The Queensland Drag Racing Championship has come to a close with the Willowbank 2017 Track Champions crowned at a final round extravaganza.
Supporting the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car event ensured a great crowd was on hand to witness the culmination of the local track championship season.
The season departed from its Chicago Shootout format for the final round, returning to elimination racing for all categories to crown the champions.
QDRC Outlaws headlined the sportsman racing and the championship was all but Jake Donnelly’s. Another young gun in Josh Fletcher competing in his blown dragster did everything in his power to win the title by claiming the event win over Matthew McKnight while defeating Donnelly in round two, but the first round bye to Donnelly clinched the title.
Chris Collin wrapped up the Competition Bike title reasonably comfortably, but it was his father Ken finishing off the season with a final appearance against Brandon Gosbell. In the battle of the no-bar bikes, Gosbell’s index breaking 7.37 (7.46IN) took the stripe first to Collin’s 8.55 (8.16IN) lap.
Modified was tightly contested between the dragsters of Mark Allan, Kellie Kidd and Stephan Gouws. Allan made his move in round one eliminating Kidd and moved to round two along with Gouws who had the top qualifiers bye. Allan faced off with Phil Bellert but an uncharacteristic .056 reaction out of the “Concealed Weapon” dragster spelt doom for his championship despite a nice 8.03 (8.00DI) run as Bellert hit the line first with a 7.81 (7.74DI). Meanwhile Gouws in his signature adorned dragster advanced by defeating Tony Littlewood, and continued his winning way defeating Stephen Sadler in final, finishing off a tumultuous year that saw a crash destroy his previous dragster a couple events prior, with a track championship trophy.
Mitchell Bauer’s semi-final result in Super Sedan was enough for him to secure that championship, with fellow semi-finalist, Kiwi Lee Sherwin nabbing the runner-up slot. Noel Green sent his Torana down track on a solo to claim the event win when Kevin Langridge could not face the starter.
Modified Bike is an extremely tough racing scene in South East Queensland, with large fields and gun competitors. Coming out on top of the Modified Bike championship rumble was Daniel Sekli, reaching the semi finals, Sekli rivals Tammy Goldthorpe and Paul De Roo were no longer in the hunt after ending up on the trailer following round two, and Steven Day while earning a final showing could not breach the points gap. Day was incredibly consistent all event, with ETs only varying by only a couple of thou, he was on point with his dial in, but you need to be tight at both ends of the track and a .134 light in final let Dale Bobbermien ride past for a win.
Super Street was a nail-biter with the championship coming down to the final rounds of racing between Lucas Holz and Andrew Stathis. Luck fell Holz way with a bye into the final and that was all he needed to do to clinch the championship, but Stathis gained a little revenge with his VL Commodore defeating Holz in that final but would fall an agonising one point short of the track championship.
Junior Dragster was equally as close with only two points separating the top two title challengers at the end of the night. The contenders Jett Willshire and Rhys Beauchamp would throw-down in the semi final against each other for the title, a tardy .101 light for Willshire would be the deciding factor with his better 8.22 (8.20DI) put to the sword by Beauchamp’s .023 reacting 8.57 (8.50DI) on a holeshot. With the championship now in Beauchamp’s grasp, Taylah-Leigh Schluter won the night in a double breakout final over the new track champion.
While Super Comp was contested over the season, not enough competitors meant not enough rounds were run for a champion to be declared.
Check out the gallery from the event courtesy of Phil Reeve.