Despite a break for rain, the penultimate round of the Atura NSW Championship Series reached its conclusion as track championship titles pictures come into focus.
After not escaping the first round for more than the first half of the season, Matt Clarke has had a complete 180 degree flip in form with back to back Top Sportsman finals, this time taking the win against Paul Crocker who had wild ride himself in the final crossing the centreline. Clarke did the championship chasers a favour bumping points leader Jono Roylance out of competition in round one, letting Crocker and Thomas Leake close the gap for the final event.
Despite only competing in three rounds this season in Modified, Ally Stewart has taken the Boss Bullet dragster to two finals. Unfortunately for Stewart, she has lost both by just one thousandth of a second, this one against Chris Manks’ wicked quick altered at the other end of the track with a 8.149 on 8.15 breakout. Championship leader Graham Blake didn’t pass round one with the gorgeous FED throwing some curve-balls at the team during the day, however he has all but clinched the championship.
The Super Sedan championship contenders were on point with the top two in points, Jim Denaro and Marco Tolomeo, both to throw down in the final. Unfortunately for Denaro the normally trusty Cortina wouldn’t fire for the final leaving Tolomeo to solo for the win and move within 20 points of Denaro’s lead.
Back to back finals moved Bill Hatzi’s and his wheelstanding Camaro into serious championship contention for Super Street after the top runner faulted. With two previous final showings this season with no win light, it was a case of third time lucky with the help of opponent’s Martin Stevenson’s red light. Hatzi is now just a round win off the leader Anthony Gattellari with Michael Walsh a round behind, ensuring a three-way shootout for the championship.
A big win in Modified Bike for Robert Simmonds over a red lighting Guido Falgiatori has given the ‘Simmonater’ a great shot at his seventh Modified Bike track championship. Simmonds will go into the decider just 10 points behind Sean Ricketts, the pair have won all but one event this year between them, showing their domination of the bracket.
A small Super Gas field saw Vince Panetta come up trumps in the final with a 9.918 to a breakout 9.871 from Roy Romeo. The win – his third for the season – sees the Panetta Torana take an almost insurmountable lead over Darryl Stephen into the final round.
Even though James Hazzard had an early round two exit in Junior Dragster, his main championship threats did not capitalise as much as they could have leaving Hazzard with a cushion of 30 points over Chelsea Smith and Zac Refalo going into the Grand Final. Hazzard’s conqueror was Chanel Liefting and in her first event since getting licensed in Junior Dragster, went on and cleaned house also taking the event win with a 8.760 on a 8.75. She defeated Alex Refalo who’s dragster oddly found a bunch of performance in the final, breaking out by over two hundredths.
Street Fight is the most tightly contested bracket this season, with at least 5 racers in with probable chance of taking the track championship. At the pointy end is Don Zammit helped by his final round win at this event over Ken McRae.
Bernadette McShane has nine fingers on the Street Bike title. A runner-up finish against Manuel Hliounakis in final extended her lead over Daniel Bertenshaw who is now 50 points behind.
Ezio Cacciotti picked up the round robin win in HAMBster over James Rodriquez in the final, but only competing a three rounds so far this year is out of title contention. Rodriquez holds a 20 point lead over Anthony Mastromauro.
The final round of the Atura NSW Championship season in on December 14.
Videos of the finals by Madman Productions