Weston and Zappia kings of pro alcohol in the west – report

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The second round of the Perth Motorplex track championship is in the books, with a new feature being used to lure spectators into the Western Australian venue last Saturday.

The first running of the WA Top Alcohol and Top Doorslammer Championships took place, with the winner of the night in each bracket being crowned a WA state champion.

Six cars were entered for Top Alcohol but with the withdrawal of Stephen Del Caro in the ex-Aaron Lynch Mustang Funny Car before the first round that was reduced to five in eliminations. Images by Phil Luer of High Octane Photos/Facebook.

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Rob Pilkington earned a solo for being the top qualifier (5.61) and backed it up with a 5.69 in the elimination round. Russell Ladbrook’s 6.04 defeated Aaron Deery’s 7.16 and Shane Weston laid down a 5.71 against a troubled pass from Craig Glassby, who had a great new look on his Funny Car.

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Speaking of new look’s Shane Weston also had a wild new paint scheme designed by the multi-talented Corey Marriott, son of Pro Stock tuner Mick Marriott.

It must have been good luck as Weston carded a 5.57 in the final to defeat Rob Pilkington’s 5.63 in a tight side by side race. In the B Final, Aaron Deery gained some redemption with a 6.16 to beat Russell Ladbrook’s 6.47 across the line.

Weston said they went back to basics with their settings.

“We have been trying different ideas and things with the tune up, but we ended up back where we were at the end of last season again,” he said.

“I have a great crew and had lots of luck, combined with a great track and good weather.”

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the team however, with a massive wheelstand (pictured above) in qualifying damaging the car.

“It hit hard when it came down and broke all the blower (supercharger) studs, it was a mad rush to turn the car around and fix everything and we made it to the staging lanes with seconds to spare,” he said. “I have to say thanks to Craig Glassby for waiting for us to make it.”

With the state title under his belt, Weston said the team would like to improve their performances across the season and eventually become the quickest in Australia.

“Our plans are take every meeting as it comes and try to go hard and fast every lap,” he said. “We are aiming to reset the national record.”

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The Top Doorslammer field started with seven but with Murray O’Connor pulling out before eliminations, six cars faced the starter for racing.

Daniel Gregorini and Wayne Keys started things in sensational fashion with 5.95s on both sides of the track, Gregorini gaining three hundredths on the start line that proved to be the difference at the top end. Recent Australian Nationals runner up Marty Dack, who earlier top qualified with a 5.93, stayed consistent with a 5.97 that defeated a 6.35 from Pino Priolo, while John Zappia laid down the quickest slammer pass of the event with a 5.80 to send Steve Aldridge packing.

Zappia would face Gregorini in the final. Gregorini left first but his 6.04 couldn’t quite take it to a thundering 5.83/252 from Zappia.

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Interestingly it was the first event for Zappia with a shortened rear wing, required due to the expiration of a grandfathering clause in the ANDRA Top Doorslammer body regulations.

“The crew and our supporting sponsors worked very hard to get this car ready for the event,” said Zappia. “We were keen to test our new rear wing design, in preparation for the new Top Doorslammer season. I am pleased to say that our design was a success and we ran a Motorplex personal best speed of 252.80mph and kept our directional stability.

“That was a great comeback for the team after our Sydney incident, and positive development with our aero package. Many thanks to Clyde at Bravo Resources for the chassis and rear wing work, Brett at Windrush Motorsport Composites for repairs, Jamal from Current Trendz for late night sign work, Nobby from Hiltone Body Works for the paintwork and all the crew that put in late nights to make it all happen.”

Super Comp (handicapped on national records, no index changes or breakouts) saw yet another small field with just six cars in eliminations. Newly crowned national Super Stock champion Jake Chaisty handed over the keys to brother Jamie and it resulted in a win straight up, running a 9.33 (H/MSA 9.53) in the final to defeat an 8.32 (G/GA 8.28) from Colin Mortimore. Errol Quartermaine retained the points lead by five from Mortimore.

Competition Bike (handicapped on national indexes, with index changes and no breakouts) was a little stronger at this event with nine bikes participating. Neil Anderson was no surprise as a finalist, and he used a 9.00 (B/SB 9.12) to overcome a 9.43 (B/SB 9.50) from Rob Wasley. The win allowed Anderson to take the points lead from Ross Smith.

Supercharged Outlaws boiled down to Kelvin Lyle’s 37 Chev Funny Car and Ben Hoar’s Chevy Nova. Hoar got a massive jump on the line 0.036 to 0.221 and it translated to a win with a 6.69 (6.65) doing the job well and truly on a 6.49 (6.45). Vince Belladonna remained in the points lead by Lyle has closed the gap.

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The Modified final was unfortunately a solo affair with Damion Le-cocq doing some engine damage in the semi finals, leaving him unable to return for the final. That meant Dale Gummow would be able to cruise her way to a win with an 8.48, a great confidence booster in her comeback from a braking area crash at Adelaide. Alesha Adamos kept her points lead thanks to a semi final appearance.

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Super Sedan finalists Leigh Fallon and Matthew Gullotto turned on a close race, with Fallon’s 0.110-reacted 9.066 (9.06) just getting by a 0.066 and 9.698 (9.63) from Gullotto. Martin Mirco is number one in the points still thank to his healthy opening event bonus.

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Two of Modified Bike’s toughest riders matched up with Justin Townson against Brett Allen in the final. A 0.051 to 0.182 holeshot to Allen looked to have things wrapped up, but when he rolled off the throttle a little too early Townson was there to nab him at the finish line with an 8.865 (8.85) knocking off an 8.983 (8.80). With two finals in a row, Allen has already built a healthy points lead.

Ashleigh Wroe decided the Super Street final on the start line with a painful -0.002 red light seeing Paul Garbellini move into the winner’s circle. The finals appearance did however give Wroe enough points to tie for the lead in the championship with Craig Caton.

Finally in Junior Dragster, Emma Begley put two hundredths on Brayden Naylor at the start line but he was able to take it back at the stripe with an 8.130 (8.09) defeating an 8.401 (8.30).

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Doing exhibition passes on the night were WA’s strong local Top Fuel Motorcycle field. Mark Drew was the star of the show with a pair of 6.42s.

The next round of the WA track championship takes place on November 29 with a Nitro Funny Car match race between local Mark Sheehan and Queensland’s Christine Steffens.


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