After rain for most of the prior day, a beautiful day dawned upon Willowbank Raceway for the penultimate round of the Track Championship.
The Super Sportsman event is essentially two events in onw with the first part of the day having Track Championship rounds for Modified, Super Sedan, Super Street, Modified Bike, Junior Dragster and Super Gas. The second event for the day has championship brackets for Supercharged Outlaws and Super Comp along with non-championship rounds for Quick 32, Mid 32, Juniors and bikes. A reasonably small number of 91 racers were entered probably due to a date conflict with Drag Fest being held at Warwick Dragway the same weekend.
Christine Steffens got way out of shape in her Nitro Funny Car on her only attempted pass on the day
Chris Matheson also made one attempted pass on his repaired Top Fuel Motorcycle resulting in tyre smoke straight on the hit.
Collin Willshire made five test passes including his first 200 mph pass. His last pass of the night netted a stout 6.847 second pass from the 4 cylinder Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Archie Kajewski also made a number of test shots on the day. The Mazfix team struggling with shake on most before a final shot clocked a 7.028 time slip at 198 mph.
Jarrod Lamb began licensing for Supercharged Outlaws driving the Brian and Julie Trott owned altered. Jarrod is well on his way to being licensed after being signed off for the burnout and half track stages.
Bill Fletcher extended his lead in the track championship with a Supercharged Outlaws win over son Josh Fletcher. Bill outgunned young Josh at both ends of the racetrack starting with a quicker 0.033 reaction time and then forcing Josh into a breakout at the top end. Bill’s 6.771 second ET safe on a 6.68 second dial in.
Josh Fletcher is having a stellar season and consolidated his current number 2 position in the track championship chase with a runner up to his father Bill Fletcher.
Super Comp was run off the 2 round format for this event. Coming up trumps was Peter Zelow driving his high flying A/DA who qualified for the final by defeating Christopher Hall in his BB/OM Mazda and then Tony Bellert in an all A/DA matchup. Peter won the final over a red lighting Jason Simpson but still powered through and ran a 6.880 second pass, well under his 7.13 second index.
Jason Simpson red lighted in the final of Super Comp with a -0.038 second reaction. Jason would have been in with a good chance, running a 8.258 on his 8.520 index.
Scott Bettes was victorious in Modified Eliminator in his Dragster. After defeating Modified heavy hitter Graeme Frawley in round one Scott didn’t look back making it all the way to the final to take on previous champion Tony Littlewood. A 0.000 reaction in the final along with a break out 7.660 on 7.68 dial in was still good for the win due to the red light from Littlewood.
A -0.008 red light in the final relegated Tony Littlewood to runner up honours.
Coming out on top in the 17 car Super Sedan field was David Morris in his beautiful big block Holden Calibra. A 0.178 reacted 8.434 on a 8.240 dial in was good enough to defeat Max Carpenter who red lighted.
Max Carpenter managed a heart breaking -0.001 red light in the Final of Super Sedan. Making it worse was a unusually slow reaction from his opponent.
Sitting second in the championship points coming into the event Tammy Goldthorpe would have been happy with the reasonably easy run through to the final of modified bike; with a bye run and two opponents red lighting. Another red light in the final decided the verdict, again in Goldthorpe’s favour leaving her breakout 9.211 as the winning pass.
Phil White got through the final of Modified Bike with wins over Alan Annis and Blair Pennington followed by a semi-final bye run. Unfortunately for Phil a -0.081 red light handed the win to Tammy Goldthorpe.
A small field of only seven Super Street entrants rolled up for round one. Mitchell Bauer plotted his way to the final with a win over Robert Winterburn thanks to a superior reaction time, and then a double breakout win over Jon Arcidiacono also in a Torana. Despite breaking out Mitchell got an automatic win in the final thanks to fellow finalist Carl Grading red lighting.
Carl Gradings big 418 cube XY Fairmont took him to the Super Street Final where unfortunately a -0.095 red light handed Carl the runner up trophy.
The final of Junior dragster was as close as they come with both drivers breaking out by 0.013 of a second. Dale Duffy running a 8.007 on a 8.02 dial in and Tim Barron running 8.207 on a 8.22 dial in meaning the race was decided by less than ten thousandths of a second in the favour of Dale Duffy.
Tim Barron was runner up in Junior Dragster coming out second best in a very closely fought final round against Dale Duffy.
The stunning “Pony Ride” Mustang of Darren Booth was running right on the fixed index all day giving Darren the platform to chase victory in the always closely fought Super Gas bracket. Darren defeated Stuart McLaughlin in round one with a 9.914 followed by a 9.929 on a semi-final bye run. Identical 0.020 reaction times in the final round against David Gauldie meant it was to be decided at the finish line. A 9.918 for Darren Booth was good enough for the bracket win.
David Gauldie scored the bye run in round one and then defeated Simon Isherwood to earn a shot at Darren Booth in the final of Super Gas. Unfortunately a 9.955 was not good enough for the win however we are sure the runner up trophy will have a place in what must be an overflowing trophy cabinet or Gauldie.
A Quick 32 bracket was held in the evening for the quickest 32 cars from Modified, Super Sedan, Super Gas and Super Street. Coming away with the trophy after a tough five rounds was Tony Whyatt in his Super Sedan Commodore. Making the win even sweeter for Tony was the fact he came from behind in the final after a much slower reaction time
Runner up in Quick 32 was Jason Vanderlinde who slowed well off his dial in in the final driving his Modified Altered.
Mid 32 was won by Mandy Pukis in her Valiant. Mandy smashed the tree with a 0.020 reaction and ran through to take the win with a 10.012 on a 9.95 second dial in.
Mark Rossow claimed the runner up trophy in the Mid 32 bracket. Mark ran 11.735 seconds in the final with his street driven Camaro but couldn’t make up the time lost to Mandy Pukis on the start line.
A non-championship Modified Bike bracket was also run in the evening which was won by Kevin Cleeve on a solo pass.
The non-championship Junior Dragster bracket was won by Ben Wilcox thanks to a 0.050 reacted 8.043 on a 8.00 dial in.
Tim Barron had a great day by qualifying for 2 final rounds. Unfortunately for Tim he could get a win in either but it is still a great achievement, two Trophies in one day.
Report by Mal Burgess
Photos by Blacktrack.com.au