The Pro Showdown at Perth Motorplex delivered plenty of awesome racing action across the board, read our full wrap including all the pro gossip and sportsman shenanigans.
Stuart Bishop earned his first Top Doorslammer win, which included the first ANDRA silver Christmas tree given out for the category. It was kind of appropriate for the Queensland jeweller to be the first to get the new bling. The Wallace Bishop Camaro performed consistently over the weekend with its wheels-up launches making it a fan favourite. The only hiccup was a pedalling 6.40 in the semi final win over Grant O’Rourke.
Pino Priolo found the sweet spot for the Budget Forklifts 34 Chev. With the assistance of Top Alcohol racer Aaron Deery adding to the team’s extensive home-grown talents, the car was in the 6.0s for most of the weekend and left the former speedway driver all smiles.
Grant O’Rourke ran two five second passes, his first in the elusive zone, with the new Pontiac Firebird performing well. Tyre shake and spin in the semi finals caught him out against Bishop but the team would had to have been happy with the new car’s debut.
Marty Dack belted out a 5.93 in qualifying and then took a lucky win in round one when Maurice Fabietti crossed the centre line. Dack’s motor went pop at about 1000 feet and the team thrashed to make the semi finals but lost to Priolo with a red light.
John Zappia was not in the form the crowd expected and went out in the first round when the Striker Monaro couldn’t get out of the low gears.
Maurice Fabietti looked good in qualifying but in the first round he smoked the tyres and hooked the car hard right, up on to two wheels. He was very lucky to keep it off the opposite wall.
Simon Travaglini was lapping up the attention in Top Doorslammer with long, slow, smoky burnouts and some epic wheels up passes, but a 6.13 missed the cut.
Peter Kapiris had obvious horsepower on board but couldn’t get it on to the track and was a shock DNQ. He came out for a later test pass and ran 5.89, the quickest of any doorslammer on the weekend.
Daniel Gregorini was not the picture of consistency he has been in the past, with a smashed gearbox a heartbreaker for the local team.
Ben Bray was running an auto trans for the first time but had some gremlins in qualifying, not to mention some old habits to break. The Queenslander admitted he went for the clutch pedal on occasion. He did return on Saturday for some grudge laps and got into the 6.1s.
Wayne Keys returned to Top Doorslammer for the first time in over a decade. He had a new wheelie bar set up onboard the Monaro, which stayed in AP trim. Unfortunately a 6.17 was not quick enough to make the field.
John Cannuli took his second Top Alcohol win at Perth Motorplex with a series of consistent runs from the Dudu Funny Car. 5.6s seemed to be on tap for the team, who now lead the championship heading into the Easter round at Queensland.
Craig Glassby reached the final of Top Alcohol in Perth last year but timing system issues at that event held up his semi final and the team ran out of turnaround time for the final. This time he got to race but tyre shake curtailed his pass.
Shane Weston enjoyed his best outing yet in Top Alcohol with a top qualifying pass of 5.562 and a semi finals appearance, despite the team effectively running the car mostly on their spare parts!
Champion Gary Phillips qualified second with a 5.565 and really didn’t do too much wrong but Cannuli’s 5.65 in the semi final was too quick for his 5.72.
Adam Marchant made it into the field in the last qualifying session with a 5.61, but lost a tight first round contest against Glassby.
Steve Ham was another to wait until the last session to make it into the show, a pedalling 5.65 at 260mph (top speed of the event) sliding in. He lost first round to Cannuli.
Aaron Deery left a fine spray on the track after this first qualifying pass, you can see the mist coming out of the engine.
Craig Anderson’s altered was a popular addition to Top Alcohol but he couldn’t lay down a full pass and missed the field.
Andrew Katavatis had a lot of work to do between events after finding some damage following the last round of the Super Comp track championship. But the B/AA’s 7.15 on a 7.72 national record combined with a perfect .000 reaction time in the final showed that the repairs were more than effective.
Kyle Putland had regular 6.6 passes coming from the Harness Master altered but when the car nearly stalled in the final it delayed his launch and he couldn’t catch Katavatis.
Jodi Racco ran a new PB of 7.16 in qualifying with the ex-Wayne Daley Pro Stock Monaro.
Ryan Learmonth was back in form after finding a solution to the oil problems the Maca Suzuki had at the last event. He took the win in Competition Bike with a best of 7.65 in A/CB coming in qualifying.
Ross Smith had a crazy weekend, with a wheelstand in qualifying and then crossing the centre line in the final when his Suzuki Hayabusa got loose.
Wayne McGuiness ran a new best of 7.37 on his carburetted nitro Harley, not too far from the 7.25 national record. Unfortunately an index mix up in the semi finals meant he and Smith had to be shut down and the turn around was too tight for a very hot nitro motor.
Frank Taylor won in Supercharged Outlaws with a 6.75 on a 6.70 in the final.
With Top Comp not scheduled, Al McClure took the opportunity to make some passes in Supercharged Outlaws and made it to the final but a 6.46 break out on a 6.50 dial in meant he had to settle for second on the night.
Mark Hunt came over from South Australia to do some racing, the big shoebox turning on some big burnouts for the crowd.
Steve Aldridge got a little bit crossed up on this pass in qualifying.
Tracy de Jager burns out with Vince Belladonna doing the same in the opposite lane. She red lit in the elimination round.
Cameron Turner picked up an event win in Modified, finally ending the run of Sam Treasure who had taken three events on the trot.
Dale Gummow reached her first Modified final, but a breakout of 8.45 on an 8.51 dial in ended her night just a fraction earlier than she would have liked.
Sharon Sheehan made a number of seven second passes in her LS-powered altered.
Jamie Nelmes qualified 12th and reached the quarter finals, losing by less than a hundredth of a second to Gummow.
Karl Firmin went .007 on the tree in the final round of Super Sedan and in a double breakout contest took the win with an 8.983 on his 8.99 dial in.
Laurence Adamos said with the day he had the team were more than happy with reaching the Super Sedan final and taking the runner up spot.
Ben Peter’s Commodore is getting more and more angry on the startline, the turbocharged VK qualifying second with an 8.17.
Shaun Tapper’s beautiful LC Torana unfortunately matched its paint with the Christmas tree, going -.001 red in the first round.
Points leader Leigh Fallon was a surprise first round exit, but with fellow championship aspirant Lorenzo Gullotto also going out early the damage was minimised.
Roger Harris extended his Modified Bike points lead with a win against Paul McNamara. A .040 light and a 9.05 on a 9.01 dial in was the package he needed.
ANDRA official slash Modified Bike racer Lindsay Wood smokes it up in qualifying aboard his potent Kawasaki.
Brett Ghedina top qualified with an 8.43 from his turbocharged Honda.
Clinton Urban looks the part on his Suzuki. He qualified second with an 8.48 but lost to Michael Holister in the first round.
James Read (guess we can’t call him Jim Read) won in Super Street, taking advantage of a red light from Blake Jeffreys.
The Beat the Heat team continue to do their thing in the west, promoting a message of road safety while having fun skidding it up!
John Hutchinson qualified second and ran just a thousandth of a second off his dial in in round one, but a slow reaction time cost him the race against Read.
Australian champion Brayden Naylor took a home town win in Junior Dragster, with an 8.105 on an 8.10 dial in proving valuable for the final.
Bailey Ferguson made it all the way to the final round before a narrow breakout, but with a consistent race day package should not be out of the winner’s circle for long.
Taylah Batson faces down the strip ahead of the quarter finals.