Brrrrr!…That would best summise the non event that was Round 4 of the NSW Championships and Sydney Dragway. A cold snap and chilling gusty breeze that brought snow to many parts of NSW also sent track temperature plummeting to levels deemed unsafe by racers and officials causing the cancellation of the event with only a few brackets completing any rounds of eliminations.
With the cancelled round all championship points were awarded to the point where each particular bracket was finalised.
A couple teams took to the track for some testing at the event.
Luke Shepherd has a spectacular fireball in the Premiair Top Fueler, while looking spectacular, in reality if was just a broken oil line responsible for the pyrotechnics.
With not enough competitors for a Top Comp bracket, the three entrants were restricted to data gathering. Paul Cannuli went 3.96 to half track on his best run in the Elite Oils Camaro.
Russell Mills sent his Crown Victoria AA/FC into the 5.8’s, seriously one cool car!.
Jeff Wilson with the new ’55 Chev was too aggressive on the launch as they try and tame the clutch.
Super Comp had a solid field bolstered by mainly Super Compact cars, Steven Dimech was well under the 7.97 CC/SM index with a 7.39, this meant nothing in round one with a red light against Andrew Maratos.
Joe Signorelli has the Celica hauling with a 6.41 (6.97) in qualifying but did not front for eliminations.
Lee Docherty has been struggling with a new set of shoes and was the fortunate recipient of a round one bye.
Andrew Maratos was the benefactor of of Dimech’s round one red light, Maratos qualified with a 8.15 and is still new to this drivers seat.
The only V8 powered car in the field was the Cavalier of Clint George and strongly qualified is with a B/APA 7.45 (7.95). George went past round when opponent Roy Yaghi red lit and has a commanding lead in the championship.
You don’t see too many Cressida’s on the track, Shane Crichton’s is a labour of love after to going from hell to back developing this 1.5JZ machine. A 8.40 personal best in qualifying certainly has smiles all round as they head to Jamboree.
A 7.46 qualified the S15 four banger of Michael Baghdadi in third, but along with George Rehayem Mazda6 and Nick Tsoltoudis’ Rx3 they did not make the round one call.
Six entries for Supercharged Outlaws
Mal Gower stormed to a 6.74 PB in the Hoodlum altered to top qualify.
John Ward and Mike Watkins went every which way and loose in their first round encounter, with Wardy rolling to the win on the bitter cold track. After much deliberating and racers exiting their cars, the call was made to cancel the remainder of the event.
Norm McCormack still leads the points over Ward with two round to go.
Steven Greentree was also back for more seat time with Ben Gatt now tuning the hearse. A few launches and Greentree was happy with his progress.
Over twenty cars in Top Sportsman and qualifying was full of drama, Robert Campisi put the Mustang in 10.5 trim on pole with a 6.53 but the news went downhill from there with the crank no long inside the block.
Pistol Pete Pisalidis was up from Victoria and had the boost wound up in the Camaro for a 7.003 202MPH
Troy Papadopoulos was substituting for Joseph Somma in his small block Cortina, the little mouse was tuned up and went 7.98 the first Mod Street Unblown to do so with a small block bullet.
Another car with a new power plant was Kit Hunter and his immaculate VL now sporting a once giant turbo. After a few tentative passes, Hunters first round pass ripped out his first seven second slip with a 7.87 at 180MPH, the potential for low 7’s is there with harder launches.
The most dramatic moment of the event occurred when Johnny Briscas sent the twin turbo Camaro heavily into the wall after losing control on the centreline. Briscas escaped the wreck virtually unharmed considering the impact, unfortunately the car was for sale with a new car on the way.
First round was completed in Top Sportsman, Greg Fowler after running a 6.92 in qualifying earned the first round bye with Campo withdrawing.
Paul Todarello earn’t his first ever round win, the now consistent high 7 second Cortina put away last event winner Gary Halpin. While Brett Sheard, Paul Partridge, Troy Papadopoulos, Andrew Constantinou, Steve Fowler and Marc Leake also claimed first round points
Event cancellation was a blessing for Dallas Whyte after his first round lost as he still holds a 20 point lead over Adam Attard and Steve Fowler.
Andrew Musgrave topped the time sheets after qualifying in Modified with a 7.57.
Graham Blake was next best with a 7.72.
Phillip Scott debuted his beautiful FED.
With no eliminations run Peter Brown is still leading the championship ahead of Chad Turner and Graham Blake.
George Haramis probably should have been in Top Sportsman after clicking off a 7.80 in his VL.
Likewise Alan Smith is starting to overcome the tune up on his blown 289ci Corty with a 8.43
Allison Stewart licensed the families Oztin A40 with Geoff Wright keeping the new 355ci singing. Allison put away Haramis in the first round to score her first round win as well before losing to Sean Maher’s Torana in round two
With Super Sedan making it through two rounds, the main championship contenders, Neil Constantinou, Sean Maher and Jim Denaro also moved through those rounds leaving the standings unchanged.
Daniel Hawes and Joe Gattellari are two cars we have not seen for sometime that returned. Along with veteran Bob Chapman with his rebuilt Torana after being the innocent party in a two car crash around two years ago.
James Danaskos’ Falcon had a bit of a nitrous sneeze.
Round two of Super Sedan ended on a sour note with Nathan Cowie’s Mighty Boy going into the wall after leaving the groove, Cowie was ok and determined to return.
Modified Bike did not see their first round, Robert Simmonds was top qualifier on the ‘busa
Matt Welch has his first outing on the ex Ireland Pro Bike with plans to step the bike in Comp Bike once accustomed to riding a much more powerful bronco.
Matthew Hunt still leads the championship over Geoff Veigel and Simmonds.
Super Gas also did not have a first round, Joe Catanzariti was on pole with a 9.902 in a six car field.
The championship points chase is very tight with Roy Romeo tied with John Somoracz and only 10 points ahead of Russell Archer’s rotary, who is only 10 points in front of Catanzariti.
Craig Warren snuck close enough to the 11 second Super Street cut off with a 11.002 for pole.
One round was completed in the bracket with all the points contenders advancing, this leave Peter Tsounias still with a narrow lead over Paul Sabato’s high stepping HQ
Junior Dragster did manage to get in two round of racing and with both Adriana MacCaskel l who has been virtually unstoppable this year and Caitlin Zammit were eliminated in the first round really tightening up the points.
Erin Koukides leaped frogged in to second place with Adriana still leading.
Toby Austin sitting in fourth is the only guy in the top six and just 40 point between the lot.
Only 5 bikes in Screamin Eagles, Craig Berry is still leading the championship with no first round completed over Evan Murray
Current track champion Bob Axisa was the quickest with a 10.22
Street Fighter championship also remained unchanged with Rocco Romano still on point comfortably over Don Zammit.
Robert Webster has the Skyline quickest in qualifying with a 13.02
Round 5 of the NSW Championship will be contested on the 15th September.