X-Champs race day full of x-citement

This article brought to you by:


The X-Champs lived up to the billing and provided total non-stop action all weekend culminating in a pulsating final day of eliminations.

Just when it looked as though Rapisarda Autosport International’s recent run would come to an end when top qualifier Damien Harris went out in the first round, up stepped Allan Dobson to secure his third successive ANDRA Drag Racing Series win.

Not only did “Dobbo” take home the ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree, but he wrested the Top Fuel championship points lead away from Phil Lamattina.

Dobson started promisingly taking the win light on a 4.69 from Mark Mariani’s 4.88 in round one.

His semi final was troubled by a broken input shaft that destroyed the engine but a 5.33 was good enough to beat Phil Read’s 5.82 setting up a Super 3 rematch with John Lamattina in the final.

Lamattina got through when Peter Xiberras was disqualified on his competitive debut in the semi finals for leaving the parachute pins locked in on the burnout to waste an impressive 4.68.

Unfortunately for Lamattina in the final he could not keep the throttle down consistently on a 6.12 leaving Dobson to bring home another championship win on a 4.92 despite experiencing problems.

“It was so hard to win that one,” said Dobson. “After qualifying yesterday I was starting to doubt our chances of getting through. We just had to get one good pass to get a baseline and we did that today.

“It (the engine) was eating itself up so we had to swap a few engines. There was a lot of pressure on that last race there, the car wouldn’t start and we had trouble with the electronic sensors. We broke the input shaft in the semi finals and it destroyed the engine, there was not a clutch left.

“It was excellent to get through to the finals, to do it for Santo and take over the championship lead. Now I’m going for the championship like a fighter, I’ve never felt so pumped up and aggressive.”


Leonard Azzopardi upset the apple cart in Top Fuel Motorcycle by taking home his first Group 1 ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree by defeating Neville Smith on a 7.36 and Mark Drew on a 6.81 in the semi finals.

The final was even better for Azzopardi with a 6.59 as Gordon Crawford got out of the racing groove on a 9.22 pass.

“It feels unreal,” said Azzopardi. “The only plan we came here with was to either run a personal best or win. We weren’t looking to run a crazy pass or anything like that, we were just here to have a run.

“We weren’t prepared to go and try crazy things and then have to come back to start pulling the motor apart. This bike has still got the same pistons and rods in it from when I bought it, for a nitro vehicle that’s nearly impossible.”

Pro Stock number one qualifier Aaron Tremayne solidified his points lead in the championship eliminating Anthony Selva on a 7.12 on his way to a solo in round two and a win over defending champion Jason Grima who shut down before staging in the semi finals.

Tremayne then put down a very solid 7.01 in the final to defeat Emilio Spinozzi’s a 7.20.

“It was a pretty good weekend,” said Tremayne. “I’m a little bummed we hurt a couple of motors but what do you do?

“There’s a bit of an issue there with some fuel, us and some other guys had that issue but that doesn’t matter, we’ll get them fixed up and have our good motors back for the Winternationals.

“It (the X-Champs) was a good race meeting, it was a pity we had rain yesterday that probably hurt the crowd a little bit but the track was a lot better, especially today. There was some good data I collected and hopefully we can go to the Winters, run a couple of sixes and set some big mph.”


John Zappia moved to the top of the point standings powering into the Top Doorslammer final with a 5.84 to defeat Martyn Dack and a semi final winning 5.82 to eliminate an out of shape Victor Bray.

Kapiris had run 5.9s in his previous runs to eliminate Andrew Sutton and Stuart Bishop and so it proved again in the final but his 5.98 was not enough to beat John Zappia running a 5.79 to take the lead in the standings from Stuart Bishop.

Steven Reed added another Gold Christmas Tree to the forest in his trophy cabinet running a 5.95 to defeat Wayne Price early in eliminations, a 5.53 to defeat Wayne Newby and complete the hat trick in the final with a 5.56 to beat Steven Ham who spun the tyres.

AE4R3472Rounding out the Group 1 action, Luke Crowley wrapped up another Pro Stock Motorcycle championship round win progressing through the first round on a solo 7.27 before defeating Maurice Allen in a tight race with a 7.21 from a 7.29.

That set up a final run against Phil Howard with his 7.29 good enough to edge the win from Howard’s 7.45.

The next leg of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series moves onto Willowbank Raceway in Queensland for the running of the Fuchs Winternationals.

Gold Christmas Trees were handed out and records were smashed in an memorable weekend of racing in Round 6 of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.

The X-Champs provided some upsets across the board and one man not expecting to be standing on the podium was Victorian Peter Pisalidis who won his first ever ANDRA Christmas Tree of any colour in Competition.

Pisalidis lifted the front end in what would be his solo victory lap after the record setting Alistair McClure could not stage due to damage sustained in the semi finals.

Bouncing higher with each press of the pedal Pisalidis aborted the run to cruise to a first ANDRA Championship win, but that wasn’t enough to dampen the excitement.

“It feels surreal, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Pisalidis. “The last thing on my mind this weekend was getting to the final with such a tough field in Comp including the top nine cars in the country.

“And with the top four cars running so far under the index, coming out here I thought if I can qualify five or six, I’d be ecstatic but we qualified third. We ran really well, really hard. We were lucky to do that so what can I say? It’s surreal.”

Although McClure could not front for the final he did manage to reset the BB/AA record along the way smashing the previous mark of 6.450 with a 6.383.

Also in Competition, Kyle Putland reset the A/A record to 6.702 but a red light ended his run in the semi finals after looking very strong all weekend.

Domenic Rigoli took home the honours in Super Compact with a final win of 6.85 on a 7.29 index after George Rehayem shut down prior to staging. In the process Rigoli reset the CC/SC ET and mph records to 6.851 and 198.03 mph.

Les Heintz took home the tree in Super Stock defeating a red lighting Clint George with an 8.46 on an 8.69 in the final.

Heintz himself reset the B/MP ET record to 8.398 while Darren Parker broke his own B/APA record to establish a new mark of 7.342. Rob Nunn claimed both records for B/AP pushing the ET to 7.213 and the mph to 188.81.

Darren Schuster would break the D/AB mph record in Competition Bike with 157.43 but his 9.06 on an 8.82 was not enough to defeat Blair Pennington in the final thanks to a 9.36 on a 9.37.

The final records to fall were the ET and mph marks for AA/MA as Andrew Musgrave put down a 6.375 and 219.22 mph but it was his round two opponent Peter Brown who would go on to claim the X-Champs title on a solo 8.29 on a 7.62.

In other action Les Rodgie defeated a breaking out Rodney Hansen with a 6.80 on the 6.75 to win the Supercharged Outlaws final.

Steve Fowler took home the gold in Super Sedan with a 6.92 on the 6.90 defeating current number one Johnny Kapiris with a red light run of 9.86 on the 9.89.

Kevin Cleeve, who was consistent all day, won the Modified Bike final with an 8.62 on the 8.72 from Joe Khoury who left the line .042 seconds too soon to eliminate himself on a red light.

Joe Jurkovic would break out with an 11.05 on the 11.12 leaving Stan Nikitaras to claim victory in Super Street with a near perfect 11.13 on the 11.12.

Dale Duffy defeated Toby Austin with a holeshot win thanks to an 8.11 on an 8.05 from an 8.07 on the 8.04 to win the Junior Dragster final.

And finally reigning Super Gas champion Matt Forbes sent off his current ‘27 Ford roadster in style before debuting his new vehicle with a near perfect 9.91 to preserve his current undefeated streak stretching back to September 2012 as David Gauldie broke out by one hundredth of a second.

The next round of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship moves onto Willowbank Raceway for the running of the Fuchs Winternationals June 5-8, 2014.


Aeroflow Performance Parts Catalogue

Drag News Magazine