Scott MacLean reached his first ever Top Doorslammer final at Perth Motorplex on Saturday night, running his personal best time on the way.
The MacLean Motorsport team headed into the Goldenstates event confident following testing in the week leading up to the event, with crew chief Darren Mayer of DMPE Inc learning about the Perth Motorplex track surface and air conditions.
Qualifying opened in strange fashion for the team. The first hurdle was an air line coming away from the gear shifting buttons on the steering wheel, requiring some quick efforts from the team to re-attach. However the rush turned out to be for naught with a computer problem in race control meaning MacLean and opponent Steve Aldridge had to be shut off before they raced.
Going to the back of the field, the pair re-fuelled and re-fired and Scott was able to make a pedalling 5.95 run to start the night in positive fashion, holding an early pole position.
“We were happy to be the quickest of that first session but we knew a 5.95 was unlikely to hold up to the end of the night,” MacLean said.
The second session saw a full pass, but only a 6.12, leaving the team to have a think and come back for the third session with a hotter tune up. There MacLean was able to make amends with a quick 5.82 at 402kmh to qualifying into second position.
“That was a really hot run,” he said. “It showed Darren was getting on top of the conditions and the track and set us up really well for race day.”
MacLean‘s first round opponent would be Steve Aldridge, taking the win with a 5.92 to a 6.11. That led to a semi final contest against Grant O’Rourke. The MacLean Motorsports team knew they needed to deliver against the tough Queensland racer who has helped craft much of the beautiful trailers MacLeannow operates from.
Scott well and truly delivered from the driver’s seat, with a perfect .000 reaction time followed up by a Top Doorslammer personal best of 5.78 at 404kmh.
“They say a .000 is just the lucky side of a red light (foul start) but I’d like to think there was some skill there!” MacLean said. “That was as close to a perfect run as we made all weekend.”
When including both reaction time and elapsed time as a total package, that run would have been unbeaten by anyone else all weekend.
All that was left now was the final round against John Zappia. Zappia is the nine times national champion and on his home turf is nearly impossible to beat. The MacLean Motorsport team was ready for the challenge.
Scott again left well on the green light with a .014 reaction time to Zappia’s .084. The MacLean Motorsport Monaro wandered out of the groove after a very strong .958 60 foot time and Scott needed to pedal, which was unfortunately all it took for Zappia to come back for a 5.71 to 5.91 win.
“John Zappia is going to be tough to beat any day of the week so we needed to take a chance with the tune up and try and match some of his performance,” MacLean said. “The car launched very hard and we were right there with him but it made a move to the left and I had to correct which opened the door for Zap.
“But overall the Goldenstates was amazing for us. Our new quickest time with the car, my first Top Doorslammer final and a whole bunch of data that is going to be really important for Darren Mayer and DMPE Inc in the future as he continues to develop the car.”