Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series qualifying at the Australian Nationals has been completed at Calder Park Raceway.
Standout performance of the day goes to Super Stock’s John Kuiper (Austral, NSW) who surpassed both the quarter mile elapsed time and speed records for the C/G class.
Kuiper top qualified by going 0.58 seconds under the National C/G index with a 7.952 ET while reaching 178.40 mph to have a chance at resetting both records by backing up during eliminations.
“We haven’t raced here for a long time but we’ve been campaigning the car for quite a while,” said Kuiper.
“Sydney has been a kinder track, this has been challenging but we’ve got nothing to lose, we qualified and we’re at the top.
“We didn’t expect go any faster on that last pass but when it settled and left the start line I thought well; let’s see how fast it will go.
“We’re pretty happy with that, there are a couple of increments we can improve on. The index game is very tough and any class that is here and goes fast, it’s an effort for everybody. It’ll be good and if I can save the index but if we go fast to win, we go fast to win.”
“Daniel Camilleri qualified second with Jamie Chaisty, racing a quarter mile track outside of Perth for the first time, in third. Reigning Super Stock Champion Steve Norman qualified fourth and Mick Simic is fifth with some heavyweight drivers occupying positions six to 12.
Photo credit: Dave Hope
David DeQuen (Darling Downs, WA) stole top position from Craig Geddes in Competition Eliminator when Geddes opted out of his final qualifier. DeQuen beat Geddes by two thousandths of a second on his final run with a 7.482 ET on a 7.90 index.
“We struggled with the track, not that the track is bad it’s just a bit bumpy for what we’re doing with our car but the track is good, it’s a great place.” said DeQuen.
“You’re never too confident when there is people like Geddes, Cartledge and Baxter in the field. It’s always good to have a good field, it would have been nice to have more cars but it’s always great to be top qualifier.
“If I had a message for Craig it would be to stick around next time!”
Shane Baxter, Wayne Cartledge, Mike Nola, Kit Hunter, Cameron Ambesi, Michael Davis and Steven Athans complete the nine-car field.
Brett Ghedina (Kalamunda, WA) and Rob Cassar are the only riders in Competition Bike to go beneath their index with Ghedina posting a 7.669 ET to go under his CC/CBI index by 0.27 seconds.
Cassar’s ride 0.15 seconds under his BB/CBN index secured second leaving Paul Pires, Niki Zakrzewski, Corey Scholes, Nathan Stone and Terry Jongen to complete the field third through seventh.
Peter Datsun set the stall early in Supercharged Outlaws but it was the in form Adam Murrihy (Karama, NT) who continued his top qualifying streak with a fourth in a row dating back to early December. Datsun dropped to second followed by Dave McGraw, Drago Nikodijevic and Bruno Matijasevic completing the top five.
Darren Saliba secured his third pole position in a row in Top Sportsman as he looks to break his duck and convert consistent qualifying form to an event win. Saliba recorded a 7.176 ET to best Jason Stares in second, Anthony Rodrigues in third, Paul Russo fourth and Matt Forbes fifth on his Top Sportsman debut.
In Modified Jess Turner (Epping, VIC) laid down a 7.307 ET in her first qualifier to lead the field all day and into eliminations. Matt Forbes, driving in Top Sportsman, Modified and Super Gas this weekend qualified second from last weeks South Coast winner Simon Barlow, South Coast runner up Katie Cunningham and Leanne Braggs in fifth.
Michael Vlasakakis (Point Cook, VIC) leads Super Sedan with an 8.683 ET in session two enough to hold top spot. Vlado Turic is second followed by Kaylene Gourley who shot to third in her final qualifier seemingly from nowhere, Robert Lanteri secured fourth and Glenn Henley fifth in a field of 50.
Mick Day (Ellenbrook, WA) could not be stopped in Modified Bike leading throughout and making his second qualifier really count with a best effort of 8.675 ET. Matthew Allan came out in Q2 for the first time doing enough to secure second spot straight off the trailer with Edgell Mallis, Greg Sparks and Wally Hosta rounding out positions three through five.
David Brae’s (Altona, VIC) 11.039-second pass in the first qualifier held firm all day as he topped Super Street from Rowe Memorial winner Garth O’Hehir in second. Jodie Tedesco wrapped up third, Robert Camilleri fourth and Anthony Barbara fifth.
In Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster the lead changed with each passing round as first Joel Burns occupied top, then Mikey Naylor after two qualifiers. Ultimately it was Natalie Bishop (Orangeville, NSW) who continued her winning form from a week ago in Portland securing the number 1 with an 8.024 ET. Mikey Naylor dropped to second as a result followed by Joel Burns, defending Champion Eden Ward and Kelly Donnelly in fifth.
Warren Bull (Junortoun, VIC) qualified first in Super Gas courtesy of his first round effort of 9.907-second pass in the fixed 9.90 index class. Darryl Stephen qualified second from Portland winner Colin Griffin in third, reigning Champion Graeme Spencer in fourth and Anthony Panetta fifth in the 10-car field.
Eliminations commence at 9am on Sunday with racing scheduled to finish approximately 6:30pm. Also on the schedule are two Top Fuel passes by Rapisarda Autosport International and one run by ‘The Hussler’ Nitro Funny car.
For final Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series qualifying orders please click here.
Photo credits Grant Stephens- Drag News Magazine and Dave Hope.