Phillips on top in the Top End

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The inaugural Hidden Valley round of the national Slamfest Drag Racing Series was run on the weekend with support from the Territory Government and 7mate and event organisers had their hands full with a myriad of crashes and near misses.

Friday night’s qualifying session saw the SS/A class 1971 Ford ute of Des Groves burst a line, causing the car to spear into the right hand wall, narrowly missing rival Dean Radcliffe. Groves walked away unscathed but the pristine vehicle is unlikely to be seen at Hidden Valley again.

After the final round of qualifying on Saturday afternoon the event was officially opened by the Chief Minister, Paul Henderson in front of a 5000 strong crowd.

The Chief Minister said, “Territorians love their motor sport which is why we have proudly supported bringing Slamfest to the Territory.”

A hair racing first round that saw local Peter Coles pop the blower belt at the start line and several low six second passes including, a 6.009 at 239mph from Peter Kapiris and a 6.031 at 237mph by Gary Phillips.

Territorian Matt Abel defeated West Aussie John Zappia after Zappia got out of the groove, Abel pedaling the car for a 7.533 at 168mph. Unfortunately Abel was not quick enough to make the top four in the semi-finals.

The first semis pairing saw an all Studebaker matchup with local Scott MacLean taking on the Lucas Oil backed Gary Phillips. MacLean broke a fuel fitting that saw the All Tools Studebaker turn hard right and spin 180 degrees into the right hand wall at the 100ft mark, handing the finals berth to Phillips. A light tap on the wall saw minimal damage to MacLean’s Studebaker.

In the second semi-final Peter Kapiris defeated Mark Belleri who was driving for Maurice Fabietti after Fabietti fell ill shortly after arriving in Darwin.  Kapiris ran a 6.239 at 235mph to Belleri’s 6.612 at 211mph.

The finals had current Slamfest series leader Peter Kapiris take on the Lucas Oil Studebaker of Gary Phillips. Kapiris got out of the groove and crossed the centre line, allowing Phillips to power through with a 6.014 at 234mph. It was enough for Kapiris to seal the 8 round Slamfest Series for 2012.

Zappia ran the quickest pass of the event with a 5.890 at 242.63mph on a solo exhibition pass while top speed went to Kapiris with a 245.63mph.
In the local brackets, Grant Radcliffe defeated Dieter Herrmann in Outlaws after Herrmann ran faster than his nominated dialin, crossing for a 7.945 on a 9.95 dialin. Radcliffe finished with a 8.546 on a 8.49 dialin.

Super Sedan saw Grant Rowe defeat Steve Schruers while in Super Street Troy McGregor was too quick for rookie Peter Forte.

Modified Bike had Dale Smith take out the win against Ian Bennett and Street Bike was a solo pass by Scott Vanloon with a 10.779 on his 2012 Kawasaki.

Street Car was an all Holden affair with Andrew Brideson running a 13.438 in a Holden Torana to defeat Bob Czerniawski’s Commodore which ran 13.713.

Hidden Valley hosts round 6 of the Track Championship Series on Saturday 8 September.

Photo Gary Phillips – courtesy of Jeremy Horvath – HighRPM

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