RESULTS – Penultimate Atura Championship Series round

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With Sydney Dragway’s Atura Championship Series is heading for its final round on Nov 25 where the season’s Track Champions will be crowned, here is how the penultimate event shook out. 

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Starting off with Supercharged Outlaws and championship leader Norm McCormack’s first round exit at the wheel of a returning Matty Evans left the door ajar for his championship challengers to close the points gap – Evan’s hitting the track again in his rebuilt FED after a towing accident on the way to last year’s Winternationals. 

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Shaun Liefting took up the opportunity presented by McCormack’s exit by reaching the final, but the altered driver hit the tree too early knocking off a cherry, handing the win to Paul Stephen. However the Speedflow altered closed the gap to just 10 points now separating himself from McCormack with one round to go.

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The championship race is all but over in Top Sportsman, Neil Constantinou only needs to front and he should be assured of yet another Track Championship title. The Mustang racer was dominant again winning his fourth round of the year over a gallant Ronnie Palumbo in a double breakout dual. Considering Constantinou also missed a round of the series which is usually impossible in itself to come back from, and to have it virtually sealed going into the final event, shows what a season he has had behind the wheel.

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Martin Borg is hanging onto the Modified points lead ahead of Peter Brown, with Chris Manks making a late season charge with back to back victories, but a skipped round will leave the six second altered short in the points needed. Manks was on his game in the final with a .008 light against Rocco Romano’s .018 and held it to the stripe with a 6.912 on a 6.89 to the dragster’s 7.825 on a 7.78.

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Paul Spatino stuck his radial tyre Torana on the bumper in round one of Super Sedan eliminations.

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In the final Robert Chapman lit the win light against Manios Ikonomopoulos. The Sydney racing veteran is having a ripper season which sees him now tied for the point lead with another long time racer in Dave Gruber, and just ten points ahead of Jim Denaro. Realistically any racer in the top seven that also includes Sean Maher, Rodney Spannenberg, Michael Little and Ross Bielby have a shot at the championship, with a mere 40 point spread covering contenders.

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Modified Bike chase is now down to two. Robert Simmonds had the proverbial 50 cent part fail at the last event knocking him out in the semi final, well the Hayabusa rider took revenge with the victory and the championship lead when he defeated Mark Walmsley in the final. The win moves the “Simmonater” ten points into the lead over Lorenzo Capogna’s VROD. 

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David McGlinn earned the win in Super Street over a breaking out Stan Nikitaras, McGlinn with his sweet GTS Monaro kept his championship hopes alive by doing so, sitting 40 points behind leaders Tex Griffiths and Michael Walsh, with David Matosevic hanging on in third in his Cortina.

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Fortunately Super Gas scraped together a field for this event activating their championship. In the final Joe Catanzariti took on Vince Panetta who we have not seen on track for quite some time, Catanzariti overcame a holeshot with a 9.925 to round up Panetta’s 9.969 for the win light, and equal championship lead with Roy Romeo.

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For Junior Dragster, Joel Burns takes an insurmountably lead into the final round if he can front for round one of eliminations. Burns had an easy run in the final when Antonio Panetta stomped the loud pedal .015 too early, taking home his second winners trophy of the season.

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Street Fighter is still congested at the top with four racers in with a chance of the championship. The winner of the event came from outside of the title fight with Ben Roberts snaring the win light in a double breakout final against David Jennings. However for Jennings, the runner-up result was still good enough to send him to the top of the championship table by ten points ahead of Peter Thompson, with last year’s champion Danny Stadelmaier and Don Zammit hot on their tail pipes.

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Bobbie Jo Simmonds is emulating her husbands Modified Bike season as she takes the points lead heading into the final round of the championship, leading her only opposition in Stefan Stivala by 20 points. Stivala notched closer in the championship with a runner-up result, defeated by Michael Borg in final. Borg once a stalwart of the local Modified Bike scene has only just returned to racing in the street class at the last event.

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Unfortunately Top Comp, Super Comp, Pro Xtreme and HAMBster did not have enough racers in eliminations to activate a bracket.

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The day also featured a memorial run for the 10th anniversary for the passing of Canberra drag racing icon “Dangerous” Dougie Stewart. Doug’s twin daughters Allison and Kerrie continue the families drag racing legacy currently competing in Modified and Super Sedan respectively, and to honour their father, the OzTwins as they are known along with older sister Jacqui on the starter’s button, went side by side on a memorial run to release Doug’s ashes encased in the parachutes as they crossed the finish line.

Madman Productions’ footage of the run below.

Check out our photo gallery from the event – more available on the Cackling Pipes Facebook page

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