The ANDRA Grand Finals saw both national and state drag racing champions crowned on Sunday at Perth Motorplex in a weekend of record times and close racing.
As the first running of the national Grand Finals ever in Western Australia, the event attracted teams from across the country to fight for a chance at a range of honours.
The most prestigious award available to Australian sportsman drag racers is the John Storm Memorial Trophy, for the driver or rider who scores the most points during a season. South Australia’s Jason Arbery claimed the award for a second straight season after chasing every round of the championship.
John Zappia won the Summer Slam final, getting an unexpectedly easy win over Daniel Gregorini, whose car broke a transbrake solenoid on start up. However, Gregorini was able to take consolation from his overall state championship win.
Zappia had a brand new Noonan engine in place for the event and the team crept up on performances.
“The air was killer. I didn’t do the conditions justice,” he said. “We were just taking small steps with the new engine to bring the performance back in.”
Benny Stevens got his new motorcycle sorted and won the Nitro Bike bracket, clocking a new personal best time of 6.63sec. during qualifying and taking out Les Holden in the final round.
“This new bike is an animal,” he said. “We had an absolutely massive weekend. In the finals against Les we over-powered the track, got a bit sideways but powered back on to just get the win.”
Kyle Putland claimed Competition over Sam Gullotto. The naturally aspirated altered was impressive all weekend, resetting the A/AA record to 6.84.
“We were very happy with how the weekend played out and we are definitely on top of our combination now,” he said.
Todd Stacy was another driver smashing some records. After top qualifying over a second under the index, Stacy took home the Super Comp win from Alex Panagiotidis.
“We ,ade the switch to RR/Gas and it went far better than expected,” Stacy said. “We qualified number one with a 7.594, which was 1.086 under the index for RR/Gas, and went through to win the event. So we have left this meet with our first gold tree, reset the national record to 7.876 and reset the track record to 7.594 and 179.32mph which is a PB for this setup.”
The records continued with no-bar rider Brett Ghedina in Competition Bike. He absolutely smashed CC/CB with a stunning 7.08sec. run on his Honda, defeating Ross Smith in the final. The run was backed up by a 7.10 in qualifying and dropped the national record by a tonne.
“What a first year (five race meetings) for the PACE Motorsport CBR1000, we can’t wait for a full season of development next year,” Ghedina said.
Paul Stephen (above left, with Mark Hunt) won out in Supercharged Outlaws, coming back from breaking a diff in qualifying, while also claiming the national championship.
Chris Moore’s five wins this season at Perth Motorplex, four of them in a row, were capped off with a Grand Finals title to boot. In other results, Adam Mundy’s long tow was made worth it in Modified, Martin Mirco took out Super Sedan and Kirstie Wroe won in Super Street.
Steve Aldridge’s crew celebrate a 5.79 pass in the local Summer Slam bracket for Top Doorslammers.
Craig Glassby turned on a bunch of 5.4 second runs with a stout best of 5.43/268mph during a Top Alcohol four car exhibition.
Check out more photos below thanks to Hayley Turns.