Drama, excitement and new records seem to be a common occurrence in the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series as Round 3 came to a close at the VPW Pro Series 1000 in Adelaide.
Featuring virtually a full complement of ANDRA Sportsman brackets, racers pushed limits, reaction times, dial ins and indexes in the quest for vital points and an ANDRA Silver Christmas tree.
Steve Norman was perhaps the most relieved man in the pits after claiming an all South Australian Super Comp final against Jim Ioannidis in what was also an all Super Stock battle.
Neither racer disappointed as Norman cruised to a 6.568 elapsed time on a 6.81 index, a new national record up from the minimum 6.66 seconds at 151.68 mph to set the 1000-foot C/APA elapsed time national record.
After many close calls and a lot of hard work, Norman finally hoisted the long awaited trophy above his head paying tribute to his crew.
“It’s been a really, really long time coming with the boys,” said Norman. “That’s what you do most of it for. I was as happy for them as I am for me.
“Everything went really good this weekend and it was good because it was two door cars in the final. It’s just been a really good weekend.
“A big thanks to Rino (D’Alfonso) for continuing to pursue this out here (Adelaide International Raceway). It’s just been a really good weekend.”
In his runner up effort, Jim Ioannidis reset the 1000 feet B/MSA national records for both elapsed time and speed with his 7.692 on a 7.92 index at 133.14 mph. The previous mark was set at a 7.72 minimum and 132.10 mph set by Ioannidis himself.
Craig Geddes set new 1000 feet elapsed time and speed national records for B/D with a scintillating 5.999 and 170.00 mph to best the minimum 6.10 ET and 166 mph.
Veteran Wayne Cartledge also claimed the B/DA mile per hour record reaching 172.96 mph and surpassing his previous record of 170.32 mph.
Supercharged Outlaws unfortunately ended in an anti-climax after persistent timing issues earlier in the day scuppered several attempts at a Paul Stephen v Drago Nikodijevic match up.
Nikodijevic eventually claimed the win to advance but time ran out to be able to turn the cars around with the semi finals run at the completion of the event.
Officials decided that finalists, Donald Friend and defending champion Doina Day, would each receive runner up points.
Stuart McBain doubled up for his second Top Sportsman victory of the season with a win over Sydneysider Steve Fowler. McBain won at the tree when Fowler red lit by just .003 seconds. The Victorian etched it in stone with a 6.628 on a 6.65 dial.
Modified Westernationals winner Michelle Osborn raced an impressive program all weekend but she met her match in the final when local product Simon Barlow grabbed the win in a very close final. Barlow almost hit his 7.25 dial in with a 7.262 second pass from a 7.265 on a 7.20.
Defending Modified champion Shane Wynd found some consolation for his round 3 exit as his team was awarded the YBi Creative Best Appearing Team for the entire weekend.
George Tikpouikidis triumphed in Super Sedan when Danny Bucella saw red by an agonising .001 second. Tippouikidis completed a cruisey 10.023 on a 9.98 dial in take the honours.
The red light trend continued in Modified Bike as Joe Khoury secured the win with a 9.445 on a 9.40 dial in after Shane Walker red lit by .044 seconds. That result catapults Khoury to the 160-point minimum in this shortened season as his title bid takes shape.
Two-time ANDRA Super Sedan champion John Kapiris didn’t get the result he craved in his first class, but pulling double duty in his hometown, the nephew of Peter Kapiris managed to score the Super Street victory over Chris Dimech in the final. A 12.683 on a 12.62 dial in from a 12.509 second pass on a 12.52 was enough thanks to a holeshot victory.
ANDRA Junior Dragster champion Toby Austin continued his dominance winning the final over local South Aussie and top qualifier Kelly Donnelly. Austin laid down an 8.131 on an 8.05 to defeat Donnelly’s 8.167 on an 8.08.
And finally hometown hero Bruno Romeo, doubling up in Modified and Super Gas this weekend, took the Super Gas final in dramatic circumstances. His opponent Warren Smith ran a perfect 9.90 on the fixed 9.90 index but Romeo stole the win on a .026 holeshot with a 9.911 second pass.
The Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series moves onto Willowbank Raceway for a one day event on Saturday April 11 before heading to Sydney for the Nitro Champs May 2-3.