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EDITION 5/2013

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2014 CALENDAR INSIDE!

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20 WINTERS

WRAP UP

The one that got away for drag racing fans.

24 DARWIN

DEBUT

Pro racing in the tropics.


STAGING LANES

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SEPT2013 CONTENTS Fastlane is produced by the Australian National Drag Racing Association.

NITRO JOURNEyMAN

CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS

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Editor: Luke Nieuwhof (luke.nieuwhof@andra.com.au) Design: YBI Creative (www.ybicreative.com.au) Photography: Dave Reid (www.dragphotos.com.au), Grant Stephens (www.cacklingpipes.com), Joe Maday, Lee Davis (www.westernautopics.com.au), Bob Taylor (www.freewebs.com/bobtee), Hayley Turns, Fred Dwyer, Luke Nieuwhof, Lucas Gardner. John Bosher, David Hope and Tanya Catasti

MO MO GO ON THE

ANDRA Staff CEO: Malcolm Bulley Accounts: Donna Jantke Business Manager: Jackie Mills Licensing and Membership: Leanne Wright Media Manager: Luke Nieuwhof Reception: Kylie Hazelhurst Competition Manager: Brett Stevens Business Development Manager: Jennifer Harrison

Contact Details Phone: 08 8271 5355 Fax: 08 8721 6988 Email: info@andra.com.au Post: PO Box 250, Kent Town SA, 5071 Street: 3/212 Greenhill Road, Eastwood SA, 5063

14 cOMEBAcK cONTINGENcIES ON THE

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SPOTLIGHT

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nte i W Bike s p h o c u T F & 20 - in Top Alc Springs e rw 24 - Da eroflow @ Alicenaraby 26 - A Aeroflow @ B 28 -


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staging stagingla Hey Melbourne, WE’RE BAcK! ANDRA is proud to announce Fuchs and Crow Cams have joined as the naming rights partners for Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams on October 19 at Melbourne’s Calder Park Raceway. All bodes well for the return of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series to Melbourne, with motorsport fans set to enjoy national championship rounds of Top Fuel, Top Bike and Pro Stock Motorcycle for the first time since 2001. ANDRA CEO Malcolm Bulley said he was proud to have Fuchs and Crow Cams on board for the historic event. “Fuchs are a great supporter of drag racing already through their backing of the Fuchs Winternationals, Top Fuel driver Phil Lamattina and Top Doorslammer racer John Zappia plus many more,” he said. “Crow Cams have been a favourite of Australian performance enthusiasts for a long time and their brand is another perfect fit for this event. “When it came to returning to Melbourne, it was an event Fuchs and Crow Cams really wanted to be a part of and we are looking forward to Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams being an action-packed day and no doubt even a little emotional for Melbourne drag racing fans.” Fuchs Lubricants managing director Wayne Hoiles said the event was a natural fit for one of Australia’s biggest and best lubricant companies. “Fuchs are proud supporters of drag racing, where we can test our products in a competitive environment,” he said. “Coming on board with Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams will give us the chance to demonstrate our brand and our products in front of many Victorians who will be seeing ANDRA championship drag racing for the first time.” Crow Cams marketing manager Robert Henty said their partnership with the event was a continuation of a long connection with the sport. “Crow Cams have always had a strong relationship with drag racers and have worked closely with Calder Park in the past,” he said. “Crow Cams are excited to see the return of ANDRA championship drag racing to Melbourne and we are very happy to support the event alongside Fuchs Lubricants.” The event, plus a number of preliminary events including street meets and test and tunes, are being run as a “dry-hire” of the venue and a joint venture. ANDRA and its JV partner, Peter Pisalidis has agreed to take on the role of third party

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promoter, providing much needed stability for the return to Calder Park. “We recently met with Rodney Jane and the venue’s management team to outline some final points in our contract and everyone is very positive about the return of ANDRA Drag Racing to Calder Park,” he said. “The challenge now is getting all the logistics sorted before October and we would love to hear from anyone who believes they can assist in any areas of the event.” Progress continues to be made around the venue including a recent inspection and upgrades of the Compulink timing system. Walls for the braking area have been sourced and are expected to be in place by early October. Top Fuel dragsters, Top Bikes and Pro Stock Motorcycles will all feature at Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams, competing in ANDRA championship rounds. Top Fuel will be running the three round format first seen at Adelaide earlier this season. There will be a compulsory qualifying session at 5pm, an elimination round at 7.30pm and a final at 10.00pm. Top Bikes and Pro Stock Motorcycle will use the traditional eliminations format with two qualifying sessions during the day to determine the field before their first round at 5.15pm, semi finals at 7.15pm and finals at 9.45pm (please note times are subject to change). As part of increasing the flow of information before the event, a new website has been set up at www. calderparkdragracing.com.au to provide all the details competitors and spectators need to know. Racers will be able to enter online through the site while spectators will be able to purchase tickets to the premium viewing area as well. General admission tickets will be available at the gate. ANDRA would also like to take this opportunity to confirm a number of dates of street meets and test and tunes before Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams (please note dates of street meets and test and tunes are subject to change). SEPTEMBER 27

ANDRA Street Meet

OcTOBER 5

ANDRA Test and Tune

OcTOBER 11

ANDRA Street Meet

OcTOBER 12

ANDRA Test and Tune

OcTOBER 19

Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams featuring ANDRA Top Fuel, Top Bike and Pro Stock Motorcycle


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anes Trucking Along ANDRA recently make a significant purchase – a trailer that will provide a mobile base for the organisation at events and a great new way to promote events and the sport. ANDRA had been seeking a vehicle that could be used in a promotions role like a travelling road show, plus function as a hospitality and member services area at events, provide a base for selling merchandise and also a space where we can professionally engage with our members and partners. The perfect fit was found with an ex-mobile library which uses slideouts to achieve a lot of space inside providing workspace for member operations as well as a meeting room. Members will be able to use the truck as they would the ANDRA office, able to ask questions about membership or even renew a licence on the spot. The trailer will also carry ANDRA’s merchandise operation, allowing independence to finally be found in getting everything to events.

New Office SEARcH Members may be interested to know that ANDRA is currently looking for a new premises in Adelaide. With the addition of a truck and trailer soon to act as a promotions, hospitality and member services vehicle at and around events, we have been searching for a space that allows the organisation to house that vehicle, add more storage space for growing merchandising operations and provide more room for offices to expand as the current space on Greenhill Road is now filled. We’ll keep you updated when we find our new home!

stag CLASSIFIEDS MODIfIED ALTERED 125” mild steel T-bucket altered. Hat injected 350 SBC, reverse pattern T400 c/w transbrake, 5500 rpm Dominator converter and air shifter, 9 inch ladder bar rear. Car is fitted with two-step, delay box and data logger. Very reliable, low maintenance car and is super consistent. Spares included. Car comes with three seasons of log files and two seasons of run data. $25,000 turn key, $16,000 as a roller. Phone Dave on 0412 786 734.

Business PARTNERSHIP What better way to promote your brand than through the Most Powerful Motorsport on the Planet! As a valued ANDRA business partner you will receive maximum exposure through the ANDRA Drag Racing brand and its events. Your brand will feature on the ANDRA Drag Racing TV program, aired to 100,000 plus viewers per episode on SBS Speedweek. Did you know that the ANDRA website attracts over a thousand visitors per day? What better way to continue your exposure between events by promoting your company on the ANDRA website and through the ANDRA Fastlane magazine; sent out quarterly to ANDRA’s 4000 + members. When it comes to event day your company will be showcased wherever possible. Racers will carry decals representing your logo and trophies will feature your logo. Commentators will make reference to your involvement across the event and your commercials will play on big screens. Add in the option of representation on official merchandise, temporary venue signage and your own trade stall where you can show off your products and it equals unrivalled value for money motorsports exposure. Would you like the best seat in the house? Entertain your clients in style in ANDRA’s private suite situated in a prime viewing location. This exclusive facility offers pit walk experiences, start line experiences, your own personal host and much more to ensure your guest’s day is a memorable one. Want to know more? Email ANDRA business development manager Jennifer Harrison at jennifer.harrison@andra.com.au or call the ANDRA office on 08 8271 5355.

POWERGLIDE TRANSMISSION Powerglide racing transmission, rated to 1150hp, “PRO” transbrake, forward pattern valve body, 1.80 straight cut gearset, deep aluminium pan, roller governor support, 300m Turbo spline input shaft, eight clutches, dual ring servo, modified pump, billet servo cover, kevlar band, new pump gears, 850HP and 2000HP models available. Can ship Australia wide. $3650. Phone Matt on 0400 038 830.

ADVERTISE

IN THE ANDRA cLASSIfIEDS fOR JUST $50! EMAIL INfO@ANDRA.cOM.AU

FASTLANE I 5


2012 / 2013

cHAMPI LEADERS

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PIONSHIP S TOP5

TOPfUEL

TOP5

1 craig Baker

310

651

2 Tony Littlewood

250

1 Darren Morgan 2 Phil Lamattina

3 Kenny Stewart

240

3 Steve Read

332

4 Rob Harrington

160

4 Damien Harris

301

5 Simon Barlow

140

5 Mark Sheehan

184

MODIfIED

cOMPETITION

TOP5

TOP5

140 140

3 Steve Reed

374

120

4 John Cannuli

367

100

5 Wayne Newby

259

200

3 Simon Bradbury 4 Brett Mathew

150

5 Neil Constantinou

2 Wayne Cartledge

240

3 Greg Clayton

220

4 Jason Maggs 5 Shane Baxter

TOP5

MODIfIEDBIKE

TOP5

1 Darren Parker

310

1 Tony frost

280

2 Daniel Camilleri

245

2 Gavin Dohnt

260

3 Steven Norman

220

3 Ben James

140

4 Mario Barbon

200

4 Shane Walker

120

5 Jason Simpson

150

5 Dave Argent

100

cOMPETITION BIKE

TOP5

1 Paul Harrison

260

2 Ross Smith

250

3 Corey Buttigieg

245

4 Corey Scholes

170

5 Glenn Northridge

145

SUPER cOMPAcT

TOP5

TOP5

496

160

470

TOPALcOHOL 1 Gary Phillips 2 Steve Ham

1 Jim Denaro 2 Roc Puccini

1 craig Geddes

SUPER STOcK

SUPERSEDAN

609

TOPDOORSLAMMER

376

TOP5

1 Peter Kapiris 2 John Zappia

401

3 Victor Bray

271

4 Mark Belleri

231

5 Murray O’Connor

195

325

TOP5

TOPBIKE

1 Mark Phillips

180

462

2 Carl Taylor

140

1 chris Porter 2 Graeme Morell

3 Graeme Cooper

120

3 Chris Matheson

334

4 Joe Jurkovic

120

4 Terry Burnett

197

120

5 Phil Parker

157

SUPERSTREET

5 Ian Brown

JUNIORDRAGSTER

TOP5

PROSTOcK

5 341

TOP5

322

260

1 Jason Grima 2 Wayne Daley

230

3 Lee Bektash

238

170

4 Aaron Tremayne

236

5 Jake Cartledge

160

5 Chris Soldatos

209

TOP5

SUPERGAS

TOP5

1 Luke Marsden

340

220

2 Darryl Walford

210

1 Kym Oberauer 2 Simon Isherwood

3 Grant Fraser

200

180

4 Matt Watts

160

3 Roy Romeo 4 Matthew Forbes

5 Michael Watkins

140

5 Darryl Stephen

1 Toby Austin 2 David Roberts

1 Michael Baghdadi

170

2 Rod Harvey

160

3 Scott Porter

130

4 Joe Signorelli

100

3 Brayden Naylor 4 Brock Hodgson

80

5 Po Tung

SUPERcHARGED OUTLAWS

300

PROSTOcKM/cycLE

304

TOP5

1 Luke Crowley 2 Maurice Allen

334 236

160

3 Lachlan Ireland 4 Scott White

140

5 Glenn Wooster

196

200

305 199

FASTLANE I 7


FEATURE

E o r t i N e Nine-times NHRA event winner

Tommy Johnson Jr was recently announced as the new driver for Rapisarda Autosport International in the USA following Larry Dixon’s surprise resignation from the team.

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Johnson, who now resides in Avon, Indiana, was a popular addition to recent Australian events including the Nitro Champs and Fuchs Winternationals. When the call up to race in Australia first came, Johnson said he was keen to observe drag racing down under and how it ranked against his many other international experiences including in the United Arab Emirates, the UK, Finland, Sweden and Germany. “I follow all drag racing around the world and knew the names, so I was looking forward to meeting the people I have read about on the internet,” he said. “I’d raced in five other countries so I was looking forward to seeing how drag racing in Australia compared to my other experiences.” Johnson explained that the differences between racing across the world are mainly procedural – the language of two cars accelerating down a drag strip is universal. “Sure there are a few things that are different but mainly that is registration and procedures,” he said. “The on track action and the competition has been the same throughout the world. The level of competition in Australia was some of the best I have seen outside of the US for sure.” The veteran racer did note that much more pre-planning is needed by teams to ensure they have the resources ready to go racing. “One of the things I noticed for the racers that is missing from the US is the availability of parts,” he said. “We think nothing of just running somewhere to get what we need or calling up and having parts the next day. Everyone in Australia has to plan ahead or have a much larger inventory of spares than we do.” While he was in the southern hemisphere, Johnson was able to do some limited sightseeing and what he saw, he liked.

“The people were the best thing for sure. Everyone was very friendly and helpful,” he said. “I didn’t have a lot of extra time to take in the country but was able to sneak out for a day and take in a few sights of Sydney on my second trip. I wouldn’t have a problem living in Australia.” He might be used to driving Top Fuel dragsters at 500kmh, but the Rapisarda team wasn’t about to let Johnson do the steering of their hire cars. “Everyone drives on the wrong side of the road. That was only weird for a couple of days and then it became normal,” he said. “Still, nobody was offering up their keys to me to take the wheel when we went anywhere. “I’ve actually driven on the left side before in New Zealand and England so I don’t know what they were worried about. “The one thing I did notice is in the US we have signs alongside the road that warn drivers to beware of deer as you drive. It was funny to see signs in Australia warning drivers to be alert for kangaroos while driving. I haven’t seen too many of them in the US.” Johnson is looking forward to the next time he drives in Australia, scheduled to be the Australian Nationals in November at Sydney Dragway. “Now that I am driving full time for the Rapisardas in the US I hope that we can have success on both continents,” he said. “It’s still a ways away but we have discussed returning in November to compete again. Nobody has to ask me twice, I’m all about coming back.” So far Johnson’s role in Rapisarda Autosport International has been successful, giving the team a round win in Sonoma against arch rivals Torrence Racing and keeping his lights well into the .0s.

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FASTLANE I 9


FEATURE

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Maurice Allen is a second generation drag bike rider with a lot to prove in the Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks. Pro Stock Motorcycles are highly finessed, purpose built drag bikes based on production motorcycles. They are naturally aspirated with motors ranging from 1600cc to 1700cc and capable of accelerating to over 300kmh in just seven seconds from a standing start. Allen was always destined for some two wheel drag racing action with his father Peter a successful Top Bike racer (and even steering a Top Fuel dragster for a time) through the 70s, 80s and 90s. When the pair put together their first Pro Stock Motorcycle, Maurice actually went on to win the 1991 Nationals just months after its first outing. Making the moment more significant was that Peter also won in Top Bike, making it the first time a father and son had won two professional categories at the same event anywhere in the world. “It was quite well noted at the time including in the USA,” Maurice said. “Anyone who won the Australian Nationals then was extended a free visit to the USA and I commentated at the 91 NHRA Columbus Springnationals. It was a whirlwind year to go from street bike riding to winning the Nationals in Pro Stock Motorcycle.” From that baptism of fire, Allen continued to race in the category in alliances and teams but it was only in recent years that he returned to owning his own motorcycle. “My love for the class started there in 1991 and it is still going,” he said. “I would love to step up to Top Bike but I love the spirit of Pro Stock Motorcycle and the close racing. It has been a 20 year obsession.” Pro Stock Motorcycle has at times been afflicted by small entry numbers but Allen predicts that is in the process of changing. “We’ve heard of one or two bikes that are on their way here from the USA and there are a couple of bikes that were sitting dormant here coming back very shortly,” he said. “There are another three or four potentially who will step up in coming events. “The class is looking great and it’s the best we’ve been presented; we’ve got some real heavy hitters now.” From his side of things, Allen would like to see some rule changes to open up the category to more manufacturers. “I think there is room for a lot of development, such as the implementation of billet motors with a capacity cap and a minimum weight,” he said. “I would like a 1600cc billet engine with a minimum 600 pound bike and rider, you could then bring any bodywork to the class and bring some factory backing. It would be great to have some kind of involvement from manufacturers.


FEATURE

“We do need to move forward, we need to look at allowing the class to expand because the side by side, heads up nature of the class can be very appealing to people.” As part of spreading the word of drag racing in diverse areas, in a couple of months Allen will be doing some community involvement in a partnership with Movember – very suitable for his nickname Momo. “We will be looking for support from the drag racing community for this great cause,” he said. “Milwaukee have stepped up as the Australian sponsor of Movember and I am going to be the ambassador as Momo. They’ve told me I need to do a burnout in the shape of a moustache.”

Another side project Allen has been working on is a school for new drag bike riders. “The school is going to be open for people who have never been to the track before to people who just want some tuition or to try out a proper race bike,” he said. “We will cover off on all aspects of drag racing, the motto is learn to race and race to win. We want to teach people to get the most out of their motorcycle, then teach them to race at a championship level. “We are hoping to foster new talent and introduce new people to motorcycle drag racing. The school bike will be able to be hired for race events as well, they can lease the bike and have a crack at Modified Bike.” Maurice has set up a website at www.australiandragbikeschool. com.au for more information. In an interesting final statement, Allen says his own future racing plans involve the aforementioned nitro-fuelled Top Bikes, but alongside his current operation. “We’ve had some irons in the fire to purchase a nitro bike out of America and hopefully there is an opportunity to get the deal done and bring the bike back,” he said. “I’d like to ride both bikes, whether or not we do every round would depend on the workload. “We’re planning on heading to America later in the year to have a look at some options.”

MOMO

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IT’S TIME TO RECOGNISE AUSTRALIAN DRAG RACING’S CHAMPIONS

MONDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 2013, AT 7PM VENUE Panthers - 123 Mulgoa Road, Penrith cOSTS $85 Adults $40 Children (2-12yrs) RSVP by 21 October 2013 INcLUDES 3 Course meal, 4 hour beer wine & soft drink package, tea & coffee, cash bar for spirits

FEATURING • Champions Presentations • Comedian Chris Franklin • Inaugural Hall of Fame • DJ Entertainment

BE QUIcK, TIcKETS ARE LIMITED! TO GET yOUR TIcKETS SIMPLy fILL OUT THE fORM BELOW AND SEND TO; Australian National Drag Racing Association Ltd. PO Box 250, Kent Town, South Australia 5071. Alternatively you can book online at www.andra.com.au Name

ADULT TIcKETS REQUIRED

Team/Organisation Address

cHILDREN TIcKETS REQUIRED

Dietary Requirements Town Postcode

State

Phone Email

Accommodation - Chifley Penrith special rate $139 contact hotel direct on (02) 4721 7700


NEWS

Become a crew member of ANDRA today! ANDRA crew members sign a single indemnity and do not need to sign in at each event for a wrist band. ANDRA crew members also get the full benefits of being an ANDRA member including a subscription to Fastlane magazine, free divisional day licences and category two insurance.

15 TEES $

ANDRASHOP.COM.AU 14 I WWW.ANDRA.COM.AU

N E G N I T cON

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The ANDRA Contingency Program is being reintroduced to provide companies with an opportunity to market their brands to the very people who buy them. A contingency program works by companies offering a cash incentive to their customers who do well using their products. Customers are incentivised to choose the products of companies who take part in the contingency program. The ANDRA Contingency Program was in place throughout the nineties and delivered many financial rewards to racer before being removed in the early 2000s when only two tracks were on the national calendar. With the growth that has occurred since in the number of tracks in the series, now up to eight in the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship, the time is right to return this valuable program for the benefit of racers. So what’s involved in reaching the hardcore ANDRA Drag Racing Series membership of over 4000 people? Contingency partners can apply to ANDRA to post amounts for wins and runner ups, for all brackets or just one.


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An annual fee is applied for each brand posting upon joining the program to cover administration costs and entitles the contingency partner eligibility for the length of the season. Each posting can apply to as many brackets as the partner wishes. ANDRA have also discussed the idea of national record ‘bounties’. Contingency partners can post an amount attached to a particular class that is awarded if a record is broken in that class. For instance, a supercharger provider may wish to put $500 on the AA/AP record if it is broken using their brand. Partners are also required to give their requirement for pay out. Most require use or purchase of their product within the last 12 months as well as a sticker on the side of the vehicle. Receipts can be required or just being shown the product on the vehicle may be enough. Competitors wishing to take part in the ANDRA Contingency Program will be required to fill out an online form and tick appropriate sections for pay outs they wish to claim in the event of reaching a final. Any stickers required will be available at the track and it will be up to the racer to collect the appropriate contingency decals for their vehicle. If your business would like to become involved with the new ANDRA Contingency Program, contact ANDRA business development manager Jennifer Harrison at jennifer.harrison@andra.com.au or call the office on 08 8271 5355.


JANUARy 10-11

Nitro Max, Perth Motorplex Top Fuel Round 1 & 2, Top Bike 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

MARcH 29-30

Adelaide International Raceway Top Fuel Round 5, Top Bike Round 3

APRIL 4-5

Calder Park Top Doorslammer Round 4, Pro Stock Round 1, Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 1

APRIL 18-19

Super 3, Willowbank Raceway Top Fuel Round 5 and 6, Top Alcohol Round 2 and 3, Top Bike Round 4 and 5

MAy 2-4

Nitro Champs, Sydney Dragway Top Fuel Round 7, Top Doorslammer Round 5, Top Alcohol Round 4, Pro Stock Round 3, Top Bike Round 6 , Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 2

JANUARy 4-5

Fuchs South Coast Raceway

JANUARy 10-11 Perth Motorplex

fEB 28 – MARcH 2 Perth Motorplex

CHAMPIONSHIP

MARcH 29-30

Adelaide International Raceway


JUNE 6-9

Winternationals, Willowbank Raceway Top Fuel Round 8, Top Doorslammer Round 6, Top Alcohol Round 5, Pro Stock Round 4, Top Bike Round 7, Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 3

JULy 11-12

Hidden Valley Drag Strip Top Doorslammer Round 7, Top Alcohol Round 6, Top Bike Round 8

JULy 19-20

Desert Nationals, Alice Springs Inland Dragway Top Doorslammer Round 8, Top Bike Round 9

OcTOBER 4-5

Springnationals, Adelaide International Raceway Top Doorslammer Round 9, Top Alcohol Round 7, Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 4

OcTOBER 4-5 Benaraby Raceway Pro Stock Round 5

OcT 31 - NOV 2

Australian Nationals, Sydney Dragway Top Fuel Round 10, Top Doorslammer Round 10, Top Alcohol Round 8, Pro Stock Round 5, Top Bike Round 10, Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 5

DEcEMBER 5-7

Grand Finals, Calder Park Top Fuel Round 11, Top Doorslammer Round 11, Top Alcohol Round 9, Pro Stock Round 6, Top Bike Round 11, Pro Stock Motorcycle Round 6

APRIL 4-5

SEPTEMBER 13-14

OcT 31 - NOV 2

MAy 2-4

OcTOBER 4-5

DEcEMBER 5-7

OcTOBER 4-5

TBc - Warwick

Calder Park

Sydney Dragway

JUNE 6-9

Willowbank Raceway

JULy 19-20

Alice Springs Inland Dragway

Mildura Sunset Strip

Adelaide International Raceway

Benaraby Raceway

Sydney Dragway

Calder Park


FEATURE

\\\\ DRAGSTRIP There are some drag racing habits than many of us take for granted, but for those who are new to the sport, it pays to come to grips with a bit of drag strip etiquette to ensure that you are racing fairly, safely and successfully. It’s a good thing to have so many new people involved in the sport and it emphasises the need for education. People who have had the benefit of growing up in the sport are often engrained with the correct behaviours. for someone who has been to the drags once or twice and then decides to buy a car or bike it shows absolute dedication, so we want to give you some tips. This week, we cover some areas where race behaviour is vital courtesy staging, getting out of the groove and the end of the braking area.

courtesy staging

Courtesy staging used to be a rule. What it means is that basically you go into pre-stage and then wait for your opponent to also go into pre-stage, at which point you both go through your routines and move into stage. A lot of racers practice this and so should you. For one it lets you establish a good routine in your staging process. Moving into full stage straight away when your opponent is no where near the pre-stage beam will leave you waiting on their routine all the time and having to be on edge with that thumb hovering over the transbrake or those fingers shaking on the clutch lever. It’s also considered good sportsmanship. While there is nothing stopping you holding out a fellow racer who has doubled-bulbed or dashing into stage straight away, chances are they aren’t going to be helpful for you when you need a favour. It might just be borrowing tools or it might be waiting for your vehicle to refire on the startline. Drag racers have long memories.

r e b m e v e a h m s r e r rag raceemories. D ng m lo


\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ PMANNERS Getting out of the groove

End of the braking area

Most drag racing runs go by the book. A vehicle will make a pass straight down the middle of the lane. But particularly with higher powered, low downforce cars a run can be anything but straight. The groove is an area in the middle of the track where traction is at its peak. You can see it at most tracks as a dark matte grey through the middle, while the outside of the lane will be shinier or lighter in colour. The groove is where most runs happen, thus the most rubber builds up and the most traction is found. When a racer gets ‘out of the groove’ it means the vehicle is outside that area of good traction. This puts your vehicle more at risk of losing traction. This can be particularly nasty right on the border, where one wheel gets more traction than the other and thus your vehicle will spear in a particular direction. The etiquette here is simple, if you get out of the groove, get out of the throttle. Many racers have crashed through staying into the throttle just a moment too long. Don’t let speed fool you. Low downforce Super Sedans can be much more susceptible to crashing when they get out of the groove than a Top Fuel car. A Top Fuel car has a big wing creating down force and therefore additional traction. And if the tyres do spin, that wing continues to function and push down on the chassis, helping to keep control. If your Super Sedan with very little downforce starts spinning the tyres or losing lateral grip then that’s it, you don’t have any additional source of traction other than to get off the throttle. It’s not worth being a hero – discretion is the better part of valour.

You’ve made your run and the adrenaline is pumping, now it’s time to slow down! Fortunately most tracks in Australia have very adequate braking areas so this doesn’t have to be a stressful process. At the end of the track the right of way typically goes to the ‘inside’ lane, ie the lane closest to the turn off. Many tracks have staff to assist racers at the turn off. Cutting across the inside lane is risky, you never know what kind of drama your opponent might be in. Bear in mind many vehicles will be dragging a parachute along as well and you don’t want to risk getting each other entangled in that. Although it sounds basic, remember to scrub off enough speed to make the turn. More than a few racers, even experienced ones, have been caught out where they think they can make the turn, only to end up rolling over. If you are tossing up between making the turn or going for the sand trap – go for the sand trap. Your perception of speed will be different after making a pass; you will think you are moving slowly when you might be speeding along. This is particularly important for young Junior Dragster drivers who may not have the same experience of what speed is appropriate to use in a turn. Roll overs are surprisingly common among junior drivers and needless to say can be upsetting for both them and the family. Every track has slightly different cultures in the shut down area where vehicles park up and wait to be picked up. As with turning off, keep your parachute in mind as you navigate officials and other vehicles. Once you’ve shut down and got out of your vehicle, roll up the parachute so it is out of the way and can’t get caught up in any other race vehicles coming off the track. When your crew arrives to pick you up celebration is certainly acceptable, but don’t hang around too long talking over a pass as when the number of teams builds up it does get congested and this can make the situation more dangerous for fellow racers turning off the track and officials.

FASTLANE I 19


ROUND REPORT 20 I WWW.ANDRA.COM.AU

W cO H B


WHAT OULD HAVE BEEN

The Fuchs Winternationals 2013 will be forever remembered as the one that got away for drag racing fans. Three days of strong qualifying and in some cases early eliminations was setting the event up for a spectacular final day until the rain came down. How about two of the most bad ass Top Fuel dragsters in the country tying to the thousandth of a second in the battle for top qualifying honours? Phil Lamattina just edged US driver Tommy Johnson Jr as both went 4.610 but the Australian’s faster speed of 331.04mph saw him earn the number one spot. Then you have the quickest Top Doorslammer pass in the history of the sport as John Zappia carded a 5.745 in a classy field where every team was in the fives. Pro Stock was again a six second feast with no less than four drivers going into the elusive zone. Jason Grima top qualified with a 6.989 but it was a surprising 6.983 from Bill Kotsias in the first, and only, round of eliminations that earned low ET. Aussie ex-pat Rhett Lougheed made a rare appearance in Pro Stock Motorcycle, coming back from the USA to top qualify and reset the national speed record for the category. Gary Phillips might be down since his crash of a brand new Camaro Top Doorslammer several months ago but he is far from out when it comes to his native Top Alcohol, scoring yet another top qualifying honour in the Lucas Oils car. With Chris Matheson missing a round due to a bike in dire need of repairs following his big Sydney crash, Top Bike was open slather. Chris Porter took the opportunity to lead the seven bike field. Enjoy some of these great images from the event by Fred Dwyer, Joe Maday, Dave Reid and Luke Nieuwhof. TOP QUALIfIERS Top fuel: Phil Lamattina 4.610 Top Alcohol: Gary Phillips 5.522 Top Doorslammer: John Zappia 5.745 Top Bike: Chris Porter 6.839 Pro Stock: Jason Grima 6.989 Pro Stock Motorcycle: Rhett Lougheed 7.122 competition: Greg Leahy 6.534 (7.23) Super Stock: Nick Panagiotlaris 8.272 (8.92) Super compact: Robert Rigoli 6.958 (7.66) competition Bike: Corey Buttigieg 8.453 (9.09) Supercharged Outlaws: Luke Marsden 6.536 Modified: Rob Harrington 7.100 Super Sedan: Steve Fowler 7.116 Modified Bike: Craig Edwards 8.149 Super Street: Guy Henry 11.016 Junior Dragster: Toby Austin 8.016 Super Gas: Barry Moore 9.921

FASTLANE I 21


PHIL READ is still searching for those big numbers.

STEVE REED wounded his motor on this run.

Dean McClennan had this crazy braking area moment.

RON ADAMS waits patiently in the staging lanes.

Gary Phillips backs up from a burnout.

KATHERINE SHAW was unlucky to miss the Top Alcohol field.

Pac Performance set a new world record for rotaries in exhibition racing.

Dave Johnston impressed with this bumper scraper.

Ian Brown’s Defence Bank Pro Stock stepped up performances.

Bill Goonan’s new Camaro looked a treat.

PHIL LAMATTINA top qualified the Fuchs Top Fuel Dragster.

Chris Porter gets some angle in Top Bike Qualifying.

High horsepower and no wheelie bars gets wild!


ROUND REPORT

DARWINDEBUT

ONETORE cHRIS MATHESON, cHRIS PORTER AND GORDON cRAWfORD discuss Top Bike.

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GARy PHILLIPS earned a 17th ANDRA Championship.

TERRy BURNETT lit up his Harley in qualifying.


Steven Ham took his second career win as Gary Phillips wrapped up his 17th ANDRA championship title on a pivotal night of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series at Hidden Valley Drag Strip in Darwin. Ham’s 5.645 second pass in the final defeated a close but losing 5.732 from John Cannuli and in the process moved to second in the championship, albeit out of reach of Phillips’ points lead. The win did not come without its share of drama for Ham, with the team enduring a run of gremlins interfering with the 3500 horsepower East Coast Lubes Funny Car.

EMEMBER GREG DURAcK scored one for the turbocharged brigade in Top Bike.

“A lot of hard work went into it just to get us to the last round here tonight,” he said. “We had no working data logger, no tachometer, oil pressure problems, it was just drama central and we had to put it all out of our minds and just go for it. “We just had to tune from looking at the spark plugs and what each run looked like on the video camera.” Ham explained the tropical conditions meant the team needed to ramp up the power in order to keep up with the excellent Hidden Valley track surface. “We’ve had to really step on the motor a lot to make the power we need to get down the track; it wasn’t making that much power in this humid air,” he said. Phillips meanwhile enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate his 17th ANDRA title. It was his 16th in Top Alcohol, adding to his single Top Doorslammer championship. “We’re over the moon to win, every season is still a challenge and that is why we keep coming back,” he said. “Mathematically we are now out of range of Steven (Ham) in the points and that means we can breathe a bit easier for the final round in Sydney.” The stories on the track weren’t just limited to Top Alcohol with Western Australian rider Greg Durack earning a first win at what became his debut event. Durack expected to race at the Fuchs Winternationals in June and qualified well, but rain meant no racing could be run and he had to put off his dreams until August, where Darwin made up for the Brisbane weather in spades. “We’re rapt to come to Darwin and get a win in Top Bike, we top qualified and had a perfect weekend, we couldn’t ask for anything more,” he said. “Everything worked pretty well, it was all consistent and I think we’ve still got some more performance potential yet to come.” Durack used a 7.092 pass to defeat points leader Chris Porter who sent sparks flying as he tried to keep his nitro-fuelled Harley in his own lane. Top Alcohol is now left with just one round remaining, the Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway in November, while Top Bike’s penultimate championship round will be a part of the return of ANDRA Drag Racing Series action to Calder Park in October.

Opening ceremonies on Hidden Valley’s main straight.


DRAGGIN’IN THE ROUND REPORT The inaugural Desert Nationals at Alice Springs Inland Dragway hosted round seven of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Series with teams from around the country converging to compete at the first ever national series round held in the red centre. Despite being in the middle of the desert, temperatures were cool with most spectators staying in jackets over both days. Thanks to NT Tourism funding, the event was also televised on SBS Speedweek, providing an added bonus to sportsman racers.

Competition champion WAYNE KEYS towed from Perth to make the event.

Photographer David Hope was there to capture some of the fun moments of this special Aeroflow round. RESULTS Super Comp: Mario Barbon 5.485 (5.53) def Wayne Cartledge 4.696 (4.77) Supercharged Outlaws: Luke Marsden 4.389 (4.37) def Paul Stephen 4.521 (4.54) Modified: Leanne Braggs 4.808 (4.83)def Chris Zauch 5.937 (5.89, red) Super Sedan: Chris Farrell 5.405 (5.43) def Colin Griffin 5.719 (5.75, red) Modified Bike: Gavin Dohnt 6.356 (6.35) def Shane Walker 6.159 (6.10) Super Street: Kylie Tanner 7.550 (7.53) def Rodney Kerr 7.214 (7.100, red) Junior Dragster: Hayley Mackay 8.227 (8.14) def Luke Cartledge 8.301 (8.13, red)

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JOE JURKOVIC smokes in the Alice Springs startline.


There was plenty of traction on tap as WAYNE CARTLEDGE showed.. VLADO TURIC brings some Aussie muscle to Super Sedan.

SHANE WALKER took on GAVIN DOHNT in the Modified Bike final.


ROUND REPORT

Regional

swing R O C K S

B E N A R A B Y

Benaraby Raceway recently became the latest of many new tracks to hold a round of the Aeroow Sportsman Drag Racing championship this season with the running of the inaugural Benaraby Nationals. Ninety-six teams entered for the event across eight categories with the majority made up of Queenslanders keen to secure some points after the rain out of the Fuchs Winternationals. Super Comp and Supercharged Outlaws ran over the eighth mile due to some high speeds among entrants while all other categories ran over the quarter mile. RESULTS Super Comp: Greg Clayton 3.973 (4.24) def Jason Simpson 5.234 (5.39) Supercharged Outlaws: Luke Marsden 4.366 (4.32) def Leigh Ryan 6.713 (5.00, red) Modified: Tony Littlewood 8.712 (8.67) def Katie Cunningham 7.847 (7.80, red) Super Sedan: Rick Neilsen 10.533 (10.52) def Mark Harding 9.604 (9.55) Modified Bike: David Butlerr 9.442 (9.35) def Mick Mundey 10.607 (10.61) Super Street: Laurie Bonato 12.010 (11.39) def Brandon Sabine 13.240 (11.85, red) Junior Dragster: Brock Hodgson 8.098 (8.02) def Eden Ward 8.043 (8.05) Super Gas: Dave Gauldie 9.972 (9.90) def Simon Isherwood 9.965 (9.90, red)

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Experience the return of ANDRA Championship Drag Racing to Calder Park while viewing all the action from the best vantage point at the track at FUCHS NITRO THUNDER presented by Crow Cams! SATURDAY 19TH OCTOBER, 2013

CALDER PARK MELBOURNE

Powerhouse offers the ONLy licensed area at calder Park, so come and enjoy our food and beverage selections. Driving to the track? Powerhouse also includes premium parking for ease of access.

195

$

POWER HOUSE PACKAGE

O Premium parking O Premium viewing facility overlooking drag strip O 5 hour beer, wine & soft drink package O Gourmet BBQ O Cocktail food platters O Cash bar for spirits O Enclosed facility with access to grandstand seating O B2B opportunities VISIT CALDERPARKDRAGRACING.COM.AU TO GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY! Bookings to be confirmed by October 11 unless sold out


> TRACK

FEATURE

SPOTLIGHT

HIDDENTREASURE ANDRA Championship Drag Racing recently returned to Hidden Valley Drag Strip in Darwin leaving many people impressed with Australia’s northern-most motorsport venue.

The venue went through a $4.6 million upgrade from 2010 to 2011, bringing it to an international standard. The work included a complete resurface of the track as well as the installation of a concrete surface to the 330 feet mark, upgraded safety barriers, a new burnout pad, the installation of Australia’s largest readout (timing) boards and an improved spectator viewing area. The concrete launch area in particular won awards for its flatness which allows high horsepower vehicles to get all their power down without having to worry about any bumps along the way. The work at the Federal and NT Government-funded venue has made it an attractive prospect for national championship events and Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association president Jay Jukes said being able to host an ANDRA Drag Racing Series round was a coup for the top end. “While the venue is a Territory Government asset all drag racing events are still fully club run by a fantastic group of dedicated volunteers and we are lucky to have a very solid member base behind us,” he said. Hidden Valley is unique in Australian motorsport as it features a drag strip running parallel to the circuit allowing the two disciplines to share facilities but also ensure individual needs are met. “It means all sports need to work together and at times compromises need to be reached but it has allowed us to share a range of common facilities,” Jukes said. “For example the main straight the V8 Supercars use is built on top of our original return road and the spectator viewing areas are common for most motorsports, along with kiosks and amenities. We have even branched out to using the same pit paddock for all sports.”

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Location: Hidden Valley, Northern Territory

Altitude: 11 metres above sea level (36 feet) Racing Surface Length Quarter mile (402 metres), shot-peened concrete to 330 feet (100 metres) and bitumen for remainder. Braking Area Length 600 metres Timing System Compulink Track Record: Steven Ham - 5.645 seconds


E FREE CALL 1800 650 077 www.piranhainsurance.com.au


FASTLANE  

Edition 5 - Australian National Drag Racing Association

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