In addition to winning one of the biggest stand alone events of the season Darren Morgan Racing (DMR) now head into round two of the series in Sydney as the Championship leaders.
“What a great weekend. To win the Nationals, the Louie Rapisarda Tribute trophy and the opening round of the Shannon’s Shootout is a great honour. The car was extremely consistent throughout the weekend. We had some engine dramas during qualifying which restricted us to some early shut off runs during the event which we don’t like to do. Hopefully we can build on our data and the momentum from this event and run in the low 4.6 to high 4.5 second zone at the next round back here in Sydney in 7 weeks” added Darren following his Nationals win.
The weekend got off to a competitive start for the DMR team with a solid run in Q1 of 4.740 @ 309.13 which qualified the DMR machine safely into the field. Q2 saw the bright orange AEG dragster record another 4 second run with a 4.800 @ 269.56. Darren then stepped it up in Q3 with a 4.697 @ 322.27, which elevated him to third briefly before he was bumped to fourth in Q4 after fellow Victorian Phil Lamattina ran 4.62.
The team were honoured to win the Louie Rapisarda Tribute which was conducted throughout qualifying with Darren Morgan claiming the prize with victories over Terry Sainty, Bob Shepherd and Martin Stamatis, who failed to make it out for the final. “Santo Rapisarda has done so much for our sport. It is great to win an event that is named in Louie’s honour” added Darren.
The opening round of eliminations saw Morgan square off with the defending Pro Series Champion Martin Stamatis with Morgan mastering the tricky track conditions recording a 5.899 @ 177.02, after winning a crowd pleasing pedal fest. After Terry Sainty was forced to shut off on the start line Morgan was gifted a bye run into the final with the DMR dragster completing a hard launching 330ft shut off to protect the engine. The team waited patiently as Bob Shepherd rebuilt his engine after damaging it in his semi final berth against Phil Lamattina. Once Bob arrived they won the event in style with a solid 4.700 @ 321.35 mph pass to claim the team’s first Nationals crown.
“The guys were up until after 5.00am Sunday morning building an engine for eliminations after our problems in qualifying. It was a great team effort. DMR would like to thank its major sponsor AEG powertools and its major associate sponsors Shannons, Kennards Hire, Defence Force Recruiting and Victorian American Imports for making it all possible” added Darren in an elated manner.
AEG Powertools National Marketing Manager Mark Devitt commented that everyone at AEG was extremely proud of Darren and the team “We’re stoked to see the DMR boys come out charging this season. It is a nice reward for all the hard work that they’ve put in. Looks like DMR mean business this year and we’re sure our AEG Powertools car branding will be seen by plenty of their competition as Darren flies past them.”
Throughout the weekend DMR not only set the pace on track but they also set a new standard off the track catering for around 50 corporate guests per day. The DMR corporate marquee was a prominent feature of the ANDRA Pro Series pit area with guests from a wide range of industries in attendance including Orrcon Steel, Defence Force Recruiting and Kennards Hire. All of the guests were extremely impressed with the setup and the team’s professionalism with a number of the VIP’s being exposed to the sport for the first time.
Scott McNally from Defence Force Recruiting was very impressed with the DMR corporate hospitality area and the weekends results, “The team work, dedication and initiative displayed by DMR during this weekend’s racing is identical to the qualities expected from Australian Defence Force (ADF) members. The experience provided to Gymea TAFE apprentices and the general public was an excellent opportunity to highlight the trades and apprenticeships opportunities available to them in the ADF.”Resize_of_DSC_4004
DMR’s next event will be Round 2 of the Australian Top Fuel Championship which will be conducted between the 30th and the 31st of October 2010 at Sydney Dragway.