New Year’s Thunder doubled as a split round for the 400 Thunder Sportsman Series with Pro Radial, Competition Bike, Top Sportsman, Modified and Super Street in the hunt for championship points.
Pro Radial run on the All Run format, the same as the Pro Classes. The final matched up Steven Smith who beat DJ Carl Cox and Graeme McKinnon in the earlier rounds and Tanya Thompson who had wins over Mark Sugars who she faced in both previous rounds. The heads up race to the eighth that is Pro Radial racing saw Smith take .2 lead on the tree but he couldn’t keep the gorgeous looking Mustang on full boost with Thomson driving around him in her Commodore with a 5.24 to a 5.65.
Competition Bike was the only index class at the event and last round finalists Brandon Gosbell and Shaun Soboll were not entered. Next best finisher was Reegan Ward and a good result here would see him acquire the championship lead, and Reegan was looking sharp until a .010 red light in the semi against Chris Collin ended his campaign, however he would still leave with the points lead. Collin would go on to face Nathan Ward in the final in a heads up race with both bikes on a 7.99 index, Nathan taking the win with a 8.18 over a 8.73 in the late night dual with Collin spinning the big rear tyre.
Daniel Morris has been on a roll in the Top Sportsman championship with back to back finals and reached the quarter finals before red lighting himself out of eliminations against his main championship combatant Steve Fowler. For Fowler, he went on to face Matthew Barron in the final before succumbing to his red light fever with a -.002 cherry against Barron’s Beretta. It was two finals in a row for Barron machine, although competing in different brackets – with the East Coast Thunder win coming in Super Sedan for dad Patrick. The championship is now all but locked up between Morris and Fowler.
Likewise Stephan Gouws found himself in his second straight Modified final, facing Andrew Pinkstone for the gold tree in an all dragster battle. Gouws had a slight holeshot at the green and held the advantage at the stripe to win with a 7.175 on a 7.13 to Pinkstone’s 7.784 on a 7.74.
Super Street was the last of the sportsman brackets at the event. Defending champion David McGlinn who was second in the points leading into the event ran a perfect 10.850 on a 10.85 in round one to lose on a holeshot. Andrew Stathis was coming off a strong outing in his VL at the last event, and again was performing consistently to reach the final against Jason Stoodley who was the one to take down McGlinn in round one. Stoodley had the jump again at the tree in his Cortina, but a 11.787 on a 11.73 was not good enough at the top end with Stathis coming around for the win light with a 10.844 on a 10.84.
The next round of the 400 Thunder Sportsman Series will be contested by all classes at Santo’s Summer Thunder at Sydney Dragway.