A five thirty seven from the ’57 seals Willowbank win

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An eager crowd, a party in the pits, blazing fast passes and close racing made the Willowbank Raceway round of Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars on May 12 one of the best yet.

After the crowd were treated to a “Party in the Pits” with drivers and crew, as well as entertainment and rides for the kids, round one of racing started with almost every car in the field recording a pass in the 5-second range.

Rick Gauci’s Nitro Express went quickest of all the cars but the real highlight was both Donnelly brothers recording wins in their respective match-ups and also recording near identical 5.67-second elapsed times!

Josh Leahy drove The Bandit to wins in both the first two rounds with scorching runs, which meant Leahy would head to the final run of the night to matchup against Gauci in Nitro Express for overall event win honours. One Bad Kiwi and Morice McMillin returned to form in the second round, with a stout 5.65 second pass and Bumble Bee would also enter the final on the maximum six points, after recording another win.

The final matchups saw Bumble Bee take on One Bad Kiwi and it was local-boy Donnelly who took Bumble Bee to the win and maximum 9 points.

That meant Gauci or Leahy were the only two racers who could take the top spot away from Bumble Bee – all hinging on the final run of the night.

Josh Leahy blasted The Bandit to a super-quick 5.58-second pass but even that wasn’t enough with Gauci recording an outright record for the class with a 5.37-second pass at a massive 271mph!


That result meant Gauci took top honours with Jake Donnelly in second and Josh Leahy third.

Gauci explained “We knew we had to step it up for the final, Josh and The Bandit were running hard for the whole meeting and he’s quick on the lights too!

“GC (Crew Chief, Graeme Cowin) put a strong tune-up in Nitro Express for that last pass and what can I say, I had to hold on!

“I have to give a massive thanks to the whole crew and well done to Jake Donnelly and Josh Leahy on their podiums, it’s so close between the cars, we are having to step it up every time we go out.

“I can’t wait for the next one!” laughed Gauci.

The next event for the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars will be at Springmount Raceway, near Cairns in Queensland.

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