Phil Lamattina enjoyed a positive day of testing along with a few dozen Western Australians on Wednesday at Perth Motorplex ahead of the weekend’s ANDRA pro season opener at the venue.
Conditions stayed in the high twenties and with clouds shielding the track from the sun for much of the day the surface stayed in tact, a rare feat in the summer months of Perth.
The Fuchs team were not the only Top Fuel team on the premises with Mark Sheehan also intending to test, however dramas in the pits meant they were unable to make a pass.
Lamattina was testing with the intention of finding a way to keep cylinders alive on tricky race tracks. Crew chief Aaron Hambridge, right, was hoping for some positive results in their two passes.
The first run launched strongly before buzzing the tyres about 100 feet out with Lamattina quickly off the throttle.
The second pass was the home run for the day, with a 3.19 recorded to half track after which Lamattina was out of the pedal as part of a planned shut off, rolling through for a 5.05 on the quarter. Hambridge was very happy with the team’s efforts for the day, saying it was rare for testing to go exactly as planned. But that is what transpired, giving the Fuchs team a boost before Friday’s season opener.
The team also had Phil’s son Rocky’s Junior Dragster out for some testing of its own.
Kevin Gummow is planning to kill them with consistency this weekend in Top Fuel Motorcycle. He said the blown Kawasaki is pretty much unchanged from when it last ran in Competition Bike, bar a new tyre. He ran some mid sevens during the day.
Brian Hotker ensured he got his money’s worth with the most runs of any competitor, but had a nagging shifter problem causing him some headaches.
Jake Lane’s Supercharged Outlaws Torana made some wild early ventures on the track, hiking the wheels up and then wanting to turn right, but later passes were straight and in the mid sevens.
Lachlan Slamar has plenty of room to grow into his Junior Dragster.
Ethan Hort got a steer of father Kevin’s Monaro. With the family’s immaculate Holden ute that Ethan normally drives out of action, Kevin decided he wanted to see his own car go down the track with him outside it. Low eights saw ANDRA officials happy with the licensing efforts.
Mark Drew found some big speed with a 213mph clocking during the day but was often having to ‘pedal’ the nitro Harley mid track.
Brett Allen was pursuing clutch set up aboard his stretched Katana.
Alanah Cope was one of many Junior Dragsters getting in some testing time.
David Dequen will be out in E/AA trim on the weekend and had chassis set up guru Mick Marriott helping out on the day.
Ross Smith was running near personal bests on his Suzuki Hayabusa, which has been upgraded to a stretched wheelbase this season to fit into the altered bike classes of Competition Bike.
Moreno Gullotto’s Toyota Soarer continues to be a handful with plenty of wheelstands and tyre shake, even with power taken out of the car. That said, the team continues to get closer to the sweet spot.
Troy Slamar surprised all with a Pontiac GTO Super Sedan rolling on out, a swap from his usual Ford FG Falcon.
Ian Ashelford is back with the Attitude Racing team and his nitro Harley looks a lot like his early 2000s version which took him to three championships is the bike that took him to his three championships (thanks Mike!).
Speaking of nitro Harleys, Peter Vanderaa was out and testing again in the search for his ANDRA Top Fuel Motorcycle licence.
After a wild early pass that saw the Chevy Nova up on two wheels, Ben Hoar managed to get down the track strongly later in the day on a half track shut off. Looks like a definite six second car once sorted.
And just because we can’t resist a good power wheelstand, another one of Moreno Gullotto to close us out.