REPORT & GALLERY: 2020 Atura NSW Championship Series fires up for the new season

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The Atura NSW Championship Series at Sydney Dragway is back for another year to decide this year’s track champions.

On a hot and sweat inducing humid day, the event was run at a hectic pace to beat the onset of a severe Summer storm which ended up hitting minutes after the finals were run over an hour ahead of schedule.

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Peter Anastasopouolos started the year the right way with a win in Top Sportsman. Even though Paul Partridge made it easy with a -.009 red light, Anastasopoulos’ Mustang would have been near impossible to beat with a .001 reaction coupled with a 6.911 on a 6.91 at the stripe.

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The heads-up Extreme Bike class competes with the All-Run format. The final featured Brad Mannix and Pro Slammer racer Geoff Gradden who moonlights in the two-wheel classes with his Hayabusa. Mannix had the jump at the letting go of the clutches and increased the win margin at the line with an 8.84 to a 8.94.

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A strong field rocked up in Modified keen for early season glory, and at the end of the day it was CJ Davies taking the win in his FED on the back of tough reactions and tight dial ins. A .022 and 8.304 on an 8.30 sealed the final over the Fiona Crisp dragster’s 7.766 on a 7.76.

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Super Sedan was as brutal racing as always with hard chargers Robert Chapman and Leo Georgis facing off in the final for another win to their tally. Georgis had a slight reaction advantage with the ‘Flying Carrot’ Escort, but at the other end, Chapman’s 9.348 on a 9.34 edged out a 9.141 on a 9.10.

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In Modified Bike, reigning champion Sean Ricketts had the perfect start to his title defence with a win over a broken Chris Hocking in final. After winning the semi in the same circumstance when his opponent broke out, Hocking merely staged his Aprilia out of hope. Ricketts also survived semi-final drama with a leaking Kawasaki, only to have fortunately drawn a solo run.

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Michael Walsh was looking to go one better in the Super Street championship after finishing runner-up last season. The long-time Super Street racer with his unassuming Commodore raced into another final against relative newcomer Chris Creech who has had some strong results with his ‘God of Thunder’ Holden ute. This final was all over at the tree, Walsh’s .008 reaction would have been tough to beat at the stripe either way, but Creech ended the final early with a big -.077 cherry in the chase.

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Super Gas came down to heavy hitters Darryl Stephen and Vince Panetta in the final, despite a hundredth holeshot, at the stripe Stephen’s painstakingly close 9.899 was one thou to quick throwing the win light to Panetta’s 9.931.

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Junior Dragster eliminations became the story of Archie Boskovich, the third-generation racer competing in his second ever event defeated brother Charlie in round one and proceeded to dispense his much more experienced rivals to make the final in his Don Garlits ‘Swamp Rat’ tribute machine. Facing Jackson Perri in final, Boskovich’s dream run ended with a red light and Perri claimed the first round of the series with a dragster that was barely off his dial in all day.

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The Zammit name is all-over Street Fighter with Don winning the championship last year, but it was brother Chris aka ‘Budda’ taking the first event of the new season, taking out Jim Higgs in the final.

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Closing out the racing brackets and Brian Vernon against Justin Clemson went at it handle bar to handle bar in the Street Bike final, with both racers pushing each other to a break out, Vernon’s Triumph by the least amount taking the win on a 11.976 off his 11.98 dial.

The next round of the Atura NSW Championship Series in on Feb 15.

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