Australia’s flattest drag strip was officially re-opened by Senator Trish Crossin and Minister Rob Knight last night in front of a motorsport hungry crowd. The newly rebuilt Hidden Valley Drag Strip played host to eight Top Doorslammer teams from across Australia as part of the Macmahon Grand Re-Opening presented by 7mate.
Travelling to Darwin purely to be part of the re-opening, it was a welcome change for the Doorslammer teams to be part of a relaxed racing environment, with several teams trying a spot of Territory fishing during their down time.
The Doorslammer teams were surprised at the quality of the new venue with the level of traction on hand catching some out as they chased car setups.
“We uncovered some problems that were plaguing us in Sydney that we were not aware of and now we know the track is there, we will see what we can do tonight” said Western Australian John Zappia before the start of day 2.
After an extended third qualifying session, the first round of racing saw some solid passes by the Doorslammer teams. Martyn Dack ran a 6.271 at 219.72mph to defeat Deno Brijeski, while Territorian Matt Abel pushed hard for a 6.407 at 189.18mph after Ivan Skaramuca failed to record a time. A side by side pass by Peter Kapiris and second local boy, Scott MacLean was a close race, but unfortunately MacLean red lit to pass the win to Kapiris. MacLean ran a 6.273 at 227mph against Kapiris with a 6.104 at 217mph. Top Qualifier, John Zappia was a little off the pace, running a 6.389 at 223mph after he overpowered the track.
Round two of the elimination format saw Kapiris defeating Abel with a 6.106 @ 213mph against Abel’s 6.515 @ 223mph. In a battle of the WA teams, Zappia lined up against Martyn Dack. Dack crossed with a 6.616 at 193mph while Zappia ran a 5.992 at a lazy 199.67mph. This was enough to back up his pass from Friday night, making Zappia the official track record holder for the quickest Doorslammer pass at Hidden Valley.
The finals of the Doorslammer teams saw a repeat of the Sydney Nitro Champs from last month, Kapiris taking on Zappia. Kapiris ended being the second quickest Doorslammer for the Macmahon Re-Opening, running a 6.051 at 231mph, but Zap ran his fastest time of the event, a 5.909 at 138.17mph, further lowering the official track record.
To wow the crowd fellow Territorians Abel and MacLean made one final side by side pass of the night. MacLean was leading to half track with a 4.0 second 1/8th mile time, but he had to pedal the car for a 6.369 at 190.51mph, Abel finishing with a 6.447 at 229.78mph.
In other brackets, Dennis Baylis ran a 8.962 on a 8.3 dialin in his AA/MA class Altered to defeat the Plymouth of Rolph Danielson. It was also a battle of the Altereds in the Super Sedan class, with Allan Arthus taking out the win with an 8.748 on a 8.66 dialin against newcomer, Warren Wallace.
Moving onto the street style cars and it was a battle of Holden vs Ford. The 1974 Torana of Chris Surin reigned supreme against the Ford XR6T of Keelan Peck, Surin running a 11.514 on an 11.50 dialin while in the Street car class Andrew Brideson defeated his father, Mike Brideson and in Super Toyworld Junior Dragsters Jodie Coles defeated her older brother Nathan Coles.
In the bikes, Jabiru based David Denner ran an impressive 8.949 on a 8.85 dialin to take out the Modified Bike win against Scott White who broke out with a 10.174 on a 10.20 dialin. Street Bikes was handed to Geoff Hawkins after Dale Smith fouled on his 1999 Buell.
Racing returns to Hidden Valley Drag Strip for the Beat the Heat Off Street event on the 24 June and the next round of the Track Championships on the 2 July.
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