Qualifying complete at sun drenched Sunset Strip

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The Sunraysia Region lived up to its name today as beautiful weather, excellent track conditions and a good crowd were on hand for qualifying in Round 9 of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.

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Not only were some of Australia’s top Sportsman racers on show, but Top Fuel’s Phil and John Lamattina strutted their stuff on the eighth mile strip. Phil’s best pass came on a 3.409 elapsed time at 210.40 mph while John posted a 3.596 at 178.40 mph.

But the main event is the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship as Round 9 has become a pivotal event for a clutch of racers with the 2014 season accelerating toward the Grand Finals at the Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway October 31 – November 2.

Several racers recorded personal bests simultaneously putting pressure on the current speed and elapsed time records in multiple classes including Super Comp where Craig Geddes, Peter Pisalidis and Steve Norman went way under their indexes on a hooked up track surface.

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Geddes qualified first with a 4.646 to shatter his E/DA index of 5.07 by 0.424 seconds while Norman recorded a 4.770 on a 5.03 B/APA index. Pisalidis followed suit destroying his 4.77 AA/APIA index with a 4.470 elapsed time for third. Rounding out the Group Two field is Dimos Stefanopolous in fourth from Geoff Kelly and Mario Barbon.

Luke Marsden said he had been spending more time on the practice tree in an effort to get his title defence back on track and it looks to have paid off as the Supercharged Outlaws Champion powered to a 4.178 ET on his first pass of the day. Jake Donnelly, Rodney Hansen, Doina Day and Ryan Van Dyk were all close behind setting the tone for what should be an epic battle when eliminations begin tomorrow.

Much like Supercharged Outlaws, Modified threw up some intriguing sub plots as joint Championship leaders Shane Wynd and Jess Turner qualified third and eighth respectively while current number one Craig Baker qualified ninth. Former Champion Kenny Stewart powered his new dragster to fifth while Cory Dyson, currently third in the points, qualified second. But it was Jayden Talbot who topped the field on a 4.663.

Daniel Jones leads Super Sedan into eliminations on a 5.311 second pass from Jason Arbey, Ned Karanovic, championship chaser David Yanko and Joe Bresciano. Super Sedan Champ John Kapiris finds himself in twelfth but he is always finds consistency on race day while Rick Neilsen will also press hard after travelling all the way from Queensland.

Jase McFarlane edged out Championship contenders Joe Khoury, Edgell Mallis and David Carroll to take top spot in Modified Bike with a lightning 5.639 from Niki Zakrzewski, Khoury, Mallis, Shane Walker, Carroll, David Willis, Johnny Hog and Malcolm Price.

Greg Damaini secured the number one qualifier in Super Street with a 6.909 on his first pass of the day followed by Des Jeffree on a 6.91 and Rodney Kerr on a 6.999. Championship leader Joe Jurkovic occupies fourth on a 7.043 from a host of seven-second racers split by just a few hundredths of a second.

Currently sitting third in the Championship, defending Junior Dragster Champion David Roberts secured top spot on an 8.010 followed closely by Championship leader Toby Austin on an 8.024. With title rivals Natalie Bishop in third on an 8.048 and Cory Burns fourth on an 8.072, the top four racers in the country look set for a showdown tomorrow, however there are several racers in the field who have more than enough ability to shake things up.

Finally in Group Four, Super Gas Champion Matt Forbes secured top spot going into race day in an effort to retire his current ’27 Ford Roadster undefeated before seeing out the season in his new US built ’57 Corvette roadster. He posted a 6.303 from a very close Adrian McGrotty on a 6.306 followed by Danny Bucella, Colin Griffin, Daryl Stephen, Graeme Spencer, Renee Cockerill, Bruno Romeo and Warren Bull.

Eliminations for Round 9 of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship gets underway tomorrow at Mildura Sunset Strip from 11am. To view the final qualifying results please CLICK HERE.



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