Testing Times in February – Sydney

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Sydney Dragway is still in testing mode with the first of the tracks major meetings a few weeks away yet, in meantime here is a wrap up of testing highlights from the last couple of weeks.

Andrew Cowin sought some more track time following the Perth round of the championship, but was plagued again by tyre shake and smoke.

Luke Shepherd had more severe problems testing the new PremiAir team dragster (ex JRR team car), a oil leak sparked a spectacular blaze off the line. The team came back later on for a shut off pass.

The Stipanovich Funny Car had clutch gremlins preventing them laying down a solid run.

Luke Shepherd was also testing the Steve Turner Black Widow AA/FD, but difficulties holding the car in stage saw two unrecorded passes.

Brett White now has a five second time slip running a 5.97 then improving to a 5.87 as they creep up on Top Alcohol tuning.

Putting a few laps down was Leonard Azzopardi, a 6.75 best was hoped to be somewhat quicker.

Straddled over a new chassis Chris Porter attempted some runs on his nitro V Twin, several spectacular mono riding runs ended with the bike crossing the centre stripe each time.

Paul Cannuli had a dig in his old ride, the first couple of passes resulted in tyre smoke and the last run wounded the bullet badly.

Bruce Leake is slowly improving in his new GXP with a 7.33 as they sort out the variables running a late model car.

A minor adjustment to the look of Jason Hedges new GXP, his private test day ended up being washed out early.

The Pro Street boys were out in force in preparation for the upcoming APSA Pro Street Shootout event at Calder, combine this with US turbo guru Steve Petty in attendance lending knowledge.

Joe Gauci had a steer of Dom Luppino’s Mustang but suffered violent shake.

More success was had by Jeremy Callaghan testing his new turbo combination running a front wheel carrying 6.95 at a mammoth 217MPH before disaster struck on the last run when the car speared across the track and pancaked the wall. Callaghan was ok and the car will need some repairs but will be back.

Turbo mayhem continued with Steve Bezzina trying to hook up his XW and Frank Marchese steering Jason Barnett’s Mustang to a 7.60 on radials.

Steven Petrovski pushed the LS1 ute to a 7.0 with a impressive flame show in the shut down area.

Andrew Arena was back out trying to sort out his turbo monstrosity

The iconic WAR440 Valiant of Mark Arblaster is still trying to overcome the issue of traction.

The aspirated Pro Street guys made some laps as well, Kon Michaloudakis was earning frequent flyer points in his Capri and mid 8’s

Peter Papaioannou returned after a lay off with a 8.46 best.

Also returning after some spectacular incidents and a new combo was John Habib, running aspirated for now the Torana put in a solid 8.7 second run, but is looking for more before the gas is turned back on and somewhere else to store his timeslips!

Trick and Mansweto debuted their new beast, the 604ci big block powered Mustang looks set to kill the SS/A national record, after a few shakey passes, Trick cranked a 6.96 at 198 on the cars first full powered pass.

Michelle Davies was back in the high sixes over 200 in the Torana.

Sydney Super Stock population is understaffed, but with new editions Michael Grunbum and John Culmone are helping the cause.

The Watkins teams were overjoyed with Mike’s 7.20 at 181.

Greg Fowler now has a SS/A battle on his hands with the T&M Mustang on the scene, a 6.98 at 198 in testing will keep it interesting with both cars capable of a lot more.

Anthony Caronna continues to try and sort out the Capri.

Chris Harrington managed to wedge a 351ci Clevo into a Corolla then gassed it to go low 10’s.

Last time out James Danaskos decimated a transmission in a spectacular fireball, now the XF was back looking for nines.

Margaret Hartill Law was laying down some laps in preparation for her trip west, the A/HR has been deadly consistent and should be a force in the west.

David Franks joined the NSW Modified ranks with a smick new Altered.

Greg Smith has been getting into his launches of late.

With sadness however Greg Smith and Mark Bool made a tribute pass for good friend, crewman and racer Sean Brown scattering his ashes with their parachute releases.

David Campbell pushes ahead with running a V8 powered bike.

Richard Welch made a welcome comeback on his Modified after a couple years sidelined for health reasons.

Zoran Gajic headed the Super Compact fleet with a 6.82.

George Rehayem was testing some new gear but did not make a full pull despite some tough launches as Pac Performance look to reclaim the world mark.

Sam Meintanis grabbed the first seven second pass for the Queen St RB powered Gemini with a 7.99@ 171

Wheels up launches the norm for Ray Chakti and Roy Yaghi debuting his RX3.

Wayne Fenech has been running thetough 10 second VW any chance they can get as the VW Showdown event looms at Sydney Dragway.

Phillip Chain hangs the laundry out after a 8.60 at 166MPH with the quickest XR6 in the land.

Future Doorslammer racer in the making, Luke Mifsud started his drag racing career under the very nervous eye of dad.

The third car in the Machone Junior racing team started its licensing with young Lachlan MacCaskell behind the butterflies, unfortunately he received a crash course when the throttle hung open flipping the junior as he tried to negotiate the turn off.

Lachlan was shaken but unhurt as the track officials responded very quickly, racing sisters Danielle and Adrianna comforted their little brother who is still keen to go racing and now has a story to tell at school.

Photos by Grant Stephens, Plucka and Hayley Turns

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