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Kelly Bettes Top Fuel Dragster

Two reigning 400 Thunder champions who have thus far struggled for the season got their series defences back on track with wins at Willowbank Raceway's New Years Thunder on Saturday night.

With the all run format providing every team with three shots at the track, Bettes defeated America's Ashley Sanford in Australia's second ever all-female Top Fuel final.

Bettes (above, image courtesy dragphotos.com.au) bounced back from a first round red light after double stepping the Lamattina Top Fuel Racing dragster against Damien Harris. The second round was also a Bettes vs Sanford with a 3.87 to 3.96 race goes the Australian's way.

With no racers able to score two wins from the first two rounds, ET points decided the seeding for the final with Sanford nudging out Phil Read.

Sanford took the holeshot in the final .091 to .077 but Bettes fought back for a 3.87 win to an early shut off 4.84 from Sanford.

Paul Mouhayet Pro Slammer

Paul Mouhayet was back in the consistent form that won him the 2017/18 400 Thunder Pro Slammer title, taking victory from Steven Ham.

Mouhayet's road to the final saw him defeat Jason Donnelly in round one with a 5.75, then using a 5.74 to beat Paul Cannuli to the line in round two. Ham had a quick car, setting low ET in round two with a 5.72, but a wheelstand in the final saw him get out of the throttle and Mouhayet take a 5.73 win.

Nights were not so successful for Andrew Searle and Kelvin Lyle. Searle got loose in round one and went into the wall at half track, stripping much of the body off the Ford Mustang as it 360'd down the track.


Later in the night, points leader Kelvin Lyle had a big moment through the finish line, smacking into the wall and scraping through the braking area in a heartbreaking crash for the West Australian team.

Gary Phillips Funny Car

Pro Alcohol saw some vintage Gary Phillips with the Queensland driver setting a pace that was leaps and bounds ahead of the field.

Phillips went 5.56 in round one to defeat Wayne Price and then improved to a 5.49 against Chris Hargrave in round two.

Taking on reigning champ Steve Reed in the final, Phillips nailed a 5.43/264mph for the trophy, a tenth and a half quicker than any other racer on the day.

Aaron Tremayne Pro Stock

Aaron Tremayne took yet another Pro Stock win, defeating Chris Soldatos in the final. Tremayne was robotic during racing, going 7.06, 7.04 and then 7.05 in the final for his wins.

Ryan Learmonth Pro Bike

Ryan Learmonth claimed his first ever victory in Pro Bike, defeating Daniel Rabnott in the final round.

Learmonth was in career best form, charging to a PB 7.165/185mph against Glenn Wooster in round one, then backing it up with a 7.164 to get by Andrew Badcock in round two.

Both Learmonth and Rabnott struggled off the line in the final but Learmonth recovered for a 7.44 win while Rabnott rolled off the throttle early.