GALLERY & RESULTS: 2022 Grudge Kings

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Grudge Kings returned to Sydney Dragway for the baddest drag cars and best show cars in the country. Despite a few false starts in attempts to get the event run this year due to bad weather, organiser Po Tung was finally blessed with perfect weather on his persistent third time lucky attempt.

However, the reschedules did reduce entry numbers, and testing leading into the event also culled a couple of cars, but race day still delivered on action, performance, and entertainment in front of a good crowd.

Pro Mod was the headline bracket, a heads up ‘run what you brung’ fight over three rounds of racing, then a final. Turbo boss Rob Campisi and his twin turbo Mustang were on point in qualifying with a 5.66, at a stomping 270MPH. Paul Cannuli was looking to continue his success with his new Mustang doorslammer hitting a 5.70, while Michelle Davies ran a personal best 5.773 in her Mustang, and Greg Tsakiridis loomed with a 5.89 out of his turbo Muzzy.

Campo missed round one which would prove costly in making the final, whereas Cannuli improved his form with a 5.65 win over Tsakiridis. The PC Racing Mustang was on rails, opening round two with a 5.66 win against Davies. Tsakiridis fought back with a 5.68 defeat of Tristan ‘Mincer’ Ockers steering Mick Duggan’s blown Nova, and Campisi romped to a 5.58 at 272mph.

The CV Performance team stepped up Tsakiridis to a 5.60, holding off Davies’ 5.771 – another personal best to begin round three. Campisi unleashed the Mustang again to a 5.572 at 272mph against a red-lighting Ockers, not that the team cared with a 5.988 on the boards – their first five second pass. Cannuli closed out the round with workman like 5.646.

Tsakiridis was scheduled to race Cannuli in the final, but after a long wait for the CV Performance guys to turn the turbo Mustang around, the time expired, and the PC Racing Mustang started its burnout and staging procedure. The Tsakiridis Mustang suddenly appeared from under the Sydney Dragway tunnel, however dropping transmission oil after the late burnout, Tsakiridis was shut down and Cannuli pedalled to a 5.92 win, with some seriously quick early incrementals.

Pro Elite dropped some big numbers early with Dom Rigoli knocking out his first five second pass – 5.96 – with his RB powered 350Z, making him one of only a couple of racers worldwide to run a five using a RB for motivation.

Rodney Rehayem went three for three in the racing rounds with his 13B RX8 living in the mid-sixes, with a best of 6.52 at a Australian 13B record speed of 215mph. Likewise did Antony Maatouk in ‘The Don’ GTR, punching out a 5.98 in round one before battling for another two round wins to race Rehayem in the final.

Dion Amato also turned some heads during the round hammering out a 6.29 at 227mph, quickest pass by Barra powered sedan anywhere.

The PAC Performance RX8 had transmission problems rise in round three, these couldn’t be rectified to give the RX8 a fair shot in the final, allowing Maatouk to take a virtually uncontested event win.

Pro Modified, not to be confused with the Pro Mod bracket, had limited entries, Steve Athans and Daniel Camilleri battled it out in the final, the twin turbo Mustang picking up the win light with a 6.82 against the RB Firebird’s 7.110 respectively.

The well populated Outlaw bracket was marred in round one by a heavy accident when Anthony Terkalas’ gorgeous, and freshly rebuilt Torana impacted both walls in the braking area. Fortunately Terkalas climbed out unharmed, the Torana though is a mess, but are determined to return. You can help the team out by purchasing merchandise here:

Josh Calgaro’s big HSV Grange fought through a transmission rebuild to the final to meet Paul Cibotto’s XR8 Falcon in an all turbo Holden vs Ford feud. The numbers at the end were close with a 7.44 to a 7.42 respectively, but a one second reaction time from Cibotto at the green gave the Blue Oval machine no chance haul back the heavy metal Grange.

On two wheels, Extreme Bikes lived up to its name. Darren Foley unseated the Extreme Bike king Leonard Azzopardi at least for qualifying with a 6.87 at 214mph. Azzopardi was dropped to second on a 6.89 at 213mph.

When it came to racing though it was all Azzopardi, with 6.82, 6.81 and 6.92 wins, he stormed into the final against team bike rider Alex Borg. Dangling the front wheel all the way down the track, Borg gave it his best shot in the final, but a 6.93 at 213mph,came up just short of Azzopardi’s winning 6.86 at 215mph.

R275 came down to an all Supra throw-down in the final, event promoter Po Tung was trying to tame his GAS Racing machine from its wheelstanding habit as he faced Ayhan Cetinay in the final. Unfortunately the Cetinay Supra wouldn’t come up on the converter in stage, and Tung needed a few stabs at the gas to wrestle the Supra down to the stripe for the win.

The top eight Small Tyre Fighter qualifiers dropped into a Pro heads up shootout. Peter Kalavritnos fired out a 7.96 in the final to overcome a holeshot from Dom Perri’s RX2 to come away with the win in his 454 big block HQ.

The rest of the Small Tyre Fighter field went into dial your own three round rumble. Coming out on top in the final was John Kabboura’s Gemini dialling in with a 9.32, but breaking out with a 9.30 at the stripe. However, in the other lane Rob Purlija’s VL spent too much time coming up on the chip, and went 8.74 on a 8.80 to breakout by more.

Finally, in the Street Outlaw bracket, Rohan Hutson made the trek worth it from Victoria with his belter of a 55 Chev Belair, cleaning up in the final with a 10.103 (10.00 DI) over Shaun Smith’s Clubsport’s 10.831 (10.50 DI).

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