The chutes were pulled on the 2019 Atura NSW Championship Series at Sydney Dragway with track championships decided under a blanket of bushfire smoke haze.
The championship was contested over eight rounds at Sydney Dragway across 2019, with only one round affected by weather.
The first upset occurred in Top Sportsman when the championship leader Jono Roylance was on the trailer after round one, defeated by Dale Hartill-Law, still it was a great effort from Roylance in their first season with the new Cortina.
This set up a show down in the semi finals with Paul Crocker and Thomas Leake that saw Crocker’s Cortina take the win light and the championship. Crocker then took out the final over a red lighting Tony Huysmans Camaro.
Modified again saw the point leader exit in round one, but just by making the first round Graham Blake would clinch the championship. Leigh Hartill-Law competing in his first round of the championship this year won the event with the family’s roadster over Brendon Luke, who was competing in this third different ride this season – wife Cherie’s FED.
The result showing how competitive Modified was over the season, with none of the top three points finishes having actually won an event between them.
Super Sedan than though was just dominance between Jim Denaro and Marco Tolomeo, but Tolomeo still needed to make up 20 points on the Denaro Cortina to take the title. Unfortunately for Tolomeo a tough round two match up with Sean Maher saw a cherry picked off the tree and the title was Denaro’s.
The final came down to Denaro and Joe Zammit, but Denaro may of been a bit to quick to celebrate the championship, red lighting by a mere -.002. How dominant was Denaro’s Super Sedan season? Of the seven completed events, he only failed to make the final once, with wins in three of them.
Modified Bike was also a battle in two between gazillion time track champion Robert Simmonds and former 400 Thunder champion Sean Ricketts. Simmonds needed to go one round further for his seventh title and they would square off in round two. However it was rather anti-climatic with the ‘Simmonator’ way to eager on the chase pulling a -.075 cherry.
New champion Rickett’s wouldn’t make the final, that saw Guido Falgiatori defeat a red lighting Joe Khoury.
Heading into Super Street and it was a three-way fight between leader Anthony Gattellari, Bill Hatzi and Michael Walsh. In a big round one showdown, Hatzi’s wheelstanding Camaro went against Walsh who needed to make ground on both racers, and there is no better way than facing them in eliminations. Walsh won that fight and would move on, though championship leader Gattellari was on the other side of the ladder, and both racers cut their way through the rest of the Super Street field to meet in the final, which though was one round to many for Walsh to have a chance at winning the title. Gattellari proved he was a worthy champion with a holeshot win over Walsh who fired a perfect 11.220 on a 11.22, only to be beaten at the tree.
Super Gas was run and done championship wise before the event with Vince Panetta hailed the champion, and not enough cars entered the final round to hold eliminations.
James Hazzard had a comfortable lead going into the final round and his final race in Junior Dragster. Hazzard made the most of his last race, not giving rivals Chelsea Smith and Zac Refalo a sniff of snatching the title by reaching the final himself and then winning it over a red lighting Lachlan MacCaskell.
Extreme Bike was an exhibition bracket this season, that has now been ratified as and official 400 Thunder class. The wild bikes competed only over four rounds this year running on a three round format. Darren Foley took the win at the Grand Final over Ian Smith that also secured the championship for the Hayabusa rider.
A host of racers were still in the Street Fighter championship brawl. But from round one the contenders were quickly eliminated and after round two only Don Zammit was left standing to hold up the championship trophy.
Zammit’s event ended with a lost to Ben Roberts’ mighty D-Max that continued to run over everything in its way winning the final over Tim Ritzrow in a blistering 18 seconds.
Bernadette McShane only had to show up to claim the Street Bike title, which she did. Unfortunately there were not enough other bikes to make a field for eliminations. Instead they ran a Chicago Shootout for no points, won by McShane over Adrian Watson.
Finally we close out the report with HAMBster. The championship was between mates James Rodriquez and Anthony Mastromuro as the field also competed on a round robin format, with Rodriquez earning enough wins to make the final and win the championship. But the event win – and we think it is her first – went to Emma O’Neill in ‘GERTY’.
Final round video by Madman Productions.