Report: Morgan, Crowley and Morell triumph at Calder Park return

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Darren Morgan along with Luke Crowley and Graeme Morell etched their names in the history books as Group One winners at the Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams meeting that saw return of ANDRA sanctioned competition at Calder Park Raceway for the first time since 2001.

Going into the penultimate round of the season the spotlight was on the Victorian duo of Darren Morgan and Phil Lamattina locked in battle for the Top fuel title, the eagerly awaited debut of John Lamattina and the return of Queenslander“Pommie” Steve Read who at the last meeting held at the venue in 2001 won the Nationals driving for Santo Rapisarda.


In Top Fuel Phil Lamattina top qualified over the 1000ft with a strong run of 4.41sec to head younger brother John who was impressive off the trailer with a 4.58 sec. pass. “The Pom” claimed third spot with a 4.62 sec. but destroyed his engine in the process and was consequently forced out of the meeting. Morgan fourth struggled with dropped cylinders and booked an elimination round match up with Phil Lamattina.

johnlamJohn Lamattina was impressive in his competition debut running a 4.58 in qualifying

“We dropped a magneto,” According to Read who was forced out of the meeting after his one and only qualifier.

“Then we dropped an inlet valve and punched a hole in the manifold, unfortunately we only have one manifold and blower.

“We also hurt the clutch hat as well so we were out for the weekend. At the time it was on a very good run, we shut it off at 2.67 seconds and it still ran a 4.62, we probably could have run a 4.10 pass.”

“It was a disappointing way to end the meeting but we will go home and do some repair work and get organised for the Nationals next month,” Read concluded.


cp 36No joy for Steve Read’s Supercharge Batteries entry with mechanical issues putting him out early

 The non appearance of Read gifted John Lamattina direct entry to the final round of eliminations and on his solo pass the new kid in town ran a stout 4.39sec lap much to the delight of the Calder crowd.

JohnLamattinaJohn Lamattina ran a stout 4.39 in eliminationsWhen asked what it was like to race as a licenced driver at a national event John Lamattina had some interesting insights.

“Racing is different to licensing,” said John Lamattina.

“In licensing you take your own time and are able to do your own thing. When you run against an opponent you have a responsibility to do the right things at the right times and not muck them around.

“Everyone thinks that hitting the throttle when the light turn’s green light is the hard part, but it’s not. It’s when the car fires and you do your burn out and you have the responsibility not to hurt anyone or do anything stupid, then you go through the sequence to get ready to race.

“The actual racing is the last in a long line of stages you go through before you race,” he said.

The eagerly awaited Morgan versus Lamattina match up didn’t disappoint fans on Nitro racing. Morgan taking the spoils with a 4.38sec. from the “Carrot King” who clocked a 4.45.

In the final “Lamma” Junior was first off the green and was headed to his maiden victory until Morgan eased past to claim the win with the quickest pass of the meet a 4.32 sec, Lamattina running a 4.55.sec for the runner up. Phil Lamattina staged to take out the consolation ‘B’Final under the three round format conditions.

My crew are all volunteers and to win is all about them,” said Morgan.

“I can’t say enough about them, Ben Patterson and the effort they all put in they make it work.

“In the race against Phil we started turning the tyres about two- thirds of the ways down the track and we didn’t get any data plus also seized a fuel pump as well.

“In the final we decided to calm the car down a bit, it was another curve ball for Benny but he made it work for us,” concluded Morgan.

AE3R6838Darren Morgan tightened his grip on the series leading into the Sydney Nationals in November

Morgan has stretched his lead to 74 points over Phil Lamattina and only needs to qualify fifth or better at the Nationals next month to claim his fourth nitro title.

Ipswich based Luke Crowley took the honors ahead of Phil Howard in the final of Pro Bike on the basis of the win light after no times appeared on the timing boards and needs only to qualify at the Nationals next month to claim the 2012-13 title.


AE3R5189Luke Crowley was in great form taking the win

Crowley was in superb form on the day highlighted by a narrow .003 sec victory over Scott White and an early round bye.

Howard’s passage to the final included a comfortable 6.09/6.38 win over Glenn Wooster and a red light from Lachlan Ireland. While the highly fancied Victorian Maurice Allen was sidelined with valve damage.

“We had transmission problems during qualifying and only just made it to the start line for round one and to take the win by .003 of second over was amazing,” recalled Crowley.

“We had a bye in the next round and in the final we had lane choice against Bluey.

“After we crossed the finish line no time came up on the boards and we weren’t really sure if we won it. I had gone past “Bluey” Howard and he agreed I had won it. It was very odd way to win the final,” he said.


morellGraeme Morell came through victorious and heads to the Nationals with a chance at the series win

Graeme Morell downed Dennis Grant with a 6.50/6.61 pass in the final of Top Bike. Morell advanced to the final with a narrow 6.68/6.71 victory over Chris Porter and in the other half of the draw Dennis Grant claimed the scalp of Rob Cassar on a holeshot. A sensational achievement on a bike that is basically a museum piece compared to the rest of the late model field.

Porter leads Morell by 73 points going into the Nationals at Sydney next month.


Sportsman report to follow


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