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Daniel and Lisa Gregorini enjoyed arguably their most successful event as a team, leaving Sydney Dragway’s Nitro Champs with a victory for Daniel and Lisa’s quickest ever time down the quarter-mile.

The Scratch & Match Motorsport team entered qualifying for the Australian Top Doorslammer Championship with an experimental mindset, following data logger issues during the last round of the series.

“From the get-go we were there to test and gather more data,” Daniel said. “We had logger problems which didn’t allow us to read exhaust temps well.

My car in particular hasn’t been reading for 18 months so we started logging more info, making fast passes and repeating.

“I had Lisa’s auto-shift ECU in my car from The Bend and it was playing up. It would not shift on RPM, it wanted to shift on time, so I was juggling timers to try to match the RPM. I slowly crept up on my ET lap by lap with a 5.73, a 5.71 and a 5.70 in Q3. Then on race day we went 5.68 and 5.67 to make it into the A Final.”

Lisa’s Camaro required attention early in qualifying when the onboard starter failed. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise when an inspection before the next round of qualifying revealed a missing brake pad on the rear wheels. The team managed to stay cool, calm and collected for Lisa to clock her first personal best of the weekend, a 5.72 that placed her fifth in the field. On race day she went on to improve to a 5.70 and then a spectacular 5.68 in the second round.

“The car carried the front wheels from the moment it left the start line and went straight down the middle of the track,” she said. “It was probably one of the straightest passes I’ve made. Our goal for the weekend was to get the car into the 60s and we ticked that box. We knew the car was capable of running those times going off data from Q3 as I had lifted early, but all of my increments were quicker than Daniel’s on his 5.68 pass. I just had to make sure I stayed on the throttle for the whole lap!”

Lisa was due to face common rival Ronnie Palumbo in the B Final, but unfortunately engine damage ruled out the ACDelco Holden Monaro.

“Maurice and Ronnie came over to see us to let us know they wouldn’t be able to make it,” she said. “We have a really great relationship with their team and Ronnie came out on the start line with the girls, wearing his Lisa shirt to support us. Unfortunately the track got cold after an oil down from the car in front of us so we smoked the tire on the hit, but being on a solo we still secured the win.”

Daniel was watching from behind, already strapped into his own Camaro. He would take on Russell Taylor for the A Final.

“The track conditions were cooling rapidly and I knew we might be in trouble as both Lisa and I’s cars were set up to go 0.940s to 60 foot. Up until this point both cars had been reliable, and when I saw Lisa’s car go up in smoke about 40 feet out I was definitely starting to stress.

“On my run, the car did exactly the same as Lisa’s did at the same point on the track. I heard Russell pedal his car and then heard the noise go away again. I was about to take a stab at the throttle and enter a pedal fest when I saw the 330 foot timing block come flying over in front of me. I kind of giggled and then just let the car roll down to what commentators suggested was one of the slowest ever Top Doorslammer wins.

“It has been a long 14 months since our last win, going back to March 2023 at the Westernationals, so it was a great way to finish out the season as we won’t be attending the Winternationals. It’s a huge boost for the crew, and I love seeing them enjoy the win as much as I do.”

Reflecting on the season, Daniel said all of the sponsors and crew at Scratch & Match Motorsport played a huge role in what turned into a highly successful ending.

“Having Consolidated Group behind the team, hauling our gear across the country with a big V8 Scania and their GM Peter behind the wheel, has been a huge stress relief for Lisa and I. Consolidated Group are the professionals at logistics and that lets us focus on going fast!

“To all of our other sponsors and everybody who contributes to the team, thank you so much. We will now prepare for the next season, and we’re making a few changes to the cars as we aim for low 5.6s day or night. I couldn’t be more proud of Lisa and her girls as they have accomplished in one season what took me 11 years to do! They are the best thing to happen to Top Doorslammer in many years and it’s amazing how this class keeps pushing the boundaries to remain one of the most exciting categories in Australian drag racing.”

Major sponsors :
Scratch & Match Autocolour, Consolidated Group, Kerb Doctor, Westcoast Siteworks, Oil & Energy Pty Ltd, S&S Industries,Dalisa Estate Winery

Supporting sponsors :
Signbiz WA, JC Race Stuff, Dirty Detailing, Final Drive Engineering, G-Force Race Cars, Resolution Racing Services Inc, DMPE INC, Applied Automotive Performance Engines, Kinetic Engineering, RACIN

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