EVENT COVERAGE – ANDRA Drag Racing: Whyalla ready to rumble on Sunday

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Qualifying for the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series presented by Whyalla City Council has been completed in hot and humid conditions at Steel City Raceway.

Local hometown Super Stock Champion Steve Norman heads the field for the Group Two bracket even after only completing two qualifiers early in the day. He planned to skip Q3 and decided against running the final qualifier as a strong wind gained momentum through the day.

Norman’s 5.170 second pass put him -0.200 under his National C/APA index and maintained top spot through the final two qualifying sessions.

“The first qualifier was a little bit off, we just missed it with the heat and humidity,” said Norman.

“The car went straight though, we brought it back and took some fuel out of it. We didn’t go any quicker because the conditions got worse and the wind picked up.

“We still held the number one position and we’ve got two guys, Robert Bergamin and Neil Davis stepping up from Super Sedan which is fantastic and we get to run a Super Stock bracket at the first National Championship event here in Whyalla.”

Louis Svingos secured second place from Jim Ioannidis while Norman’s Championship rival Kim Fardella qualified fourth to set up a marque match up in round one against Norman. Bergamin and Davis complete the field in fifth and sixth.

In other action Supercharged Outlaws Australian Nationals winner and Whyalla local Peter Datsun qualified first despite a dead even 4.491 elapsed time with Shane Kramer. Graham Sheill is third, Steel City Drag Club President Mark Kuhn is fourth, David Thornton fifth, Doina Day in her return after scraping the wall in December is sixth while Lawrence Coppola and Warren Leonard are seventh and eighth.

Darren Saliba qualified first for the fifth successive occasion in Top Sportsman with a 4.713 second pass from Paul Russo, Stuart McBain, Jason Arbery and Brody Sonntag. He’ll be looking to finally convert his strong qualifying efforts into an event win on Sunday.

Simon Barlow secured top honours with a number one qualifier in his quest for the Modified Championship recording a 4.776 ET followed closely by Kenny Stewart in second. Bradley Hicks, Craig Baker, Adam Mundy, Neil Dyson and Bruce McHendrie all posted five second times to round out the field.

Leon Davies qualified first in Super Sedan running a 5.588 second pass to keep Vlado Turic at bay in second while Lance Larcombe, Keith Yandle and Andrew Thompson closed out the top five. 

Niki Zakrzewski overcame a tumble in her second Modified Bike qualifier with her first round 5.646-second effort enough to hold Australian Nationals winner Gavin Dohnt to second followed by Greg Sparks, Shane Walker and Wally Hosta.

Mick Piscioneri topped Super Street with a 7.042 second pass set in his second qualifier from Joe Martino eight hundredths behind in second. Matthew Jarvis qualified third, Leigh Donaldson fourth and completing the top five is Neville Hereen. 

Junior Dragster title hope Natalie Bishop wrapped up her second top qualifier in a row following the Australian Nationals with an 8.006 ET followed by Connor Oehms, Michael Naylor, Bishop’s brother Bradley and Tegan Roach in fifth.

And finally Colin Griffin continued his solid form this season to take Super Gas with a 6.301 ET in the 6.30 fixed index class over the eighth-mile. Johnny Ienco qualified second, Jeff Romeo third, Frank Fontanelli fourth, Graeme Spencer fifth and Michael Derose sixth.

Eliminations commence from 10am on Sunday March 13 at Steel City Raceway. For more information please visit www.steelcitydrags.com or the Whyalla Steel City Drags Facebook page.

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