Summer Slam leader Kelvin Lyle no longer the rookie

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Kelvin Lyle has been one of the breakout drivers of the 2017/18 season at Perth Motorplex, moving into the points lead of the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam with some strong performances in recent events.

That lead is one he will aim to cement at Nitro Night on Saturday, February 17 at Perth Motorplex.

Lyle is still a relative newcomer to Top Doorslammer racing, but with some quality tuning knowledge in his corner he has adapted quickly to the pro category in his beautiful black Ford Mustang.

“My Supercharged Outlaws car used to do 345kmh, now we are doing 410kmh,” he said. “The way this car keeps pulling was the most surprising thing when I drove it for the first time. It took me a while to get the parachutes right, I was always pulling them too late.

“But as you keep getting in the car and driving, you keep getting used to it. Every other car I have raced has been centre steer so sitting to the side of a Top Doorslammer took some getting used to as well.”

Lyle was smart when he went Top Doorslammer racing, approaching national champion John Zappia to look after his engine program. That gave the Ford Mustang a massive head start in knowledge.

“I wouldn’t know where to start without John’s help,” Lyle said. “We have never had a clutch before so that was something we had no idea on.

“John rarely breaks things. He might break things now and then when he is trying stuff, but he always gives me the proven gear. That keeps the cost down and I also have a fast engine. We have never had any issues with the car’s power.”

Lyle enjoys the heads up style of racing in the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam, where there is a single flash of amber lights to start the race and the first driver to the finish line wins.

“I’ve always been pretty bad at reaction times when I am sitting at the tree waiting,” he said. “I love being able to race right through to the finish line without worrying about dial ins or indexes.”

The Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam has seen some quality entries and growing numbers as the domestic Top Doorslammer series gains momentum.

“Daniel Gregorini is starting to get on top of his Camaro again, the Catalanos have been running some good times in the Rude Stude, it has been really good to see the improving performances of everyone,” Lyle said.

In the future Lyle would like to travel with his car to do more rounds of the national 400 Thunder series.

“I bought a prime mover so we could travel but we were a bit inconsistent at the start of this season so instead of spending the money travelling we thought we would stick with Perth,” If we can get into the fives consistently we will look to travel again.”

But for now home is the focus, where Lyle will take on regulars including Daniel Gregorini, Shane Catalano and Ryan Moresby – not to mention national champion John Zappia who returns to WA after a swing away chasing the 400 Thunder rounds.

“John is back for the next couple of meetings so we are trying a few things in the clutch area and hopefully we can get the consistency we have been chasing,” Lyle said.

Nitro Night on Saturday, February 17 features not just the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam but also the return of Top Fuel Dragsters to Perth Motorplex as Mark Sheehan takes on Anthony Begley.

Qualifying starts from late morning with the feature program beginning from 6pm.

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