Perth Motorplex test day shakes out the cobwebs

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Perth Motorplex has opened up its drag racing season with its first FAST Series event of the year and first open test and tune.

A green track faced racers for Saturday’s FAST opener, scraped back to concrete and in need of rubber. Cool conditions weren’t conducive to laying a good amount of rubber down and the track stayed loose for most of the day, but Sunday’s warmer conditions brought better traction – so much so that recently crowned 2014 Australian Top Doorslammer champion John Zappia was able to lay down his quickest pass yet at the Motorplex, a 5.778.

Perth Motorplex drag racing manager Rod Britton said it just needed the right conditions to bring the track around.

“Nothing extraordinary came from Saturday night. Obviously, it was the first time race cars had been down the strip in six months,” he said. “The cool conditions (22C and humidity) led to around low 70s F track temp which never allowed for rubber to build up on the track.

“All it needed was heat and rubber. We did a lot of work to the track on Friday. The Doorslammer guys had to take clutch weight out and ignition timing just to get down the track.

“On Sunday for the test and tune, the Doorslammer guys were caught out by going straight into tyre shake on their first run. They began adding more and more clutch and power to the track. By the end of Sunday, Zap said he threw everything at the track he had. It did literally change from a very greasy track Saturday night due to a green surface, low temps and humidity, to when it came around on Sunday when the track sat at around 101F track temp most of the day.”

The following images are thanks to Phil Luyer of High Octane Photos/Facebook.

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Back on track for the first time since an accident two years ago was Shane Catalano in the rebuilt ‘Rude Stude’. A pedalling 6.58/225mph came from the team who said via their Facebook page that the day was a roaring success. Catalno was driving with no shift light so had to use driver judgement.

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Peter Vanderra had his nitro Harley on track for the first time. One thing he had to deal with was a burn to the leg from the exhaust, but he will be back to fight another day.

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Brodie Pilkington made his first runs in father Rob’s Top Alcohol Funny Car. Pilkington said he was happy with how he drove and can’t wait until the next time he gets in the car. He will be swapping the seat with his dad throughout the season.

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After the demise of his Mazda RX7, Paul Carey returned in this ex-Top Doorslammer Ford Falcon with his potent Lexus powerplant up front. He did take out a few timing boxes, but Carey said he was getting used to a bigger, left hand drive car.

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Christine May debuted this gorgeous Studebaker which replaces her Super Sedan Holden Torana, a car that was a little unstable at best. The Studebaker is long, low slung and should be a much more pleasant drive.

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In Saturday’s FAST Series Sportsman category, Sam Treasure scored himself a win with a .006 package in the final against Roger Moorhouse.

The Perth Motorplex national open season kicks off with the Grand Opening on October 25.


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