Hot stuff – Sydney Track Championship Round 4

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The Sydney Dragway Track Championship Series (TCS) has reached the midpoint with the running of round four in oppressive heat and humidity.

The event marked the end of a marathon run of three TCS events in a month due to late calendar changes, track manager Ray Treasure promises the issue won’t be repeated in the future. Treasure is also happy with the solid base of competitors for the series and is confident in rebuilding the series next season to a much higher profile.

Round four was held over a Friday night and Saturday schedule for the first, mainly due to previous commitments made to a private track hire on the Sunday. The change though did give the track a chance to try the different scheduling format which some racers preferred over 2 full days of racing.

Friday night provided optimum conditions of the event for racing however extreme heat and humidity greeted racers on the Saturday making track conditions very greasy and difficult to manage. Despite the constant threat of thunderstorms which were hitting various locations around Sydney, the track remained unaffected.

Super Comp

Super Comp was the only group two eliminator contested as Top Comp suffered from a number of withdrawals.

Fred Soleiman won his second consecutive TCS round leaving him undefeated in the rounds he has contended. Qualifying with a 8.55 on a 9.14 A/MPA index, Soleiman went past Fred Nicastri and Jamil Jaafar before defeated George Rehayem in the final running 8.79 (8.93in) on a tough track when Rehayem was out of the groove.

The PAC Mazda6 has consistently been producing outstanding performances, and this event was no different as George Rehayem top qualified with a 6.70 more than 0.62 under the BB/SC index. The teams only slip up of the weekend was in the final against Soleiman on the tricky track launching out of the groove but they still lead the TCS points.

Joe Signorelli’s world class 6.50 (-.544) qualifying pass was only good enough for third for the 2JZ powered Celica. After overcoming Greg Schultz’s B/AA in round one with a 6.66 (7.05), the decimated index was too much to overcome in a barnstorming semi final race against Rehayem, Signorelli’s 6.54 (6.85) even with a 0.1 holeshot was not enough to run down the Mazda’s 6.91 (7.33)

The three Pro Stock cars in the field of Andrew Stavroulakis, Bill Perdikaris and Joe Polito struggled in the conditions, with Stavroulakis’ Dodge the only one to attempt eliminations but fell easily to Jamil Jaafar’s RX3

Jamil Jaafar was competing in his first event with the newly acquired RX3, the ex purple George Marcevski car. Running in CC/SC Jaafar qualified with a 7.53 (-.161) before being stopped by Soleiman in the semi.

Stepping up from Junior Dragster Dee Oxley was making her first lap in her new competition dragster, father Raymond ran the car several weeks early to high 7 second ET’s in preparation for Dee. On her first lap the car spun the tyres and impacted the wall, while looking dramatic the car was undamaged and Dee not to be discouraged was able to return the next day and make some easy laps down the track.

Supercharged Outlaws

With the majority of racers still sitting out the series, the class only had three entries on site, which was boosted to four with Craig Allison dropping back from Top Comp.

Jeff Penton picked up his first win of the series, Penton has recently returned to racing with the “Intimidator” Dragster not seen since the 90’s. After qualifying with a 7.86 Penton took out Allison in round one, a redlight from Troy Papadopoulos in the final handed him the victory and a 50 point lead in the TCS.

Troy Papadopoulos hasn’t competed since winning the first round of the TCS in his EB Falcon. Defeating George Zammit in round one of eliminations, a -.208 cherry ended his chance of a repeat win.

Steadily getting a handle on his wild FED, George Zammit top qualified with a 7.31. A late chute deployment saw Zammit in the beach but undamaged in his first round holeshot loss to Papadopoulos.

Craig Allison dropped back to Outlaws from Top Comp where he was the only entrant. The slippery track had the altered over the centre line several times including his first round loss.

Top Sportsman

Overcoming converter issues from previous rounds since stepping up from Super Gas with his Ford Proble, Darryl Stephen with some good fortune won Top Sportsman. After a holeshot win over Jason Stares in the first round Stephen was the beneficiary of solo’s in the next two rounds and a red light from Steve Fowler in the final.

Steve Fowler was behind the wheel of father Greg’s “Tom Cat” Beretta following the sale of Pontiac, beating Joseph Somma, Scott Cousins in eliminations a -.092 red light in the final ended his run.

Top qualifying was Jason Stares with a 7.77 and even with a first round holeshot loss 7.83 (7.80) to Stephen’s 8.31 (8.25) the Corvette still hangs on to second place in the TCS.

The “Butcher” Andrew Constantinou still has a 30 point lead in the championship with his Mustang despite red lighting by 3 thousandths in round one against Super Sedan national champion Paul Partridge.

A big nitrous back fire from Greg Tsakaridis ended his day, “MAULER” struggled to hook up all event

It was not a good event for Robert Campisi, after showing up to the track with a expired license and unable to race the countries quickest turbo car, Craig Burns the car builder and who has competed in Top Doorslammer was given the keys. Following a strong half track license run, the second pass on the Friday ended in tyre smoke at 60ft. On Saturday the Mustang left hard before going into tyreshake before tyre smoke 200ft out sending the car hard right impacting the wall setting off a nasty methanol fire. Burns escaped quickly unharmed, the car suffered heavy front end damage but it will be repaired.


Modified was won by a ecstatic Chris Manks, this was Mank’s first ever event win. After putting on the trailer Bendon Luke, Guiseppe Raco and Brett White, Manks met up with old stager Alan White in the final, the pair of altered pushed each other to a double breakout run White’s 8.87 (8.880) was fractional bigger to Manks 8.682 (8.69).

Alan White’s passage to the final took care of Jenny Petrie and number one qualifier Andrew Musgrave before a solo in the semi. White sits second in the TCS with consistent performances over the first four rounds.

Peter Brown is still hanging on to the TCS points lead by 20 points following his first round exit at the hands of Ross Knights FED.

It has been years of hard work but Graham Blake finally debuted the second of the teams FED’s, the car is spectacular in looks equivalent to brother Geoff’s blown ride. Blake only made two laps in qualifying to ensure the car checks out ok before preparing to bring it back for the Nostalgia event a week later.

Super Sedan

Fowler musical cars continued with Greg Fowler in the S10 truck at this event and went one better than Steve by winning Super Sedan over Marco Tolomeo. Fowler dispensed Jim Denaro, Ryan Taylor and Frank Palumbo in route to the final and top qualified with a 8.76

Marco Tolomeo has featured in a fair share of finals in the past 12 months, this final he was pushed to a 9.76 (9.79) break out by Fowler who dropped a 8.77 (8.77) on him.

After a first round loss Harry Plessas is still leading the points by 20 over Sean Maher.

Frank Palumbo backed up his runner up finish at the last event with a semi final result.

Joe Valenzisi debuted this tough looking HK Monaro

Joe Gauci has replaced the turbo six in his Cortina with a twin turbo V8, the car was a animal to control and Gauci did manage a 8.15, but this pro streeter has a load more potential

Modified Bike

The Modified Bike bracket had extra special meaning at this event as it marked the running of the Darren Shepherd Memorial with 12 monthsgone since the passing of “Shep”.

Matthew Welch was the rider who was honored with memorial plaque after taking out the bracket on his Suzuki. Welch top qualified and beat Gary Tansley, Brett Smith before escaping with the win on a unclean run when Geoff Veigel broke out.

Geoff Veigel was in his second consecutive final with the same result on his Kawasaki, a 9.39 (9.49) breakout handed the win over Welch.

Yamaha R1 rider Brett Smith lost to Welch in the semi’s, Smith recently had a big finish line spill on the bike while testing at a street meet, testimony to the safety gear on offer.

Robert Simmonds red lit out of the other semi by just 1/1000th of a second.

Screamin Eagle racer Joe Khoury has joined the ranks of the Harley Destroyer army which is populating the track

Super Street

The blue oval got up in Super Street with Richard Matosevic taking the win over a red lighting Paul Sabato, Matosevic’s 0.020 RT and 11.17 (11.16) would have been tough to beat anyway. Matosevic’s victims included Steve Tasker and points leaders Joe Zammit, Peter Tsounias and Stan Nikitaras

A -.055 cherry in the final finished Paul Sabato’s run, but still leads the championship over Tsounias, Nikitaras and Zammit

Brett Ogden has been a regular at Sydney off street meets with his weapon wagon, what sets Brett’s efforts apart is he is wheelchair bound.

Scott Murray was competing at this first event and went to round three before eliminating himself with a redlight against Nikitaras.

Super Gas

Super Gas suffered with only three entries which saw the racers receive 6 qualifers.

Joe Catanzariti has contested the finals of all three of the TCS rounds he has competed in this season, and was against Rick Dudek who has never beat Catanzariti in this final. Catanzariti’s perfect record continued over Dudek who broke out.

Rick Dudek is still looking for his maiden win, after defeating John Somoracz in round one, Dudek left a -.0147 cherry on the tree in the final and the maiden win will have to wait. Dudek though has featured in 3 finals this season and still leads the TCS by 60 points.

Junior Dragster

Mitchell Oxley took out the Junior Dragster battle on what was a up and down weekend for the Oxley team at the track.  Oxley won rounds against Dominic Leonello, Toby Austin and had 2 fortunate solo’s before defeating Bianca Humpheys in the final.

With big sister Chantelle moving out of the class, Bianca Humphey’s is now in possession of her dragster. After defeating Amy Patterson, Caitlin Zammit, points leader Jesse Panetta and Thomas Burns a ripper of a final unfolded against Oxley. The jump went to Oxley .154 to Humphrey’s .174 and at the finish that would prove the difference as Oxley’s 8.10 (8.08) just seized the win over Humphreys 8.89 (8.89)

Screamin Eagles

Bob Axisa won Screamin Eagles over Andrew McGregor.

Street Fighter

Don Zammit cut a .002 light in the final against David Muscat’s EL Falcon who broke out 15.55 (15.60) to Zammit’s 13.91 (13.80)

Click on next page to view the event photo gallery


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