Two out of the top four positions in the Australian Top Doorslammer Championship are now filled by the Gregorini family following the 49th annual Goldenstates Championship at Perth Motorplex.
Lisa Gregorini secured a bundle of points thanks to a runner-up at the Spring Nationals, a race that took weeks to conclude after it was decided the final would be re-run during the second round of qualifying at the Goldenstates. There Lisa took on Ronnie Palumbo in a battle of rookies.
Lisa’s holeshot gave her the early advantage and the race went down to the wire with Ronnie’s 5.875 getting across the line just six thousandths of a second ahead of Lisa’s 5.972.
“We had an issue with the gearbox and it skipped second gear, going straight from first into third, which would have cost us some ET,” Lisa said. “Ronnie drove around me right at the finish line for the win, but we were absolutely rapt after all the hype that’s been created for the re-run.”
The team’s attention rapidly shifted to their next opportunity for victory, the Goldenstates themselves. Lisa’s Friday night pass qualified her fifth in the field, while Daniel unleashed a 5.847 for second place.
“Both cars needed some adjustments early on,” Daniel explained. “Lisa’s car had a new four-link set up and a wing modification and after overpowering the track in the first run we adjusted her tune up to find a safe way down the track. Mine had the opposite issue, being underpowered, but some changes got us down there. We kept the tune ups pretty much the same in both cars for race day.”
As the first round drew closer on Saturday, disaster almost struck when a valvetrain issue was found in Daniel’s car.
“Forty-five minutes before the run we found a lifter and cam issue. The Torrington bearing for the cam end float gave way and allowed the cam to move forward which then caused a lifter issue. We thrashed and only just got ready in time for the run.”
The first round saw an easy win for Lisa when opponent Maurice Brennan had to shut off after his burnout.
“Unfortunately Maurice wasn’t able to get reverse,” she said. “The track was hot and greasy, making driving difficult, and the car was all over the track so I opted to lift and roll through for the win.”
Daniel’s win light required a little more effort to get to the finish line ahead of Mark Chapman, but a 5.855 pass put the team into a strong position.
Round two saw Lisa’s fortunes take a dive as a red light against Jay-Dee Dack wasted a 5.953 pass.
“The tree took longer than I have experienced before and I jumped the gun,” Lisa said. “We still got valuable data and a run which gave us a place in the C Final though.”
Daniel nabbed a B Final place thanks to a 5.856 win against Maurice Brennan.
“Time was getting away from me running both cars and we had no time left to change the tune up from the first round, so we ran almost exactly the same time,” Daniel said. “We had the same win points as Russell Taylor but on the ET tiebreaker we didn’t have quite enough and so we had to settle for a B Final against Ronnie Palumbo.”
Lisa had a chance for revenge against Dack in the C Final, but lost a close 5.950 to 5.983 race, as Dack recorded a new personal best time.
“I was hesitant on the tree after the red light in the previous round and Jay-Dee got the head start on the line,” Lisa said. “It was a tough event with the hot conditions and tight turn arounds between rounds but overall it was a positive meeting for the team. We definitely got some positive data and learned a lot with regards to the changes we had made coming into this meeting for my car.”
Daniel scored valuable points with a B Final win, as a 5.831 proved enough to get around Ronnie’s ACDelco Monaro.
“Our aim was to bank more points in the championship and try to stop Ronnie running away with a big lead and it all went like planned with another 5.8 run and a win light,” Daniel said. “Overall there were a lot of positives for us. We had Consolidated Group down in a corporate box thanks to the Perth Motorplex, and they really enjoyed their night, with a lot of guests getting to see national drag racing for the first time.
“Now we have to service the cars and move on to the Slinglift Summer Slam, which is round three of the WA Top Doorslammer Series on December 9. We hope to see all of our fans back at the track to support our local racers!”