The Night of Fire at the Perth Motorplex certainly delivered its promise, if often in unexpected ways.
The wheelstander of Nigel Benson joined the jet dragsters driven by Chuck Haynes and Curt White to put on the ‘zoo act’ while state championship racing continued in its usual tough means for the sixth round of the series.
Things didn’t go to plan for Benson on his first pass in front of the crowd. After a practice 11sec pass during the day at 190kmh, Benson was doing his pre race routine when a fuel line split. The faulty part was replaced in a few minutes and he was back in front of the audience.
Curt White’s jet turns on the spectacular fire show. Curt ended up being the only jet for the night after a dramatic first round. Chuck Haynes lost a parachute at 490kmh and ended up in the sand trap at a very high speed, one of the fastest entries seen at the Motorplex. Fortunately the catch net did its job and arrested the car and driver. Haynes was unhurt!
First some finals for you, then individual bracket reports!
Rob Pilkington top qualified with a 5.75 in AA/FC trim. It gave the team a good baseline for the Westernationals after a run of bad luck.
Wayne Keys has got the five second tune up well and truly locked in to his Monaro. Two fives in eliminations saw him take the event win.
A significant brains trust is assisting the Full Boar Racing team of Jeffrey Clarke including Peter Veersma, here helping John McSweeney into stage. The team reached the final but a poor reaction time meant a 6.15 wasn’t quite quick enough despite being .77 under the index!
Shane Catalano lines up one of those pesky foam boxes…at sixty feet.
Daniel Gregorini had new carbon fibre panels saving some 70 pounds, but it didn’t save the car from tyre shake all event.
Check out this onboard from John McSweeney’s Funny Car. Robin Judd got way loose in the opposite lane!
Marty Dack ran a 6.08 in the elimination round, giving him some confidence heading to the Westernationals.
Martin Miller was licensing in the ex-Aaron Lynch Corvette Top Doorslammer.
Robert Gaikhorst has moved into equal first place in the points following a win over Terry Stacy’s red light in the final.
Stacy top qualified by just a smidgin over Allen Puglia and made it all the way to the final in the small six car field, until the colour of the lights matched the colour of his car.
Ross Smith increased his hold on the championship with an under the record 8.75 in qualifying followed up by winning yet another final.
Jason King was riding Brett Ghedina’s very quick Honda and ran as quick as 7.60 in the early rounds but
Michael Sargent gets ready for take off.
Craig Head ran a new personal best of 7.22 and came away with his first win in Supercharged Outlaws.
A new convertor did wonders for the launches of Mark Mackay’s altered and saw him also run a PB of 6.67 but some lifter damage in the elimination round meant he could only stage for the final.
Brett Stewart’s VE ute debuted with some big burnouts. Al McClure built the car and had the soft tune up in place while Stewart got used to the handling of the car. It will be stepped up in coming events.
Jack Bowden’s day didn’t go to plan.
Darren Strong lost a blower belt in an early burnout.
Craig Allison stepped back to Outlaws and made it to a B Final but unfortunately broke out.
Mark Chapman’s Fontana powered Mustang was a bit sluggish for most of the day but woke up a little bit with a 7.57 in the elimination round.
Laurence Adamos got rid of his delay box and was straight back into the winner’s circle. Sometimes it pays to do things the natural way!
Shane Joyce reached his first final in Modified with the LS powered altered but a troubled pass saw him lose to Adamos.
Michelle Adamos, here under the watchful eye of boyfriend Andrew Katavatis, made good on her comeback, reaching the semi finals.
Michael Lanigan was doing well until he ran into the Adamos juggernaut in the quarter finals.
Kirsty Cunningham was back with a new motor that is promised to eventually produce seven second times.
Kaine Weighell turned in one of the great Super Sedan performances of the season. The Torana ran between 9.003 and 9.021 all night and ran three 9.017s! With a .006 reaction time in the final, Weighell showed he is one of the best in the country. He has now drawn almost level with Paul Downe who after winning the first four events has suffered multiple early exits.
Sam Gullotto must have been wondering what more he needed to do with a .026 light and 8.01 on a 7.99 dial in for the final.
Jake Lane had Weighell on the ropes in their semi final with a .009 light to Weighell’s .062 but broke out by .008.
Sam Rhodes went into a monster wheelstand later in the day.
Steve Aldridge was not in Outlaws but instead his gorgeous Super Sedan.
Blake Jeffreys is one of the two successful Jeffreys boys in Super Street and came through for another win, putting him ever closer to the points lead.
Matthew Jarvis went runner up following a -.085 red light. (file photo)
Bernie Ellerby was a popular addition to the later rounds of eliminations, reaching the semi finals.
Mick Hooper broke into the 11s for the first time during qualifying with his Subaru WRX.
George Blacklock won a double break out final with an 8.17 on an 8.18 dial in, in what was a bizarre day for the Junior Dragsters. A strong tail wind during qualifying saw what we think was seven cars go under 7.90 and get disqualified.
Paige Gavin couldn’t quite slow down her car enough for the final with an 8.16 on an 8.29 dial in going under by a fair way.
Beau Higgins won the rookie final over Brandon Bowman.
Click next below for the photo gallery!