Round four of the Atura NSW Championship is the last before the series goes into a Winter break, giving teams a chance to regroup after a hectic few months and return in hopefully more favourable weather conditions after rain again affected another series event.
The rain shower seemingly out of nowhere forced a qualifier to be dropped, but the Sydney Dragway track crew managed to dry the racing surface in the cold conditions and racing was completed before track condition deteriorated too much in the cold night.
Starting off with Boosted Outlaws, while they only had three entrants, John Willard’s Outlaw Anglia made the day blasting out record runs for the breed, topping out with a 6.81 at 204MPH in a solo for the final when Ben Gatt didn’t make the call.
Talking about records, Leonard Azzopardi had no troubles in the cold conditions for his Extreme Bike final against Brad Mannix. His no-bar Hayabusa punched out an unbelievable 6.688 at 217MPH PB to lift the bar even higher. New-comer Mannix ran a great 7.24 as he slowly creeps up on the tune and riding these insane machines. The win continues Azzopardi’s clean sweep of the series, with Mannix chasing 60 points behind.
Former Pro Street gun Mick Voase has been making his name in bracket racing in recent times with his big block Torana punching out consistent packages. Voase moved up to third in the Top Sportsman championship with a tough win over Greg Fowler’s Beretta in the final. Voase defeated championship leader Joe Gattellari in the semis with a 8.668(8.65DI) to 8.535(8.50DI), then in the final dropped a .008 out of the gate on Fowler who only just returned to racing after a long five year layoff, to then claim the win with a 8.673 (8.66DI) forcing the breakout from Fowler.
All the Super Sedan championship leaders didn’t have a great event leaving the door open for the pack to close in on their points advantage. Joe Zammit who has a distinguished track championship career at Sydney Dragway came back to form and was responsible in taking out one of those leaders in Brian Mortensen, while Larry Etcell knocked out gun Jim Denaro in round two. After doing championship damage, the two would face in the final, however Zammit had a out of character poor reaction and the race was pretty much over from that point on for the Commodore. Etcell’s old school 300ZX easily covered Zammit’s .239 with a .038 and at the stripe Zammit broke out trying to make up the difference.
Modified was the exact opposite with the bracket’s hard chargers again lining up against each other in the final. Chris Manks with his six second big block altered has appeared in every final round this season, in the opposing lane was the roadster of Leigh Hartill-Law, who had a win over Manks at the previous round. Both racers were on their game at the tree with a mere one thou separating their reactions, at the stripe, Manks successfully had his revenge on their last final fight with a 6.886 (6.84DI) stopping Hartill-Law’s 8.104 (7.99DI) to sneak ahead in the championship.
Championship leader in Modified Bike, Chris Hocking was barrelled out in the first round by Brant Gilliver, and last start winner Joe Khoury went out in round two allowing the chasing pack to close in. Making the most of the opportunity presented were Bobbie Jo Simmonds who ousted her own husband and multi multi multi time track champion Robert Simmonds in round two and Don Baird. The pair of Hayabusa’s raced off in the event final, Baird grabbed the start line advantage and held it to the line for the win with a 9.959(9.88DI) to 9.762(9.65DI). They now move into third and fourth in the championship respectively.
Another huge Super Street field fronted for an Atura NSW Championship round, former champion Michael Walsh has been racing his VY Commodore since the inception of Sydney Dragway’s track championship, and a win has moved him into contention for another one. Walsh took down Adam Bower’s HQ Holden in the final in a no lifting double breakout finish.
Joe Catanzariti captured the Super Gas championship lead with a win over Victorian Jordan Spencer in the final. Catanzariti may be a long time Super Gas racer, but it is his first season with his new Pontiac Firebird machine. Spencer who has been making the trek up from Victoria for each round unfortunately pulled a big cherry in the final and both racers just drove their rides out the back door 9.86 to a 9.86. It is Catanzariti’s second win this season, and leads the championship by 10 points over Tony Polito.
Third generation racer Ryan Pettiford moved into Junior Dragster points lead but not after a little help from family. Pettiford’s cousin Jake McNamara took out points leader Claire Little in round one, and Pettiford capitalised with his second win of the season defeating Joshua Bertenshaw in the final. Pettiford was on his game in the final with a 8.370(8.36DI) winning run to Bertenshaw’s 8.379 (8.28DI) pass.
Danny Stadelmaier put what is surely the country’s quickest Toyota Echo — and possibly only on a drag strip – into the Street Fighter winner’s circle. Stadelmaier’s smashed a 14.603 (14.60DI) out of the little Echo to account for Ben Roberts Falcon’s breakout 13.781 (13.90DI).
Finally the Street Bike final could be the coolest we have ever had with two Royal Enfield Interceptors battling it out. Aaron Butterworth’s 14.476 (14.29DI) getting the win over Tristan Anderson who fell well off his dial in in the final.
The Atura NSW Championship returns on August 14 at Sydney Dragway.