The South Coast Nationals at Portland’s South Coast Raceway has hosted an impressive showcase of competitive performances from the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series racers this weekend.
When all was said and done, it was Colin Griffin (Super Gas), Sarah Osborne (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), David Bunnik (Super Street), Sean Ricketts (Modified Bike), Chevy Taylor (Super Sedan), Kenny Stewart (Modified), Sam Cardinale (Top Sportsman), Shane Baxter (Supercharged Outlaws) and Steve Norman (Super Comp) who took out the winning ANDRA Christmas Tree trophies.
Taking out the runner-up spots were Graeme Spencer (Super Gas), Todd Wagner (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Tex Griffiths (Super Street), Lucas Neagoe (Modified Bike), Rhyan Sturazaker (Super Sedan), Craig Baker (Modified), Vlado Turic (Top Sportsman), Tim Stewart (Supercharged Outlaws) and Craig Geddes (Super Comp).
Following’s today’s events, you could not wipe the smile off Chevy Taylor’s face after he took the victory in Super Sedan. Taylor faced off against Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier, Rhyan Sturazaker, in the final following earlier victories against Des Jeffree, Benny Phillips and Jamey Maslennikoff ahead of a bye run in the semi-final. Sturazaker meanwhile had taken on and defeated Mathew Gay in the first round ahead of a second round solo pass, before wins against Chris Farrugia and Joe Bresciano.
“It has been an absolutely fantastic day, we had some tough racing, and I was happy to run some good numbers and go rounds,” he said.
“It was just fantastic with a great track and a great crew here at Portland. I want to thank Billy at BK Racing Engines for building a brilliant engine, Paul Rogers for building a great gearbox, and my wife Kimbo.
“It is a long way to get here from Sydney, a real long haul, but this has been fantastic, and we are going to be back in January for the South Coast 660. I have a few Christmas Trees at home, and after stepping into Super Sedan from Super Street, we are going to be chasing more as we hunt the championship this season.
“Thank you to South Coast Raceway and all of the crew here, it has been fantastic. And thank you to ANDRA for putting on this great series – it is tremendous, and we are really looking forward to running it.”
In the Top Sportsman ranks, reigning Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Champion for the bracket – Sam Cardinale – first took out the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Medallion for the bracket before overcoming plenty of obstacles to take a win over a red-lighting Vlado Turic in the final after a round one win over Dave Foster and a second round bye, while Turic emerged victorious from battles against Arty Roumbos and Rick Smith.
“It was actually a pretty bad day for us to be honest with not many things going our way,” Cardinale said while thanking his crew, his wife and his sponsor Ausdig for their support.
“We had a few issues, but we were able to manage them and to be the top qualifier and then in the final somehow Vlado decided to red light and that is how we won!
“It wasn’t too exciting of a weekend for us, I would love to glorify it, but it just really wasn’t that great to be honest. But of course, we will take the win – but obviously it isn’t quite the same feeling as it was in Mildura for instance. But it is still good to come home with a win after nine months out of the seat and a challenging weekend.”
In the Modified ranks a Chicago Shootout format was employed this weekend, with Kenny Stewart ultimately taking the victory over runner-up Craig Baker. Stewart was also the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier for the class.
“We are rapt! The car didn’t do anything wrong all day, the track was perfect, and I can’t believe I was pulling so many double 0 lights, I don’t know where they were coming from, but I hope I have a lot more stored somewhere!” Stewart exclaimed.
“I would like to thank Amanda and Jerry, Linda and Victor for helping, as well as Supercharged Outlaws racer Doina Day who came over and packed our chutes after each run even though she was racing herself, and also our sponsors Fuchs Lubricants, Gene Cook Race Engines, Proshift Automatics, Swaft King Engineering and R and J Batteries.
“I would also like to send a big thank you to ANDRA for putting on these Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series rounds, South Coast Raceway for an amazing race track, and the weather gods for putting on the amazing weather they put on every time we come down here!”
In Super Gas, the reigning Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Champion for the class emerged victorious from a finale battle against Graeme Spencer, who had earlier claimed the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Medallion. Earlier in the day, Griffin faced off against Warren Bull (round one) and Jason Wilson, while Spencer took on Michael Milasiewicz ahead of a bye run.
In Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster, Sarah Osborne continued her strong form that saw her claim the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Medallion yesterday to take out the victory over runner-up Todd Wagner. On her way to the final, Osborne enjoyed an opening round bye ahead of successful races against Lachlan Walker and Ross Lamattina. Wagner meanwhile had faced off against Dylan Knezevic and Shantaya Kardum ahead of a semi-final bye on his way to the final.
In Super Street, David Bunnik defeated Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Tex Griffiths in the final, after taking earlier victories over Michael Petrov (round one), Kevin Dark, Dutchy Holland and Henry Spiack. Griffiths booked his spot in the final with victories over Garry Hutchins (round two) and Rodney Kerr (round three) book-ended by bye runs in round one and the semi-final.
Sean Ricketts took out the victory in Modified Bike over Lucas Neagoe after taking earlier victories from Dean Jamieson and Andrew Sellears, while Neagoe earned his spot in the final with a round one win over Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Nat McKay (round one) and a bye in round two.
Shane Baxter held the ANDRA Christmas Tree aloft in Supercharged Outlaws with a win from Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Tim Stewart, which followed an earlier round one match-up against Bob Sherry ahead of a bye run in the second round while Stewart had a round one bye ahead of a win over Doina Day in the second round.
In Super Comp, Steve Norman clean swept the weekend – not only claiming the overall victory and the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Medallion for the class, but also setting new ET (5.480) and MPH (124.72) national records for the C/SMA class. The Super Comp class was run using a Chicago Shootout format this weekend, with Norman facing off against runner-up and defending Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Champion, Craig Geddes, in the final.
Competition Bike was run as an exhibition only bracket this weekend, with Joe Khoury taking the win over Rob Cassar.
ANDRA thanks South Coast Raceway and all of its volunteers and sponsors for an outstanding racetrack and a well-run event.
The Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series will return to Portland across January 22-23, 2022, for its next round. For event information, go to www.southcoastraceway.com.au
For more from ANDRA, visit www.andra.com.au
Photos thanks to Automotive Event Images.