The first round of the Atura Blacktown Championship Series on March 21 at Sydney Dragway will see three new names make their blown racing debut across the Wild Bunch and Supercharged Outlaws classes.
Veteran racer Steven Greentree has stepped aside to let his son Vaughan driver the family’s unique Hearse nicknamed ‘The Undertaker’.
With a 500 cubic inch supercharged TFX Hemi V8 the car certainly grabs plenty of fan attention and Vaughan cannot wait.
“I have been interested in drag racing my whole life and when Dad purchased the ex-Mick King Top Doorslammer Hearse that’s when things starting falling into place,” said Greentree.
After the car was rebuilt and put on track the Greentree Family Racing Team were discovering the challenges of running a blown sedan when they were approached by Wild Bunch legend Ben Gatt with an offer of help.
“After about twelve months or so with the help of Gatt we ran our first six second and 200mph passes and that is what Dad always dreamed of,” said Greentree. “Now that he has achieved that he has given me the opportunity to license and after this year’s Winternationals he will be retiring from racing and the driving duties will be left to me.”
In his preparation to drive ‘The Undertaker’ Vaughan jumped in a Modified altered to gather a feel for the quarter mile, and with that licence now checked off he can concentrate on the 2000 plus horsepower Hearse.
“Well I’ve more or less been prepared for licensing for the last two years – we have been through the whole engine, servicing and freshening everything up,” said Greentree. “And finally I listened to virtually every word Dad has said to me about driving the car.”
Even with his eagerness to sit in the driver’s seat, Greentree respects the process required to safely learn to drive such a high powered machine.
“My goals for this weekend are to take my time, be safe and concentrate on what I have to do to start living my lifelong dream,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting the first burnout and launch under my belt, because at this point in time there is absolutely no way to prepare yourself for the feelings I will be going through the first few times down the track.”
Once licensed, Greentree will join the local Wild Bunch ranks. The Sydney Dragway revival of the popular blown sedan class has Greentree excited.
“I love Wild Bunch, always have and always will,” beamed Greentree. “There is just something about blown and injected sedan racing that gets my heart going. As a kid I remember growing up at the old Eastern Creek watching Wild Bunch, it is just something that I hold very dear to my heart.”
Joining Greentree in the madness of Wild Bunch also for the first time will be another second generation racer, Alf Sciacca Jr, driving one of most talked about race cars around.
One of drag racing’s best attributes is the variety of race vehicles – the Alf Sciacca Racing Lamborghini is the epitome of this and is a perfect example of what Wild Bunch cars are about. The Australian designed and built supercharged Sainty Billet Three Valve V8 engine that powers the Lamborghini to six second times completes the truly unique ride.
At 29 years of age the wait to step into the Lamborghini has been a long and trying one for Sciacca Jr.
“I’ve been around dad and his racing since I can remember so when I became the right age I wanted in,” said Sciacca Jr. “It took me a while to convince him – well put it this way, I paid for my licence three times and never got behind the wheel. At the last Nationals I nearly fell over when he said I could jump in the car – he has said it before but this time he was serious.”
Finally Sciacca Jr took the opportunity to license earlier this year and was instantly in the groove.
“The Lamborghini is very hard to see out of for starters and now after years of tweaking it drives like it is on rails,” said Sciacca Jr. “The feeling of having 2500hp under your right foot is well – amazing. It’s not what I thought it would be as in g-force, but you know it as soon as you pull the chutes.
“I feel very comfortable in the car, everything feels like it’s going in slow motion and after I have hit the two gears and reached for the chutes I still wish there was more track left because I don’t want the feeling to end.”
Sciacca Jr licensed with a best of 7.27 at 191mph and is cool, calm and collected as he approaches his first race meeting at round one of the Atura Championship.
“We service the car like usual before any event, I have good people and especially my father around me so I don’t really have to get amped up or calmed down, it’s just another day at the track – just with a different driver,” he said.
“(Our aim is) to win of course. To have fun – win or lose, cut a good light, get data on the car and just try to be a good driver and do what I’m told. And mainly make my dad proud and enjoy the seat time while I have it before dad gets itchy to jump back in!”
Sciacca also feels a real sense of honour finally being able to race against his drag racing family.
“To be around people I’ve grown up with in this sport like Dave McGaw and Tim McCarthy, they are long time friends – I crew for them when dad’s not racing,” said Sciacca Jr. “It’s not about winning against them it is just having them in the lane next to me, shaking hands when we are at the top end, they have both been there for me since the beginning so I am honoured to race alongside them.”
Completing the trio of supercharged newcomers will be Matty Evans as he looks to take on the Supercharged Outlaws field with his striking blown front engine dragster ‘Ramble On’.
The former Nostalgia Top Fuel dragster was imported from the USA and completely refurbished by Evans and fitted with an alcohol drinking supercharged Hemi.
The dragster is Evans’ first ever race car but the diesel mechanic was up to the daunting licensing task that tested his skills immediately.
“Licensing was very nerve racking, especially when my throttle stuck on my first outing from a loose lock nut on the idle adjustment screw,” said Evans.
Front engine dragsters provide an intimidating driving experience with the driver’s face only inches from the back of a volatile engine combination.
“It is very cool to drive, not seeing where you’re going with the peripheral steering,” laughed Evans, “At the moment – touch wood – it hasn’t given me any bad curve balls.”
So far Evans has clocked a best of 7.16 at 196mph from only a handful of test passes and is approaching his first race casually.
“I only seem to get into race mode on the morning when first fire up happens,” he said. “We don’t want to rotate the earth but hopefully make it past round one.”
Spectators will be able to see Vaughan Greentree, Alf Sciacca Jr and Matty Evans go to war with the rest of Supercharged Outlaws and Wild Bunch black belt brigade this Saturday March 21 for FREE at Sydney Dragway.
You can check these racers also via their Facebook pages.