Fuchs Australian Nationals Pro Series wrap up

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The Fuchs Australian Nationals is the most prestigious drag race in the country and the 2010 edition is what could be best described as the Upset Nationals.





Over 400 teams were primed for the first round of the ANDRA National Championship at Sydney Dragway come Friday the 10th of September, unfortunately though those weather gods had other ideas soaking the venue with a morning shower. Racing kicked off around lunch time and despite some cool conditions moving into the night session the event went largely uninterrupted and finishing on schedule.

The cooling night conditions contributed to the start of the upsets with the majority of qualifying held under the stars. Questions are still being asked about night qualifying at this time of the year with regards to spectators over performance, never the less the conditions were the same for everyone. However with racing slated for the daytime and the subsequent curveball that was thrown at racers in regards to tune-ups again the situation may need to be looked at.

Crowd numbers were seemingly down with Saturday night pulling a respectable number of onlookers, but again race day failed to draw from the Sydney community. Competition from Rugby League finals, Bledisloe Cup and V8 Supercars would have had an effect but the Sunday schedule needs to be tighter to prevent long breaks between Pro Series categories. The addition of some exhibition features, 16 car Top Doorslammer field and even 2 for 1 or ladies free offer would boost spectator numbers, however with many of the cars left in the pits on Sunday, its clear the punters are going for the value of their dollar.

The event itself was a great one, the upsets added plenty of drama to proceedings as the race became more about who could tune to the track and conditions the best rather than that of all out power. The result was some wild passes amongst some really quick runs from the racers who hit the setup right, the event had it all.


Top Fuel featured a race within a race for the Louie Rapisarda Tributel to be held during qualifying, the field was down to 11 starters with finances forcing Steve Read to withdraw.

Cowin fired an ominous shot early with his snaking off the trailer 4.62 backing up recent testing form to lead after the first qualifying session, the ET would hold after the cooler conditions bit teams in the night session.

Phil Read upped the ante, running the team’s first fifty in a long time with a 4.57 stealing away the top spot from Cowin in the third session.

Darren Difilippo in his first event since last year’s Nationals joined Luke Shepherd and a surprising Mark Mariani as non qualifiers.

Darren Morgan soloed for the win in the Louie Rapisarda Tribute after Stamatis could not make the call following a large engine detonation in the previous round of qualifying. A earlier 4.69 from Morgan had him in the top half of the field for race day.

Looking to overcome Sydney Dragway hoodoos was Phil Lamattina, a 4.64 best in qualifying had the team quietly confident they were heading in the right direction at this event.

1. Phil Read – 4.571 Sec / 315.71 Mph
2. Andrew Cowin – 4.623 Sec / 317.72 Mph
3. Phil Lamattina – 4.640 sec / 326.24 Mph
4. Darren Morgan – 4.697 Sec / 322.27 Mph
5. Martin Stamatis – 4.845 Sec / 267.37 Mph
6. Alan Dobson – 4.884 Sec / 259.91 Mph
7. Bob Shephard – 5.027 Sec / 278.69 Mph
8. Terry Sainty – 5.138 Sec / 241.67 Mph
9. Darren Di Filippo – 6.432 Sec / 134.26 Mph
10. Luke Shepard – 8.081 Sec / 95.77 Mph
11. Mark Mariani – 8.547 Sec / 98.17 Mph

Upsets began in the first elimination pair when Read threw a belt early allowing Sainty to power on for a win.

Cowin went up in smoke on the hit and despite a multiple pedal could not run down Shepherd.


National champion Stamatis was on the losing end of a tyre smoking pedal fest duel with Morgan.

Lamattina survived the giant killing first round defeating Dobbo only to be scalped by Shepherd’s 5.01 when the Fuch’s dragster struck the tyres at half track.

Morgan after a solo in semi when Sainty could not front powered to the win over Shepherd. Shepherd had a mad thrash to make the final but his valiant attempt ended in tyre shake off the line.


Top Alcohol had 11 starters but was reduced to 10 when Debbie Reed withdrew with mechanical dramas after the first session.

Defending champion Gary Phillips was on the pace early with a 5.54 @ 258MPH in the first session, the ET would hold up for the top spot for the rest of qualifying.

Newby has new war paint and the severe tyre shake that has plagued the team seemed to be under control as he qualified second with a 5.57 personal best.

Despite fighting wheelstands and tyre smoke, Ham got in a 5.69 best to qualify.

West Aussie Adam Marchant made a Sydney field which he has struggled to do with the past with a 5.70

Paul Madill bumped out Cannuli and and Byth with a 5.92 as the rest of the field couldn’t grab a handle on conditions.

1. Gary Phillips – 5.548 Sec / 258.07 Mph
2. Wayne Newby – 5.574 Sec / 249.35 Mph
3. Steven Ham – 5.698 Sec / 250.27 Mph
4. Adam Marchant – 5.700 Sec / 243.55 Mph
5. Aaron Hambridge – 5.859 Sec / 250.00 Mph
6. Steven Reed – 5.905 Sec / 242.19 Mph
7. Rick Gauci – 5.920 Sec / 237.96 Mph
8. Paul Madill – 5.929 Sec / 239.44 Mph
9. John Cannuli – 6.109 Sec / 245.18 Mph
10. Dennis Byth – 6.395 Sec / 170.21 Mph

Just like Top Fuel number one qualifier goes out in the first round, Phillips shakes badly crossing the centre line and nearly colliding with Madill who won his first ever competition round.

Hambridge drops a record breaking 5.508 on Marchant, Hambridge is bemused where the ET came from with a blind guess on the tune up from a wearing clutch.

Following a 5.63 first round to defeat Reed from Ham, tyre smoke again struck the Mobil 1 Funny Car going down to Newby in the semi who had dispatched Gauci with a 5.57 in round one. Newby had his own troubles torching the heads leaving an engine change for the final.

Hambridge earned his way to the final on a solo where he would continue his Winternationals form again defeating Newby 5.60 to 5.68.


Top Doorslammer was the class that struggled most in the conditions, talk was of a record bump spot with 18 cars entered, but in the end a 6.32 was all it took to make the field and some of the class’ biggest names watching from the stands come race day.

The biggest shock of the event came when John Zappia failed to make the field, Zappia could not get the Pro Comp Monaro off the line on three attempts without zinging the tyres, the last producing a spectacular wheelstand at 1000ft as the veteran tried to salvage the run. Zappia did return in an exhibition session carting a 5.83.


New cars for Abel and Kapiris did not provide results they were looking for, Kapiris just missing the bump with a 6.36.

Robin Judd is more professional than ever this season as he chases his maiden championship and like most the of the pro classes made the most of the first session with a 5.86 which would stay number one for the rest of qualifying. With Zappia out Judd has a real chance to gap the defending champ early in the season.

Despite tagging the wall once and nearly a second time Tony DeFelice qualified for his first Top Doorslammer field with a 6.20

No one would have thought Stephen Dupond would be on the qualifying list least of all Dupond himself, but with the tricky conditions causing havoc with the rest of the field Dupond’s 6.32 had him in the field.

1. Robin Judd – 5.860 Sec / 244.43 Mph
2. Maurice Fabietti – 5.923 Sec / 243.90 Mph
3. Gary Phillips – 5.939 Sec / 245.81 Mph
4. Sean Mifsud – 6.079 Sec / 228.15 Mph
5. Mark Belleri – 6.142 Sec / 249.16 Mph
6. Deno Brijeski – 6.153 Sec / 228.19 Mph
7. Tony De Felice – 6.201 Sec / 232.35 Mph
8. Stephen Dupond – 6.326 Sec / 212.69 Mph
9. Peter Kapiris – 6.365 Sec / 228.89 Mph
10. Peter Blake – 6.382 Sec / 212.39 Mph
11. Ben Bray – 6.426 Sec / 167.51 Mph
12. Jeff Wilson – 6.467 Sec / 220.12 Mph
13. Ivan Skaramuca – 6.492 Sec / 174.96 Mph
14. Stuart Bishop – 6.527 Sec / 227.11 Mph
15. John Zappia – 6.585 Sec / 237.88 Mph
16. Matt Abel – 8.304 Sec / 113.57 Mph
17. Victor Bray – 7.649 Sec / 133.74 Mph

Judd avoided the upset trend just, shaking 6.48 might have been fodder to Dupond who unfortunately couldn’t fire. Judd advanced to the final dispensing Belleri in the semi.

Fabietti who dipped into the 5.8s in his round one victory over DeFelice was looking to spoil Judd’s event but disaster struck in the semi. Fabietti backfired the supercharger at half track but still took the win over a out of shape Phillips, but things heated up in the braking area where Fab’s engine let go in a huge fireball causing the Holden Genuine Parts Monaro to slide out into the wall in a flaming inferno. Fabietti was unhurt, but the Monaro would not be able to make the final leaving Judd to solo for the event win.


Top Bike had 9 runners with a number of the V-twins missing along with Azzopardi and Upton due to finances. The big interest with no one seemingly able to challenge Matheson at this event would be the question “could we see a 5 second pass?”

Chris Matheson like the classes before him had his first session 6.16 800ft shut off pass hold up for the number one.

Dennis Grant has been having a great load of difficulty keeping his Harley in the correct lane, well more trouble than what is natural for the breed. This culminated in Grant hitting the left hand wall solidly on his final qualifier, the foot pegs took the brunt of the blow.


Gavin Spann running for the first time at Sydney Dragway was a dark horse with his new Nitro combination with low 6 second potential, though Spann suffered a few problems exploding the heads on the final qualifier.

1. Chris Matheson – 6.161 Sec / 201.07 Mph
2. Chris Porter – 7.269 Sec / 150.31 Mph
3. Craig Bonwick – 7.414 Sec / 176.33 Mph
4. Troy Maclean – 7.532 Sec / 177.02 Mph
5. Mick Murray – 7.661 Sec / 181.98 Mph
6. Dennis Grant – 7.661 Sec / 184.40 Mph
7. Gavin Spann – 9.038 Sec / 117.38 Mph
8. Geoff Redgrave – 9.833 Sec / 98.16 Mph
9. Phil Parker – 12.032 / 136.25

Phil Parker had the unenviable task of taking on Matheson in the first round, Parker’s bike was shut down after the burnout only to see Matheson cross the centerline.

Porter clipped the finishline reflectors handing the win to Geoff Redgrave on the nitrous bike in the first round. McLean and Grant also took victories

Both semi’s were solos to Matheson 6.11 and Redgrave who just staged when their opponents could not front the green. The final was a rematch of the Westernational where Redgrave became a giant killer, but a 6.14 from Matheson ensured history would not be repeated.


With a record 24 entries Pro Stock was destined to be a stand out, making even qualifying for the 16 car field a hard assignment. Conditions did not seem to affect the Pro Stock teams like the blown classes, the last session was a barnstormer with racers bumping themselves into the field run after run.

Pro Stock new comer Arthur Kolaroff couldn’t make the field as they come to terms with setups

WA’s Allen Puglia has taken on the task to challenge the East Coast Pro Stock army, Puglia was in the field in the last session before being bumped out.

Nick Xerakias waited until the final session to go from the out house to provisional number one with a 7.07.

Scott Porter finished on top of the quickest 16 car field on record with a 7.05 and earning his first top qualifier’s medallion.

1. Scott Porter – 7.059 Sec / 192.99 Mph
2. Nick Xerakias – 7.070 Sec / 194.13 Mph
3. Shane Tucker – 7.074 Sec / 193.40 Mph
4. Lee Bektash – 7.088 Sec / 191.67 Mph
5. John Barbagallo – 7.093 Sec / 193.29 Mph
6. Aaron Tremayne – 7.102 Sec / 192.36 Mph
7. Peter Ridgeway – 7.102 Sec / 192.47 Mph
8. Dave Newcombe – 7.106 Sec / 1921.51 Mph
9. Tyronne Tremayne – 7.107 Sec / 191.73 Mph
10. Denis Whiting – 7.126 Sec / 192.17 Mph
11. Wayne Daley – 7.130 Sec / 192.17 Mph
12. Jason Hedges – 7.152 Sec / 190.86 Mph
13. Michael Ali – 7.158 Sec / 191.46 Mph
14. Brian Pursell – 7.169 Sec / 189.36 Mph
15. Bill Kotsias – 7.176 Sec / 190.70 Mph
16. Ian Brown – 7.180 Sec / 186.36 Mph
17. Jason Grima – 7.184 Sec / 189.07 Mph
18. Allen Puglia – 7.194 Sec / 190.19 Mph
19. John Galea – 7.199 Sec / 190.48 Mph
20. Bill Perdikaris – 7.204 Sec / 187.55 Mph
21. Arthur Kolaroff – 7.401 Sec / 187.47 Mph
22. Andrew Stavroulakis – 10.254 Sec / 89.30 Mph

With racing so close in the bracket there are no real upsets, but having Tyronne Tremayne, John Barbagallo and Peter Ridgeway trailered in the first round would be close as you can get.

The second round was decimated by mechanical carnage with only one paired pass where Newcombe upset Porter with a holeshot 7.10 to a 7.09. Bektash broke another lifter while Xerakias and Tucker were shut down.

Newcombe continued to the final with a 7.09 over Hedges to face Aaron Tremayne courtesy of a red lighting Whiting.

A .008 reaction from Newcombe in the final could not fight off Tremayne’s 7.08 charge for the victory.


Pro Stock Bike with 10 entries is undergoing resurgence after the class was flat lining for a few seasons.

Andrew Badcock returned to form aboard the Birrell machine after a trouble plagued Winternationals to top qualify with a 7.25.

Maurice Allen has a new sponsor and waited for the last session to bump into the field with a 7.47.

Glen Wooster and Michael Gilbertson have teamed up under Hog’s Breath sponsorship, both qualifying.

1.Andrew Badcock – 7.253 Sec / 177.02 Mph
2. Peter Cochrane – 7.339 Sec / 177.56 Mph
3. Michael Gilbertson – 7.379 Sec / 178.68 Mph
4. Phil Howard – 7.452 Sec / 171.25 Mph
5. Maurice Allen – 7.476 Sec / 175.02 Mph
6. Lachlan Ireland – 7.601 Sec / 175.80 Mph
7. Glen Wooster – 7.603 Sec / 170.97 Mph
8. Daniel Rabnott – 7.660 Sec / 170.04 Mph
9. Mark Hancock – 7.737 Sec / 169.81 Mph
10. Ross Lemberg – 7.861 Sec / 161.90 Mph

Lockie Ireland red lit against Gilbo in round one as Cochrane, Badcock and Howard moved on to the semis.

Howard put out the national champion in the semi to set up a meeting with Gilbertson in the final.

Howard had no drive in the final and walked the bike to line which is where he stayed on the green as Gilbertson headed for victory.

Stay tuned for the Sportsman event wrap.


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