Nitro Max scorches Perth – full race report

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Phil Lamattina made it two from two in Top Fuel, Mark Ashelford came through for an emotional Top Fuel Motorcycle victory and the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship saw its first silver Christmas trees handed out on a scorching day two of the Nitro Max event at Perth Motorplex.

The ambient temperature reached 44.1 degrees celsius during the day, with track temp reaching well into the sixty degree range. Such was the heat that a radical decision was made to cool the track with a water tanker. It proved a great success, taking the edge off the baking surface.

Full credit has to go to the track staff for working in such sweltering conditions and still delivering a track that provided great racing.

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Phil Lamattina earned a second event win to give himself an early head start in the points chase. A 5.03 on a tricky 6pm race track top qualified him and he followed it up with an elimination round 4.66/323 and a final round 4.74/316.

“We had to steer it a bit at the top end in that final, but Aaron (Hambridge) and the crew did an enormous job,” he said afterwards.

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Martin Stamatis went to runner up in the Billview dragster in a positive hometown result. He blazed the tyres in qualifying (above) but a 4.83 in the elimination round got him by Allan Dobson’s 5.13 but tyre smoke in the final put him out of contention.

“We knew we had to go on kill-mode to beat them (Lamattinas) so that’s what we did,” said Stamatis’ crew chief Rob Cavagnino.

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Mark Sheehan had an expensive second day at Nitro Max. He made it back after this qualifying fireball but more damage in the elimination round left him unable to appear for the B Final.

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Allan Dobson was enjoying being back in the seat for RAI but his qualifying run overpowered the track.

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Damien Harris had a day to forget with tyre smoke before the Christmas tree in qualifying and then an ailing 6.75 to watch Mark Sheehan take the win with a well beatable 5.25.

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Mark Ashelford had early dramas with the bike misbehaving in the compulsory qualifying session but things came good with a win against night one winner Mark Drew in the elimination round and then a 6.58 in the final for victory.

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Chris Porter crossed the centre line in the final, settling for a runner up position.

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Kevin Gummow took a single in the B Final when Gordon Crawford was unable to front. It was consistency proving a winner for the team with mid seven second runs across the day.

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Gordon Crawford was due out for the B Final after a 7.35 win against Terry Burnett, but never made it to the start line.

“We were about to fire up there against Kevin, but we had some major electrical dramas,” he said.

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Dennis Grant had handling dramas across the weekend on his nitro Harley.

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