The 2015 Atura Championship Series at Sydney Dragway had its fair share of weather battles over the year, and after two attempts to run the final round rain again bettered the efforts to resolve the championships on track – therefore champions were decided based on their points coming into the final round.
After early morning showers, the Sydney Dragway track surface was dried on numerous times and a handful of competitors made qualifying laps before more showers rolled through again, with the radar picture grim and lunchtime already past, the decision was made to call the event.
Most championships had all but been decided but there were still a few being hotly contested, and this is how the results shook out.
Top Comp was mostly used as a test bed for competitors during the season, however Johnny Roso will be crowned Top Comp champion for the third straight season with his Camaro Top Doorslammer ahead of Jeff Wilson and Mark Hinchelwood. Maybe an idea would be to join the class up with Super Comp for a more competitive index racing bracket next season.
Super Comp was fought a little more fiercely. Fred Soleiman in his record smashing GTO cleared away in the points on the back of three wins over the season ahead of second generation racer Cale Thomas, who has come to grips well with driving the family’s Super Stock machine.
Outlaw 10.5 was thin on numbers at times, but one common denominator was Michelle Davies, her wild Torana contested every round, and even with a mid-season brush with the concrete wall, still bolted away with the championship over Paul Mouhayet.
The year started with Supercharged Outlaws being split into two separate classes, Top Outlaws and Wild Bunch. They came together half way through the season and with a number of rounds missed due to weather conditions, only ended up with four rounds to base the championship on. Blown Ford Capri racer Arthur Yiannitsos won three out of four of those rounds to grab the title over defending champion John Ward.
Neil Constantinou has more Track Championship trophies than we can count and since moving up into Top Sportsman the winning has continued. Constantinou was in a battle with Ronnie Palumbo for the title, Palumbo in his first full season driving his father Frank’s Torana would of been looking for a boilover being just 30 points shy going into the final round, unfortunately Mother Nature intervened and Constantinou picked up consecutive Top Sportsman championship trophies.
Modified also saw a back to back championship winner – the first time the feat has been achieved in the class at the venue. Tim Nielsen contested three finals during the year, all in the back-end of the season, the late charge setting up and almost unassailable lead going into the last round over Graham Elliot and Alan White.
Like his number plate says, James Barnes proved he was the “Boss” of Super Sedan, clinching the title ahead of the two of the toughest Super Sedan racers Sydney has to offer in Michael Little and Jim Denaro. Barnes steered his XT Falcon to two final rounds with one win over the season, and the championship trophy will sit proudly next to his Super Street title a few years back.
Super Gas is Sydney is super tough, but Joe Catanzariti stood out this year with three round wins and comfortably taking the championship over Tony Polito with Roy Romeo running third.
Unfortunately we never witnessed the showdown in Modified Bike between Brett Curnow and Robert Simmonds, with both riders locked together in the points going in. A count-back was performed and Simmonds was awarded the championship aboard his Hayabusa. Consistency proved to be the name of the game for the “Simmonator” with a runner up performance his best result of the season, Curnow earned a win in the first round of the series.
Three final rounds with two wins on the way to another Super Street championship win, Stan Nikitaras reinforced his moniker as one the heavy hitters in the Sydney Super Street scene. Rod Hanckel with his big Chevy truck ran a gallant second – finishing the season with two wins on his own – and Luke Griffiths rounded out the top three racers with his Plymouth Satellite.
The Junior Dragster ranks are probably breathing a sigh of relief knowing Toby Austin will be moving on after this season. Austin who completed another triumphant year that included winning the prestigious John Storm Memorial trophy capped it off with yet another Track Championship title. It was unfortunate Bradley Bishop, who was just 20 points short did not have a shot at taking the championship at the final event, but he will be for sure the one to beat next season.
Street Fighter was to be the most brutally fought battle going into the final round with Danielle MacCaskell, Wayne Smith and Holly Odgers all on equal points. Once the count-back was applied the championship would be bestowed Holly Odgers. It was an impressive result for Odgers who has just been racing her Dodge for little over twelve months now, and was is her rookie championship season.
Street Bike was also very close in the points, a late season charge of two final round appearances had Ron Welch sneak home by just ten points over Colin Northcott and Stefan Stivala.
HAMBster had only a small field during the season, and it was a fair bet the championship would go to someone named Danglmaier, being there was three family members racing. At the stoppage point in the championship, Jeffrey Danglmaier five finals with three wins to his credit, enough to hold a 30 point advantage over Stephen Danglmaier who also had three wins over the course of the season. Newcomer Gerard O’Neill finished third with two final births in the latter half of the season.
Next years Sydney Dragway Track Championship Series will kick off on February 12
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