Top Fuel returns to Perth Motorplex on firey Friday night

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The long-awaited return of championship Top Fuel drag racing to Perth Motorplex was finally realised on Friday night as six drivers made qualifying runs before rain cut short an exciting evening.

Wayne Newby said the team were just looking for something A to B, but they got something a lot better with a top qualifying run of 3.819, despite the candles dropping at around the 800ft mark.

While Newby left the line well with a 0.841 60 foot time, the news was not so good for Phil Lamattina in the opposite lane, as he buzzed the tyres at the hit.

One of the strangest, but most spectacular, moments of the night came during Phil Read’s burnout as his Hydraulink dragster vented fireballs of nitro into the sky. Phil went on to make a 4.023 run to qualify second, clicking the car early as it moved out of the groove.

Shane Olive looked to be on the way to a number, but getting close to the centre line down track saw him limited to a 4.619. Damien Harris (6.185, smoked the tyres at 300 feet) and Peter Xiberras (7.394, tyre shake) rounded out the night’s performances, as the rain fell shortly afterwards.

The Top Fuel cars will run one more qualifying session at 2pm on Saturday before three rounds of all-run racing from 5.30pm.

Daniel Gregorini led the Top Doorslammer pack, who are part of the Australian Drag Racing Championship Grand Finals this weekend at the Motorplex. A 5.742 from the Camaro got him comfortably to top spot ahead of John Zappia’s 5.817. Like the Top Fuel cars, Top Doorslammer will also have an early afternoon session to finalise qualifying.

Wayne McGuinness managed to eke just enough on-throttle time from his nitro Harley to lead Top Bike. Despite being close enough to the wall to reach out and touch it for most of his run, a 6.953 came up on the boards. Championship hopeful Greg Durack is second with a 7.097 while Chris Matheson sits third with a 7.276.

In the sportsman categories, current leaders include Craig Geddes in Competition (6.959, -.251), Steve Norman in Super Stock (8.289, -.211), Ross Smith in Competition Bike (8.094, -.726), Alan Mahnkoph in Supercharged Outlaws (6.694), Colin Davis in Top Sportsman (7.348), Lorenzo Gullotto in Outlaw Radial (7.401), Kasey McClure in Modified (7.911), John Kouw in Super Sedan (8.595), Paul Nieuwhof in Modified Bike (8.896), Steph Gullotto in Super Street (10.009) and Brodie Zappia in Junior Dragster (8.038).

That wraps up this quick midnight update, we’ll have more for you tomorrow as qualifying concludes and racing begins!

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