REPORT: 2018 Atura NSW Championship round 5

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Despite horrible weather forecasts Sydney Dragway pushed ahead with the fifth round of the Atura NSW Championship which was returning from a Winter break for the series.

A few showers dragged out the day and the track stuff worked overtime in drying the racing surface and the event went into the books as completed.

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In Supercharged Outlaws out of luck Gordon Carlsen found the wall in the braking area during qualifying after dropping oil in his altered, hopefully the damage is not too significant for a team who has had a retched time taming their machine. That reduced the field to four for eliminations.

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Norm McCormack could not fire the FED against Greg Smith who stepped up the ET with a 6.22 in his altered, and Shaun Liefting defeated championship leader Anthony Bool, sending the Speedflow altered into the final. However a red light from Liefting ended the final early at the tree and Smith went on for the round win. Bool though still holds an almost insurmountable championship lead.

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Joe Sorbello probably makes more laps down the Sydney Dragway black top than anyone else, Sorbello is a staple at street meets each and every week with his old school supercharged Skyline. So it should be no surprise to see Sorbello mixing it up with other Top Sportsman guns, but this season it has been tough going for Sorbello to rack up win lights. This changed though at this event, with Sorbello on his game and facing Ronnie Palumbo in the final, Sorbello cut a .024 strong light and was smack on his 8.55 dial in with a 8.550 for the win. 

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Modified had a shake up with Peter Ilsley upsetting some of the more fancied runners in his little altered to reach the final against Daniel Flack. The country-sider Flack is in the championship hunt, and a win over leader Peter Brown in the semi final edged him closer. Ilsley cut an outstanding .009 light in the final but struck problems allowing Flack to drive around for the win to be just 10 points behind Brown for the title. Sad news for the other championship leader going into the event Allison Evans in the Boss Bullet dragster falling out of contention with significant engine damage suffered in qualifying.

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Bob Chapman gave his chance of defending his championship a boost by winning Super Sedan. Chapman won on a break out in an extremely tight final over the wheelstanding Cortina Darren Baumann who is recent addition to the NSW Super Sedan ranks, and has proven you can be consistent and spectacular at the same time. 

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Familiar combatants rode off for the Modified Bike event win. Robert Simmonds is leading the championship convincingly but Joe Khoury chasing down the Hayabusa rider with a win over the ‘Simmonator’ in the final. Khoury cut a killer .009 light on his Destroyer that afforded him a safe 9.237 on a 9.17 holeshot win to Simmonds’ 8.801 on a 8.77. 

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In Super Street, Michael Walsh was back on his game after winning the first event of the season. Walsh took his stock appearing Commodore to another event win defeating a red lighting Stan Nikitaras in the final to tie up the championship lead with the Capri racer.

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Greg South reached his first final in Super Gas, a newcomer to a bracket that is populated veteran guns of the class, it was a great effort. However South’s Torana was off the 9.90 index with a 10.10 in the final which was fodder for Joe Catanzariti’s 9.98 and edged him ahead in the championship standings over Anthony Panetta.

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James Hazzard was back to his winning ways in Junior Dragster taking home the trophy with a 8.174 on a 8.03 over Zac Refalo to reclaim the championship lead. It was a top effort from young Refalo who was in his first final, but was just outgunned on the start line this time.

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In Street Fighter, David Jennings was in his third final of the year and consequently has a commanding championship lead, unfortunately for Jennings he couldn’t make it a third win after going red by a bunch handing the win to Chris Zammit’s Commodore.

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‘Daughter of a gun’, Kayte Addams-Pratt was at her first ever NSW Championship event. The daughter of last year’s Street Bike champion Bobbie-Jo was straight into a final against Colin Northcott, but went to quick and broke out with a 11.95 on a 11.99 trying to claw back a holeshot that saw Northcott’s Ducati storm past on the top end with a 10.53 on a 10.40.

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A red light decided the HAMBster final with James Rodriquez picking off a -.026 cherry against Ezio Cacciotti.

Next round of the Atura NSW Championship Series is on September 22.

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