Rain not enough to dampen X-Champs

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The weather threatened and the rain poured, but qualifying in the ANDRA Drag Racing Series at the X-Champs still went ahead at Sydney Dragway.

Thanks to the efforts of the Sydney Dragway track crew, racing got under way just after midday with action aplenty.

While the cold conditions proved tricky for some teams all but two competitors in Top Alcohol ran into the five-second zone.


John Cannuli topped the list after laying down a personal best 5.59 at 255.58 mph from Brett White’s 5.61 at 247.38 mph set in the last pass of the session. Wayne Price in third also set a personal best ET of 5.634 at 256.89 mph.

Cannuli said his team underestimated the racetrack on his first pass experiencing tyre shake but stepped up when it counted to run the PB.

“For this meeting we’ve actually put new headsets in the cars because sometimes we might have dramas before staging,” Cannuli said.

“As I’ve gone through the finish lines and popped the chutes I could hear the guys screaming in my ears so I thought it must have been a good pass.”

“It’s all good (the car), we’ll service it all tonight, get it all ready and hopefully we can bring the win home tomorrow.”

Two weeks ago Allan Dobson lit the world on fire with his performance in the Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race but tonight it was teammate Damien Harris who put down two superb passes setting a new personal best speed of 323.43 mph on a 4.67 pass.

“It’s really satisfying, (Santo Rapisarda) Junior has done a great job,” said Harris. “That particular ride was pretty wild, the car was moving around a fair bit so I had to pull left, right, left, right on the wheel.”

“One chute came out and one didn’t deploy so pulling it up was pretty hard. I was hard on the brake and it was bouncing and hopping but she got there in the end.”


During the week Luke Crowley was confident he had found the missing link to get his Pro Stock Motorcycle to 60 foot and add two tenths to his ETs and tonight he backed it up with successive passes of 7.27 at 177.07 and 7.22 at 181.59 mph to top the field.

“We changed how we set a few things and that made an instant change. On that last run we went 1.10 in the 60 so we’re back on the money with that.”

“There was too much moisture in the air to make enough power to run low teens but the 7.22 at 181 mph is a step in the right direction. We just need some dry air and some sunshine tomorrow.”

“What we learned at Calder to what we’ve come here today with, even though they are two different racetracks, today was a big stepping stone in getting the bike to the first 80 feet a lot quicker.”


Top Doorslammer championship points leader Stuart Bishop qualified first on a 5.91 at 247.66 mph from Gary Phillips with a 5.95 at 242.89 mph. John Zappia, Peter Kapiris, Andrew Sutton, Martyn Dack, Victor Bray and debutant Johnny Roso round out the field.


Pro Stock provided some fireworks when Richard Caval went on a wild ride in his Dodge Avenger getting out of shape and turning sideways toward the wall before lifting into the air and flipping onto the roof.

At the other end of the scale Aaron Tremayne laid down a 7.006 at 195.08 mph to take top spot followed closely by elder brother Tyronne Tremayne with a 7.036 at 194.10 mph. Lee Bektash secured third on a 7.038 at 191.59 mph followed by Jason Grima with a 7.086 at 192.80 mph and Shane Tucker on a 7.088 at 193.18 mph in fifth.

Top Fuel Motorcycle saw the return of Chris Matheson to ANDRA Championship Drag Racing to top the field with a 6.59 at 196.24 mph from Leonard Azzopardi with a pass of 6.71 at 171.38 mph and Chris Porter with a 6.81 at 204.32 mph.

Terry Burnett came in at fourth thanks to an ET of 7.00 at 189.87 mph and Rob Cassar was fifth with a 7.61 at 143.57 mph although he took a tumble on his second pass.

In other action, early eliminations got under way for Competition where Alistair McClure backed up his BB/AA national record on a pass of 6.342 while Les Heintz went under the B/MP national record in Super Stock on an 8.398 pass.

Eliminations continued for Supercharged Outlaws, Modified, Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Super Street and Junior Dragsters while final qualifiers for Super Compact, Competition Bike and Super Gas were also completed.



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