The nitro burning Top Fuel dragsters might be the ones making the most noise and yes they are certainly the fastest but on Friday night at Perth Motorplex it was Pro Alcohol making all the headlines for Coates Hire West Coast Nitro, part of the 400 Thunder Series.
Gary Phillips ran a world record 5.360 pass in the final session of qualifying, making him the quickest driver of an alcohol fuelled funny car anywhere in the world.
Shortly after scoring his new record, Phillips said he still had to watch out for the likes of John Cannuli, who ran 5.379 right before him.
“That’s the new record right there so we will take that one,” Phillips said. “There’s a few dudes out there that can kick your butt so we just wanted to be the first to do it (run 5.3).”
Phillips will race Shannon Taylor in round one today.
Darren Morgan put in two consistent runs with the AEG Top Fuel dragster to lead that field going into race day. Morgan’s 4.748 at 504kmh held off a 4.89 from Wayne Newby and a 4.91 from Damien Harris, while Mark Sheehan struggled on two runs with engine dramas, settling for a best of 5.265.
Pro Bike was back at Perth Motorplex for the first time in five years and Maurice Allen wasted little time setting the pace with a 7.235 to top qualify. Fellow Victorian Glenn Wooster was only just behind with a 7.262, while Scott White’s 7.397 best came in a tough night as he had to change an engine due to a piston breakage.
The Pro Slammer Shootout might be just an exhibition bracket but it is being taken just as seriously as a championship version. John Zappia’s 5.705 charged to the top as the seven remaining cars look to find a way to stop the rampant Fuchs Monaro.
Greg Durack is holding top spot in Top Bike with a 7.23, though even he would confess that will likely not be the quickest run seen from these wild two wheeled machines this weekend.
The leaders in the sportsman categories include Errol Quartermaine with a -.19 7.75 (Super Comp), Wayne Patterson on a -.02 8.87 (Competition Bike), Sam Treasure’s 6.52 (Supercharged Outlaws), Brad Baker with an 8.16 (Modified), Colin Davis’ 7.61 (Super Sedan), Martin Palmer on an 8.49 (Modified Bike), Graeme Smith’s 11.05 (Super Street) and Beau Higgins’s 8.08 (Junior Dragster).
The action resumes at Perth Motorplex today with sportsman qualifying from 12pm, with the feature program including Top Fuel eliminations commencing from 6pm.