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The Westernationals 2012 edition will go down as one of the great events in WA.


Twenty national records and close racing across every bracket ensured the fans went home happy.

The only hiccup was the third Pro Stock qualifying session having to be delayed from Saturday night until Sunday morning when the show hit curfew.

But other than that note, the hardcore drag racing fan would have been hard pressed not to be impressed by the ANDRA Pro Series and Rocket Allstars Racing Series action.

Top Doorslammer

John Zappia’s weekend did not start in the best fashion when he found a broken rod in the warm up, put down to some different cylinder liners the team were using. From there it got better as he stepped up to a second qualifying 5.86. A first round victory over Ben Bray came at the price of more engine damage as he torched a cylinder head and the team needed to execute an engine change. The move proved fruitful as he moved past Victor Bray in the semis before a 5.86 took out a sleepy Robin Judd in the final. The win was enough to leapfrog Zappia over Peter Kapiris into the lead of the ANDRA Pro Series.

Robin Judd’s weekend was often anything but straight. In Q1 he put the Aeroflow Stude into the opposite lane, almost coming together with Anthony Begley (first two images). Then in round one he almost disqualified himself coming ever so close to the wall (last image). Judd’s .201 reaction in the final cost him a shot at his first Westernationals trophy and he has confessed he must improve to stand a chance at the championship.

Victor Bray enjoyed an old time weekend when he qualified sixth with a 6.10 and then took a shock win over Peter Kapiris in round one when Kapiris tagged the wall. It was consistency that proved the key for Bray and hopefully he can move closer to running his first five in coming events. Like Zappia however he torched a head in round one and needed to swap an engine from Ben’s car to his.

Mark Belleri has always enjoyed reasonable success in Perth and the story did not change at the Westernationals as he reached the semi finals following a holeshot win over Andrew Sutton in round one.

Speaking of Sutton, he is enjoying going quicker and quicker. A 6.05 and 6.06 at this event demonstrated he will be more than capable of going rounds soon. When he travels later in the season to Sydney and Willowbank, the bonus points he will earn in the championship from the Perth rounds will be allocated and he will shoot up the rankings.

Ben Bray couldn’t quite muster the five second pace we know his Sidchrome Monaro is capable of. It was in a way fortunate he went out in round one as he needed to donate his engine to dad for the semis!

Gary Phillips only ran one decent pass for the weekend, a 6.13 that just got him into the show at number eight spot. Tyre shake and spin was the order of the weekend for the veteran methanol racer.

Peter Kapiris’s championship lead was sacrificed following this hit with the wall in round one against Victor Bray. Kapiris spun the tyres in the Saratoga and it turned hard right on him. The 5.86 in qualifying was his highlight of the weekend but he now has the chasing to do going into the last three rounds of the championship.

After reaching the semi finals in the last round of the championship Marty Dack came back down to earth with a 6.33 failing to make the field.

Pino Priolo had a wild burnout in Q1 that saw him almost hit the opposite wall. His later runs weren’t much more successful as he DNQ’d.

John Cannuli’s gorgeous Camaro couldn’t manage a power down pass and a 6.37 left him on the outside looking in.

Murray O’Connor’s qualifying was full of tyre spin and he even popped the supercharger on one pass just to add to his woes.

Pro Stock

Take a bow Denis Whiting. Win, top qualifier, low ET and top speed plus the 50% bonus points Perth offers helped Whiting take over the points lead in the ANDRA Pro Series. The new engine package from the USA also helped him defeat Bill Perdikaris, Dave Newcombe and Tyronne Tremayne and take both ends of the national record at 7.02/195. The team is tipping a six in the next round of the series in Sydney.

Tyronne Tremayne took the family’s new GXP for a spin, equipped with their new cylinder heads as well. He eliminated brother Aaron in round one and then Michael Ali in the semis after Ali was shut down with an oil leak. However some engine damage saw Tremayne only able to stage in the final and watch Whiting take victory.

Michael Ali might have lost his series lead but he put in a valiant performance, reaching the semi finals and running a 7.07 in qualifying that placed him second. He had the quickest 60ft time of the event with a .992 in Q2.

Dave Newcombe’s 7.13 with a decent holeshot only just failed to beat Whiting in the semi finals. He certainly had something on the start line the others couldn’t match, going 1.01 every time and even managing a 1.04 on the slick Q3 session where everyone else spun the tyres off the start line.

Jason Hedges left before the tree was activated in his round one encounter with Ali. By the way…that car will be staying in WA. 🙂

Aaron Tremayne has found himself in an unusual position in the championship, the four time champion sitting sixth! It was his own brother doing the damage this time around.

Lee Bektash looked the goods with the new 75h anniversary Mopar wrap but unfortunately it did not translate to a round win as he spun the tyres and shut down.

Bill Perdikaris racked one up for the Fords by qualifying in eighth with a 7.11 but couldn’t defeat Whiting, especially after a lazy .17 light.

Would missing the field by .001 make Emilio Spinozzi the most unlucky racer at the Westernationals? It’s a long way to go to DNQ but we think that the 7.120 may at least be a PB.

Shane Tucker’s testing in Perth ahead of the event proved not to be effective, missing the field with a 7.18 in the Monster Energy machine.

Allen Puglia was doing double duties with his Ford Mustang in Pro Stock and the Ford Probe in Super Stock. There remains plenty of work to get the Mustang on song with a 7.23 edging closer but still needing a little bit more.


What can we say about Full Boar Racing? John McSweeney was doing it for team owner Jeff Clarke who is battling cancer and did it in style. The final will go down as one of the great Group Two races. McSweeney’s iron block BB/FC ran its first five, a 5.96, to smash the national record which stood at 6.33 and defeat Wayne Keys to win the gold Christmas tree. It made it two years in a row for FBR, with Clarke taking last year’s event.

Wayne Keys had the support of Camp Stanley again and it showed with a personal best 5.93 in the final and resetting the national record to a 6.05, down from a 6.15. The AA/AP Monaro had a few hiccups with some loose passes but overall it was a satisfying weekend for the team. They are again the quickest Rootes sedan in the country, his 330ft times were quicker than any Top Doorslammer and by the way, Keys’ package in the final would have fallen only .007 short of beating John Zappia’s final pass – the Top Doorslammer bracket should be very scared should a sponsor ever get behind Keys to send him Pro Series racing.

Al McClure managed to get to the semis despite breaking the gearbox in the second round as Stephen del Caro gave him a free pass with a red light. He ran sub record in BB/FCA with a 6.74 in round one but didn’t back it up.

Ryan Moresby ran a personal best 6.27 in AA/AP but unfortunately it came in the first round and smashed his index.

Adam Marchant smashed out a PB 5.56 in qualifying to be .76 under the AA/D index. Unfortunately a -.002 red light in round one put him out of contention. He reset the AA/D record to 5.71.

Brian Robinson ran in TA/FC trim for the first time and a 5.82 was the result.

The only non mechanically supercharged car in the field was Moreno Gullotto’s Soarer. Some wild wheelstands unfortunately saw him unable to really get the turbo power down in BB/API.

Doug Bird scooted close to the wall in qualifying and as a result he got the chutes out late and went into the sand in the brand new funny car.

We think a 5.74 was a new personal best for Craig Glassby.

Super Stock

Colin Mortimore proved the consumate Super Stock racer at the Westernationals. After an early shut off in round one he ran three 8.37s in a row and reset the speed record and the time record by just a few thousandths, but not enough to alter the index!

Darren Parker was threatening until an issue with the transbrake meant he was having to footbrake the car through eliminations. He did get to leave with a B/APA speed record and a bunch of points for his troubles however.

Dave Tucker went 7.69 in qualifying in the B/G Pontiac and reached the semi finals.

Allen Puglia might have stood a better chance later in eliminations if not for smashing his index in round one. He went out in round two despite a 7.27, only .02 off the record.

Steve Flynn in Frank Salvo’s Camaro went to top qualifying position with a -.56 7.62 with some new Selva power but spinning the tyres in round one saw the team back on the trailer.

Terry Stacy went within a whisker of top qualifying, going .53 under in the Mazda RX7 but applying the turbo horsepower down track continues to be his Achilles heel.

Errol Quartermaine reset the DD/GA record which has stood for some 13 years to a 7.85. Unfortunately a geriatric .440 reaction time cost him the race in the first round against Puglia.

A 7.32 got Mick Frossos a new A/GA record but like Quartermaine reaction times were his weakness, a .208 in the second round no hope against former Super Sedan champion Parker.

Competition Bike

Ross Smith was certainly in the spotlight, asserting the dominance he has shown all season in WA over the Westernationals field. He qualified second with a .59 under 8.69 (resetting the record) and then won a great final with an 8.72 over Blair Pennington. All motor, all power.

Blair Pennington lost by just a whisker in the final after he scored a big holeshot on Smith. He reset the national record to a 9.02, just bettering his own 9.03 mark. Pennington was one of the now traditional onslaught of Queensland riders who come over in the one big container.

Rob Wasley’s 9.34 in qualifying was we think a PB and he reached the semi finals before a -.006 red light which had it been green might have had Pennington’s vulnerable .355 on the ropes.

Kevin Williamson qualified in the favourable number eight position but like Wasley would red light in the semi finals.

Greg Durack’s Kawasaki went -.762 in BB/CB to qualify by a massive margin. The bike is actually legal for CC/CB which had Durack been running would have made him .90 under. Unfortunately he was not seen in eliminations.

Sean Arthur went sub record with a 7.27 on his nitrous assisted AA/CB but was shut down before he made it to the start line in eliminations.

Kevin Gummow got a bit too comfortable on the tree in round two and despite a massive 7.51 in CC/CB he lost narrowly to Williamson who had the .074 to .263 holeshot.

Mark Drew reset the TB/T record to 216mph but lost in round one when he rolled back out of stage. He came back for a later grudge pass and ran 6.40/222, the quickest nitro Harley pass anywhere in Australia.

Rob Cassar had probably the most awakward and potentially dangerous fall we have seen. Rolling out of the burnout the bike took off towards the starter’s area and Rob came off the side, hitting his head against the wall. We are grateful to report Rob is on the mend and the injuries were not serious.

Supercharged Outlaws

Vince Belladonna took the most unexpected win of the night. He smoked the tyres off the line and looked gone for all money, until Mark Chapman in the opposite lane ran a 7.11 on a 7.15 dial in to break out! You take them any way you can get them. Remarkably Belladonna survived two such tyre smoking runs the same way, with the other coming in the quarter finals courtesy of a Luke Marsden break out.

Chapman will no doubt be kicking himself in the Fontana powered Mustang for many a race event to come.

Marsden already sits on maximum points in the championship but a 7.028 on a 7.03 dial in will probably pester him.

A 6.506 top qualified Mark Mackay and he ran a even quicker 6.48 in round two but unfortunately that was a breakout, yet again opposite from Belladonna.

We love seeing Franky Mamone’s Outlaw 10.5 Nova in WA. A 6.66/222 was his best, coming in qualifying.

Tony Argentino was back for the first time in a while, sharing in the talents of USA crew chief Camp Stanley.

Paul Stephen (top) and Alex Souris (bottom) both had rather unfortunate trips to the west, putting rods out.

Not really what you want to happen after the burnout!

Darren Strong got the wheels waaaay up there in qualifying.

Mark Rothwell ran his first six and had some fun with his dial in scribbles.

Although not officially competing as he missed qualifying, Brett Stewart was allowed to make some demonstration runs in his new Maloo ute. Stewart competed in the Clipsal 500 on Friday and Saturday in the Dunlop V8 series before flying back on Saturday night to race in Perth on Sunday. Commitment!


Cameron Turner picked a quality time to win his first event. The ex-Frank Hawley school dragster proved a great package and with a .015 reaction and 8.149 on an 8.14 in the final too good for Shane Wynd’s .051 and 7.59 on a 7.55.

Wynd (left) still had plenty to be proud of with .030 and .035 packages in eliminations before the final.

Laurence Adamos looked on the war path until an uncharacteristic .181 reaction time in the semis.

The waving Michelle Adamos went a few rounds and into the sevens with regularity.

Rhett Cooper-Fowle slaughtered the B/MA record from a 9.83 to an 8.62, as well as taking the speed end too.

Ian Forrest unfortunately couldn’t back up an under the record pass in B/MD.

It was sticky out there!

Brendon Luke got the invite from Ron Crosby to race his old altered with Ron out of action due to a recent operation.

Darrell Horley’s new US-imported ride is so damn cool. I want one.

James Duffy gets the bounces up in the braking area.

Michelle Osborn is a regular top qualifier in Modified and nothing changed with a 7.19 doing the job this time around.

The LS-powered altered of Shane Joyce ran as quick as 7.56 in qualifying, here’s a 7.58 from onboard.

Super Sedan

Sam Gullotto won the best Group Three race of the night in the final of Super Sedan. A .011 RT and a 7.947 on a 7.94 defeated Paul Downe’s .015 and 9.167 on a 9.16. Two of the heavy hitters doing what they do best in one amazing race.

Downe could probably feel a little hard done by that the pass didn’t muster him a gold Christmas Tree, but the state series leader certainly wasn’t left disgraced.

A 6.96 qualified Greg Fowler in number one but when he spun the tyres in eliminations he was on the trailer. The .000 reaction time in round one was pretty nifty though.

Tony Norgett hangs it all out.

Steve Fowler suffered a rare early exit, bundled out in round two by Downe.

Beau Junior had a consistent package going until a heartbreaking -.001 red light.

Daniel Donnelly’s gorgeous Chev had hearts a flutter.

Simon Travaglini enjoyed a change in pace from his BA Falcon, running the GT instead.

Alesha Adamos’ weekend all came undone in the burnout for the first round when the Skyline threw a rod.

Modified Bike

Justin Townson not only reset the B/MB ET record but performed well all night to take home a Westernationals win. Townson, who got married on the weekend, made his Christmas tree as the centre piece right next to the wedding cake. How romantic.

Alberto Marques added to his RARS total with some good points following a runner up. Unfortunately a slightly sleepy .299 light in the final saw him out of the race early. The top qualifier’s medallion was another piece for the mantle however.

Joe Bertolini won the Westernationals last year and made the semis this year but buzzing the limiter on the gear change saw him run off the dial in.

Paul Nieuwhof qualified second with an 8.56 but rolled back in the beams in the second round and got a red light.

Allan Marks on a rarely spotted Triumph Rocket III. From Wikipedia: The Triumph Rocket III is three cylinder motorcycle made by Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. At 2,294 cc (140.0 cu in) it had the largest displacement engine of any mass production motorcycle, as of September 2010.

Chris Collins turned to the stealth bomber for design inspiration by the looks.

Super Street

Dean Burtoft (near lane) paid the price for losing the reaction time contest with Roger Moorhouse (far lane) nipping victory by just .008.

Mike Pearson searched all weekend for a 12 for Beat the Heat, and came through with a 12.89 on Sunday.

Eyes on the road there Mr Bakranich! Adam Michaelides in the far lane would take this race out.

Reece Glass was of the few interstate entries for Super Street and reached the round of 16 before a red light.

Junior Dragster

Georgie Gerritsen overcame a .120 reaction in the final with a 8.01 on an 8.00 to defeat Jake Donnelly. The story of Gerritsen getting this great looking car is quite neat. She was expecting a new engine for her birthday and when the day finally arrived dad was able to show her the new engine – sitting in the new car!

Jake made the trip worth it with the runner up seriously boosting his RARS points haul.

Matthew Puglia did far better than his old man, reaching the semi finals before a breakout.

Brayden Naylor is going to cut off his unique hair style at the next event in Perth to raise money for the Leukaemia Association. You can donate here – http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/brayden


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