The 2012 edition of the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway has started in fine style on a perfect Winters day. Much of the sportsman qualifying was completed today with Pro Stock the only professional category to have a run.
Technical dramas with the Telstra 3G network failing during Dragnews’ live coverage unfortunately is out of our control and could not be helped. However here is a brief wrap of the first day’s proceedings.
Pro Stock was the only Group One class to get a shot today due to their 16 car field requirements, John Barbagallo dropped the hammer on the field on his very first pass this season with a 7.01 at 195MPH that help up for the entire session, narrowly edging out Peter Ridgeway’s 7.03. Nineteen cars recorded a ET in the session with Emilio Spinozzi holding down the early bump on 7.72. Looking outside in is currently Nino Cavallo, Shane Tucker and sister Kirsten who successfully completed a 7.7 second full pass to license and become Australia’s first female Pro Stock pilot, there are a number of other cars who have also not recorded a ET in the session.
Group 2 had one qualifier today and in Competition a returning Phil Otto in -.53 under the B/AA index to hold down top spot with a 7.22. The blown cars of Wayne Keys (6.18) and Jason Maggs (6.82) are not far behind with plenty left in their runs.
Super Stock is oversubscribed with 18 cars and it is Omar Sedmak leading the pack -.53 under with a 6.99 in A/APA. Micheal Hunts A/MSA Falcon is right there as well with a 9.17 (-.50) and then a whole gaggle of cars at .4 under including Fred Soileman, Jason Simpson, Nick Karantonis, Darren Parker, Tony Caroscio and Vince Panetta making it one brutal field. Though not as brutal as national champion Jim Ioannidis’ mighty wheelstand that has left him outside the field after the first session.
Super Compact sees Chris Tait run a PB and hold the lead in his CC/SC 200SX with a -.56 under 7.13 ahead of Ben Hunt’s RX2 in a healthy 12 car field.
Kevin Gummow is looking good to bring another Comp Bike title back to WA as he hangs on to the pole with a 7.34 (-.59) ahead of fellow Sandgroper Ross Smith on his Hayabusa 8.76 (-.42).
Supercharged Outlaws field has been whittled down to 37 cars from the 48 entered most likely due to the limits imposed on the category at this round.
Christine Steffens who was making a political statement with some “Bring Back Nitro Funnycar” signage on her dragster heads the Outlaw field with a 6.53. All the championship contenders are safely qualified in the field.
Modified qualifying was dramatic with Dallas Everett turning his CC/MD upside down and climbing the wall before stopping after the dragster stepped out of the groove in the first session. The car is heavily damaged but Everett walked away unharmed. Ben Diggles tops the sheets after a spectacular wheelstand of his own in his CC/MD with a 7.03 in very quick Modified field, the first 24 cars are in the seven second zone.
Super Sedan have wrapped up qualifying and Greg Fowler will once again lead the field into eliminations with a 6.94 as the Fowler team look for another national title.
Jason Cocking with a 11.006 top qualified in Super Street, the national title battle here will be one to watch as a host if Sydney cars try to catch defending champ Rob Harrington in the points.
Modified Bike still has one qualifier to go, though Michael Mitchell has the top spot by the jugular in his gorgeous Kawasaki with a 8.11.
Likewise Super Gas still has a session to go and there is plenty of room to move in the qualifying order with Michael Stivala hanging on to the top qualifiers medallion currently with a 9.912 over Loughlin Boyd’s 9.919.
Qualifying for the Juniors is done and dusted and its Dale Duffy nipping the top spot with a 8.006, special mention has to be made to New Zealand’s Tyler Zahorodny after clocking astounding 1.42 short times before lifting early, apparently in NZ where there are no ET limits, his Junior has clocked 6 second ET’s over the eighth.