West Aussies take out the Season Opener in Darwin!
The opening rounds of the National Australian Drag Racing Championship Season took place at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Dragstrip on the weekend.
A record crowd came out to the Hidden Valley complex in Berrimah Northern Territory in anticipation of some great Drag Racing action and that is exactly what they got!
The Pro Slammer category we had four West Aussies taking on Australia’s best … Marty Dack, Kelvin Lyle, Daniel Gregorini and John Zappia all ran well into the 5 second zone over the weekend.
However in the end it was John Zappia who got into the Final and his 5.731 at 404.26 km/h (251.20 mph) in Final was enough to take out reigning Australian Pro Slammer Champion Paul Mouhayet.
The win was made even more memorable as the team suffered piston ring damage in the previous round and had to go to the line with an engine that was smoking however when the green light came on Zappia was gone and when the win light came on his jubilant all West Aussie team celebrated the win from the start line.
Top Bike was the other Pro category running at the event and WA’s Jay Upton was victorious over current National Top Bike Champion Chris Matheson. Both these Nitro Burning motorcycles ran consistently in the 6 second zone however in the Final Upton’s 6.516 was good enough to take the win and the lead in the points coming into the new season. WA’s Les Holden took out the 3rd place on his Nitro Harley.
There was also a huge field from all over the country racing in the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Categories and although our local WA Racers didn’t make it to the Final Rounds this time around there was plenty of West Aussie pride out there representing the Golden State.
In Junior Dragster unfortunately our two Junior Dragster entrants drew each other in the first Round with Zara Board talking out Brodie Zappia and then losing a close one in the next round to event runner up Aidan Abel.
WA’s Norm Campbell Qualified well in the tough Super Street field however an uncharacteristic Red Light in the first round ended his day early.
Modified Bike had six WA Entrants however the first round saw Gordon Crawford Red Light his chances away and Gary Flatt, Stuart Dean and Wayne Patterson also losing their first-round match ups. Brian Hotker lost in a close one to local Adam Rapp in the second round and Mick Day went all the way the Semi Final where he lost to event Winner Mark Tattingham.
Super Sedan saw two WA Racers competing with WA Champion Marty Mirco going down in the second round while Mick Fenton went all the way to the Semi Final and unfortunately a .016 second break out ended his night.
Top Sportsman saw Daniel Johnston slot into the bracket along with Ed Tassone however Engine issues saw Daniel get pushed back from the Start Line while Tassone left with a huge wheel stand and took the win however when his Monaro came back to earth it damaged a Turbo coupling and could not return for the next round.
Amongst all this action were Exhibition runs by the Top Fuel Dragsters of Kelly Betts in the Lamattina Racing Dragster and WA’s Anthony Begley in Chemical Warfare, plus Outlaw Nitro Funny cars with WA’s Fund A Mental driven by Matt Abel taking on Nathan Coles in The Gambler and if that wasn’t enough yet another WA racer, Pieter de Wit thrilled the crowd with massive fire shows and burner pops in his Iron Horse Jet Dragster.
Full results of the ANDRA Summit Sportsman Series can be found on the ANDRA Website – andra.com.au
The WA Drag Racing Season will open in September with our Formula Tech Performance Whoop Ass Wednesdays and the regular season starting in October … Stay turned for our exciting 2018/19 Calendar to be released very soon.