Saturday of Nitro Champs provides big highlights

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Day two of qualifying for the Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway provided thrills in copious amounts as the ANDRA Pro Series completed qualifying rounds and the Rocket Allstars Racing Series began eliminations.


Top Fuel had its first hit out with Friday night’s qualifying cancelled due to the cold conditions.

Darren Morgan went to the top of the class in Top Fuel with a 4.66/323 blast. Phil Read managed a last session 4.73/309 to go into second, while Martin Stamatis stayed in third with a 4.97.

“I think several teams out there underestimated how good the conditions were and we delivered, however we could have run even better,” explained Morgan crew chief Ben Patterson.

Top Alcohol’s leading man remained Gary Phillips for the Lucas Oils team with his Friday night 5.62 staying in the lead. Wayne Newby had a massive wheelstand which caused him to abort his second qualifier but the JBS dragster came back to form with a 5.64/249 in the third session. Aaron Hambridge bumped the field with a 6.19, leaving Paul Madill out of the field in the Dodge Funny Car with a 6.30.

Top Doorslammer didn’t provide massive numbers but plenty of action with tyre shake and wild runs the order of the day. Robin Judd hot footed down the Sydney track with a 5.84/247. Sean Mifsud’s Wild Willys was perhaps a surprise in number two with a strong 6.05/233 from the Rootes car, running a very quick 3.93 to half track. Maurice Fabietti’s Holden Trade Club Monaro secured third with a 6.07 at top speed of the event so far, 248mph. John Zappia, Mark Belleri (coming back after a monster wheelstand), Gary Phillips, Stuart Bishop and Deno Brijeski were the other qualifiers, the bump at a 6.39. The nine cars on the outside looking in included big names such as Peter Kapiris, Ben Bray and Matt Abel. Victor Bray did not end up running due to a sore arm.

Top Bike saw a scintillating 6.15 from Chris Matheson aboard Nitro Voodoo at 211mph as he tested the stopping abilities of his machine. Jay Upton returned to some good numbers with a 6.24/206 for second on his Honda. Chris Porter went a PB 6.92 for second on his Harley with Dennis Grant in fourth with a 6.96.

Pro Stock saw Friday night’s order pretty much stay in tact with Aaron Tremayne the leader with a 7.05. Tyronne Tremayne broke into fourth with a 7.09, while championship leader Lee Bektash was surprisingly a fair way back after a 7.14 to qualify ninth. Enzio Demizio was on the bump of the 16 car field with a 7.34, while Bill Perdikaris missed out with a 7.49.

Pro Stock Motorcycle saw seven bikes end up making qualifying passes with Andrew Badcock improving to a 7.26 on the Dutch Master Suzuki, ahead of Michael Gilbertson’s 7.31 for Hogs Breath Cafe and Phil Howard’s 7.45.

Qualifying also saw the first Cacklefest show at a major event in Austraila, with four nostalgia nitro cars putting on a great show for the crowd.

In the final qualifying for the sportsman ranks, Chris Soldatos retained the lead in Competition with his -.65 6.93 in B/A though Maurice Brennan moved closer with a -.64 6.10 in AA/AP, a new personal best time for the WA team.

Steven Norman stayed leader with a -.64 7.38 in A/GA while Alex Panagiotidis made a move into second with a -.63 8.99 from the F/G Camaro. The top five were all below their records, with the bump held by Tom Dimitropolous with a +.03 9.72 in A/MS.

Andrew Hodgson claimed first in Supercharged Outlaws with a 6.56, followed by a 6.71 from Shane Olive’s Monaro.

In the Group Three categories Mark Hinchelwood stole the lead of Modified with a 7.07 from his turbocharged 540 cube altered, Robert Campisi remained number one with a 6.41 in Super Sedan, Wayne Smith took Modified Bike with a 9.03 and Michael Little held Super Street with an 11.00. Jesse Phillips went an 8.60 in Junior Dragster.

Warren Smith took Super Gas’s number one position with a 9.913.

Early eliminations took place in some categories, we will update these in the race day report tomorrow.

For full results click here.


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