Abel tackles Fuchs Australian Nationals

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The Hidden Valley Drag Racing Association, and MotorSport NT flags were waving at the Fuchs Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway on the weekend where Territorian Matt Abel debuted his new Top Doorslammer.

Based on a 1957 Chev and made out of carbon fibre, Abel only recently acquired the car from the US and has been busy preparing for the upcoming ANDRA Pro Series Season.

With over 400 teams entered, the 2010 Fuchs Australian Nationals was set to be a thrilling event.

Abel’s first ever pass in the car was the Friday night qualifying sessions. First up the Chev found tyre shake off the start line (a phenomenon where the rear tyres turn “square” under extreme acceleration) and Abel backed off for a sedate 11.832 at 75mph.

Qualifying Session 2 saw Abel paired beside Peter Blake. Once again Abel took the opportunity to get a feel for the car, leaving the car setup unchanged. Again he experienced tyre shake and rolled through for a 8.3 second pass against Blake’s 6.51.

Back to the drawing board, Abel proceeded to rethink his strategy for qualifying session 3, the final chance for him to qualify for the 2010 Australian Nationals.

The final qualifying attempt was to be held in the early evening on Saturday night and it was a do or die run for both Abel and fellow competitor John Zappia.  Leaving hard off the line, Abel covered the first 60 foot in only 1.03 seconds, but dropped 2 cylinders to finish with a 6.68 at 211mph.  Surprisingly, the first 60 foot was only marginally slower than his previous personal best. It wasn’t enough to make the field but it provided valuable seat time in the new car.

He again repeated this with a 1.01sec 60 foot time during an exhibition pass later in the weekend. Unfortunately he again dropped 2 cylinders in the engine.

“It was always going to be a lot of work to make the field with an untested car,” said Abel.

“Top Doorslammer is probably the toughest Pro Series class in the country and I’m confident we can return to the competitive arena during the coming rounds.”

Some minor electrical repairs have been made and the car is on its way to Willowbank Raceway in Queensland where he will compete this weekend in the Outlaw 10.5 class – where he will try and put over 3000 horsepower to the ground on a tyre measuring only 10.5 inches wide.

Abel will also feature at the 2010 NT Quarter Mile Titles to be held at Alice Springs Inland Dragway in October.

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