Sydney Dragway was bathed in sunshine for the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars on November 26 and the warm weather was complimented with scorching performances on the track, culminating in a barnstorming 5.57-second pass for the event winner, Rick Gauci.
Gauci’s victory comes after a recent dry spell for the crowd favourite Nitro Express but Gauci knew it was a matter of time until he and the black ’57 Chev would return to the winner’s circle.
“It was just the best night!” exclaimed Sydney’s Gauci.
“We had a great event, we won all three rounds but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. In the second round, we had a gearbox issue, which meant we had to make a ratio change for the final pass of the night. Graeme (Cowin) made some changes to the tune-up and again he proved he is the wizard – it went like a rocket!”
With a new personal best time and terminal speed, Gauci heads to the next round for the Aeroflow tour in Perth, full of confidence.
“With a 5.57-second PB in a ’57 Chev, it seems pretty fitting! But we don’t get caught up on the performances too much, we had a great night with great side-by-side racing and celebrating with the crew is probably the best part of the event!”
Although Gauci may lay claim to the pass of the night, the race of the evening was arguably the final pairing of the event with Shane Olive squaring off against New Zealand’s Morice McMillin as the two attempted to knock Gauci off the top step of the podium.
Olive’s Red Devil recorded a 5.762-second run to edge out McMillin’s One Bad Kiwi machine with a 5.798-second pass. The One Bad Kiwi beast put on a massive top end charge but couldn’t close down Olive, who was on record pass on the first half of the racetrack.
Olive was quick to congratulate Gauci on his win, “That Nitro Express Chev is such a beast! We did our best and to have my family including my mum and dad, my beautiful wife and kids all watching was amazing. It’s always great to race at home!”
Even with the scintillating final round run, McMillin couldn’t keep the Bumble Bee and Jake Donnelly off of the podium, with the young Queenslander now netting a hat-trick of top 3’s in the last three events.
Like many of the other cars, Jake Donnelly recorded his PB is Sydney, “I could get used to this,” laughed Jake.
“Again, I have to give it up to the crew and family, especially Mum and Dad, we have had a great time and to have my older brother Dan debut at this event made it even better.
The Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars now head west to the Perth Motorplex on January 7, 2017.
Image credit: Jon Van Daal