All is golden for Bishop and Cannuli in Perth ANDRA opener

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Stuart Bishop earned his first Top Doorslammer win and John Cannuli won his second event in Perth as the Top Doorslammer and Top Alcohol seasons got underway in Western Australia last night.

Bishop had both performance and luck on his side with the Wallace Bishop Camaro. The Queensland-based jeweller advanced through the first round courtesy of Mark Belleri with a 6.02 victory, endured a pedal fest-style pass in the semi finals to run a 6.40 and defeat Grant O’Rourke, while his final round victory came with a solid 5.97 to overcome a valiant 6.02 from first time finalist Pino Priolo.

“I’ve usually been out in the first round the last couple of years and Doorslammer feels like I’m always up against Zappia who went out first round. Unfortunately I’m used to that,” Bishop said.

“I don’t get to race every race so Daniel Reed (crew chief) gets to tinker with the car, play with different things and do different things. We came out here to use a race meeting as a test run and we came away with the win.

“I’m a jeweller by trade and this is the most expensive piece of metal (the ANDRA silver Christmas tree) I’ve ever held!”

There was plenty of emotion in the Wallace Bishop pits across the event.

“I am feeling numb to be honest,” Bishop explained. “This is my first win in 15 years of drag racing; it’s awesome. Daniel has done a fabulous job the past couple of years and this weekend we were down a couple of crew with that cyclone back in Queensland and we have had some personal setbacks with some of the crew having personal health challenges; putting our heart and soul into this weekend is a tribute to them.”

Priolo mean time was all smiles with the Budget Forklifts 34 Chev finally turning a corner and putting in consistent passes of 6.09, 6.03 and 6.02 on the night, adding to qualifying passes of 6.01 and 6.09.

“I am a racer and I never say I can’t ever win a race,” he said. “It’s exciting to be number two in Australia for the time being.

“To have every run a 6.0 pass says that we are heading in a great direction. Congrats to Stu Bishop on the win and he more than deserves it, he actually helped us out with some parachutes through the weekend and that’s the nature of the man.”

John Cannuli meantime put the Dudu Funny Car into the winner’s circle of Top Alcohol with a dominant performance. After qualifying with two 5.61 elapsed times, Cannuli retained the consistency with a 5.66 defeat of Steven Ham in round one, a 5.65 in the semi finals to win against Gary Phillips and then a 5.60 for victory in the final over a tyre shaking Craig Glassby.

“The Funny Car is my favourite car and that passion has grown over the past 12 months,” Cannuli said. “I was nervous about this event because Perth has awesome local cars and the biggest names over east were heading over and that was one of the toughest rounds I have ever raced for sure.

“I must also pass on special thanks to Craig Glassby actually – he has supplied us methanol fuel the last three times we have been here and we haven’t even paid him for them yet!”

For Glassby it was bridesmaid again after reaching the final round in Perth last season as well.

“We haven’t run the car much the past 12 months, it is a new combo and despite only having one shakedown test before this event, to run like we did was great,” he said. “How tough is this bracket? So many cars running in the 5.61 zone or better. Greg Gower, my mentor and crew chief, was amazing this weekend, as well as those new Noonan Heads. They are a new addition this year to our combination and they are performing as we hoped.”

Sportsman winners for the local track championship round on the night included Andrew Katavatis in Super Comp, Ryan Learmonth in Competition Bike, Frank Taylor in Supercharged Outlaws, Cameron Turner in Modified, Karl Firmin in Super Sedan, Roger Harris in Modified Bike, James Read in Super Street and Brayden Naylor in Junior Dragster.

Drag News will have a full wrap up tomorrow (Sunday) on the whole event.

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