Oil finishes Top End Nostalgias

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The Top End Nostalgias came to an eventful end on Saturday night at Hidden Valley Drag Strip where a competition event had to be cancelled for the first time in over a decade.

The new strip claimed another victim when the Super Sedan Ford Capri of Michael Dureau unfortunately broke two engine rods and punched a hole in the engine, oiling nearly the entire length of the Lucas Oil lane and rendering it unsafe for further racing.

“We considered whether we spend over an hour cleaning and re-preparing the track but this would have pushed us close to 1am.” said HVDRA President Jay Jukes.

“It was a very tough decision to cancel the event before the finals.”

“We consulted the racers at a special briefing and offered to re-run the finals at a future date, but they were happy to split the winnings equally.”

“This was a very sportsmanlike decision and I praise the racers for their understanding.”

However, before such an unfortunate ending there was some great close racing. The supercharged whine and big burnouts of the 1934 Chev roadster of Duncan McKinstray from Top End Hire was a crowd pleaser in Super Street, but it was the Holden Gemini of Shaun Boyer that made it to the finals against the 1970 Pontiac of Grant Radcliffe.

Street bikes had Ian Warrener from Kununurra scheduled to take on local Geoff Hawkins while Jabiru based Dave Denner made the finals against the winner of Track Championship Round 2, Robert Harrison.

In trying circumstances Denner set a new personal best of 8.692 at 145mph on his first pass. He then broke his bike chain on his second pass, but still managed to defeat Harrison after Harrison broke out with a 10.55 on a 10.48 dialin. Denner then broke his shift pin on his third pass, but was again handed the win against Heath Costello after Costello stalled on the line.

In Super Sedan the field only completed two rounds of racing after Dureau’s unfortunately mechanical failure which left limited opportunities for competitors to get ahead of the pack. With a four way tie in the points, it came down to a count back, with the two closest to their dialins declared the finalists. This went to the altered of Allan Arthus and the 1957 Standard 10 of Adam Murrihy.

The Outlaws bracket was a good mixture of old and new with the 2002 Mustang of Craig Davis scheduled to take on the 1941 Willy’s of Derreck Sperrer. This was the first outing for Sperrer this year and he ran a respectable 8.20 at 170mph

Street had another Gemini make it to the finals, this time driven by Troy Cameron, while motorsport tragic, Eddie Tattingham got his 1967 VW Dune Buggy through with a best of 19.171 seconds.  In the Junior Dragster bracket it was an all-girls affair with Jodie Coles scheduled to take on rookie Caitlin (KT) Burt.

Off Street racing returns with the Hidden Valley Ford sponsored Beat the Heat Off Street event this Friday night. This will be the final chance to run the quarter mile before the 2011 NT Titles on the 20 August where southern racers have already registered, including Australia’s 2010/2011 Supercharged Outlaw champion, Matt Watts.

Photographs supplied by Matt Kemp – http://www.epicmoments.com.au

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