The Jet Dragsters returned to Sydney Dragway for the first time in over 6 years, but the weather gods rained on their parade.
The East Coast has been battered with rain, storms and cold temperatures this “summer” which has been having a major impact on events. Sydney received a torrential downpour the night prior to the event with more rain early on race day, the forecast did not predict much more rain, but persistent drizzle pushed back the 2pm start time and halted racing a number of times before the heavens opened up before 9pm ending the night.
The Sydney Dragway track crew did an exceptional job firstly drying the track and keeping the traction up despite the bitterly cold temperature, though a number of teams did decide to sit the night out with unlikely prospect of the meeting being completed.
Naturally the crowd was poor with the conditions, the track has been fighting low crowd figures of late and with blanket radio advertising the weather ruled out any possibility of decent spectator count. But the meeting was tightly run with everyone receiving their 3 qualifiers and some brackets reaching their first round before the rain set in.
The two Jet Dragsters of Graham Slapp were the booked feature, Slapp himself driving one with Steve Mirams piloting the second.
Both cars put on the fire and burner pop show for the first pairing of three planned passes for the night before running low 7 second ET’s.
The second round became a solo to Mirams when Slapp’s dragster was leaking fuel badly as they fired up the turbine.
Rain ended the night before they could return for a final showing.
Craig Bonwick was making some exhibition runs on his Nitro Harley, after a first strong half track lap he cranked out a 6.7 and a 6.8 second pass.
The sportsman classes were outside the normal for some variety, with the traditional brackets being combined allowing cars that don’t normally compete against each other to do so.
A combination of blown Group 1 and Group 2 cars with the Supercharged Outlaws provided the mix, though a number of racers did leave their cars in the pits due to the conditions.
Top Doorslammer racer Reece Melenewycz led qualifying with a 6.81
The conditions were not hampering the Trinder Brothers Torana, running a 7.41 personal best.
Steve Greentree returned after a complete engine rebuild but has found out how frustrating supercharged racing can be after dropping a couple of valves.
Mal Gower had a dramatic incident, his now white altered has always been a handful with the big block now between the rails resulting in a few wild moments. Unfortunately his second qualifying run it got wilder when the car went into a nasty bounce as Gower lifted from some wheelspin, sending the car across the track and into the wall. The chassis appeared to be very bent and twisted but you can guarantee he will be back on track in no time.
Super Comp was run in the traditional track championship format though only 3 cars had fronted for qualifying.
Fred Nicastri is starting to make great progress with the E/GA Gazelle heading qualifying with a 8.95 (-.374),
A wheels up run for Daniel Shultz out past 300ft before running a 7.60 (-0.153) in B/AA
The crazy little Starlet of Dean Cordowiner put down a 8.15.
Top Modified was for any vehicle quicker than 8.50 seconds that didn’t fit into the above classes.
Scott Cousins was the quickest with a 7.93 in his 2JZ Dato
South Australian Mick Mahoney made the long drive and ran 7.95 best.
Peter Brown was the quickest of the open cars with a 7.95
Making a return after an absence of sometime was Brett Curnow in the Black Jack Commodore running 8.40
Gary Halpin is still playing with nitrous launches on his 2JZ Datsun, no problem this time!.
Like Top Modified this class was for any vehicle between 8.50 and 10.99.
Craig Davies new FED top qualified with a 8.66
Kit Hunter has the VL launching superbly with a 8.71
JB was looking forward to running the Cortina out the back door without the Super Gas restrictions and went 9.74
Phillip Azzopardi launched his Torana into the stratosphere after it was wound up with a gut full of nitrous on the line, the landing smashed the oil cooler
leaving a clean up. Time for them wheelie bars Phillip!
David Gruber debuted Strip Rat II, no longer racing the nitrous six HB Torana, Gruber has jumped up a few models with a smick looking LJ powered by a 355ci Chev.
Also debuting a new ride was Dave Gardiner, normally racing a blue HZ, Gardiner had purchased the ex Rob Bourke Super Stock LJ.
Street was basically open to any vehicle slower than 10.99, the racers did see first round before it ended.
Rob Heather took pole with a 11.002
Joe Zammit versus brother Don
Rod Hanckel’s C10 Chev doesn’t hang around running 11.29
Carl Taylor sweet Chev Bubbletop gets up a mambos with a 11.55
Mick Ramsey was behind the wheel of a screaming Hemi six Centura going 12.54
Domenico Luci’s 1969 Camaro turns everyone’s head.
Brad Smith has purchased the Van Ryn Torana and was competing for the first time.
Russell Richardson was a first round winner with David Matosevic, Stan Nikitaras, Craig Warren, Rob Heather, Larry Etcell, Mick Ramsey, Don Zammit, Carl Taylor, Paul Sabato, Joe Zammit and Dom Luci.
The traditional Modified Bike bracket was run.
Dave Butler headed the field going into eliminations with a 9.55
After a long lay off Brendan Sanders recently returned to racing traveling up from Victoria.
Luke Johnston pops a wheelie off the line.
Scott McBurney hiking the front wheel is now a common site.
Darren Folkes changed rides this event, but fell in round one to Sanders. Butler, Johnston, Rob Wilkinson, Joe Khoury and Marcus Wilson also won their first round match ups.
Brooke Chin took out the top qualifier with a 8.10.
Georgia O’Neil’s new dragster looks the part.
Rhiannon Allison defeated James Hazzard in round one, other victors were Domenic Leonello, Emma Crossland, David Roberts, Rocco Romano, Toby Austin and Brooke Chin.
Photos by Grant Stephens, Paul Drady & Hayley Turns
Event highlight video courtesy of Madman Productions