The Atura Championship Series at Sydney Dragway features some of the hottest sportsman racing in the country, but for round one of the 2016 Series Mother Nature turned it up a few notches.
The sweltering humid conditions, were still preferred over the many washouts that occured last season. A number of oil downs and Charlie Micali’s crash (you can read about that here – http://dragnews.com.au/news-all/local-news/3262-video-micali-duster-takes-hard-hit.html) forced the dropping of a qualifier as the racers started the new season with a clean slate.
Top Comp fizzled out with most racers resigned to testing rather than competition, highlight was seeing the return of Sam Fenech in the JSS Racing Camaro after turning it turtle last year.
Rob Coote upped the magneto on his altered to step up the pace, with the altered being a altered he ended up mowing down reflectors on most runs.
Sam Fenech versus Jeff Wilson in Top Comp.
Super Comp heralded the return of Matt Lisle 200SX, but suffered from a few gremlins.
A final between Cale Thomas in the Pincher and Lisle did not eventuate with both racers shut down after their burnouts.
Supercharged Outlaws is back to the traditional elimination format on a sportsman tree, a flurry of red lights during the day – including track champion Arthur Yiannitios in the semi final – an indication maybe the racers had not adjusted coming off a pro tree they race against last season.
The Avenger funny car of Andrew Hodgson rolled the beams on the two step in the final handing over the win to Norm McCormack’s blown digger.
Supercharged Outlaws video.
Johnny Briscas was finding the limits of adhesion in the heat with is five second Corvette during Top Sportsman qualifying.
The final featured Joe Sorbello who has made 1.3 million passes at Sydney Dragway and after ousting National Champion Steven Fowler in round two with a 5 thousandths package, he was on his game. Facing the Sorbello Skyline was Colin Boyd with his gorgeous big candy apple red Chevelle, Sorbello had the lead at the lights and but Boyd ran him down to win his first ever event with a 8.852 on a 8.83 dial in.
Top Sportsman action.
No surprises in Super Sedan with two of the toughest local racers throwing down at the final in Michael Little and Jim Denaro. The Cortina of Denaro had less than a hundredth at the tree on Little’s Torana, at the top end the Cortina hung on with a 9.873 on a 9.87 to Little’s 9.657 on a 9.64.
Brendon Luke hasn’t raced for over six months, dusts off the FED and slayed them in Modified. Luke took down veteran Alan White in the final with a 8.922 on a 8.91 against Whitey’s 8.753 on a 8.72.
Modified Bike was an all Matthew final, Hunt a heavy hitter in the class took on Welch – who has hopped back on his father’s bike for competition – in the final. The race was over early with Welch leaving with a .024 reaction on the wrong side of the tree and Hunt has the perfect start to another Track Championship chase.
Modified Bike racing video.
In Super Street Michael Walsh has been in more finals than we can count but it was surprise to see Dave Gardiner line up against him in this one considering the calibre of the field – now Dave Gardiner has plenty of racing experience but this was his first event with this Torana. Tough luck for Gardiner though in the final with a lackadaisical reaction forced himself to break out chasing down Walsh’s Commodore.
Check out video of the Super Street action.
Australian National’s champion Daryl Stephen was holeshot by Joe Catanzariti in the Super Gas final 9.940 to a winning 9.953.
James Hazzard and Dylan Panetta both pulled out perfect 8.000 qualifying runs.
It was James’ brother Jack in the final taking on John Fenech. Hazard claiming the trophy when Fenech left .016 of a second too soon.
Red light fever continued in the Street Fighter final, as graphically pictured above, Danny Stadelmaier threw it away with a -.024 light.
Craig Warren was the beneficiary, Warren running the street car while the Super Sedan is having a rest in the shed.
Travis Anderson was a ring in on Angela Phipps Hayabusa while she is off being pregnant. Anderson must of liked the switch from his Harley as he out rode Ron Welch in the final with ripping 10.901 on a 10.90 dial in pass.
Wrapping up the event was the HAMBster Chicago Shootout, and the Danglmaier domination continued from last year with Jeff taking on Joe in the final. With blistering ETs Jeff grabbed the trophy with a 13.806 on a 13.45 to Joe’s 14.558 on a 14.80.
Next round of the Atura Championship Series is on Mar 5