REPORT & GALLERY: Sydney Jamboree delivers red hot start to the year

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The Honeywell Garrett Sydney Jamboree, presented by Tuners Edge will go down in history for a number of reasons. With temperatures at Sydney Dragway nudging 38 degrees, it may have been one of the hottest J-Days on record, making the track surface tricky to handle during the early sessions of qualifying, and power levels were certainly down for most of the day for those who didn’t have ice in their intercoolers.

The attrition rate on track was also one for the record books, with quite a few delay causing oil downs as many an engine/trans combination found their catastrophic weak points. Needless to say, the Sydney Dragway officials worked harder than ever to return the track to its peak each time. In order to keep the event tracking on schedule, the last qualifying session had to be cancelled giving racers one less hit at the cooling conditions. But after the sun went down, many PBs were recorded, and great racing eventuated.

The Shannon’s Show and Shine display was not affected by the heat, or the on-track delays, with the quality of the turnout at an extremely high level of finish and presentation. The stage didn’t need the sun to heat it up, and was again filled with the babes and bikinis that is expected with a Jamboree, also the many traders on hand plied their products with plenty of innovation and interest for the bustling crowd. But despite the heat, delays and attrition, the event finished slightly later than planned, and rewarded the stalwarts with great racing at the pointy end.

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Precision Turbo Factory Extreme consisted of an 8-car field, with most teams struggling in the hot first qualifying rounds for a representative time. Joe Signorelli nailed top spot with a great 6.41/222mph, with teammate Zoran Gajic hitting a 6.58/219mph for second. Jerry Kehl also nailed a six with a great 6.93/200mph for third. Gina Bullians put her Mazsport RX8 into fourth with a 7.17/194mph, but had to withdraw with a couple of different issues. George Rehayem held down fifth with a badly shaking 7.27/133mph and Ben Bray’s debut in Factory Extreme saw him qualify with a 7.37/179mph from the immaculate 1FZ Solara. Dion Amato put the worlds fastest Barra into seventh with a 7.48/181mph and Rod Harvey simply overpowered his way to eighth spot with an uncharacteristic 8.17/153mph. Round one saw Kehl take a troubled 8.93 win over Gajic when he was shut down on the line with a coolant leak, Bray outpedalled Harvey with a 7.52/180mph to 7.45/205mph and Rehayem edged a weaving Amato with a 7.33 to 8.15. Round two was missing Amato and Gajic, but Bray’s 8.26 easily handled a broken Kehl and Harvey faced a shut-off Rehayem on paired solos. The Kiwi’s 6.45/228mph was a good as it got for the 2JZ powered Celica, who found the conditions unfavourable for his power levels. Round three kicked off with Bray defeating Gajic with a 7.20/188mph when the Gas BMW rolled the beams, with Rehayem and Harvey squaring off again. Rehayem recovered earlier than Harvey from shake with a 6.80/205 to a quicker 6.72/228mph to have George and Ben equal on 3 wins apiece. The final saw Rehayem run his best of the day with a 6.47/215mph whilst Bray rolled through with hurt bearings on a 18 sec pass.

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Platinum Automotive Smash Repairs Pro Turbo had Loues Consentinos 2JZ powered RX7 nailing top spot with a 6.66, closely followed by Domenic Rigoli’s RB-powered 300zx with a 6.70/209mph and Nikki Hepburn’s 1FZ powered radial Toyota 86 with a 6.74/212 was resetting radial tyre import world records. Nick “Superman” Tsoltoudis’ 20B powered RX3 qualified 4th, and eventually met Consentino in the final. Leaving on nearly identical reaction times, both drivers recorded their best ETs in the final, with Consentino’s 6.62/209mph edged Tsoltoudis’ 7.00/198mph.

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McKern Pro Compact showed amazing growth in the category, with an abundance of 2-rotor machines doing battle against a handful of 4-bangers. Rodney Rehayem just edged out Kelly Bettes with a 7.07 to 7.09 to grab the top qualifier spot in the 14-car field. Andrew Maratos qualified third with a 7.42, and met Bettes in the final. Bettes had run a 7.03 in round one, a 6.97 in round two and a 7.03 in round three. Maratos took care of Ben Graham’s RX8 in round one, a red lighting Rehayem in round two and soloed in round three. Bettes only staged for the final with a suspected engine issue, allowing Maratos to run a troubled 8.08 for the win.

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Honeywell Garret Pro Mod had wall-to wall turbo V8 doorslammers in the 9-car field – with the blower boys too scared to show up. Greg “Mauler” Tsakaridis put his new Mustang on the top rung of the ladder with a great 5.91/255mph .Jeremy Martin put the worlds fastest VB commodore in second with a 6.00/246 and Paul Mouhayet drove his old Mustang (now owned by Gerry Sarafoglou) to a 6.00/247mph,before encountering enough damage to put the car out when only one parachute deployed, sending the iconic car into the gravel and the wall.

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Ivan “Mr Mad” Tesic ran a PB in his Torana with a 6.55/230 for fourth, whilst PJ Todarello’s small block Mustang nailed a 6.65 for fifth. During eliminations Martin finally scored his first five with a 5.98,and Michael Haimandos’ small-block Mustang did enough to meet Todarello in the final. Todarello nailed Haimandos to the tree in the final, and despite a pedal, held out the black mustang with a 7.13/204mph to 6.99/209mph.

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Race Car Engineering J275 saw a variety of cars attempting to put their obvious power to the ground on a heads up tree and 275 radial tyres. After Nathan Farraugia’s early top-qualifying 6.99 pass was discarded with heavy engine damage, Victorian Danny Busbridge’s “2 Wizzas” Torana took top spot with a 7.36/186mph. International DJ Carl Cox made his J275 debut with this single turbo small block Capri and recorded a great 7.68/188mph for second. But in a day of carnage, only the strong survived, and in an all-2JZ final, Varun Sharma in the Oceania College Supra took on Moustafa Sakina in his similar-engined RX2. Moustafa had to pedal the wild Mazda in the final round, allowing Sharma through for the win with a 7.55/188.

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Out of a 12-car field, Adam Nuner’s 13B RX3 reeled off an amazing 7.81/176mph to top qualify, closely followed by a 7.86/175mph from Crichton’s 1.5JZ Cressida and Victor Baralos in third spot with an amazing 8.05/173mph in his RB30 powered VL Calais on a 235 radial! Scott Hoffman’s iconic 2JZ KE20 qualified in 8th spot with a troubled 8.90/154mph. The hot conditions saw a few fall by the wayside, but wins to Nuner and Hoffman in all 3 rounds – including a 7.67 from Nuner in the last round – saw a piston versus rotor final. Nuner nailed a .013 light against Hoffman, but had troubles near half track. Hoffman also had to pedal slightly, and then put the hammer down to catch Nuner right at the stripe and win with a 8.36/165mph to Nuner’s 8.68

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A large 28-car field was packed full of variety all sorts, and summed up by the top five qualifiers. Fred Karam nailed top spot with an 8.31/165mph with his Cosworth-powered S15, followed by Assaf Abouserhal’s 8.45/167mph (R33/RB30), Micheal Ryan’s 8.53/165mph (Barra EL Falcon), John McDades 8.58/161mph (2JZ S15) and Ronnie Ghamas 8.87/151mph (RX3 13B). But when the DYO dust settled, it was a couple of equally diverse 9-second cars that made the final, between Chris Tolomeo’s Barra powered Falcon Ute against Mark Gilbert’s neat 13B turbo 1977 Mazda B1600 tray back. Gilbert’s .048 light was quickly null when Tolomeo pulled the best light of the night at .008, catching the Mazda in the traps with a safe 9.35 on a 9.28 dial in to a 9.68 on a 9.60.

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Pro Maz Street 289 has seen bigger numbers, but the 10-car field still brought the excitement that 289 brings to Jamboree. Seven 13Bs, an FJ20, RB30 and 20B made the field, with the 13B powered cars of Mohamed Salame 8.38/164mph on the pole, Grant Henderson 2nd (8.53) and Tee-Jay Graham 3rd (8.66). Round one of DYO saw 8 cars front, with the 13B RX7s of Salame and Rodney Spannenberg each receive solos, and Henderson improving with a 8.33 with his win over Sam Constantinou’s 1200. Kevin Aouad’s 20B RX8 took out Sandy Di Pietro’s FJ20 Datsun 1200 Ute with a pedalling 8.85 and Graham’s 13B RX8 took Alex Cirtoski’s VL with a 8.53. Henderson soloed with an improving 7.70 in round two, Spannenberg used a 9.42 on a 9.40 dial-in to handle a red-lighting Graham and Salame ran an 8.27 on an 8.20 dial to defeat Aouad’s breaking out 7.58. Salame changed his dial-in from an 8.20 to an 8.05 against Henderson, but ran an 8.20 to barely cover Henderson’s 7.76. Spannenberg soloed with a 9.35 breakout on his 9.39 dial, and then adjusted his handicap time to a 9.34 for the final, whilst Salame dropped his back to 8.20. Spannenberg’s .024 light and breaking out 9.28 still covered Salame, who wished he kept his previous 8.05 dial-in, also breaking out with an 8.06.

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Freight Management Australia All Motor had a 13-car DYO field, with the wild 13BPP powered Datsun 1200 of Mark Costanzo reeling off a 9.70 to grab top spot from Matt Rice in the similarly-powered “Chainsaw” R100 with a 9.86. It was then daylight to third spot with Jason Frost’s 2276cc ’61 Beetle running 11.29, Jason Stoodley’s Barra-powered Cortina in 4th with 11.66 and Henry Spicak’s 2332cc ’56 Beetle running 12.20 for 5th. Costanzo soloed in round one with a 9.75 on a 9.70 dial, whilst Stoodley overcame Matt Berry’s 2007cc ’59 Beetle with a closer 11.77 on his 11.72 dial. Costanzo then faced Spicak in round two,where he waited 2.25 seconds before chasing him down with a tight 9.71 on a 9.70. Stoodley out-reacted former finalist Tim James in his Falcon panel van and used an 11.75 on his 11.65 dial to defeat James’ closer 12.31 on his 12.28 dial. Costanzo then had a longer 3.15 second wait against Brendon Burnett’s 2332cc ’62 beetle, but a red light ended the chase early, with Costanzo’s impressive 9.658 on his 9.65 dial-in leaving no doubt. Stoodley then dispatched the lone Honda of Jessica Simmons with an 11.78 on his 11.63 taking out the 2200cc Civic’s closer 12.28 on a 12.20 dial by virtue of his .072 to .336 light. With his smallest chase of the day in the final, Costanzo had nearly a two second wait against Stoodley’s 11.63 dial-in. And with the Cortina ripping off a great .017 light, he knew a red light would not be ideal. His safe, but slower .261 light made his job hard, and Stoodley made it harder by keeping close to his dial in with an 11.67. Costanzo’s chase was exciting as the screaming rotor banged though the clutchelsss 5-speed, coming up short by a wafer thin margin, running a close 9.68 on his 9.65 dial.

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MTQ Street Compact is a slightly quicker bracket, due to the IHRA rules allowing street cars to run into the tens if they have airbags fitted as standard. Adam Lesniks Falcon top qualified with a 10.52, whilst Danny Stadelmaier’s Echo rounded out the 13-car field. Lesnik soloed in round one, whilst number three qualifier Joseph Freire used his 10-second Cressida to oust a troubled Fabian Toperoso. Number two qualifier Martin Whelan also soloed in round one with his 10-second Falcon when his opponent didn’t show, and then scored a seeded solo in round two. Freire faced Colin Riley’s 11-second Falcon, using an 11.01 on his 10.60 dial to get the job done. Meanwhile Stadelmaier was lucky in round two when Marcos Dillman’s 13B 808 wagon red lit on the chase and the Echo broke out with a quicker 17.71 on his 17.80 dial. Lesnik suffered defeat at the hands of Cameron Hitchcock in an all-Falcon battle, being out-reacted on the line. The semi final saw Stadelmaier red light against Whelan, whilst Freire overcame a reaction time deficit against Hitchcock and put the Cressida ahead by millimetres, winning a tight 10.86 on a 10.60 dial to the Falcon’s 11.34 on an 11.00. No one wanted to lose the final to a red light, so with identical 10.60 dial-ins, Whelan and Freire recorded .425 and .315 lights respectively, with the Cressida’s 10.91 enough against an 11.19.

Individual awards: Honeywell Garrett light of the Night: – Chris Tolomeo .008.

Tuners Edge “Sky’s the Limit” – Moustafa Sakina.

Oceania College of Technology “Smoken” – Anthony Maatouk.

Shannon’s “Crew Style” – Alan Dodd.

Wild Jambo action.

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Report by Jamboree

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