Lamattina, Drew take wins as nitro series get underway

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Phil Lamattina turned in a bracket-car like performance to win the opening round of the ANDRA Top Fuel championship while Mark Drew dropped some quick passes on the Top Fuel Motorcycle field to also earn victory.

On a warm night at Perth Motorplex the racing ran like clockwork with Top Fuel turning on a particularly impressive show as five top level cars put on a bunch of full passes.

Lamattina put a lot of the 4.65 to 4.75 win against Mark Sheehan down to his team.

“(We’re) pretty stoked the car is running consistently, Aaron (Hambridge) is doing a fantastic job on the tune up,” he said.

“I’ve got to really take my hat off to Fuchs for their support for the team and always the crew, you’ve got to thank them. They work tirelessly and this win is for them.

“(I’m) pretty excited, we’re in the championship lead and the start of the season is looking pretty good so hopefully we can back it up tomorrow.”

Drew meanwhile expected more out of the nitro twin following his defeat of Mark Ashelford, 6.65 to 6.75, after an earlier 6.48 pass.

“The bike was really good, we ran the 40, but I’m still at a loss as to why we ran a 60 in the last one. I’ll have to go through all the data tomorrow and work it all out,” he said.

“I’ve normally got my finger on it, when something happens I know what I’ve done. I might need a bit more timing and bit more fuel in the first stage. When I got to the end I was pretty surprised we only ran a 60.”

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Winners are grinners: Lamattina said that the clutch set up the team was now running with was paying dividends. Alongside Drew he became the first to earn a new ANDRA silver Christmas tree.

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Lamattina opened his account with a 4.63 in the compulsory qualifying session, before another 4.63 in the elimination round bye run and then a 4.65 in the final against Mark Sheehan, all with speeds over 320mph.

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Mark Sheehan’s night did not start well with a fuel leak similar to the one that caused his start up fire last season.

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But the team turned the bad luck around with a quick 4.65 in the elimination round to knock out Martin Stamatis.

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Stamatis was enjoying his time back in front of a home crowd. Each of his passes were not quite full noise to the finish line, leaving plenty in reserve for the second round of the championship.

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Rapisarda Autosport International faced off in a close elimination round race with Damien Harris going 4.75 to edge a 4.84 from Allan Dobson. Harris was to make a B Final appearance but did not front.

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Mark Drew turned in some thundering passes on the K-Trans nitro Harley including an elimination round 6.48 that was underneath the national record for the v-twins. He defeated Mark Ashelford 6.65 to 6.75 in the final round.

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Mark Ashelford’s return to racing in Australia was quite successful and the nitro flames out both sides of the Attitude Racing bike were spectacular.

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Chris Porter missed making the final but a B Final win ensured he still began his championship defence in okay fashion. A 6.91 in the final got by Greg Durack.

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Greg Durack’s perfect winning record in Top Fuel Motorcycle stayed alive when he defeated Dennis Grant in the elimination round but Porter brought it to an end.

Qualifying got underway for the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship with early leaders including Russell Ladbrook in Top Comp with a 5.863 to be -.517 under the index in AA/FC, Andrew Katavatis with a -.55 7.17 in B/AA to lead Super Comp and Ross Smith who went .430 under on his C/AB Suzuki Hayabusa.

In Group Three top qualifiers so far are Jon Ferguson with a 6.647 in Supercharged Outlaws, Michelle Osborn with a 7.137 in Modified, Lorenzo Gullotto on an 8.104 in Super Sedan, Luke Nieuwhof with an 8.421 in Modified Bike and Bernie Ellerby with an 11.013 in Super Street. Junior Dragster commences qualifying tomorrow.

Championship round two begins for Top Fuel and Top Fuel Motorcycle on Saturday.

Stay up to date with our event coverage page.


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