Adelaide’s Spring Nationals turn on a show

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The 30th running of the Spring Nationals took to Adelaide International Raceway on Saturday (October 14) and with more than 160 racers on-hand for what was round four of the 2017/2018 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, the action was aplenty from start to finish.

Bailey Datson (Super Gas), Bradley Bishop (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Chris Tatchell (Denso Super Street), Shane Walker (Modified Bike), George Tipoukidis (Super Sedan), Jess Turner (Modified), Paul Russo (Top Sportsman), Tim Stewart (Supercharged Outlaws), Tony Frost (Competition Bike) and Daniel Camilleri (SuperComp) all took victory in their respective classes.

Runners-up were Warren Bull (Super Gas), Jason Neve (Denso Super Street), Johnny Ireland (Modified Bike), Ned Karanovic (Super Sedan), Matt Czerny (Modified), Darren Nichele (Top Sportsman), Jason Keily (Supercharged Outlaws), Robert Cassar (Competition Bike) and Steve Norman (SuperComp). There was no runner-up for Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster with Andrew Shirley suffering an issue with his dragster in his semi-final bye run.

For full results from the Spring Nationals, please click here. The next round of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, the Prestige Lock Service Goldenstates, will be held at the Perth Motorplex on Saturday, November 11.

After having earlier earned the Competition Bike Top Qualifiers Medallion – sponsored by The Tile Co-The Shower People, KC Tools and Summit Racing – Tony Frost and his Suzuki GSXR faced Danny Rickard in the first round. He then went on to have a bye for the semi before taking on Robert Cassar for the final. Cassar meanwhile had faced Phil Howard (round one) and Jim Hanlon on his way to his runner-up result.

“The day unfolded really, really well for us. We came over here trialling some new things on the bike, and it has worked all the way through,” said Frost, who thanked Ballistic Performance Parts, Speedflow Warrnambool and Pedders Suspension Warrnambool for their support of his program, while also sending a special thanks to his wife, Tracey.

“We were a bit worried after the second qualifier as it was running what it had beforehand, and then in the third qualifier we had an issue with a battery collapsing which was a bit of a disappointment. From there though it really unfolded well for us in the sense of clutch setups. The setup the crew did for me for the first eliminator worked and we were able to take the win – we hurt our index a little bit but to have a bye in the second round and only have to accept the green was a blessing as we could rest the bike and keep it cool for the final.

“The air came around and let us run a seven second pass which we had been chasing all day. The crew did an awesome job and kept on top of the bike all day – this is as much their win as mine. Funnily enough, my good mate Robert Cassar of Ballistic Performance Parts has been helping me tune the bike today and also with parts, it was a great effort by him to help us as well and it was good to race him in the final.”

For Victoria Modified racer Jess Turner, it was a strong win which was proceeded by a strong day. On her way to the final against good friend Matt Czerny, Turner faced off against Kinglsey Kuchel, Bradley Hicks and Top Qualifier Medallion recipient Adam Mundy. Meanwhile, Czerny raced against and defeated Simon Barlow and Derek Wills before enjoying a bye run into the finals.

“We started the day off pretty well, running a 7.21s which was our best and then the car was pretty consistent after that in qualifying,” Jess explained.

“In the first round we had a close race with Kingsley, and then Bradley Hicks broke on the next run. In the semi-final we raced Adam Mundy and he red-lit, before in the final I was able to race my good friend Matt Czerny and we were able to come away with the win.

“I am definitely happy, I have a great team behind me, everyone put in and we got it done. I have to send a thanks to ETS Racing Fuels, Kavanagh Auto Parts, Dominator Converters and Paul Rogers Performance Transmissions. We have had a lot of help from these guys recently and I am really happy to be able to take them to the winner’s circle!”

For Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster winner Bradley Bishop, Saturday’s Spring Nationals victory saw the New South Wales racer notch up two round wins in a row. On his way to the final, Bishop took on Allirah Kardum, Chelsea Sammut and Daniel Carranza before having a bye run in the final. That bye run came after Andrew Shirley was unable to proceed past his own bye run in his semi-final with issues on his dragster. He had earlier raced and defeated Bailey Ponton (round one) and Jordan Spencer. Earlier in the day, George Limperis had taken out the Top Qualifier Medallion in only his second competitive event.

“Qualifying was a bit slower than what we wanted but I was happy with it,” said Bishop, who thanks his dad Pete Bishop for his support.

“Then everyone decided to go red against us! I don’t know if everyone was a bit flustered, but we kept doing rounds, making sure the car was good and it turned out that it was good enough today.

“That is two rounds wins in a row. You can’t ask for much more and we will just keep doing the best we can on the day, setting ourselves up and hoping for the best.”

In the Supercharged Outlaws bracket, Tim Stewart was another back-to-back round winner with victory in Adelaide following on from his Mildura round win last month. On his way to the final against a red-lighting Jason Keily, Stewart enjoyed a bye run in the first round before facing Mark Hunt and Top Qualifier Medallion recipient Adam Murrihy. Keily had earlier defeated Shane Kramer in the first round before enjoying bye runs in round two and his semi-final.

In SuperComp, Daniel Camilleri converted a Top Qualifier Medallion worthy performance into an event win over runner-up Steve Norman. At the same time as taking the event victory, the Victorian racer also set a new record in his Pontiac Firebird, resetting the DD/GA record to 6.215s at 166.38mph (1000ft race distance).

On his way to the final, Camilleri dispatched Alex Panagiotidis (round one) and Adrian Vella (semis), while he enjoyed a bye run in his second round. Meanwhile, Norman had taken on and beaten David Clark (round one) and Tom Dimitropoulos before enjoying a bye run for his semi-final. The runner-up also reset the D/GA record to 6.904s at 149.17mph (1000ft), while Vella was another to reset benchmarks, rewriting the B/APA record to 6.160s at 169.65mph (1000ft).

Shane Walker was another racer to claim a Top Qualifier Medallion ahead of a round win. The Victorian racer had a bye in the first elimination round for Modified Bike before facing off against Mario Baker and Gordon Crawford on the way to his final against Johnny Ireland. Ireland meanwhile had taken on and defeated Toni Keating and Dan Dycer before coming home as runner-up to the Harley Davidson rider.

The Denso Super Street bracket was taken out by defending champion Chris Tatchell, who faced off in his Holden Torana against Jason Neve. The Victorian had earlier raced against Craig Ferguson and Mark Sienczwski before taking a bye run in his semis. On his way to his runner-up result, Neve took on Mick Piscioneri, Harry Harris and Remo Rende. Earlier in the day, Robyn Phillis took out the Top Qualifier Medallion honours.

In Super Gas, the race for victory came down to Bailey Datson and Warren Bull, with South Australian racer Datson taking out the victory after having earlier beaten Jeff Romeo and Top Qualifier Medallion recipient Graeme Spencer in his Holden Torana SLR. Meanwhile, Bull had earlier taken on Colin Griffin and Adrian McGrotty.

The Top Sportsman proceedings were awarded to Paul Russo, who piloted his 57 Chev to victory over Top Qualifier Medallion recipient Darren Nichele after having won against Chris Theo, Danny Buccella and Glenn Henley. Russo was the second quickest qualifier behind Nichele, with Nichele going on to race Greg Damiani (round one) and Jason Arbery (semis) while having a bye run in round two. On his way to the victory, Russo also scored the Perfect Light award courtesy of a 0.000s reaction time in his semi-final run.

In Super Sedan it was defending champion George Tipoukidis’ day, with the racer taking victory in a double break-out final against Ned Karanovic. On his way to the final, Tipoukidis took on and defeated Brett Mathew and Alex Gkroidis while Karanovic took wins against Russell Cowie (round one) and Peter Tzokas (semis) while enjoying a bye in round two.

Also on-track during the Spring Nationals to the delight of spectators were the Difilippo USA v AUS Jet Cars. From their three runs, the USA machine took out two victories to Australia’s one, with the Aussie car failing to stage for the final pass.

ANDRA thanks Adelaide Drag Race Promotions, the Adelaide International Raceway staff, volunteers and sponsors for an outstanding race track and a great event.

Round five of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, the Prestige Lock Service Goldenstates, will be held at the Perth Motorplex on Saturday, November 11. For more information, visit and

For full results from this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series round at Adelaide International Raceway, please click here.

Image by Bright Design

Report by ANDRA Media

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