Some of the best racing conditions seen at Perth Motorplex in a while welcomed racers at the Grand Final event for the Western Australian season.
As the ninth event of the series it was here that state championships would be decided and the last chance for glory offered up to teams.
Some of the photos here are a bit different as I vowed to avoid the start line for the event. Apologies for a few file photos as well because I was going rounds so not as many from later in the night 🙂
So without further ado, the report!
Wayne Keys had plenty of reasons to smile under the helmet after he qualified with a quick 6.11 pass from his AA/AP Monaro. Though tyre shake ruined his eliminations run, he is now on his way to the Nitro Champs and the Winternationals.
Maurice Brennan was fighting for the championship last season, finishing a close second, but this time around he was just trying to get on top of his Holden Commodore. After being in tune up wilderness for a while, the team is starting to find the sweet spot again and will also be at the Nitro Champs and Winternationals. Here is checks for the source of a leak after a qualifying pass.
Craig Glassby washes up a bit of dust in the turbulence from his Funny Car. He had an enjoyable event with a 5.79 PB.
Jeff Clarke leans in to interrogate team mate John McSweeney after a pass. McSweeney went on to take a B Final win with a 5.82.
Clarke had a shot at the championship but little did he know this would be his last race for the night as he had a bolt go through the motor and cause enough damage to put him out for eliminations.
The non-run of the night was perhaps Aaron Deery’s quick 5.48. Though you won’t find any hint of it in the official results as the car weighed in two pounds light for TA/D legal trim, it was the first methanol car in Australia to run a 5.4. Congratulations to the team on the achievement.
Rob Pilkington had the 15 point lead coming into the final round of the championship and left with his third title from four seasons, along with a runner up for his trouble.
And check out the back wheels getting some air time as he pulls the chutes!
Al McClure leaves the track early after the compulsory qualifier, but he went on to win the A Final with a 6.59 run. It was his first win in Top Comp. Below are some videos, including the view from both cars in the final. What an age we live in!
Russell Ladbrook was getting a kick out of competing in Top Comp. He has some big plans for next season with a TFX to go under the body.
Charlie Marchant was racing his dragster for the first time. Marchant has a long reputation in the sport of drag racing in WA and this return to the track was great to see.
The car is a looker too!
Sad to see however was this crash by Andrew Minogue in the compulsory qualifying session. The record holding Ford Falcon got loose off the start line and turned hard right, narrowly missing Aaron Deery in the other lane and giving the wall a big bash.
Allen Puglia was a shock first round exit after he was controversially deemed to have had crew touch the car when it was in stage. It put his shot at Driver of the Year in jeopardy but when Rob Pilkington lost the final in Top Comp, Puglia had the title again – if only by a slender five points! (file photo)
Brad Cruttenden had one of his more successful events, reaching the finals. Unfortunately a tight -.005 red light showed up meaning he took the runner up. (file photo)
Errol Quartermaine had to wait 19 years between victories…but now he has taken two in three weeks! The turbocharged Ford Falcon seems to have a tune up that is right on the edge but is getting him through rounds. He had a little bit of luck on his side with a red light by Brad Cruttenden in the final, but after racing in every season since 1979, he deserves it. (file photo)
Bruce Nunn awaits a pass on his P/CB Harley.
Brett Ghedina won the last meet but this time drew a tough first round opponent in Kevin Gummow. After a close match that race needed to be re-run because of a fault with the timing system, with Gummow knocking Ghedina out.
Not much to say really!
Greg Durack is pushed back into the water as he attempts another pass on his turbo Kawasaki. Unfortunately clutch problems are holding back this bike from some very quick potential.
Neil Anderson took out yet another championship in Competition Bike, his sixth on the trot. The event win also went his way as he defeated Kevin Gummow in the final. (file photo)
Mark Drew was running some exhibition passes and again has shown his consistency with some 6.5s.
Paul Carey provided one of the early moments of the day when his chute got sucked in underneath the car and he went into the sand. It was a personal best 7.18 pass though!
After trashing an engine at the previous event, Ian Foster worked hard to be back on track and claim second in the championship.
Darren White checks over his Dart after a qualifying pass. Unfortunately later in the night things got a bit warm…the below video is a bit jerky but you can get the idea.
Wayne Batson took out the championship and the event in his Holden ute, along with running a 6.65 which we think may be a PB. (file photo)
Michelle Osborn kicks pack after a qualifying pass in her Modified altered. Though she didn’t figure in the finals results on the night, she is heading east to join the RARS circuit.
Scott Bryson climbs out of the dragster we see more commonly driven by Shane Wynd. Wynd had some surgery on his arm and so handed the seat over at the Grand Final.
Trent Morrison finished well in Rookie of the Year as well as getting a runner up on the night. Unfortunately his altered hooked off the start line in the final and crossed the centre of the track.
Despite what the side of the dragster says, that’s Michelle’s cousin Alesha peering out the side. She was enjoying being out in the open air for a change and ran a new PB of 8.12.
He might look gruff here, but we swear Andrew Frost is a nice guy. Plus he’s your 2010/11 Modified champion!
Norm Butler had a shot at the championship but a first round exit wasn’t the way to finish the year. He is now off to the Nitro Champs in the hopes of some more success!
Ron Crosby enjoys a bit of peace at the top end.
Sean McDonald joins the safety crew in checking over the rear end of his AA/MD.
The back of Bobby Brown’s dragster is certainly a bit more modern looking than most of its counterparts with the Holden LS2 hiding in the back. It worked for him well at this event with a win.
Cassie Rhodes kept up her usual spectacular style in the Valiant Charger.
Tony Norgett unwinds with a fine Australian bush scene behind him.
Norbert Claite has sold the powerplant from his Camaro…what will be in store for next season?
Kerry Wade pulls up in Super Sedan qualifying.
Troy Gasperi has had an enjoyable season including winning the Westernationals, a second round was the end result for the Grand Finals though.
Sam Gullotto looks over his championship winning Holden Camira.
Jay Jeffreys used a great .021 and 10.523 on a 10.52 dial in to take a win in the final. (file photo)
Sorry not really any pictures for Modified Bike!
Paul Nieuwhof top qualified in the class with an 8.33 as his Kawasaki found some quicker form. The final came down to Luke Nieuwhof and Tony Day, with Day taking the win with a 9.84 on a 9.84 dial in as Nieuwhof ran a breaking out 9.39, although it was a PB.
The championship went to Paul McNamara, along with Rookie Rider of the Year. The minor positions were certainly close with just ten points separating the next four riders, Curtis Holtam and David Gajsek taking out the other podium spots.
Robert Poglits and Scott Jeffreys were the finalists for Super Street. It was certainly a successful night for the Jeffreys brothers as Scott took advantage of a red light from Poglits to take the win.
Though Ethan Hort had a slim chance at the title, in the end it went to Blake Jeffreys. All he had to do was get past round one so with that in the bag he had the rest of the night to take it easy.
Putting a stamp on his season was Sam Butler. Butler not only took out the championship but also the Grand Final with an 8.20 on an 8.15 to defeat Aaron Pense, who was in his second final in as many events.
In the rookie division meanwhile Hope Best got “a little too excited” and came out with a -.202 red light that let Bailey McClure take home the winner’s trophy.