Is a new era of Top Doorslammer competition right around the corner, or already here? Four rookie drivers out of ten total teams have entered for the 49th annual Goldenstates Championship Presented By Electrical Group Training at Perth Motorplex this weekend, keen to upset more experienced runners.
Jay-dee Dack, Lisa Gregorini, Ronnie Palumbo and Russell Taylor are all taking part in their first full season, and some of those names have already spoiled the hopes of more experienced teams. That was the story at the opening round of the Australian Top Doorslammer Championship at the Spring Nationals last month, where Palumbo and Gregorini made it to the A Final. After bizarre circumstances saw neither driver accept the tree, the final will be re-run this weekend at the Motorplex.
There are varying levels of experience among the rookies. Palumbo has joined Maurice Fabietti’s ACDelco team, taking his Super Sedan experience into the far quicker Holden Monaro Top Doorslammer. Palumbo comes from a strong sportsman drag racing family and has so far shown no issues adapting to the pro ranks.
Gregorini has also ‘joined’ a veteran team, albeit one she has been part of almost since its inception. Her husband Daniel Gregorini has been racing Top Doorslammers for a decade and a half and the addition of a second Camaro to the team was the perfect opportunity for her own racing career to begin. Lisa also has a rookie crew, with the Scratch & Match Motorsport group training young women with a flair for the automotive how to maintain a Top Doorslammer.
Russell Taylor arrives in Top Doorslammer with both blown sedan and funny car experience. His Welshpool Welding and Fabrication Holden Torana is very similar to a Top Doorslammer, albeit with a short wheelbase. That car has run into the very low sixes, but Taylor is now driving the ex-Steven Ham Camaro — one of the quickest Top Doorslammers in the nation. Don’t be at all surprised to see Taylor deep into the fives by the end of the Goldenstates.
Finally there’s Jay-dee Dack, the son of long-time competitor Marty Dack. Jay-dee took the keys to the family’s Ford Mustang recently at Perth Motorplex, getting his ANDRA license. Jay-dee has been working on his Dad’s cars for most of his life, but his driving interests have been on the dirt, where he has been successful at the wheel of a Sprintcar. While the team will be taking their time to build Jay-dee’s experience, the car is an easy five-second player.
Aiming to spoil the rookies’ honeymoon period will be six more Top Doorslammers. Matthew Abel, Maurice Brennan, Mark Chapman, Daniel Gregorini, Frank Taylor and John Zappia will be part of the action at the Goldenstates. Unfortunately Peter Kapiris will be missing the event due to a broken leg.
The Top Doorslammers will be part of an incredible show that also features National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) Nitro Funny Cars, Top Fuel Motorcycles and Pro Alcohol. Qualifying for the NDRC classes begins from 6.30pm on Friday night, with racing from 5pm on Saturday.
For more event information and tickets, head to www.motorplex.com.au.