The second round of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series saw Western Australia’s best drag racers taking on more than a few interstate rivals for ANDRA Gold Christmas trees and valuable national points, with the action coming thick and fast.
Competition eliminator’s national champion Al McClure proved unbeatable again in his BB/FCA, taking a win over friend and rival Kyle Putland.
McClure’s 6.404 on a 6.65 index was close to the national record and was able to run away from Putland, whose AA/A had clutch issues that saw him out of the throttle early.
“He’s a good boy, but I deserve the gold trophy,” laughed McClure.
Despite the victory, McClure said it came the hard way, thanking his wife Natalie for putting up with his antics under stress.
“I have been a real b*tch this weekend, the car hasn’t been going good and I’ve been taking it out on her,” he said.
“We had transmission changes overnight and big problems after round one but the crew were able to dig in and get it done.”
Putland was left disappointed, but acknowledged he was facing one of Australia’s best in the final.
“Not a lot really went our way,” he said. “There is not tougher person to race than Al, I still haven’; managed to beat him yet, but that is why he is number one in Australia.”
Top Sportsman was on the agenda for the first time in Western Australia, with a tight field of racers ensuring the large crowd was treated to some spectacular competition.
Lorenzo Gullotto’s Holden Camira put a holeshot on Goran Kojic and then backed it up with a 7.988 on a 7.94 dial in against Kojic’s 8.554 on an 8.49.
Gullotto said he and the team enjoyed the fresh new category, with the top qualifying medallion and Summit Racing Equipment pack also going his way.
“The class is pretty cool and being able to do burnouts past the start line is the thing that tops it off,” he said. “We will see if we can keep going with it and see how we go.”
The Gullotto family are big supporters of drag racing in Western Australia and Lorenzo said it was a family effort to get the car to the win.
“My brother Sam had the dial ins bang on all night,” he said.
Across the rest of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series there were many racing stories with ‘good vibes’ including plenty of first time Westernationals winners.
Brett Glover took one of the biggest upset wins, defeating multi time WA state champion Allen Puglia in the final with a 7.593 pass on his 7.82 index, a slightly better reaction time helping him cross the line first against Puglia’s 7.253 on a 7.48 index. Glover’s turbocharged Mazda RX7 overcame its recent handling woes and among his other scalps was a red-lighting Jamie Chaisty, driving his family’s national championship winning Holden Commodore.
Ross Smith meanwhile surprised no one with his Competition Bike win, his fourth in a row at the Westernationals. Smith ran an 8.220 on an 8.50 index to eliminate Phill Paton, who was somewhat of an unexpected finalist.
Donald Freind took home the trophy and the points in Supercharged Outlaws, his 7.182 on a 7.16 dial in able to get past Tracey de Jager, who until that time was enjoying a dream weekend, finally getting past the first round of a Westernationals after years of a monkey on her back.
Modified is the domain of lady racers in Western Australia and the final of the Westernationals was no different with Michelle Osborn and Alesha Adamos facing off. A narrow 7.744 on a 7.76 break out from Adamos gave the win to Osborn with her safe 7.150 on a 7.09 dial in. It was Osborn’s first ever victory in Modified and naturally her first Westernationals trophy.
David Yanko wrapped up one for the Victorians with a win in Super Sedan against local Paul Downe. A 9.231 on a 9.14 dial in did the job against an ailing Paul Downe, who slowed to just a 13 second time card.
The Victorians were not so lucky in the final of Modified Bike, with Edgell Mallis suffering a heartbreaking 9.444 break out on his 9.45 dial in, which saw the win go to an overjoyed Ian Read.
Flashing red and blue lights are normally a bad sign at speed, but for the ‘Beat the Heat’ Pontiac GTO of Lee Watson, it meant he was in the final of Super Street. Watson and the team promote safe drag racing across Western Australia using the police-themed vehicles and on this night they did their marketing no harm with an 11.338 win on an 11.30 dial in against Kirstie Wroe.
Last but not least, Bailey Ferguson claimed the win in Junior Dragster, running an 8.547 on an 8.53 dial in to get by Matthew O’Connor’s close 8.022 on a 7.97 dial in.
Along with all the race winners, there were also off track honours being handed out. Greg Gibson won the Summit Racing Equipment and YBI Creative supported Best Presented Award, Adrain Geary won the Best Engineered Award and Grant and Debbie O’Rourke took the Longest Distance Travelled Award.
The Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series now moves on to Adelaide for the Pro Series 1000 on March 14-15.