calder Park Top Fuel Round 11, Top Doorslammer Round 11, Top Alcohol Round 8, Pro Stock Round 6, Top Fuel Motorcycle Round 8 and Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 6
Alice Springs Inland Dragway
oct 31 - nov 2
Mildura Sunset Strip
Adelaide International Raceway
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ON A STEEL HORSE HE RIDES… MostoFtHetIMe, JoHnnYkaPIrIs doesIttHeHard WaYtravellIng andcoMPetIng coMPletelYonHIs oWn.ButIntHesPort oFdragracIng,You’re neveralone.
It’s a long way to Perth but John Kapiris enjoys the drive. He just loves being behind the wheel, why else would he be a drag racer?
But on the open road you meet all kinds of people, and luckily for him, today he meets two down to earth travellers willing to give him a tow.
His trip across the Nullabor usually involves a stop or two outside of the mandatory rests and petrol top ups such as the view over the ocean from the Bunda Cliffs as the waves crash against the coastline several hundred metres below.
“I pulled up in the next town and someone saw me from Border Village and asked what had happened,” says Kapiris.
But this is different. The car has broken down in Border Village thanks to a fuel injector and time is running out to make it to Perth Motorplex for Nitro Max and round 2 of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship. As usual John is travelling alone, towing his HQ Holden himself. He has spent five hours fixing the fuel injectors on his road vehicle just enough to scrape by on three and a half cylinders to the next town. It was probably closer to turn back completely to Adelaide instead of pushing on to Perth.
“After explaining what happened he offered a tow so I hooked the trailer and race car to his ute and followed him all the way to Perth. He didn’t want a cent, he didn’t want anything. I gave him a couple of tickets for him and his wife to the Motorplex.” “His wife had been before but it was his first time and he was dumbfounded. He loved the Top Fuel guys and now he is possibly getting on board by helping out a few of the Perth boys as he and his wife both have businesses.” Kapiris keeps a positive view about a difficult situation as the way he sees it, by him breaking down; he has been able to help out other racers.
FASTLANE I 19
This is just one of the many road stories he has from his endless travelling around the country.
tHe love oF tHe gaMe When talking to Johnny Kapiris, one thing is immediately clear. He has an uncapped passion for the sport of drag racing. He is driven by his ambitions to progress through every single class and win the number one in Group 3 and 4. In his own words; “I’m going to give ‘em all a crack.” Kapiris is already on his way after securing the 2013 Super Sedan Championship in dramatic circumstances at Sydney Dragway and if he has his way, he’ll do it all again and then some this year. “As a minimum I want to win the Springnationals and Australian Championship again this year,” he says. “If someone else wins the Championship I’ll pat them on the back because it’s not an easy thing to do.” “You know being out there even during qualifying that one mistake can cost you the entire season, a year of your life travelling, money, everything.” His big dream is to win every major national event and collect the full set of ANDRA Gold Christmas trees along with the John Storm Memorial Trophy and South Australian Track Championship.
“I don’t want to lose any of the Adelaide meetings, big or small. I’ve been treating it like my run against Fowler to win the Championship. I want to be on it 100 percent every pass.” “The reality is it’s very hard to go interstate and race against people who compete every two weeks. They know what the track does day and night temperature-wise and what both lanes do. It’s very hard but not impossible.” The nephew of Top Doorslammer Peter Kapiris, Johnny comes from great racing stock and although he tends to go it alone out of necessity, he recognises and appreciates the support he has received from his uncle, sponsors and supporters. On one particular occasion John left his helmet at home meaning he’d have to spend everything he had on a new one. He didn’t eat the whole drive home from Sydney but at least his ‘Uncle Pete’ was there to ensure John had food at the track. But his career so far is built on a do it yourself approach, logging thousands of kilometres driving on the open road hauling his HQ Holden track to track in a bid to chase the points. When he can, he has a team to help him out, but most of the time he is the team. “I’ve always had a good tow ute which I bought when I was working in the Central Market, and I was always borrowing trailers from
friends, relatives and sometimes hiring them.” “I would have $800 to my name; the meeting would cost me $600 just to go. I couldn’t afford motel rooms, can’t afford anything. I just jumped in the car with a couple of dollars to my name.” He has spent almost a full week living out of his car travelling the 2,700 kms from Adelaide to Perth and all the way back again. Usually arriving the day before qualifying begins, Kapiris stays at the track sleeping in his single cab ute unless he is lucky enough to be offered a bed elsewhere. “Since I have been in the sport, there would be no one that would even think about doing what I’ve done with the amount of travelling, unless they are absolutely cashed up.”
Bunda Cliffs: Road trip to Perth - Ja
“I don’t think there would be anyone that would be sleeping in the car over that period of time, especially in a single cab.” At selected meetings Kapiris says he will fly a person in to help. But more often than not you’ll see Johnny firing up the HQ Holden in the pits, scribbling a dial in on the window, driving to the start line, taking off and driving all the way back again. “The simple fact is I don’t have as much money as some teams,” he says. “I’d like to send the car, fly in fly out and have a crew of three guys but that turns one thousand dollars for a trip to Perth on my own into a five thousand dollar exercise.”
One of the best sights I’ve seen in m
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gettIng started Kapiris’ love for the sport started at an early age in the crowd at Adelaide International Raceway watching his uncle Peter and former Super Street champion Mick Yfantidis. He had ambitions to race once he obtained his P-plates but unfortunately drag racing would not return to AIR until 2012. After spending some time working at the Adelaide Central Market as part of the family business, he would have to settle for the regional tracks until AIR’s successful return to the fold. Johnny’s very first pass occurred in Super Street at a regional track during 2009-2010. He managed around five meetings a year in his VN Calais travelling to tracks such as Whyalla, Mildura and Coonawarra. “In the beginning I only ran a 9.80 on the half but I got it down to 9.20. After that I pulled the engine out of my uncle’s ute and started racing that for 18 months. I won two meetings straight at Whyalla as well as the Charlie Dennis Memorial Trophy.” “From there I travelled to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Heathcote and Portland.” Before long Kapiris sold the ute and bought the HQ Holden he is currently racing. Once he’d worked out all the kinks and discovered its characteristics in different conditions he found some consistency and became harder to beat.
“The biggest meeting of the year for me was the Springnationals. From seeing it as a kid it was my dream to win that event. Then it was straight to Sydney to go for the championship.” “In Sydney, there was a bit of a cat and dog fight in round two between Mark Harding and Steven Fowler when Steven spun the tyres. The track was eventually deemed unsafe and despite the rule regarding competitors accepting the green light, there was a re-run that Fowler won.” “It meant I had to wait until Sunday to win the Championship against him. Keep in mind his Dad is a multiple time Australian champion, there was a lot of pressure. It was a big run and the way I won then won again, it was incredible.”
tHe Future… At just 26, Kapiris can already tick some items off his bucket list. He says there is nothing better than being number one. But on that January 5,400 km round trip to Perth he spent a lot of time thinking and reassessing. He asked himself; “what do you want to become? What do you want to be known for?”
His answer: to be the most feared, gentleman racer in Australia. John not only wants to become a feared competitor, he wants to be respected as a racer ready to help out his opponent if required so the fans can see two cars race down the track fair and square. Why? It’s simple; drag racing is more than just winning championships to Johnny Kapiris. It’s a family. “Racing is my wife and kids,” he says. “When you leave home you’re going to your new family, your racing family. There’s always politics but I’ve made lifelong friends all over the country. What I love about it is, win or lose, you have fun.” “Racing to me is the journey. It is the travel, it is hitting a kangaroo, the car breaking down. There are a lot of things that happen, a lot of great sights to see. Waking up in Portland and there’s a kangaroo at your front doorstep.” “It’s a lot of beautiful things.”
FASTLANE I 21
Bat dan! daniel carranza loves two things; Batman and drag racing. He suffers from a mild form of autism but don’t think for a second that will stop him from becoming a professional drag racer. In November 2013, Daniel Carranza realised a dream. At eight years old the Victorian youngster completed four passes at Perth Motorplex to earn his Junior Dragster licence and in doing so, became one of, if not the youngest autistic drag racers in the world. Even though it’s what his father Eddy Carranza explains as a mild case, it’s still autism. But that hasn’t stopped a lifetime ambition to be a drag racer and compete on a national stage. It all began when he was born. With Daniel’s uncle Domenic Zito racing Super Sedans and his parents’ friends of Peter Kapiris and Jeff Cutajar, the youngster has always been around fast cars and loud noises, something that other autistic children might have trouble with. “He actually had a problem with loud noises when he was really young,” Eddy explains. “We had to sing happy birthday to him very
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quietly, but he can handle the loud noises of a drag car so that was an eye opener for everyone.”
“Since he was little he always said he was going to race and finally at the age of eight we were able to afford a car for him.” Last November the family flew all the way to Perth to look at a junior dragster put up for sale by Simon Cope. While there, Cope suggested attending a test and tune event to try before they buy. “It just worked out that weekend Perth Motorplex had a test and tune. Simon said just go and try it because if Daniel doesn’t like it there’s no point buying the car. He was really good like that.” Daniel and the family went to the Motorplex with every intention of trying it on for size but as fate would have it, junior licensing was taking place and Daniel was immediately presented with his shot at joining the junior ranks.
Before even pressing the pedal the youngster was put through his paces in a blindfold test learning how to switch off the car, un-hook the harness, take off the steering wheel and jump out of the cockpit; nothing unusual there. “Daniel was able to do all that in his first try because he is able to look at things and memorise them.” “He knew the lights, he knew the whole procedure. Everyone was worried because he is so little, he wouldn’t know what he was doing.” “But because he’s been watching his whole life trackside, the minute he got in the car he knew exactly what he was doing like he’d done it all before.”
“So he’s jumped in a car he’s never been in before, they blindfolded him and he was able to do it then go onto the track and get his licence in four passes. They were pretty amazed.” In his first ever time on the track he ran 23.78 at 17.63 mph. But by his fourth run Daniel posted a time of 13.06 at 79.64 mph. Since then it has been a long wait to get back on the track for young Daniel as he prepares for the Westernationals at Perth Motorplex as this issue of Fastlane goes to press. He’ll get the chance at a test and tune on Wednesday before the event but if his licencing
t session is anything to go by, come race time BatDan will be ready to go. In the meantime his parents are looking for sponsors to add to a calendar they put together to help raise funds and awareness for the Children’s Hospital and kids with autism. Fifty percent from each sponsor they attract will go to the Hospital; the remaining fifty percent will be used for merchandise. Proceeds from those sales will also filter to the Hospital. “We’re trying to do the entire calendar this year but if we can get some help out there
then that’s great. Worst case scenario we’ll do the tracks closest to home and least expensive in accommodation.” “It’s a struggle already because of his autism and the money that goes towards that. When he said he wanted to be a drag racer I thought ‘oh my God, drag racing is one of the most expensive sports you can think of.’” “I want to make his dream come true. He’s only ever been to Calder Park, Sydney Dragway and AIR and he’s got his own Perth set up at home that he made up in his bedroom.
He’s always said; ‘I want to race at Perth.’” “His dream come true is to do all the tracks in Australia so I’m going to do my best to at least do one year and the whole of Australia.” ou can follow Daniel’s progress and get involved by contacting the family through the BatDan Racing Facebook page. www.facebook.com/pages/Daniel-CarranzaBatdan-Racing/175462305985012
The new dynamic duo; Daniel with good friend and mentor Peter Kapiris
FASTLANE I 23
ROUND REPORT FUCHS SOUTHCOAST RACEWAY PHOTO CREDIT: DARREN BINGHAM
AEROFLOW SPORTSMAN DRAG RACING CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 1
It may have been the middle of summer but rain would play havoc with the opening round of the aeroflow sportsman drag racing championship at Fuchs southcoast raceway.
With the New Year just days old, bad weather was to play a significant role in the event as qualifying was delayed by two hours after showers hit the track early. This was followed by another deluge just as the track crew were preparing to call the teams into the staging lanes following an earlier attempt at drying the surface. Once racing got under way, the Portland track certainly lived up to its reputation as being one of the best in the country. But of the racers who managed to get down the track, a number of them found themselves in the sand traps. Shane Baxter found himself getting a close up look at the safety net at 100 mph after his chute failed to blossom. Thankfully he and his record setting CC/AA emerged virtually unscathed as the net did its job in stopping the 190+mph rocket leaving minimal cosmetic damage. Later in the day the first pair out in Q2 of Super Charged Outlaws saw Mick Mahoney up against Ryan Van Dyk. Unfortunately it all went wrong for Mahoney with the car taking a sharp left hand turn at approximately the 330 foot mark impacting the wall in the opposite lane. Fortunately Mahoney was able to quickly exit the car himself and was taken to the hospital for observation and later released with some bruising to his legs. This incident caused severe damage to the safety barrier, which would take considerable time to rectify so the day’s activities came to a halt to allow the necessary repairs to be carried out. Although Sunday would start with clear skies allowing the Juniors, Super Street and Super Sedan’s to run eliminators, the heavens opened and put an end to proceedings once and for all.
FASTLANE I 25
ROUND REPORT NITRO MAX – ROUND 1 TF & TFM PERTH MOTORPLEX PHOTO CREDIT: PHIL LUYER / HIGH OCTANE PHOTOS
MaXHIto Perth Motorplex played host to some world class nitro action in round one and two of the andra drag racing series for top Fuel and top Fuel Motorcycle. The ultra-consistent Phil Lamattina set quick times in qualifying (4.632) before losing a chute and stopping just shy of the sand trap, and again in the eliminators (4.631). In fact it wasn’t just Lamattina who ran in the fours as Mark Sheehan (4.658), Damien Harris (4.758) and Allan Dobson (4.841) all set the track alight within minutes of each other.
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That set the tone for the A Final in the new three race format as Lamattina’s Fuchs t Top Fuel Dragster recorded a 4.651 to defeat an engine detonating Mark Sheehan (4.753). Earlier in the night Mark Drew went under the national record (6.489) on his Top Fuel Motorcycle before taking the final with a 6.653 to defeat the chasing Mark Ashelford (6.753). But it was Lamattina who stole the show with a trio of high voltage passes electrifying the crowd in warm conditions at the ‘plex. Lamattina said he was excited to win the first ever ANDRA Drag Racing Series silver Christmas tree and acknowledged the excellent work his team put in during their preparation and throughout the night. “Pretty stoked the car is running consistently, Aaron is doing a fantastic job on the tune up,” he said.
NIGHT 1 results toP Fuel: Phil Lamattina 4.651 def Mark Sheehan 4.753 toP Fuel MotorcYcle: Mark Drew 6.653 def Mark Ashelford 6.753
oFnItro “I’ve got to really take my hat off to Fuchs for their support for the team and always the crew, you’ve got to thank them. They work tirelessly and this win is for them.
“The bike was really good, we ran the 40, but I’m still at a loss as to why we ran a 60 in the last one. I’ll have to go through all the data tomorrow and work it all out,” said Drew.
“(I’m) pretty excited, we’re in the championship lead and the start of the season is looking pretty good so hopefully we can back it up tomorrow.”
“I’ve normally got my finger on it, when something happens I know what I’ve done. I might need a bit more timing and bit more fuel in the first stage. When I got to the end I was pretty surprised we only ran a 60.”
Damien Harris was due to take the track in a solo run during the B Final of the three round format but failed to make the start meaning he had to settle for 10 points less in the championship chase. After going as fast as anyone on a Harley in several years, Mark Drew expected greater things during his Top Fuel Motorcycle A Final against Mark Ashelford. He did what was required by getting the win but Drew was far from happy with his time of 6.653.
Despite his disappointment Drew was happy for the win and thanked his team for their efforts. In Friday’s B Final Australian Champion Chris Porter took the win with one wheel off the ground until half track with a 6.916 from Greg Durack running a 7.312.
FASTLANE I 27
ROUND REPORT NITRO MAX – ROUND 2 TF & TFM PERTH MOTORPLEX PHOTO CREDIT: PHIL LUYER / HIGH OCTANE PHOTOS
HotTO Handle If teams thought it was hot the night before, it was positively searing for round two of the andra drag racing series and aeroflow sportsman drag racing championship. Early on the Motorplex crew did their best to reduce the track temperature with an early evening spray from the water truck bringing the surface down to a nice and balmy 49.8°C by 6:00 pm after a recording of 62°C on the thermometer. As the surface temperature slowly dropped, it was the Lamattina show once again with the Fuchs dragster powering to an impressive win for his second ANDRA Silver Christmas Tree in as many nights to continue his great form out West. Lamattina said he was very happy for back to back wins, particularly in trying conditions, and a big lead in the ANDRA Drag Racing Series. “What can I say? The car was running consistent again tonight and crew chief Aaron Hambridge showed that he can adapt to different conditions which is great for the Fuchs Top Fuel Dragster Team. And to come out with the points lead it’s great,” he said. “The track itself, for how hot the day was, held up beautifully. But you’ve got to take your hat off to the Perth Motorplex crew. They manicure it, keep teasing it and have a look. It came up trumps.”
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Martin Stamatis went into the fours during eliminations with a 4.830 defeating Allan Dobson who flamed out across the finish line and Phil Lamattina sent his Fuchs dragster down the track straight as a dart with a 4.666 in his solo run. The final eliminator saw flames once again for Sheehan and Damien Harris but the 5.256 was enough to see Sheehan into a B final he would unfortunately never get to stage running out of bullets in a costly night. The stage was then set for Lamattina v Martin Stamatis in the Top Fuel A final. Stamatis pedalled out and could only look on as Lamattina took the win with a pass of 4.74. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be two in a row for Mark Drew as the Top Fuel Motorcycle A Final went to Mark Ashelford running a 6.58 while Chris Porter frustratingly crossed the centre line. B Final action ended in a solo run with Crawford’s bike spitting out two spark plugs in the start-up area resulting in a win for Kevin Gummow running 7.67. Ashelford said he was more than happy with the win after finishing as runner up on Friday night that included his first two full passes after a recent hiatus. Tonight he went one better, dedicating the win to his mother. “My dear old mum recently passed away so this weekend was for her,” he said. “Last night I had a shakedown and it was my first two full passes in a couple of years. Tonight I had a hiccup in the seeding round and was lucky to get in the field. I faced Drewy again who I raced last night for the final and then Chris Porter, he’s not the Australian Champ for nothing so I really had to put my A cap on.”
NIGHT2 results toP Fuel: Phil Lamattina 4.747 def Martin Stamatis 6.516
toP Fuel MotorcYcle: Mark Ashelford 6.586 def Chris Porter 22.569 (crossed the line) toP coMP: Murray O’Connor 6.088 (6.16) def Pino Priolo 6.482 (6.23) suPer coMP: Jake Chaisty 9.504 (9.76 def Colin Mortimore 8.417 (8.55) coMPetItIon BIke: Ross Smith 8.591 (8.74) def Stan Lisle 10.543 (10.26) suPercHarged outlaWs: Gregory James 7.359 (7.34) def Craig Gerdes 7.420 (7.35, red light)
ModIFIed: Sam Treasure 7.675 (7.66) def Michael Lanigan 23.091 (7.89) suPer sedan: Leigh Fallon 9.239 (9.25) def Lorenzo Gullotto 8.120 (8.08, red light) ModIFIed BIke: Luke Nieuwhof 9.649 (8.85) def Justin Townson 15.263 (8.88) suPer street Craig Caton 11.041 (11.19) def Nicholas Wroe 11.112 (11.11, red light) JunIor dragster: Makenah Begg 8.105 (8.12) def Jasmine Slamar 8.195 (8.01, red light)
Mark Drew continued his impressive form early in Top Fuel Motorcycle qualifying in first with a 6.726 while Ashelford shut down after the burnout. Terry Burnett also had trouble with the airline and unfortunately the problems would persist to put an end to his night during eliminators. There was a hairy moment for Dennis Grant in the eliminators with a heavy lean to avoid the wall but he just kissed the concrete before the finish line earning a DQ. That left Chris Porter (6.905)and Mark Ashelford (6.908) to run a pair of sixes putting themselves into the A final leaving Kevin Gummow (7.641) and Gordon Crawford (7.358) to fight it out in the B final. In round two of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship records fell despite the hot conditions. No less than six new records were set over 1320ft. Once the track settled down, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Perth Motorplex crew, records tumbled in the balmy conditions. Rob Pilkington set the mark for AA/FC with an ET of 5.842 pushing the speed record to 245.23 mph in the process. Jake & Jamie Chaisty set a new mark for H/MSA with an ET of 9.462 and a new speed of 141.50 mph. And finally Brenton Baxter reset the ET and speed for A/MR with an 8.420 run at 166.97 mph. Rob Pilkington’s record setting 5.84 in the Top Comp A final was enough to see off Adam Marchant (5.56) while and Murray O’Connor (6.08 on a 6.16) bested
Pino Priolo (6.48 on a 6.23) in the B final. Super Comp resulted in a win for Jake Chaisty with 9.50 on a 9.76 from Colin Mortimore with 8.41 on an 8.55. Ross Smith took the honours in Competition Bike running 8.59 on a 8.74 against a 10.54 on a 10.26 for Stan Lisle. Craig Gerdes found himself on the wrong side of the tree in the Supercharged Outlaws final with Greg James claiming victory with 7.35 on the 7.34. Mike Lanigan was left sitting at the line and could only watch Sam Treasure take the Modified final with a very nice 7.67 on a 7.66. There was a long prestage duel in the Super Sedan final only to see Matthew Gullotto red light handing the win to Leigh Fallon posting 9.23 on a 9.25. The Modified Bike final was won by Luke Nieuwhof on a misfiring run from Justin Townson who broke a chain at the start line. Nicholas Wroe fouled out in the Super Street final won by Craig Caton with a pass of 11.04 on the 11.19. Finally in Junior Dragster, Makenah Begg got the win over a red lighting Jasmine Slamar.
FASTLANE I 29
MUCH MUCHMucH More as the folks in sydney will tell you, sydney dragway is much more than that. the multimillion dollar purpose-built facility was designed for quarter mile drag racing but the venue has hosted a range of large-scale events since its grand opening in 2004. Up to 50,000 guests and spectators can be accommodated on nine metre high mounds on both sides of the track, in a stadium format perfect for drag racing or as an efficient stadium environment for various shows, sports and events. The heart of Sydney Dragway is the three storey control tower. Located behind the start line it oversees the racetrack and houses the meeting director, timing staff, announcers, media, and six corporate hospitality suites. As well as daily staff offices, sales, management, financial, and secretarial activities are conducted here meaning it’s a hive of activity. Centrally located in the Sydney Metropolitan area, Sydney Dragway is just 32 kilometres west of the CBD, 12 kilometres west of the Parramatta CBD,
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18 kilometres east of Penrith, 13 kilometres north-west of Liverpool, and 6 kilometres south-west of Blacktown. This places it at the heart of Sydney’s population and closer to major population centres than any other track in the country. 1.7 million people live within a 30 kilometre radius! Sydney Dragway combines a great spectator experience with superb corporate and competitor facilities – but, as the saying goes, it is more than that.
LOCATION: EASTERN CREEK, NEW SOUTH WALESALTITUDE: 240 FEET OR 73M ABOVE SEA LEVEL AT START LINE RACING SURFACE: QUARTER MILE (402 M), CONCRETE TO 660 FEET (APPROX. 200 M), BITUMEN 660 FEET TO 1320 FEET BRAKING AREA: ALL BITUMEN APPROX. 2000 FEET (600M) SAND TRAP: PEA GRAVEL APPROX. 400 FEET (120M) TRACK RECORDS: 4.51, 332 MPH (SCOTT KALITTA)
FREE CALL 1800 650 077 www.piranhainsurance.com.au
FASTLANE I 31
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ANDRA Fastlane Edition 7