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Daniel Gregorini had largely given up on the idea of going back-to-back in the Australian Top Doorslammer Championship, but a win at the 2022 Goldenstates at Perth Motorplex has fired up his ambitions once more.

Gregorini was forced to miss the Alice Springs round of the championship as flight cancellations and logistics proved a blow to the privateer team, but his season turned around on the weekend in spectacular fashion.

The road to the final began in qualifying, where the Scratch & Match Motorsport team had to find out what their 3500hp Camaro wanted in the cold conditions.

“I went out quite reserved on Q1, so much so that it stuck the tyre and rode up on the wheelie bars,” Gregorini explained. “That unloaded the rear tyres which caused them to shake, so I aborted the run.”

“We added a bunch of power for Q2 and it went straight down the middle for a 5.75/252mph. Our speed was a little slow and then I realized I forgot to check the fuel system on our tuning software. We discovered the motor had just started to burn a piston, but there was no other damage, so we elected to change the piston and to sit out Q3 to prepare for battle on race day.”

With racing brought forward in an effort to counter the cold, Gregorini would first line up against Ryan Moresby, where another 5.75 took the win. A consistent 5.76 in round two against Pino Priolo put Gregorini through to the A Final against John Zappia.

“I think the car was on a 5.70 run against Pino, but a malfunction in the auto shift program saw the car go from second to fourth gear, which really tugged the engine down,” Gregorini confessed.

As the Scratch & Match team turned around the car and returned to the staging lanes for the final, there was a race against the clock for Zappia who was changing a motor. With the tight schedule counting down, eventually Gregorini was given the signal to start up for the final without Zappia.

“It’s the not the way you like to win but at the end of the day the team works hard and it’s not just the race, there’s blood, sweat and tears all weekend long to get to the final.

“I was running my car safe as we have to be careful with no spare engine, and that worked out for well for us this time. It’s the whole package that gets the green light.”

With another Silver Christmas tree trophy in his hands, Gregorini has reconsidered the championship fight, aiming to travel to the east coast in January to fight for the honours.

“Missing Alice was a huge blow for the team,” he explained. “We got stung with a $7k loss of flights due to the airline’s cancellation on the Darwin trip and to recover from that as a small team was hard. We made the choice to go home, get to work and try to recover that money and prepare for what’s next.

“I have an all-new crew this season with only my dad still remaining from my original team. The new team is still learning how to work together so discussions will take place in the coming weeks and if I think I can put a “travelling crew” together we will be heading to Willowbank for the first time in about five years.

“There’s a lot of rounds to go so I think we have a combo that can chase down the leaders and we can do our best to go back-to-back.”

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