2021 was another challenging year in drag racing, but the Queensland Drag Racing Championship at Willowbank Raceway did run to a conclusion, with this year’s Track Champions crowned after the finale.
In Super Comp Sam Kiprios was representing the import drag racing world with his little Starlet taking a narrow lead into the final event. After a solo in the first round of racing, Kiprios defeated Darrin Gay – his biggest threat to the championship – in the semi final to secure a final round appearance but more importantly the track championship. A red light from opponent Neil Murphy in the final capped a perfect day to end the season on for Kiprios.
In the other index class for two wheels, Ken Collin held the Comp Bike points advantage over son Chris. However a lost for Chris to Jeff Griffin in round one ended his chances with Ken eventually reached the final, and despite red light in the final giving the event win to Matt Wilson, Ken would claim the title.
Graeme Frawley’s chances of winning the QDRC Outlaw championship became significantly easier when contender and reigning champion Cheyne Phillips was forced to withdraw with broken wing struts on his dragster due to suffering tyre shake in qualifying. Josh Fletcher was the only other potential points contender, but a narrow breakout pass saw him lose to Mark Rowland’s funny car in round one. This would leave Frawley unchallenged in the championship stakes, though he still took the funny car to the final, but a off pace pass saw the event win go to Bill Fletcher.
The QDRC brackets compete on a three round Chicago Shootout format, but for the Grand Final, racing reverts back to the traditional elimination racing style. Also for the following brackets, every racer had a joker card they can play during the season which would see them double their points from a pre-nominated round.
In Top Sportsman there was a mere four points separating David Gauldie, Matthew Barron and Daniel Morris in the championship, it would be a shootout with the event winner likely taking the whole pot. In racing Gauldie dropped a perfect light in round one against Barron who went red by 8 thou, and Morris scored a win over Steve Mckenzie setting up the all important final. Morris had the jump at the tree .021 to .059 but Gauldie brought it home at the stripe to claim the win and championship with a 8.147 (8.13DI) to a breaking out Morris.
Kellie Kidd had the advantage going in to the grand final after nailing the joker round during the season, but couldn’t capitalise, red lighting out of competition by just 3 thou against challenger Lucas Holz. Unbeknown to Kidd, Holz just staged with a deflating slick. Holz tried the same in round two but Mark Allan was aware of the problems for Holz and the trick wasn’t going to work twice. In the battle of the other contenders, Chris Reid and Andy Driver who would race each other in round two saw Reid go red and Driver move on and claim the championship with that win. The final shook down to an all dragster final, with Allan in his first final round of the season, while Hansen joined the series in round three in Kelly Bettes’ dragster, but has been ripping and tearing since with a third final round showing. Allan had the slight lead at the tree as both racers pushed each other to a double breakout at the stripe, Allan by the most with a 7.956 (7.97DI) to Hansen’s winning 7.464 (7.47DI), a result which ended up deciding who would take third in the championship.
In Super Sedan Damien Morris has a commanding lead in the championship with his Holden Monaro over Darren Baumann coming into the event. The track championship quickly went beyond doubt as Morris cut through the field with wins culminating in the event win taking down Paul Dilley in the final with a holeshot.
Unlike Super Sedan, you could hardly have a closer fought championship than in Modified Bike, just one point separated Brian Alviso, Daniel Sekli and Tammy Goldthorpe going into the event and Mark Gordon was lurking in fourth if any the others faulted early. Then in a bizarre sequence of events, all four racers lost their first round match ups, leaving Alvisio as champion by just one point. As for the event win, we saw Jason Hammelswang end up taking on Ben Mohr in the final, Hammelswang had a monster reaction time advantage, and the experienced racer would easily take the win light.
Shaun Doeblien had a comfortable lead in Super Street over Shawn Taskis, and needed it. Doeblien’s first round win over a red lighting Robert Sbegen secured the track championship title to the Falcon racer, but Taskis measured some revenge in round two with a win over Doeblien, and then went on to win the event against a another red lighting opponent in Angela Holz to just fall short in the points chase.
Finally in Junior Dragster, Caleb Seng hung on to his points lead coming into the event to claim the track championship, despite getting ousted by his brother Jaidyn in the second round – his nearest rival Kilarney Back also lost in round two. Jaidyn went on to reach the final where he red lit handing the final event trophy of the season to Nixon Cannuli.
The event also doubled as the grand final for the popular Street Series which crowned champions Dale Bobbermien – Street Bike, Kristie Bauer – Powder Puff, Richard Johnson – Quick Eliminator and Tim Morton – Oldskool.
Check out the gallery courtesy of Drag Photos