A cold night at Sydney Dragway led to an early finish of day one qualifying with conditions deemed unsafe to complete Top Fuel which was the only remaining bracket.
For the brackets that were finished off it was a mixed bag of performances with horsepower easy to come by but traction a little less so.
Gary Phillips ran the quickest pass in Top Alcohol, a 5.62 at a big 255mph in the Lucas Oils Funny Car. Dean Oakey moved into second with a 5.75, the quickest of the dragsters. Rick Gauci’s 5.91 put him into third but he needed to change a motor following the run.
In Top Doorslammer hardly any drivers were able to make a full pass. Robin Judd’s William Buck/K&B Exclusive Studebaker went 6.09/244 to lead the field, just ahead of a 6.15/243 from Gary Phillips, also in a Studebaker. No one else got down the track under power and current champion John Zappia is out of the eight car field in number 10. Peter Kapiris lost his time after his Studebaker was found to be underweight while Stuart Bishop had his pass disqualified due to outside assistance when the Camaro staged.
Top Bike sees Chris Matheson on top with an impressive 6.21 at just 185mph. He went 3.98 to half track so a low 6.0 was probably on the cards with a full power run. His chief rival Jay Upton is second after a 6.71. WA’s Gordon Crawford is a new entrant in the field on his turbocharged Kawasaki, a regular seven second runner. Competition Bike had low entries and is not being run this weekend.
Pro Stock was easily the category of the night in the Pro Series. National champion Aaron Tremayne holds the top spot with a 7.05 blast at 192mph in his Chev Cobalt, just off the national record of 7.03. Nick Xerakis slotted into second with a 7.06 while last round’s winner Dave Newcombe showed his performances were not a fluke with a 7.09 at 193.43mph, the fastest speed of the field and just off the national record of 193.80.
If it was an eight car field it would be the quickest ever with a 7.12 from Bill Kotsias. As it stands however a neat sixteen cars turned up for the first session out of 21 entered so no one who made a run is yet out of the show.
Pro Stock Bike had just four bikes made passes. Andrew Badcock on the Dutch Master Suzuki holds the number one spot with a 7.32/180. Phil Howard’s Kawasaki was second with a 7.45.
The sportsman categories are also starting to take their shape for the weekend.
Chris Soldatos took his Chev 500ci equipped B/Altered to a stunning -.64 6.94. Maurice Brennan has his gorgeous Commodore at Sydney for the first time and he was second with a -.60 6.15 in AA/AP. Another West Aussie in Jeffrey Clarke holds down third with a -.41 6.33. Jason Maggs had his stunning new late model Corvette BB/AP on track for the first time and qualified eighth.
Super Stock is already looking tough. Steve Norman leads with a -.61 7.40 in A/GA with his Pontiac. Queenslander Kevin Magner is .61 under with an 8.59 in A/MP while Jim Ioannidis holds third with a .59 under 9.58 in B/MSA.
Leaders in other fields include Michelle Osborne with a 7.25 in Modified, Robert Campisi with an incredible 6.41/228 from his turbocharged Mustang (more than a second ahead of second placed Craig Hewitt!), Daniel Sekli’s 9.15 in Modified Bike, Michael Little’s 11.00 in Super Street and an 8.61 from Tabatha Saunders in Junior Dragster.
Remember if you can’t be at the track, www.dragnews.com.au is the next best place to be! Fire up the live audio from the Sydney Dragway website then join us in the chat room or check out our experiments with live updating from Rob and Grant who are standing right next to the track.
For full results from last night click here.
Here is what ended qualifying a little earlier than expected: