Spinozzi Racing and their Speedmaster Chevelle achieved their best result yet in 400 Thunder Pro Slammer competition, reaching the semi finals of East Coast Thunder at Sydney Dragway on Saturday.
Driver Emilio Spinozzi upset Steven Ham in round one with a 6.17 second pass, before taking out Mark Hinchelwood with another 6.17 in round two. On a day where consistency was paying off, another 6.17 would have won the semi final against Kelvin Lyle too, had it not been for a mysterious activation of the Electrimotion safety system, which cuts off the engine and releases the parachutes.
“It was the kind of day where as long as you went down the track you could get win lights,” Spinozzi said. “If we had two more 6.17 times we would have won the whole event! It was a bit of a blow to have something stop the car which wasn't our fault, but we have to keep the event in perspective and look at our achievements from the week.
“We made some awesome gains in testing and even though we had some luck on our side for race day we still went rounds.
“This meeting really felt like we were racing again, not just testing. I was back the hot seat, we were turning around the car between rounds and we could really feel the excitement.”
Spinozzi Racing crew chief Michael Marriott is confident the team has turned a corner with the Speedmaster Chevelle, as suspension changes catch up with the engine.
“At first we didn't have enough power in the car, now we have learned how to make power with the tune up,” he said. “The big change for us this weekend was each run we have improved the suspension and we can start to get power into the car.
“We were very fortunate in racing to be one of the most consistent cars and consistency is what kept us going.
“Darwin was the turnaround where we started to find what to look for. Now we know what a good run looks like in the data. The whole Spinozzi Racing team has shown an ability to adapt, from driving to turning around the car. We have an awesome car from SCF Race Cars and we are looking forward to getting better from here.”
Spinozzi Racing will be doing some more testing before Christmas to refine what they learned at East Coast Thunder, before heading to Willowbank Raceway on January 5 for the New Year Thunder event.
“We went from not being able to get through first and second gear without tyre shake to a car that will consistently go down the track,” Spinozzi said. “That was a massive gain for us and Michael and the boys have been working really hard to get the car right.
“We are getting to a point where we can start tuning it and getting after it. We are going to try and do a little more testing and then Christmas is coming up really quickly. We will be at Willowbank before we know it.”
Spinozzi thanked team sponsors Speedmaster, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Nicsons Concrete, Torco Oils, LJ Hooker Commercial Macarthur, Soligo Concrete, Sloanebuilt Trailers, Pasta Italia, Optimum Fire, Planned Signs, Kemps Creek Mitre 10, Western Filters, Speedflow, Al’s Race Glides, Smithfield Diff and Gearbox, Race Teknix and Corfield Media Solutions for their continued support.