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This weekend's Sydney Dragway's Track Championship Final will see the debut of Cowin Family Racing's latest Nostalgia Funny Car and Fowler Racing's mountain motor GXP Super Sedan.

Australia's flattest drag strip was officially re-opened by Senator Trish Crossin and Minister Rob Knight last night in front of a motorsport hungry crowd. The newly rebuilt Hidden Valley Drag Strip played host to eight Top Doorslammer teams from across Australia as part of the Macmahon Grand Re-Opening presented by 7mate.

John Zappia and his Zappia Racing Team proved why they are the National Champions last weekend, when they won the most exciting Final in Top Doorslammer history at the Nitro Champs in Sydney Australia. The win was probably one of John’s best drives this season as he had to overcome a huge wheel stand, tyre shake and after using most of the track also dropped a cylinder a the 1000 foot mark and still managed to take the win.

The Hidden Valley Ford Beat the Heat Off Street event went off with a bang on Friday night with a number of teams using it as a final test session before the Macmahon Grand Re-Opening on May 13-14, 2011.

The crowd had a special treat, being witness to the first passes for Scott MacLean's relaunched Top Doorslammer. The 1953 Studebaker now features a gloss black paint job and had recently gone through a full rebuild which appears to have paid off.

MacLean's first timed pass was a little wayward, taking out three of the timing blocks as he crossed the centre line at the 1000ft mark, but he still managed to blitzed the previous quickest pass by a Doorslammer at Hidden Valley with an elapsed time of 6.4 seconds at 180mph. The previous quickest pass was Ben Bray in 2008 with a 6.62 at 191.48mph.

But MacLean didn't stop there, he turned the Studebaker around and raised the bar even higher, pulling a solid 6.287 second run at 225mph. With their home track knowledge, MacLean and Matt Abel are going to have a competitive edge over some of the interstate teams including Gary Phillips and John Zappia.

"Having the Willowbank Raceway track curators Rob and David Hunter here throughout the evening has re-assured local officials and racers that Hidden Valley is going to be a very competitive track for the Grand Re-Opening" said HVDRA President Jay Jukes.
"Seeing Scott roll off the trailer and smash the previous quickest pass by nearly 0.4 seconds shows that we are in for some very quick runs during the official opening."

Hidden Valley now prepares for the Macmahon Grand Re-Opening on May 13-14, 2011 which will feature a full field of Top Doorslammer teams including Territorians Matt Abel and Scott MacLean, as well as current Australian champion and record holder, John Zappia. The Doorslammer field will also consist of Deno Brijeski, Frank Mamone, Gary Phillips, Ivan Skaramuca, Reece Melenewycz, Marty Dack, and Peter Kapiris.

Junior Dragfest is set to blast off at its new home Warwick Dragway on June 4th and 5th keeping the event tradition alive.

Willowbank Raceway’s Castrol EDGE Winternationals will host John Barbagallo’s first ‘runs in anger’ at the site of his massive November testing crash.

Willowbank Raceway's Castrol EDGE Winternationals (June 10-13) will play host to Top Alcohol champion Wayne Newby's best shot in recent years of claiming his third ANDRA Pro Series championship.

AERO Racing is a Perth based drag racing team specialising in Sport Compact drag racing. The team presented two race cars this season for racing – Paul Carey’s wild Lexus powered RX-7 competing in Supercharged Outlaws, and Brad Morris’s turbo rotary powered RX-7 competing in Group 2 Super Compact.

The AERO Outlaw RX-7 competed in all nine events at the Perth Motorplex, and finished fourth overall in the local Championship. The season saw Paul Carey racing in two A Finals – winning one – and winning five other eliminators. Perth Motorplex runs the A and B Final format, chosen from the top four eliminator winners, with a “package” calculation based on reaction time and how close a competitor gets to their dial in handicap”.
Team owner and driver Paul Carey was pleased with the season – “We were in two minds whether to compete this year with the Lexus V8, as our new billet heads where not ready. But our mentor John Zappia encouraged me to run the standard heads in a milder tune and chase some consistency in our racing this year”.

“Running fourth in the Championship was a good effort – considering we sheared a gearbox input shaft and went out early in round three. The AERO billet CNC block performed flawlessly all season, despite the workout it gets. Thanks to High Speed Engineering and El Es De Engineering for that product and sponsorship.

“We have to run this very small engine (282 cubes) at Group 2 levels of performance to get the ET’s we want – basically 10,000rpm and 50 plus pounds of boost – so we are proud of the consistency we can get with the car with that level of tune”.
 “Outlaw teams here in Perth enjoy great friendships and a lot of good humour. Our RX-7 quickly got the name “Ricer” from some racers, but I think we earned some respect from them with some good tight racing. The class enjoys such a wide variety of race cars, and is very popular with the crowd in Perth”.

 “The traditional method of going Supercharged Outlaws racing is to run a de-tuned big cube engine at modest revs and boost with a tall rear end. Our sports compact approach – high revving modern quad cam engine in a small car – has worked and added another approach to the bracket”.
“We do have advantages in the first half of the track with low torque and are able to throw everything at the track. Our PB’s came later in the season with the Perth Motorplex really stepping up the preparation of their track, and the team adapting to get the wheel speed up again”.
“The car started the season off with a 7.411 @ 191.08 mph – slower than our PB from last season of 7.31, and finished off the season with a 7.188 @ 191.89mph PB with some better tuning in first gear”.

“Many thanks go to our sponsors for the season. Aero Group Pty Ltd has funded most of the season, and we thank them for that. Their Avtrac Maintenance Tracking software - modified for drag racing and used for the last ten years by John Zappia, is used by myself for data collection and has been instrumental in being able to dial in correct tunes for various weather and track conditions and improve consistency".
“Platinum Aviation prepared the engine for us at their immaculate aircraft engine overhaul shop, and Harris Engines provided excellent support with the quad cam heads, which needed servicing every couple of meetings”.

“Many thanks also to John Zappia, who has given me untold support with his mentoring role in the team. The intensity and class required to stay reining Top Doorslammer Champion comes through to us in many ways”.

The EFI Turbo 13B powered RX-7 of Brad Morris had a steady season as he settles into regular Super Compact racing in Super Stock. Setting a new personal best 10.015 from his standard drive train earned him the title of Australia's quickest IRS rotary sedan. Switching to methanol and installing a clutchless 5 speed will see Brad under his index when he next races.

The team is now undergoing off season maintenance, and will present the AERO Outlaw RX-7 next season with new equipment that should see the car dip into the sixes for the first time. The team will aim to race at the Winternationals and possibly some other east coast tracks next season.
For more details, photos and videos go to


Naming Rights Sponsors
Aero Group Pty Ltd
Major Sponsors
Avtrac Maintenance Tracking, High Speed Engineering, El Es De Engineering, Platinum Aviation.
Supporting Sponsors
Southside Engine Center, Harris Engines, Zappia Racing, Pro Race Products.

Ex Super Gas racer Shannon Gaddes is about to make the little step up into his brand new and very extravagant Supercharged Outlaw Altered.

The penultimate Rocket All Stars Round at the Nitro Champs was the last chance for the nation’s sportsman racers to earn valuable points going into the final round at the Winternationals in June.

Reigning ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion and current record holder, John Zappia arrived in Darwin last night, ready to compete in the Macmahon Grand Re-Opening on the 13-14 May at Darwin's Hidden Valley Drag Strip.

A trip to the quarter-mile was exactly what the doctor ordered for Ipswich’s Tarrant family this evening, with the flood-affected family receiving some welcome ‘time out’ at Willowbank Raceway.

In an unfortunate racing incident at the Nitro Champs, held at Sydney Dragway on the 1st May 2011, the Mazda 6 driven by Rocky Rehayem crashed in the final of Super Compact.

It was an event that needed to be run, and thankfully for everyone at Sydney Dragway and the Nitro Champs – it did.


The 2011 Nitro Champs has not gone to plan with the inclement weather that has been hitting the Western Sydney area; however, the PRE Motorsport/Goldfingers Gentlemen’s team did manage to make two runs today.

John Zappia and his crew from Zappia Racing took the long haul road trip from Sydney to Darwin to compete in the Macmahon Grand Re-Opening of the Hidden Valley Drag Strip presented by 7mate, and had such a good time they vowed to return again.

The ANDRA Pro Series category of Pro Stock will boast not only the largest Pro field of the season-ending Castrol EDGE Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway over June 10-13, but also the tightest battle for the championship.

Queensland’s Crossroads Racing WASH IT Funny Car team owner John Cannuli has bounced back with a much celebrated WIN in Top Alcohol at Sydney Dragway’s NITRO CHAMPS this weekend after a torrid start to 2011.

In 2010 the drag racing season at Darwin's Hidden Valley Drag Strip was shortened to accommodate a multi-million dollar facilities upgrade.

More than 500 racers will take up residence at Willowbank Raceway across the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend of June 10-13 as the venue hosts the largest drag racing event held outside of the US – the Castrol EDGE Winternationals.

Territory drag racing fans got a sight they have never witnessed in the 26 year history of Hidden Valley Drag Strip, the first ever five second Top Doorslammer pass at the Macmahon Grand Re-Opening presented by 7mate.

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The 2011 Macmahon Grand Re-Opening Presented by 7mate, the first ever event covered live at the all new Hidden Valley Drag Strip.

A second qualifying session will be held at 10am on Sunday morning at the Nitro Champs.

Sydney Dragway recently held the 2011 NSW Junior Dragster Titles, sponsored by Rapisarda Racing in what turned out to be a fun filled day for everyone involved.

Hidden Valley Drag Strip gets its official christening this weekend with the two night Macmahon Grand Re-Opening kicking off on Friday.

The QDRA is one of Australia's oldest and largest drag racing clubs being formed in May 1966 by a bunch of enthusiasts when the American Dragfest Team was touring Australia.

Terry Sainty is looking to win his second Nitro Champs title at Sydney Dragway this weekend (Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1).

The latest round of the ANDRA Pro-Series was held recently at Sydney International Dragway in conjunction with the Nitro Championships with a big 3 days of action planned covering just about all classes of racing.

Carl Taylor took his Bubbletop Chev to a win at the Nitro Champs claiming his first the covenanted  gold Christmas tree trophy and a impressive debut for new sponsor Tilley Automotive.

The Shannons Street Machine Nationals website. 2011 is set to be a big year for the event with the move to the more entrant friendly Sydney Dragway.

The Zappia Racing Team are set to enter their third event in their East Coast Tour for 2011, with this weeks 2011 Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway being Round 6 of the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship.

Current ANDRA Pro Series Australian Top Fuel Championship leader, Darren Morgan isn’t allowing the frustration of the Sydney Nitro Champs get to him as he eyes off the season-ending Castrol EDGE Winternationals in just three weeks time.

I trust that all competitors’ and their team that attended the Nitro Champs have returned home safely. We have been working since the event finished with the numbers so as to report to all concerned about the payment of the prize money. 

Jim Read Racing have come away with a much wanted ANDRA gold Christmas Tree trophy for their efforts after winning Top Fuel at the 2011 Nitro Champs held over the April 29-May 1 weekend.

Andrew Cowin will miss racing at the Nitro Champs this weekend at Sydney Dragway, with team principal Graeme Cowin issuing a statement.

For the Jason Hedges Racing team (JHR), the 2010/2011 ANDRA Pro Series has been a career year.


The lead up to the 2011 Nitro Champs had all the ingredients for a great Drag Racing event. However, the weather gods had different ideas and dumped enormous amounts of water on Sydney Dragway and surrounding areas leading up to and into the first two days of the event.

Chris Matheson and Maurice Allen have their championship hopes pinned on the season-ending Castrol EDGE Winternationals, to be held at Willowbank Raceway across Friday June 10 – Monday June 13.

Rapisarda Racing will field three cars in Top Fuel at this weekend’s Nitro Champs, at Sydney Dragway from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1.

If rumours are to be believed, and we stress these are rumours, a former big name driver/rider who participated across three categories reportedly has a new Top Doorslammer on the way.

For Steven Ham and the Mobil 1/East Coast Lubes Funny Car, the 2011 Nitro Champs proved a vital round for the teams championship aspirations. The fickle Sydney weather threw all the teams a curve ball with two days of relentless rain before clearing up just enough for two qualifying runs but giving tricky track conditions.

For those looking for something different to entertain the family during the next long weekend, Willowbank Raceway’s Castrol EDGE Winternationals could be just the ticket.

Reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Andrew Badcock will step out of the riders seat at the conclusion of the 2011 Castrol EDGE Winternationals, and when he does so he hopes to be celebrating back-to-back ANDRA Pro Series Championship wins.

If Darren Morgan claims the ANDRA Pro Series Top Fuel Championship at Willowbank Raceway’s Castrol EDGE Winternationals over June 10-13, it will be the first time an owner/driver has taken the title since Jim Read in 2006.

Warwick racer Matthew Loy is riding a wave of momentum in the Junior Dragster category currently, and is hoping to keep the ride going at Warwick Raceway this weekend.

The future looks promising for young gun tuner Aaron Hambridge after debut with Lamattina Racing at the Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway on April 30- May.

Sydney Super Street racer Carl “Chevy” Taylor has gained new sponsorship for his standout Chevy Bubbletop from Tilley Automotive.