Scratch & Match Motorsport have racked up thousands of miles of travel in advance of the Australia Day Nationals following a rollercoaster Festival State Nationals recently in South Australia.
The Gregorini family both recorded five-second runs in qualifying (5.78 for Daniel and a 5.89 for Lisa) at The Bend Motorsport Park to position themselves well for race day, but it was there that things took a turn — at least for Daniel’s motor.
“Every lap we had rocker adjusters rattling loose in the front half of the engine,” he said. “That created work to fix or replace rocker shafts. At first we started replacing them but we only had limited spares, so we needed to repair what we had. This kind of damage occurs when the motor runs on seven cylinders and doesn’t allow the valves to open all the way. It could have caused a very lean engine, but fortunately we keep our engines within a safe tuning zone at Scratch & Match Motorsport.
“Before towing out for round one, we found a faulty crank trigger on the warm-up. It made things hectic in the pits but we got there in time for a 5.82 win. Round two was a bit of a disaster though when the blower pulley came loose, bringing the engine to a stop in the burnout.”
Daniel scraped into the B Final where he would face none other than his wife Lisa, whose Camaro seemed to have found its sweet spot. Her road to the final included a win against Ronnie Palumbo that invoked some deja vu.
“While backing up after the burnout I had noticed Ronnie hadn’t started to reverse back,” she said. “It was just like the last time we paired up in Adelaide. Thankfully this time around we didn’t have any engine dramas and we were able to accept the tree and run a 5.90 to give us a spot in the B Final.”
The opportunity for Daniel and Lisa to square off was an emotional and exciting one for both drivers.
“This is what we race for now,” Daniel said. “We have our own rivalry that we created and I believe it’s the greatest thing for Top Doorslammer. Most fans come as families, so for them to be able to see a family out there racing is very relatable.”
When the green lights came on, it was Lisa away first with the holeshot and a lead she did not relinquish, using a 5.93 to defeat Daniel’s 5.97.
“We knew it was going to be a close race as we had both been running consistently all weekend,” Lisa said. “We opted to leave my tune up alone for the final to ensure it got down the track. We had plenty of positive feedback from people at the event on how they enjoyed the race and we must have had 500 people around our pit area afterwards. South Australian motorsport fans are truly among the most passionate.”
Consolidated Group general manager Peter Scrivener made a special trip to the Festival State Nationals to see the Scratch & Match Motorsport team in action, with the brand new Scania 770 on show for spectators throughout the event. The new relationship proved even more important as the event wound up, with the decision made to haul the team back to Perth to regroup before the Australia Day Nationals at Sydney Dragway this weekend.
“Lisa’s car pulled up injury-free but the same could not be said for mine,” Daniel said. “We had to make an unplanned return trip to Perth to complete a spare engine to be ready. The truck made it home last Wednesday, we did what we needed to over three big days and nights, and sent the truck back on its way to Sydney on Sunday.
“Without Consolidated Group being there and offering to come back home to rebuild, we simply wouldn’t be there this weekend. It’s a great example of a true partnership and one we look forward to building into the future.”
Major sponsors :
Scratch & Match Autocolour, Consolidated Group, Kerb Doctor, Westcoast Siteworks, Oil & Energy Pty Ltd, S&S Industries, Dalisa Estate Winery
Supporting sponsors :
Signbiz WA, SP Tools, JC Race Stuff, GO PRINT, Dirty Detailing, Final Drive Engineering, G-Force Race Cars, Resolution Racing Services Inc, DMPE INC, Applied Automotive Performance Engines, Kinetic Engineering, A1 Hi Performance