Day two of the South Coast Nationals has seen the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series racers well and truly deliver some super performances today as they looked to claim ANDRA Christmas Trees in Portland.
When all was said and done, it was Rob Bergamin (Super Gas), Sarah Osborne (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Michael Jennings (Super Street), Lucas Neagoe (Modified Bike), Gary Vogelsang (Super Sedan), Kenny Stewart (Modified), Glenn Henley (Top Sportsman), Dale Tucker (Supercharged Outlaws), Adrian Vella (Super Comp) and Joe Khoury (Competition Bike) who claimed the silver ANDRA Christmas Trees.
Taking the runner-up honours were Jason Wilson (Super Gas), Alex Rottenbury (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Tex Griffiths (Super Street), Sean Ricketts (Modified Bike), Alex Gkroidis (Super Sedan), Derek Wills (Modified), Vlado Turic (Top Sportsman), Tim Stewart (Supercharged Outlaws), Matt Forbes (Super Comp) and David Willis (Competition Bike).
In Super Sedan, it was a particularly emotional victory for Gary Vogelsang. On his way to the final against runner-up Alex Gkroidis in his Taboo 1968 Camaro, Vogelsang had faced off against Brendan Carr (round one), Nikolas Karanovic, Brian Keane and reigning champ, Lance Larcombe. Gkroidis meanwhile had done battle with Jamie Mclaren (round one) and Brent Murray before a round three bye and a semi-final match-up with Robert Kardum – who had earlier dispatched Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier, Tony Miskelly, in round three.
“I am over the moon. I have never won a Christmas Tree before, and my old man who used to follow me around everywhere sadly passed about three weeks ago,” Vogelsang explained.
“He didn’t quite make it here, and he had seen me win a couple of nostalgia rounds and I got runner-up once, but he would have absolutely loved to have been here today. I think he was riding shot gun with me today, so we won it for him, and this is certainly really great and a really important one for me.
“I am really, really excited, I have been racing six years, and this is what everyone wants.
“Thank you to my dad Carl, a lot of people here have met him at the track, and also to my wife Linda, my father-in-law Ken, my daughters Jenna and Dani, and my grandkids Taylah, Leah, Ruby and Jaxx.”
In Top Sportsman, Glenn Henley followed up his South Coast 660 victory earlier this year with another ANDRA Christmas Tree this weekend aboard his Datsun 1200 Ute. Henley took the event win over Vlado Turic after having earlier faced off against Darryl Stephen (round one), David Foster and reigning champion Leon Davies, while Turic had enjoyed successful races against Cory Read (round one) and Keith Hards, including a Perfect Light, before a bye in the semi-finals. Dean Cleary was the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier on Saturday but was unable to take any further part in today’s proceedings.
“It was a fantastic result, and a great weekend. Weather-wise it worked out perfectly, and as always the local club and volunteers did an exceptional job,” Henley said.
“I was really keen to try and get this win, and it fits perfect on the mantel piece – I think I have nine of them now, Tracey has informed me I need to make a new shelf! It was definitely a good weekend.
“Thank you to my crew – my wife Tracey and my son Taylor, brother Brett, and Craig Carrison and also Tayla Briggs. Thanks also to my sponsors, THR Developments, Matty from Ballarat and Craig Carrison.”
In Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster, Sarah Osborne was pleased to take out her third ANDRA Christmas Tree in what is her last season in the bracket with her Drag’n Fly Junior Dragster. Osborne took the win over runner-up Alex Rottenbury after having earlier taken wins from Lily Vickery (round one), Deklan McGregor and Taylor Horton before a semi-final bye, while Rottenbury had taken wins from Mason Kuchel (round one), Todd Wagner, Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Luca Lamattina, and Shantaya Kardum.
“Another win is always great, it is a really good feeling,” Osborne said.
“We had some troubles with the car on Saturday where we couldn’t really figure out what numbers it was running, but today it was on fire, so we are very happy with that and how the day went overall.
“I have to say a big thank you to my dad, it was just me and him this weekend so he worked really hard to get the car running. And also thank you to mum, who stayed home working so we could come race this weekend.”
In Supercharged Outlaws, Dale Tucker and his HQ GTS emerged victorious over Tim Stewart to claim the ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy. Tucker ensured his place in the final with earlier wins over Doina Day and Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier, Davydd Estcourt. Stewart meanwhile had successfully dispatched Paul Stephen (round one) and Mike Evans.
“This was my first time racing at South Coast Raceway. The weather may have been looking pretty average on Friday but it turned into an excellent weekend, the track was good, and the car went great,” Tucker said.
“It is fantastic to get the win. We set out to gain some more points, so mission accomplished! We are very happy with that, and everything went well for us. Thank you to my crew for giving up their time to help me and to my sponsors for their support.”
In Super Gas, Rob Bergamin was a very happy camper, with the reigning champ taking the win over Jason Wilson. Bergamin and his ‘ANGRY’ VF Valiant Hardtop ensured his place in the final with wins over M Calus and Jordan Spencer, while Wilson had dispatched Colin Griffin and Warren Bull – who had earlier defeated Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifer, Des Woolstencroft, in the first round.
In SuperComp, reigning Super Stock champion Adrian Vella took out the victory over Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifer, Matt Forbes. Vella booked his spot in the final by taking victory from Leigh Donaldson (round one) and Graeme Simms aboard his Chevrolet Cobalt while Forbes had taken on Mick Simic (round one) and Mitch Oxley. On his way to the victory, Vella also rewrote two national records, resetting the Super Stock E/GA ET and MPH records to 5.416 (from 5.476) and 128.26mph (from 123.59mph).
In Super Street, Michael Jennings lifted the ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy after defeating Tex Griffiths in the final in his 1970 Nova, following earlier victorious races against Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Bill Farrugia (round one) and Trevor Mallia ahead of a round three bye and a semi-final match-up against his brother, Paul Jennings. Griffiths meanwhile had ensured his spot in the final race by taking wins from Andrew Smith, Michael Bridges, Andrew Gay and Henry Spiack.
In Modified Bike, Lucas Neagoe took the win over South Coast 660 winner Sean Ricketts. Neagoe raced his Suzuki GSXR1000 to the final with victories over B Finn and Matthew Yard before a round three bye, while Ricketts had taken on Derryn McGregor, Greg Oberti and Jamie Dohnt. Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Shane Walker meanwhile was unable to proceed past a round two bye.
In Modified Eliminator, Kenny Stewart took the win over David Willis in his dragster, following earlier wins over Ashley Johnson (round one) and Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier, Simon Barlow, while Wills had successfully faced off against Jodie Wagner and David Grills on his way to the final.
In Competition Bike, reigning champion Joe Khoury took the win over David Willis with his Harley Davidson Destroyer. Competition Bike employs the three-round Chicago Shootout format, with Khoury enjoying three successful races on his way to the final against Rob Church, Jake Hamilton-Moderate, and Gavin Dohnt, while Willis took two wins from Hamilton-Moderate and Church while suffering one race lose to Dohnt. Edge Mallis was the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier.
Also on track today was South Coast Raceway’s Street Fighter class, with Jaydan Hoggan taking the win over Bree Seiler.
ANDRA thanks the South Coast Raceway management and all of its volunteers and sponsors as well as all of the ANDRA officials and volunteers for an outstanding racetrack and a well-run event.
ANDRA would also like to make special mention of long-time sponsor Summit Racing Equipment, for all of their support of ANDRA and the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series over the last nine years.
Next up for Australia’s sportsman racers is a return to Portland’s South Coast Raceway for the South Coast 660 across January 6-7. For event information, visit www.southcoastraceway.com.au
For more from ANDRA, visit www.andra.com.au
Photos by BrightDesign.com.au