The Atura Blacktown NSW Championship Series has reached its midpoint and takes a several month break heading into Winter.
Championship contenders are starting to make their claim now after the fourth round was run and done. The cooling temperatures at this time of year were making dial ins tricky to chase on cool track temps making for some exciting elimination racing.
With not enough cars to run Supercharged Outlaws this season, Top Sportsman is where we begin in our race results and last start winner Brett O'Connor could not capitalise on that events form dropping out in round one to Rob Tarabay's RX3, the RX3 was on a tear only to eliminate himself from the event when he found the sand trap on a winning run and unable to front the quarter finals. That round now became the semi finals with Tarabay's withdrawal - for which he also had a solo in - reduced the five car round to four. Other championship contenders Thomas Leake and Neil Constantinou had already been eliminated opening the door championship door to their chasers. Anthony Hrvatin put 'Moby' Dick through in a tight race over Dale Hartill-Law's Mustang and Ronnie Palumbo nailed Adam Attard's crazy launching Torana. In the final Palumbo went red by 5 thou though Hrvatin was on his game with a .008 light, eitherway 8.74 on a 8.72 would of been a tight package to beat. Hrvatin's win ties the championship up three-ways with Leake and Constantinou.
Modified is equally close at the top and just like Top Sportsman, Garry Durrington who was the last round winner was gone in round one when Allison Evans extracted some revenge on the racer who had beat her the previous two rounds. Evans broke out to Tim Nielsen in round three when the 'Boss Bullet' hooked up better than expected on the cold track, though with Peter Brown already eliminated, consistency ties her up with Brown for the championship lead. Nielsen won into the final over the Craig Davies FED that broke out with a holeshot advantage to face Leigh Hartill-Law in the families tough roadster. A .010 light to a .034 in favour of Hartill-Law had the the Nielsen dragster n trouble and the roadster finished the job at the stripe with a super tight 8.165 on a 8.16.
If you thought racing was tight so far, it had nothing on Super Sedan. Coming off his a final at the last round and a win at Nitro Thunder, Michael Little bowed out in round one too Trent Pieme's Commodore, rival and the winner from last round Sean Maher, went a little further in eliminations, but at the pointy end of the event Marco Tolomeo and Leo Georgis won through to the final on the courtesy of a pair of red lights from Brian Mortensen and Josh Boskovich respectively. The final was one of the hardest racers we are likely to see all year, Tolomeo had the Falcon on point with a .015 reaction and a 9.181 on a 9.18, a package that would win 99% of races, but no Leo Georgis goes .001 on the tree and 9.001 on a 9.00 at the stripe for a 2 thou package - mic drop! It was Georgis' first win in the Escort panel van which has a very long winning history in the sport, the result moves him to seventh in the championship but only 30 points from the lead such is the battle that is Super Sedan.
In Modified Bike, Robert Simmonds holds command over the field and his wife Bobbie-Jo who sits in second on the points ladder with another final round appearance. Simmonds reached the final with wins over Darren Foley and Wayne Odgers and would ride off against Geoff Veigel's Kwaka knocked off Joe Khoury, Lorenzo Capogna and Bobbie Jo in the semi final. There was another crash hot about the reactions times in the final, but Veigel had a solid headstart and backed it off for a safe 9.896 on a 9.80 win ahead of the chasing 8.723 on a 8.68 from the 'Simmonator' Hayabusa.
Stan Nikitaras is always a tough player in Super Street, and the former champ bounced back into form taking the event win and the championship lead with his familiar orange Capri. The big Plymouth Satellite of Luke 'Tex' Griffiths picked off a cherry in the final handing the easy win to Nikitaras. With championship leader Anthony Gattellari a no-show at the round, he plummets out of contention leaving Michael Walsh the nearest rival 20 points arrears ahead a fleet of other racers.
Super Gas had its biggest field of the year with 8 cars that saw Darryl Stephen debut his freshly finished XM Falcon coupe, though retired it early to tinker with some setup issues. Roy Romeo and John Somoracz were equally as good in qualifying with 9.904 bests, Romeo taking the number one on doing it first. Somoracz showed he still had it in eliminations nailing the perfect 9.900 pass in the semi finals against Shane McGregor to meet Romeo in the final. Unfortunately Somoracz's reaction wasn't where it needed to be in the final with a .088 to .012 from Romeo, hence the Romeo Commodore cleaned up in the top end with a safe 9.913 to Somoracz forced 9.863 breakout. With Romeo and Somoracz missing a round they are unlikely to be able to climb back to championship contention that is headed by Anthony Panetta and Joe Catanzariti.
A perfect 8.000 run from Chelsea Smith saw her take the top qualifier in Junior Dragster. Smith reached the semi finals before she ended her night with a red light against Oscar De Main. Joining De Main in the final was Antonio Panetta who scored a single in the semi final after sending home Ryan Pettiford, Lachlan MacCaskell and James Hazzard. A killer .001 light in the final from Panetta would make the final win his with a 8.377 on a 8.10 to De Main's valiant 8.688 on a 8.49. The win take Panetta to the top of the Junior Dragster championship heap ahead of James Hazzard and Nicholas Polito.
David Jennings has won two rounds this season but was upset by Richard Welch in round one, however no one could really step it up and take advantage of the fallen gun with non-contenders Don Zammit and Craig Warren going the distance in eliminations to reach the final. Warren normally contesting Super Street was in his daily and brought his wares to the class, but despite a better reaction couldn't round up Don Zammit's Corolla's 17.04 on a 16.90 in the top end.
Bernadette McShane rode away with her first ever event win in Street Bike. Her Kawasaki overcame a huge tenth holeshot to opponent Colin Northcott with a tight 11.42 on a 11.00 to defeat the fast closing Ducati's 10.468 on a 10.30.
And in HAMBster, Anthont Mastromauro was the victor from the Chicago Shootout format, defeating constant finalist Ezio Cacciotti with a great 17.665 on a 17.65.
The Atura NSW Championship Series returns on August 25.
Madman Productions has produced these videos of the action from the event.
Gallery of the day by Dragnews Magazine and Cackling Pipes.