Poor Saturday weather meant a Sunday replay for the Shannons Powerpalooza at Perth Motorplex, the opening round of the speedway and drag racing track championships.
The all-in-one event saw much entertainment on hand for the dedicated fans in attendance with Shaun Bradford (Sprintcars) and Kelvin Lyle (Top Comp) proving the big winners.
Bradford claimed the opening round of the AHG Sprintcar Series on the speedway thanks to a strong performance over nearest rivals Andrew Priolo and Jamie Maiolo.
After a disappointing Bonza Bradford Memorial last weekend where Bradford endured a broken steering box while in a commanding position, he more than made up for the bad luck with a positive night in Kwinana.
“The track was awesome and everyone drove pretty well I thought,” he said. “There was only one or two stoppages and limited damage to cars.”
Bradford does not currently plan to contest the whole series, but he hopes that will give him the opportunity to contest for wins and take some risks versus having to be conscious of points.
“We will do a few races up to the State title and reassess,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep it rolling, even if we podium races and don’t bend anything you are much better off. If you have a tear up (crash) and a bunch of tyre wear the budget can go down pretty quick.”
Bradford felt he had the right car for the night, with good speed on track.
“We are just getting all the ducks in a row,” he said. “They are hard to win and if you can win one you take it. We had a real good car tonight and will try to keep that rolling.”
Priolo was not too disappointed, as though he is still searching for his first victory, he sensed an improvement in his race fitness and car set up.
“It was a win I wanted, not a second place, but I think we moved a fair way forward,” he said. Priolo has spent the last six weeks training for six days a week in an effort to improve his fitness and the strategy is paying dividends.
“I remember a heat race last year where Shaun got the lead and passed me, and after three or four laps I was making constant mistakes from getting tired. Now I have just done 30 laps and I wasn’t a quarter of how tired I was (last year). I feel completely different in the car and the car feels like it is on rails.”
The next round of the AHG Sprintcar series takes place this Saturday at the Harris Engines Super Speedway Stampede.
Meanwhile, Lyle proved strongest in a wild day of Top Comp on the drag strip, where many teams struggled to make it down the track.
Lyle’s Top Doorslammer qualified in number one position with a 6.29sec. time and then defeated Frank Taylor in the final round.
“We have changed a few things so we are trying to get them all to work at the moment,”he said. “None of our passes were clean runs with the car having tyre shake soon after launching, so that’s something we are working on.
“It’s good to get a win in the new car and also to have the quickest time and fastest speed overall for the day.”
Errol Quartermaine launched his championship defence in fine fashion with a win in Super Comp over Brett Glover, while Daniel Natalotto claimed the victory in Competition Bike against Wayne Patterson.
Natalotto said some adjustments to the ride height of his BMW made the difference.
“I had a theory about lifting the rear ride height of my bike to shift the centre of gravity forward to help my launches and it turns out it is working,” he said. “The bike is definitely going in the right direction.”
Other standing in victory circle at day’s end included Alby Bakranich (Top Sportsman), Nicholas Wroe (Modified), Nick Panagopoulos (Super Sedan), Dean Dawes (Modified Bike), Andy Oorschot (Super Street) and Alanah Cope (Junior Dragster).
Panagopoulos in particular enjoyed a career day out, recording three personal best times across the event.
“We had our backs to the wall after our second qualifying run on Saturday before the rain,” he said. “The car was unstable on launch and going hard to the right. We went away, made a few changes, came back on Sunday and ended up with three PBs with a best of 9.019 and a win in an awesome final race (against Yvette Gregg). We are absolutely ecstatic with today’s achievements.”
Photo credits: (Speedway) Richard Hathaway and (Drag Racing) Phil Luyer