Race day has wrapped up at Sydney Dragway in a high adrenaline day where the ANDRA Pro Series really hit its straps and the sportsman drivers and riders provided a fitting performance alongside.
The Top Fuel show was perhaps its best of the season with consistent four second times and some spectacular moments.
Mark Mariani scored his first ever win, driving the Titan Cranes dragster to a 4.97/267 burning through the traps to defeat Phil Read’s 5.05/258 in the Auto One car, also on fire for a spectacular final round.
Mariani’s path saw him take out team mate Allan Dobson in round one 4.82/296 to 4.85/279 and then Darren Morgan 4.80/275 to 4.84/272 in a series of close races.
Read meantime eliminated Bob Shepherd in the first round 4.65/311 to a 5.18/265 and then his team mate Martin Stamatis with a 4.69/315 as Stamatis smoked the tyres.
The championship is still well and truly in the balance with Martin Stamatis extending his lead to 20 points over Read who moved into second, with only another five points back to Phil Lamattina (knocked out by Stamatis in a 4.71/295 to 4.72/320 first round match).
Top Alcohol saw Wayne Newby take the JBS dragster to a 5.63/252 win over Gary Phillips with a 5.73/253. Phillips’s Lucas Oils Funny Car never missed a beat all weekend but Newby stepped it up for the final in a big way.
Newby’s route to the final saw him take out championship second place sitter John Cannuli in round one with a 5.75/244, then eliminating fellow Sydneysider Dean Oakey’s American Auto Parts team in a tight 5.67/249 to 5.69/246 contest.
Phillips is sitting pretty with 378 points, taking runner up plus bonus points for low ET and top speed. Cannuli remains second with 295, meaning Phillips simply has to stage in qualifying at the Winternationals to win the championship. Aaron Hambridge and Adam Marchant are now tied for third with Marchant going to the semi finals at the Nitro Champs.
Top Doorslammer was one of the brackets of the event with Maurice Fabietti making a perfect comeback from his Mildura crash to defeat John Zappia in the final with a 5.94/295 against a snaky 6.04/241.
The Holden Trade Club Monaro needed massive repairs after the crash but you wouldn’t have been able to tell with its consistent times.
Fabietti defeated Gary Phillips in the first round with a 5.94 to a red light from Phillips. The semi finals saw him get around Stuart Bishop’s Camaro in a 5.87/244 to 6.26/190 race.
Championship wise the semi finals was a big round with Zappia coming up against Robin Judd. Judd red lit and to add insult to injury Zappia took away the low ET points with a 5.841 blast.
Judd’s lead is now down to a mere nine points over Zappia. Fabietti still lurks at 35 points behind Judd.
Top Bike saw the championship decided as Chris Matheson went all the way to the win while Jay Upton fell in the first round.
Matheson knocked out Chris Porter in the final in a 6.91/146 to 7.36/179 race.
Upton’s first round loss came to Top Bike rookie Rob Cassar after some interesting staging games on the start line, with Upton forced to move in first.
Matheson had a bye run in the first round which he took with a 6.38 and then a 6.28 in the semi finals to defeat a 7.65 by Dennis Grant.
Sam Parker had a big moment in the first round when a fuel line broke on his Kawasaki, causing a big fire.
Pro Stock was a classy bracket the whole way through with Aaron Tremayne using a holeshot in the final to give his 7.119 the win against a 7.118 from last round’s winner Dave Newcombe.
It moved him into the lead of the championship with a big way as he also took out former leader Lee Bektash in the second round and scored low ET bonus points. Tremayne now has 355 points to Bektash’s 300, while Tyronne Tremayne moved into third with 290 from his semi finals performance.
Almost every race in the 16 car field was a cracker. Tremayne’s path to the finals saw him defeat Bill Perdikaris, Bektash and Wayne Daley. lt;/div>
Newcombe meantime had no easy path going via Enzio Demizio, Bill Kotsias and Tyronne Tremayne, the last of that list coming courtesy of a holeshot.
The Pro Stock Motorcycle show reached a reasonably predictable result with Andrew Badcock, riding for team owner Trevor Birrell, taking a 7.45/171 to 7.53/161 victory against Phil Howard, extending his championship lead to 98 points with bonuses for low ET – meaning that by staging for the Winternationals he will wrap up the series.
Badcock was lucky to survive a 7.51 to 7.54 semi final when Lachy Ireland red lit but otherwise showed a significant performance margin on the rest.
We will bring you the sportsman report later this week.
Please give your thoughts about the racing you saw at Sydney Dragway this weekend below in the comments section.