The first round of a new State-based Top Doorslammer series will take place this Saturday at Perth Motorplex.
The new Summer Slam is a five round series that will include three independent rounds and two rounds aligned with ANDRA national championship events next year.
For driver Daniel Gregorini, the timing has been ideal as he returns from a nine month break with his Chev Camaro primed for action. Piloting a 3000 horsepower vehicle that accelerates from 0 to 400kmh in just six seconds might not sound like a relaxing activity, but Gregorini said he feels calm about getting back into the cockpit.
“We are excited about the new series being built and we will get on board,” he said. “I’m not at all nervous about being in the seat again. I think if you get nervous maybe you shouldn’t be in the car, I’m just hanging to get back to the track.”
Gregorini has spent his off season well, building a new premises to host his race operation. The new workshop will provide a better base than the garage the car was formerly resident in.
“We’ve set up a premises where we can work on the car properly and set up the infrastructure a bit better,” he said. “It makes the time between events a lot easier.”
While reigning national champion John Zappia will be a hot favourite for the first round of the Summer Slam, which runs alongside the WA Drag Racing Championships, Gregorini is hopeful that a tyre change will produce dividends.
“I’ve converted to a Goodyear tyre and so far we have only done five runs to try them out,” he said. “I am continuing to play with them and some new gear ratios. We haven’t been able to get the car to go past 7800rpm in first gear and really we need to get to 9200-9500rpm.
“I’ve been short shifting and I want to stay aggressive in the tune up but the tyre hasn’t been able to hold it in the past.”
Gregorini expects to be back into the 5sec. zone for the weekend and would like to finish his season by working into the 5.7sec. range for the quarter mile (402m) drag strip.
“I think the car has the potential to go into the 70s, we have taken two steps back by changing the tyre and the whole tune up,” he said. “The plan is to do well and try and get the thing sorted out before the big national championship rounds.”
Boosting the field for the first Summer Slam is the appearance of some new Top Doorslammers with Kelvin Lyle and Frank Taylor both set to make their debuts in a Ford Mustang and a Chevrolet Chevelle respectively. They will be joined by veterans Pino Priolo, Mark Chaoman, Steve Aldridge and Ryan Moresby as well as Tracey De Jager who is stepping up in her Ford Thunderbird.