The 2018 ATURA NSW Championship Series got underway on Saturday 17 February with over 190 teams gracing Sydney Dragway at round one of the series.
Hot conditions challenged all teams throughout the day, with a swirling breeze also destined to make life a little harder than usual for competitors. Race-day was largely incident free, thanks to the co-operation of the racers with officials and staff, ensuring the event finished ahead of schedule.
The performance testing categories comprising of four competitors – Paul Mouhayet, Mark Belleri, Greg Tsakiridis and Fred Nicastri and was largely uneventful – with the two Pro Slammers fine tuning their combinations before heading west to Perth for the next round of the 400 Thunder Series and not laying down any representative numbers. Tsakiridis showed that he is getting a firm handle on one of the quickest and fastest cars in the country, with a best of 5.91 at 256 mph for the day.
Supercharged Outlaws was decided on the start line, with a red light from Gordon Carlsen in his six-second altered handing the win to Sydney Dragway regular Anthony Bool, who put the exclamation point on the win with a tight 7.68 on his 7.62 dial in.
The Top Sportsman final was an absolute pearler with Thomas Leake set to do battle with Tony Huysmans. At the green, both racers left with .00 reaction times but it was Leake who took home the trophy with a stellar 8.521 on his 8.52 dial in.
Timic Hot Rod Supplies Modified saw two veterans in the final round, with Peter Brown and Tim Nielsen facing off as they have done many times in the past. Nielsen took the win with a 7.883 on his 7.88 , narrowly defeating Brown who was equally as good with a 7.702 on a 7.70 dial in.
Bikereview.com.au Modified Bike saw a wild final round between Rob Wilkinson and Robert Simmonds, with the former having a huge case of tank-slapping at half track. This was enough for Simmonds to sneak through for an easy win, and begin his campaign for a fourth consecutive title (and sixth overall) in the best way possible.
Reigning Super Sedan Champion Rob Chapman battled his way through five rounds of eliminations to take on Brian Mortensen in the final round, however the champ’s luck ran out in the final with a small break-out 9.27 on his 9.29 handing the win to Mortensen’s 9.96 on his 9.92 dial in.
Past track champion Mick Walsh was outstanding in the final of Super Street battling Adam Bowers. At the green, Bowers had the advantage but at the finish line it was all Walsh as he recorded an 11.29 on an 11.29 dial in to best Bowers’ break out 11.28 on his 11.32 dial in.
J & C Mowers Junior Dragster was almost a heads-up affair with Jackson Perri and James Sarkis dialing in at 8.04 and 8.09 respectively. Unfortunately for Sarkis, a tiny break out at the finish line (8.084 on a 8.09 dial in) meant that Perri would start his 2018 championship campaign with a win.
Super Gas again had two veterans facing off in the final, with Roy Romeo and Anthony Panetta racing to decide the winner. At the green, Romeo was almost psychic with a .005 reaction time compared to Panetta’s .024, however he went too quick and a 9.88 on the 9.90 fixed index gave the win to Panetta who recorded a safe 9.918.
Street Fighter was a tight affair, with Wayne Smith and David Jennings both recording solid reaction times but it was the experienced Jennings who took the win with a 13.77 on his 13.45 to relegate Smith to the runner-up position.
Street Bike stalwart Stefan Stivala continued his good run of form, making it to the final round up against fellow mainstay Guido Falgiatori. An almost 2-tenths of a second holeshot from Falgiatori was enough to hold on to victory, despite a tight 10.13 on a 10.10 dial in for Stivala.
HAMBster saw a small field of 4 cars face the starter, but after 3 rounds of Chicago Shootout racing it was young-gun James Rodriquez and current champion Ezio Cacciotti in the final. At the green, Cacciotti had the advantage but it was not enough to conquer a 15.47 on his 15.40 dial in from Rodriquez who took home his second event win.
The next round of the ATURA NSW Championships is Saturday 24 March 2018, at Sydney Dragway. Entries are open now for round two of the series and for all remaining rounds of the 2018 series.
Words by Sydney Dragway media
Photos by Cackling Pipes Photography