Top Doorslammers returned for the next installment of their 1/8th mile Slamfest series at the True Blue Championships held at Calder Park.
Following the success of the previous event at Calder Park in drag racing starved Melbourne, curious eyes were poised to see if it could be repeated. The event was spread over two days after the last one had problems with time, it did make for a smoother running event but spread the crowd thinner over both days. Official crowd figures on Saturday were at 8000 with Sunday only pulling a couple of thousand, the blazing heat no doubt having an impact.
The first event was plagued with organisational issues and this event would be measured on the improvements. Suffice to say on this issue it was almost a complete 180 degree turn around on the performance and running of the event. There are still areas where the running can be tightened up however the improvements vastly outweighed the problems.
The track conditions were also were progressing for the better considering the toasting that was received under the sun, one lane suffered on Saturday leaving a one lane race track but overnight work evened them up as much as possible.
A solid 17 Doorslammers entered was reduced to 15 with Belleri withdrawing and Brett Gillespie kicking a rod in the warm up, Gillespie was naturally bitterly disappointed compounded by the fact Pro Mod stalwart John Scialpi was out from the US for tuning help.
The first session on Saturday was a non compulsory test session with no ET’s going towards qualifying, the Doorslammers are running variation of the three round format.
Deno Brijeski now minus Pro Comp signage fired the first real shot with a 4.06 @ 192MPH, the number even surprising himself.
Scott Maclean eclipsed that run with a 4.05 @ 183MPH to be the quickest of the session that had the Territorian feeling “great” despite running out of brakes and beaching the Studebaker.
Maurice Fabietti’s 4.16 @ 170 and Peter Loverings 4.19 @ 178 in his Doorslammer return with his old shoe box were the next quickest.
The second session for the Doorslammer’s was a seeding sessions for the next day’s eliminations.
Deno cranked a 4.07 @ 180MPH to back up his previous run against Glendenning’s struggling 9.06.
Victor Bray’s team were working vigilantly to turn the big fella’s fortunes around before the session.
A 4.66 @ 168MPH was not what they were looking for.
Peter Kapiris stepped up to the plate with a 4.11 @ 182MPH.
Matt Abel ‘s 4.13 @ 159MPH had them going in the right direction as they come to terms with the new car.
Maclean laid down a 4.07 @ 183MPH on the last pass of the session but was a few thou shy of Brijeski’s pass leaving him in the #2 spot
· Deno Brijeski – 4.07 @ 180
· Scott Maclean – 4.07 @ 184
· Peter Kapiris – 4.11 @ 182
· Matt Abel – 4.13 @ 159
· Peter Blake – 4.22 @ 170
· Maurice Fabietti – 4.23 @ 180
· Reece Melenewycz – 4.36 @ 166
· Sean Mifsud – 4.56 @ 149
· Tony De Felice – 4.61 @ 136
· Victor Bray – 4.66 @ 168
· Peter Lovering – 4.90 @ 126
· Frank Mamone – 4.96 @ 165
· Dale Clothier – 5.30 @ 105
· Phillip Glendenning – 9.06 @ 57
· Ben Bray – NTR
Sunday morning saw the elimination round with the 4 quickest winners moving into the semi finals.
Track owner Bob Jane was surveying the action
Melenewycz strapped a .002 light on Lovering to take a holeshot win 4.86 to 4.71
Frankie Mamone brought the crowd to their feet with a way out of control burnout nearly collecting the opposite side track wall. The run didn’t go any smoother easily being taken care of by Fabietti’s 4.11 to the Nova’s 6.26
Abel’s 4.16 easily defeated Glendenning and Peter Blake was running consistently with 4.24 accounting for Clothier
A red lighting De Felice would not have had enough for Kapiris’ ominous 4.08 second form from the previous event winner.
Ben Bray with a new paint scheme missed the seeding round leaving him to face the #2 qualifer in Maclean. Maclean suffered a part failure handing the upset win to Bray. Maclean commented “We nailed Bray off the start line, only to get 100ft before the motor shut down, costing us the race, back in the pits we found a $2 clip had come off the motor which cost us the race. It was very frustrating, but that’s racing for you.”
Mifsud’s 4.11 eliminated Victor Bray to send him through to the semi finals, while Brijeski stayed with the same tune up ripping another 4.07 on a solo to ensure he would go through to join Fabietti and Kapiris as the quickest winners.
Brijeski’s dream run ended with shake and smoke with Fabietti’s 4.16 easily taking victory in the first semi. Kapiris was locked in a nice side by side race with Mifsud, the Saratoga’s 4.14 defeating the Willy’s 4.23 in the other semi pairing
A number of the Doorslammers made exhibition passes after the semi finals, Maclean made amends of his loss blasting a 4.03@ 186MPH run, the quickest ET we have seen to date in the Slamfest series.
Narrelle was as always was in fine form reversing Kapiris in the final.
A great door handle to door handle battle in the final, Kapiris’ 4.16 edges out a 4.24 from the fabulous one. The win gave Kapiris back to back victories at his home track and was ecstatic with the teams result .
“Calder is my home track. I have a lot of family, friends and fans that come to see me race in Melbourne, so I really want to do well. Winning this event, I feel is a reward for their support,” Kapiris said.
“I have been racing for 22 years, but racing in front of your home crowd is different. It’s a different kind of pressure than when you race interstate. I was determined to win and we got there. “
Six hi tech rockets were involved in a Pro FX bracket, the class was running a three round format with points awarded for the winner and runner up of each race, most points at the end of the event declares the winner.
Tony Wedlock smashed a transmission and could not return for race day
Chris Dalton was into the high 7’s with some wicked launches but could not get a round win
Anthony Rodriques was mixing it up with the big boys with his 13B “small block” Cougar. After running a 7.48 best in defeating a cherry picking Signorelli in round one and before going down to Zoran Gajic in the second round, Rodrigues had a solo in the last round to be in the hunt with 2 wins.
After red lighting in round one, Signorelli ripped at 6.71 in round two against Dalton, but a holeshot 6.69 to a 6.70 loss in a barnstorming round three race against Rehayem ended the Celica drivers chances of a win.
Sydneysider Zoran Gajic is really finding consistency with 2JZ BMW, settling in the high sixes, Gajic won all three rounds of racing only to be relegated to the runner up on a count back.
George Rehayem was the class act of the event, and you expect nothing else from the current rotary powered world record holder. Rehayem was in the six second zone all weekend and the 6.70 best in the final round defeat of Signorelli sealed victory on ET count back for the PAC team.
Richard Caval and Chris Soldatos were making some test laps in their Pro Stock cars, neither driver is officially licensed yet and this was Soldatos’ first time behind the wheel of a Pro Stock car.
This event marked the first round of the 2011 APSA Pro Street Series which contest five rounds around the country.
Great to see Craig Brewer back in the new generation Frog Stomp panel van, Brewer kept going quicker all weekend ending up with a 8.14 best from the monster 600 cuber
Craig Gerdes was back in the Pro Street ranks and uncoiled a 7.28 to top qualify.
Michael Kalaitzakis has taken a alternative approach to Pro Street with a SR20 powerplant in the little Corolla and ran a personal 8.84 second best
Robert Camilleri does what Pro Streeters do best, be spectacular!
Steven Athans had another new turbo Mustang on deck.
Michael McGrath is really shifting the performance level for a nitrous small block streeter, consistent high 7 second passes had him in the final with three round wins
The event belonged to the dominant force of Dominic Luppino’s twin turbo Mustang, after struggling to do a lap in qualifying Luppino had the Ford whistling in eliminations winning all three rounds with low seven second performance before taking out McGrath in the final 7.74 to a 7.96 to draw first blood in the series.
The Pro Street small tyre and often more spectacular Modified Street brigade were also in action.
John Habib got the action rolling with some power wheelstanding.
Paul Cibotto smoked out Calder Park with his turbo Mustang.
While Steve Bezzina heated things up when his converter cooked itself and let go in explosive fashion.
Michael Vlasakakis had no trouble launching his Firebird out of the hole.
Ali Sead is the current aspirated number one in Mod Street, the 7.9 second Capri won every round to set up a meeting in the final with Joe Gauci
So the final featured the current unblown Mod Street national number one in Sead against the Mod Street Blown number one in Gauci’s twin turbo Cortina. A 8.00 from Sead couldn’t not match a 7.70 from Gauci who went on to take the event win.
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