In hot and humid conditions, Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series racers have well and truly delivered for the fans at the Perth Motorplex on day two of the 49th annual Goldenstates.
Lining up alongside Nitro Funny Cars, Top Doorslammers, Top Fuel Motorcycles and Pro Alcohol competitors, the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series competitors started out their Saturday with the finalisation of qualifying before getting into eliminations racing which kept the on-site and 7Plus crowd enthralled all day and night long.
When all was said and done, it was Brock Ferguson (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Ashleigh Wroe (Super Street), Simon Garbutt (Modified Bike), Nick Puglia (Super Sedan), Neil Gannaway (Modified), Rocco Salvo (Top Sportsman), Kasey McClure (Supercharged Outlaws), Daniel Natalotto (Competition Bike), Steve Norman (Super Stock) and Jon Ferguson (Competition) who took out the prestigious silver ANDRA Christmas Tree trophies.
Taking out the runner-up spots were Seth Jarvis (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Gavin Donnelly (Super Street), Luke Seaton (Modified Bike), Martin Mirco (Super Sedan), Nicholas Wroe (Modified), Yvette Gregg (Top Sportsman), Brodie Zappia (Supercharged Outlaws), Chris Allen (Competition Bike), Graeme Simms (Super Stock) and Moreno Gullotto (Competition).
Claiming the event winning trophies wasn’t the only trip up to the front of the presentations this evening for Salvo, Natalotto or Norman either, with these three racers amongst those also honoured with Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier medallions for their brackets alongside Lucas Green (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Lee Watson (Super Street), Connor Wood (Modified Bike), Mick Wormall (Super Sedan), Michelle Morrison (Modified), Greg James (Supercharged Outlaws) and Michael Buckley (Competition).
It was Kasey McClure’s third straight Goldenstates win, following a Modified victory in 2021 and another win in Supercharged Outlaws at last year’s event. On her way to the final, McClure took on and defeated Vince Belladonna (round one) before a semi-final bye, while Brodie Zappia had dispatched Norbert Claite (round one) and Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifer, Greg James.
“I never expect to win a meeting coming into it, knowing the tough competition in WA, although I’m always confident in the package my team can put together at any given meeting,” said McClure (pictured above thanks to High Octane Photos).
“The car ran really consistent all weekend long and our packages were super tight, whether it was a solo or paired pass.
“It is unreal to win a meeting like the Goldenstates once, let alone three times in a row. It is not something I ever thought I would accomplish, but I am so lucky to have such a consistent race car and thorough team behind me to let me focus on my job of driving.
“I would like to thank my family and crew, Troy, Brad and Allfast Torque Converters.”
Taking his first ANDRA Christmas Tree after four decades of trying was Neil Gannaway, who took the Modified victory over Nicholas Wroe following earlier wins this weekend over Andrew Frost (round one) and Paul Garbellini. Nicholas Wroe meanwhile had taken on Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Michelle Morrison (round one) before a semi-final bye.
“I have been trying for about 40 years to win a Christmas Tree, and I am absolutely ecstatic,” Gannaway said.
“I can’t put words to it. These are not easy to come by, you can win championships, but winning of these is something different.
“My wife Bridgit is not here, and I am a bit sad for that, but otherwise I am really, really happy.
“The car did everything we wanted it to do today, and I actually drove it not too bad either, so that makes a change,” he laughed.
“I would like to thank my whole family including Bridgit, my daughter Rachel, my cousin Shane, and Brett Connelly of Connelly Images as well as Stu Bond of WA Suspensions.”
In Super Street, Ashleigh Wroe claimed her first ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy, emerging victorious from the final over Gavin Donnelly following earlier wins over Jamie Chappell (round one), Darren Isaac, John Szabo and Steph Gullotto. Donnelly meanwhile had defeated Jase Dobra (round one) and Michael North ahead of a round three bye run and round four success from Andy Oorschot on his way to the final.
“I am pretty happy with the win, it was a great event,” Ashleigh Wroe said.
“It is my first Goldenstates win, and my first Christmas Tree.
“It was a nice win, with a good light, I am very happy with the light.
“We couldn’t have done it all without the track staff here this weekend. They put on an incredible weekend together, that is for sure. So, thank you to them, and also to all of my family, and Thornleigh Automotives.”
In Modified Bike, Simon Garbutt took another Goldenstates win for his collection with victory over Luke Seaton in the final. To ensure his place in the final battle, Garbutt had earlier defeated Shaun McGarry (round one), Hamish Cunningham, David Partington and Christopher Fryer, while Seaton had taken on Chris Morgan (round one), Iain Reed and Graham Jennings before a semi-final bye.
In Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster, Brock Ferguson took the win over last year’s event top qualifier, Seth Jarvis. Brock Ferguson had earlier successfully raced against Mason Hamilton (round one), Blake Taylor and Angel Bakranich, while Jarvis had emerged victorious from battles with Beau Ferguson, his brother Tyler Jarvis, and Tahlia Martin.
It was a case of a father-son victory in the Ferguson household, with Brock’s dad Jon Ferguson taking the Competition Eliminator win over last year’s winner, Moreno Gullotto. Jon Ferguson booked his spot in the final by taking wins from Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifer Michael Buckley (round one) before a round two bye, while Gullotto had dispatched Madison Brown (round one) and Connor McClure on his way to the final stand.
In Super Sedan, Nick Puglia took the win over former champion Martin Mirco in a double break-out final. Puglia had booked his spot in the final with wins over Christine May (round one) and Dean Whisson before a semi-final bye, while Mirco meanwhile had successfully faced off against Craig Carter (round one), Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifer Mick Wormall, and Kathy Regan.
In Super Stock, Steve Norman backed up his Decoglaze Top Qualifier result with the event win, claiming yet another ANDRA Christmas Tree for his trophy case, and resetting the national ET and MPH B/SMA records to 8.264 seconds and 164.29mph in the process. Norman took the win from runner-up Graeme Simms in the final, following an earlier win from Kim Fardella, while Simms had defeated Matthew Puglia in the opening round.
In Top Sportsman, Salvo took the victory over Yvette Gregg, who made it to the line first but broke-out. Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Salvo had earlier taken a round one win over Geoff Chaisty before enjoying a round two bye, while Gregg had earned her place in the final with a round one victory over Roger Moorhouse and a round two win over Alby Bakranich.
In Competition Bike, Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifer Daniel Natalotto made it a perfect weekend by claiming the ANDRA Christmas Tree. The bracket employs a three-round Chicago Shootout format, and Natalotto found himself in the final following three successful match-ups (solo, Morry Cantarella and Wayne Gummow). Runner-up Chris Allen also had three wins (David Edge, solo, Morry Cantarella) and also set a new national record along the way, rewriting the BB/CB mph record to 190.44mph.
Also claiming national records this weekend were group one competitors Morice McMillin (F/C – 4.802) and Sam Treasure (TA/A – 5.661) as they raced for National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) honours. Taking the victory in the NDRC brackets were McMillin (Nitro Funny Car), Russell Mills (Pro Alcohol), Russell Taylor (Top Doorslammer) and Wayne McGuinness (Top Fuel Motorcycle).
Full results from today’s action at the Perth Motorplex
The next round of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series will be held at Portland’s South Coast Raceway next weekend across December 2 and 3. For event info, go to www.southcoastraceway.com.au