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The competitors of the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship, Australian Drag Racing Championship (ADRC) Top Doorslammer and ADRC Top Fuel Motorcycle are counting down the hours to race day at the Perth Motorplex following the successful conclusion of Westernationals qualifying on Saturday evening (March 4).

Following three rounds of qualifying for the ADRC brackets and two for the Top Fuelers, Wayne Newby (Top Fuel), John Zappia (Top Doorslammer) and Benny Stevens (Top Fuel Motorcycle) will lead their fields to racing here at the Perth Motorplex tomorrow (Sunday 5 March).

In Top Fuel, Wayne Newby’s top qualifying pace of 3.822 at could have been even quicker, if not for throwing a belt.

“It was on a really good number when we top qualified, and it threw a belt off, so it was probably going to run into the seventies, possibly a seventy seven or somewhere around there, so that is a bit disappointing, but I am definitely still happy to be top qualified,” Newby said.

“I am feeling confident heading into tomorrow. Hopefully we can go out there and keep the momentum going and maybe we can even win this thing!

“Thanks to Santo and Atlantic Oil, and also to Santino and the crew for all their hard work.”

In ADRC Top Doorslammer, John Zappia put in an inspired performance after finally sorting out the issues that have seen his Dannani Hot Shots Fuchs Lubricants Monaro pulling to the right all season long, claiming the number one spot from the first outing with a 5.697 second pass which he then bettered to a 5.675 ET and then again with a storming 5.614 second pass in the final qualifier.

“We checked out the suspension and found something that wasn’t where it should have been, so we readjusted the suspension. The car had been turning right all season and last week in the Street Outlaws it kept us from getting past Jeff Lutz. It has plagued us for a long time and we have been trying to drive around it, but I had to back off last week and Lutz got past me! So, we put the fibreglass body back on and the long front end back on and checked out the suspension and made the adjustments before putting our A motor back in,” Zappia explained.

“In the first run tonight the car went pretty much dead straight for a 5.69 second pass at 254 miles per hour, and then we came back and changed the Supercharger as we wanted to see which was our better blower so we put the spare on.

“We went out for the next run and the track had got better. The car slowed down off the startline but it made up for it, running five kilometres faster for a 5.67 ET at 257 miles per hour – our best speed since we have been running the Ty-drive converter and B&J Three Speed.

“So then for the final with the startline getting better we put a bit more power in and left everything else the same and the car just kept pulling and pulling, it was on a mission and it went 5.614 at 256.88mph. A tad slower, but under the national record – but too far under to be backed up by the previous pass.

“Tomorrow is another day, and hopefully we can back up the national record – although at the end of the day, I own the national record anyway at 5.64!” he laughed.

“We are definitely looking forward to racing tomorrow, and hopefully we can get back to the winners circle – for now we have definitely secured the Crow Cams Top Qualifier Award!” concluded Zappia, who is supported on track by a long list of sponsors including Dannani Hot Shots, Fuchs Lubricants, Crow Cams, Tony’s Auto Wreckers, WA Bolts, Hoosier Tyres, Noonan Racing Engines, WA Suspensions and Motec.

Also turning heads this evening was Lisa Gregorini and her all-female racing crew, who successfully licensed for Top Doorslammer after a lengthy process and then went on to qualify fifth in a highly competitive field.

In ADRC Top Fuel Motorcycle, a number of the entrants struggled with overpowering the track, but not Benny Stevens.

Stevens never left the top of the qualifying sheets this evening, topping the sheets in Q1 with a 6.64 second pass, with that time enough to see him hold onto the number one spot in Q2 despite not presenting due to bike issues, and then coming back in Q3 to run two tenths faster to cement his spot as the Top Qualifier with a 6.45 ET.

“On the first lap we went out we were pretty happy with the result of that,” said Stevens. “We went back to the pits and got the bike all sorted and went through and did our maintenance checks and fired it up. It was idling well to start, but then it all went south really quick.

“We started problem solving and then we found our battery had died during the start-up, so we put a new battery in, started it back up and tuned to the conditions. Then off we went, and we ran a 6.45 which is absolutely awesome and a PB of mine, my previous PB was a 6.54.

“We are just going to head back out there and keep doing what we do, we are not really setting our sights too high, we want to go and do what we do best, and that is just creep up on it.

“In the meantime, thank you to our sponsors, Worx Equipment, AAA Demolition and Tree Services, Racecraft, Darling Downs Drilling, Bakers Creek Harvesting, West Coast Air, TRP, CJD Trucks, Redline Synthetic Oil, Gardiner Engineering, MDR Trans, Nelg’s Ali Mods, Applied Automotive Performance Engines and The Gate Bar and Bistro.”

Full time sheets from today’s qualifying action can be viewed online at https://motorplex.com.au/drag-results/

The Top Fuel, Top Doorslammer and Top Fuel Motorcycle action at the Perth Motorplex will continue tomorrow, Sunday 5 March, with three rounds of racing starting from 4.00pm (all times local and approximate). For event information including full schedules, entry lists and more, go to www.motorplex.com.au

To learn more about the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship and the Australian Drag Racing Championships, go to www.topfuelchampionship.com.au

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