Phillips, Matheson, Crowley atop Adelaide fields

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Gary Phillips, Chris Matheson and Luke Crowley lead the way in their respective categories following a hot first day of the Aeroflow Summer Speedfest. With temperatures reaching into the high thirties, racers who could find a way to make horsepower and then get it down to the track were rewarded.
Phillips used a 4.905 in the first qualifying session to hold on to top spot, just off John Cannuli’s 1000 feet track record of 4.898 seconds, despite Phillips’ pass coming at the hottest part of the day.
The Lucas Oils Funny Car driver said he chose not to run the night session, electing to put the car ‘into mothballs’ and preserve his warm weather tune up.
“The track is way better than it was last time when we raced here,” he said. “There were nine cars here and we wanted to make sure we were in the qualified eight.
“We really didn’t want to lose our focus for the hot weather stuff, because we have always had an issue with getting down the track in hot weather.”
Frank Intini held the number eight bump spot with a 5.28, with Rick Gauci the lone driver on the outside looking in with his 5.24.
The nitro-fuelled Top Bikes delivered a good show with a six bike field seeing Chris Matheson on top after a 5.373 pass, also breaking the 1000 feet track record for motorcycles following a 320.49kmh (199.15mph) blast.
“We’re looking forward to having a crack at the 200mph mark tomorrow, the first round is in the morning so the track should be alright for it,” he said.
“There’s some tough hombres in this field. Phil Parker’s bike is running really well and Graeme Morell’s bike sounded fantastic from where I was standing, so hopefully we can get through to the final.”
Luke Crowley showed he had lost none of his form from his Australian Nationals win in November, top qualifying with a last session 7.375.
It did come after some gearbox dramas held the team back in the first two sessions.
“We had a gearbox issue after testing two weeks ago and thought everything was okay but it wasn’t,” he said. “But then to run a 7.37 is obviously positive and it will possibly run a 7.1 if we get the fuel tune up right tomorrow.
“We need to be able to get down a hot track in the middle of the day so we need to be careful not to overpower the thing come semi finals and finals.”
Qualifying also saw a number of sub record runs in the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship as racers prepared for Sunday’s eliminations, starting from 9.30am.


Qualifying Results


Top Alcohol

1. Gary Phillips 4.905
2. Steven Reed 4.929
3. John Cannuli 4.970
4. Wayne Price 4.979
5. Gary Busch 5.128
6. Wayne Newby 5.146
7. Yak Probst 5.264
8. Frank Intini 5.284
9. Rick Gauci 5.341


Top Bike

1. Chris Matheson 5.371
2. Chris Porter 5.991
3. Phil Parker 6.159
4. Dennis Grant 6.160
5. Graeme Morell 6.589
6. Mark Drew 6.611


Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Luke Crowley 7.375
2. Locky Ireland 7.400
3. Scott White 7.503
4. Maurice Allen 7.663
5. Glenn Wooster 7.752
6. Mark Hancock 8.022

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