Top Sportsman to debut this weekend in Portland

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The 2015 ANDRA Championship season sees the debut of a brand new bracket to the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series beginning this weekend at Fuchs South Coast Raceway (Jan 17-18).

Top Sportsman joins the ranks to become the twelfth Sportsman category on the national circuit combining two classes of sedans using normally aspirated engines and engines with power adders under the dial your own handicap system in Group Three.

Consisting of the quickest sedans qualifying between 5.80 seconds and 8.49 seconds Top Sportsman promises to encompass some good, tight racing as competitors look to be crowned the first ever Australian Top Sportsman Champion.

One of those competitors in Portland this weekend will be South Aussie Paul Russo and his 7.5 second 57 Chev Belair.

Russo is excited to side step from Super Sedan to Top Sportsman and says the racing should be close in the inaugural edition of the championship racing against cars similar to his own.

“You sit in the car (in Super Sedan) sometimes for half an hour, it does your head in,” he said.

“Not that it’s going to change for Top Sportsman but there’s not going to be as many cars and there will be more cars like ours from the States or guys that have already gone full on all out.

“Even in Super Sedan with my Ute, it was a street car too so it was fun but it was a big gap difference when you’re racing.

“This is good, it’s going to be a lot closer and a few my friends will be in it too like Phillip Yaffo and Larry Piscioneri so we’re going to have a laugh, it’s going to be good.

“When you’re in Super Sedan you’ll be waiting two, three seconds extra once the other guy has taken off. I’ve had a couple of red lights because you’re not ready, you’re not sure when it’s going to come. It’s going to be good now that it’s closer.”

Russo has clocked 7.5 seconds over the quarter mile so he sees no reason to make dramatic changes however he does plan to experiment with nitrous in testing.

“We still want to run nitrous but we won’t do it in Top Sportsman, we’ll probably wait until a test and tune, run a 10.5 tyre and just have something a bit different.

“But we’ve got no reason to run the nitrous because it’s running 7.5 seconds now, it’s going alright.”

Round 1 of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series begins with qualifying this Saturday and eliminations on Sunday (Jan 17-18) at Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Portland Victoria.

The action commences from 11am on Saturday and 10am on Sunday.

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