Top end racers trekking south to Calder Park

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Darwin residents, Matt Abel and Scott McLean, are making the long trek from the top to the bottom of Australia to compete in the Spring HorsePower Challenge at Calder Park this Saturday (November 20).

Abel and McLean will join 14 other Top Doorslammer competitors from around the country racing in the Australian Eighth-mile (201metres) Doorslammer Championship round.  


While McLean has not raced at Calder before, Abel last raced at the iconic Melbourne motorsport complex in 2000 in a supercharged Ford Capri.


Matt Abel is set to race at Calder this weekend
This weekend, Abel will be racing his new 1957 Chevrolet Belair Doorslammer.   


Abel, who owns and runs a commercial floor and wall tiling company in Darwin, bought the car in June this year after seeing it for sale on a US internet site. The former US Pro Modified Chevy landed in Australia in late August.   


“The car was built by Andy McCoy Race Cars in Washington, Missouri. It was his personal race car.


“One of my friends saw it for sale on the internet and told me about it. I went onto the Internet and had a look. The price was reasonable, so I phoned Andy (McCoy) and did the deal,” Abel said.


In an ironic twist, the body on Abel’s new car was moulded in Australia and shipped to the US.


“The body was moulded off Victor Bray’s ‘57 Chevrolet (Belair). Andy said it is the best looking ‘57 body for a Doorslammer race car in the world, which is why he bought the body.” 


While Abel and McLean (‘53 Studebaker) may be racing a long way from home this weekend, they will feel at home with their own cheer squad making the long trip south to Calder to cheer on the two top-end racers.  


“There are 50 people coming down from Darwin to watch us race at Calder. The event is going to be huge and I’m really looking forward to it,” Abel said.


Other leading Doorslammer racers competing at Calder this Saturday include Victor Bray (‘57 Chevrolet Belair), Ben Bray (’05 Holden Monaro CV8Z) and Gary Phillips (‘53 Studebaker), all from Brisbane, Maurice Fabietti (’05 Holden Monaro CV8Z), Sean Mifsud (’41 Willys) and Dennis Brijeski (’67 Chevrolet Camaro), all from Sydney, Peter Kapiris (’59 Dodge Saratoga) from Melton and Tony DeFelice (’67 Chevrolet Camaro) from Donvale.


The Spring HorsePower Challenge has attracted 250 competitors in the Pro Stock Invitational, Supercharged Outlaw, Top Eliminator, Super Eliminator, Super Street, Nostalgia, Pro Street, Modified Street, Pro Radial and Modified Bike.


While the Doorslammers will race over the eighth-mile, all other categories will race over the traditional quarter-mile.


Doorslammer and Pro Stock qualifying is at 1am. Elimination racing starts at 4pm.


Spectator entry to the event is $40 for all people over 18 years; children 14-17 years, $20; family (2 adults and 2 children), $100; children 14 years and under free.


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