The Hottest Sprintcar Driver In Australia Right Now To Saddle Up In The Monte Motorsports #17 Sprintcar This Saturday Night.
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Many West Australian racers scored valuable points towards a national championship on Saturday at Perth Motorplex, despite weather bringing an early end to the Prestige Lock Services Goldenstates.
As the fifth round of the nationwide Summit Sportsman Series, competitors came from across Australia for their shot at a Goldenstates title, with over 150 teams in total participating during the day.
Despite their successes on the track, few racers were in the mood to celebrate following the tragic passing of Junior Dragster racer Anita Board after an accident on Saturday morning.
Only one final round was completed, where WA’s Nick Panagopoulos took the victory over South Australia’s John Kapiris in Super Sedan.
“For us it was a pretty good day, even if it was in pretty tough conditions with the weather changing on us as much as it did throughout the day,” said Panagopoulos
“We were pretty happy to get through to the final. We were not expecting to run as quick as we did, but I think the wind swung around and pushed us a bit.
“We are ecstatic to get our first ANDRA (Australian National Drag Racing Association) trophy and to win the event this year, after being the runners-up last year.”
The Super Stock final round was lined up for young gun Jamie Chaisty and wiley veteran Graeme Simms until rain called an end to proceedings.
“It was a bummer not to get to run the final,” Chaisty said. “We were in testing mode more than race mode and hadn’t made a full pass all day. It would have been great to race Simmo in the final, as he is always tough, but it wasn’t to be.”
In Competition Bike, turbocharged Suzuki rider Phill Paton was set to face Justin Townson’s nitrous-assisted Honda for the trophy in the final round. While they didn’t get to make their final run, both riders did get a bag of national points for their troubles.
“I had really struggled last meeting with a completely new and untested chassis and gearing changes and couldn’t get the thing to hook and go straight,” Paton said. “Wanting to do well at the Goldenstates I changed everything back to last year’s setup and left the softened launch settings in the bike.
“Overall, I felt I had a hard time putting decent passes together, but at the end of night we were getting moving.”
Paton echoed the feelings of most racers, with the high of a good performance at the track being replaced by sadness for the Board family.
“Our elation was tempered by concern for young Anita and her family,” Paton said. “Now we’ve heard the final result, we’re all crushed and don’t feel like celebrating anything.”
A large Super Street field came down to Roger Moorhouse’s Holden Torana and Lee Watson in the ‘Beat the Heat’ Pontiac GTO. For Moorhouse getting to the final round was especially unexpected as he hadn’t raced his Torana in four years, instead concentrating on a Supercharged Outlaws car.
“We originally decided to to take the year off, but after only one meeting sitting on the sidelines I decided to run in the prestigious Goldenstates event,” he said.
“We didn’t have any real expectations going into the event. We always had faith in the old girl, the driver not so much. But both did alright on the day.
“After winning against last year’s Super Street track champion in the first round and then facing last year’s Australian Super Sedan champion in the second we thought maybe we had a chance.
“We did well in the next two rounds with very close races and thought we had a real chance in the final.”
Other finalists for the day included John Zappia and Kelvin Lyle (Summer Slam), Ralph Lewis and Matt George (Competition), Adam Murrihy and Alan Mahnkoph (Supercharged Outlaws), Johnny Brecich and Paul Downe (Top Sportsman), James Kemp and Jeff Acton (Modified), Bryan Finn and Luke Seaton (Modified Bike) and Beau Higgins and Jack Wasley (Junior Dragster).
The opening round of the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam Series takes place this weekend as part of the Prestige Lock Services Goldenstates at Perth Motorplex.
A full eight car field has lined up for the event in a show of support for the home grown Top Doorslammer series.
Kelvin Lyle’s Ford Mustang is coming off a win at the Shannons Powerpalooza, with plenty of horsepower on board to run deep into the five second zone. Carrying the Direct Mining and Industrial name aboard his 400kmh ride, Lyle is definitely one of the favourites for success.
But he will have to fend off the man who built his engine, John Zappia. The Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro has just set a new national record of 5.60 seconds in Sydney and with some new things to test in his tune up, the fan favourite Zappia will be one to watch.
Also returning from Sydney are Pino Priolo and Marty Dack – race fit and ready to rumble. Priolo was unlucky to lose a wild first round encounter at the East Coast Thunder event against Queensland’s Steve Ham, while Dack endured a weekend of mechanical problems he is hoping will be resolved for Perth.
Ryan Moresby went oh so close to the five second zone in Darwin during the Perth off season, look for him to take the magic barrier on Saturday! It’s also great to welcome back Shane Catalano, with the ‘Rude Stude’ returning after some time away to be a part of the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam fun.
Adding some interstate spice will be the Northern Territory’s Matt Abel, racing his 57 Chev. Abel reached the final round at the Alice Springs Desert Nationals in July, with the team finally finding some niggling issues with the car.
Non-stop adrenaline is the order of the day for Abel, who will be doing double duty by also driving Rory Taylor’s ‘Nitro Thunder’ Outlaw Nitro Funny Car (not to mention supervising three Junior Dragsters driven by his kids Danielle, Aidan and Michelle).
The nitro show is going to be a bunch of fun, with the popular ‘Beach Bomb’ back to rock the Motorplex with driver Andrew Katavatis at the wheel, along with Emma Begley in ‘Groov’n’ and Frank Taylor in the Andrew Minogue-owned Ford Mustang.
Whatever your drag racing flavour, make sure you are at Perth Motorplex this Saturday to see over 160 teams attack the track. Qualifying from 10am with the feature program commencing from 6pm.
The post Slammers and nitro spice up Prestige Lock Service Goldenstates appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
The national Summit Sportsman Series arrives in Perth this weekend as part of the Prestige Lock Services Goldenstates, and relishing the chance to show his talents on home turf will be drag racer Gordon Crawford.
Crawford has earned a reputation as one of the most well travelled racers in the country, covering tens of thousands of kilometres a year to pursue rounds of the series, from Darwin to Melbourne to Perth and everything in between.
“I enjoy it when the series finally comes back Perth, though I don’t race here as much so often the (starting) lights catch me out,” he said.
“I try not to take racing too seriously though, if you win it is a bonus and it is still a great thrill to see my mates go for the win.”
Drag racing’s accessibility is one of its strong points and no better is that reflected than in the Modified Bike category Crawford competes in. Most standard motorcycles are able to contest thanks to a handicapping system, but purpose built drag bikes also find a place in the class. Crawford sits somewhere in between. He rides a Harley V-Rod Destroyer, a factory-built drag bike that you can purchase new complete with a drag racing slick tyre, wheelie bars to prevent flips and an air shifter to hurry through the gears. It provides a great platform to get into competitive drag racing and good resale value without breaking the bank.
“The Destroyers are easy to maintain, low cost and a great entry level bike,” he said. “You can come straight off an ordinary street bike and ride one and depending on your weight you will be running anywhere in the low to mid nine second range for the quarter mile.”
Crawford has come full circle in a sense. Modified Bike was his first foray into the sport, but he purchased faster and faster machines, eventually purchasing a nitro Harley for racing in the professional Top Bike category. The demands of maintenance and constant attention saw Crawford yearn for a simpler ride and a return to the low cost fun of Modified Bike.
His Destroyer is now being developed into a consistent and winning machine.
“We are having a few clutch issues, it is a different engine designed to run on nitrous, so we are a bit down on horsepower as it has lower compression pistons,” he said. “But in Modified Bike that means just adjusting your dial in (handicap) accordingly.”
For this Saturday’s Prestige Lock Services Goldenstates, Crawford has talked some of his Summit Sportsman Series friends over the WA border, with an influx of interstate riders boosting the Modified Bike field to 21 entries. Crawford sits on maximum points already for the series, so for him the event will be about limiting the damage others can do to his lead.
“I’m looking forward to getting down there, I’m really enjoying my racing,” he said. “After this we will be off to Calder Park in Melbourne to keep supporting the series.”
The Prestige Lock Services features not only the national Summit Sportsman Series, but also forms round two of the WA Drag Racing Championship and for the first time this season includes the Summer Slam, seeing some of WA’s best Top Doorslammer teams going head to head.
Qualifying begins from 10am with the feature program from 6pm.
Image caption: Gordon Crawford has competed in drag races across the country but this weekend it is time to return home to play. (image by Luke Nieuwhof)
The post Gordon Crawford looking forward to showcasing his talent on Home Turf at Prestige Lock Goldenstates appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
Australia’s professional drag racing series, 400 Thunder today confirmed that an agreement has been finalised with Channel 7 to air 400 Thunder Drag Racing on 7mate moving forward.
Production of Thunder 400 television shows on 7mate and the OVO Live streaming from events will be undertaken by Oxygen 360.
Australian Professional Drag Racing (APDR) Chairman Tony Wedlock said the agreements were exciting move for the sport.
Wedlock stated “Securing a free to air television deal with Channel 7 is a tremendously important move for 400 Thunder Drag Racing. This agreement will provide a boost in exposure for race teams as well as a new level of exposure for our race fans. I want to thank Andrew Nicholls and Andrew Green from Channel 7 and welcome Cameron Jurd from Oxygen 360 as our production partner.”
The production of 400 Thunder drag racing for the next three years has been secured by Oxygen 360 after a competitive tender process was undertaken by the APDR Board.
Managing Director of Oxygen 360 Cameron Jurd commented “Drag Racing under the 400 Thunder brand has shown significant growth in both the number of events and crowds. This is a full throttle high action sport and we will be delivering a comprehensive multiscreen production live to your device and over 40hrs of 400 Thunder on free to air TV annually”
Seven’s Head of Sport, Saul Shtein: “We are looking forward to Thunder 400 on 7mate. Our team here are looking forward to working with Australian Professional Drag Racing and Oxygen 360 and working to further to build on the sport’s great strides over the past few years.”
The first of the 400 Thunder shows will go to air on 7Mate in late November with the full schedule to be released as soon as it is finalised.
The next round of the 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series is the AC Delco East Coast Thunder to be held at Sydney Dragway on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November 2017. The event will feature all six professional classes – Top Fuel, Pro Alcohol, Pro Slammer, Pro Stock, Top Bike, and Pro Stock Bike plus 400 Thunder Sportsman categories.
Poor Saturday weather meant a Sunday replay for the Shannons Powerpalooza at Perth Motorplex, the opening round of the speedway and drag racing track championships.
The all-in-one event saw much entertainment on hand for the dedicated fans in attendance with Shaun Bradford (Sprintcars) and Kelvin Lyle (Top Comp) proving the big winners.
Bradford claimed the opening round of the AHG Sprintcar Series on the speedway thanks to a strong performance over nearest rivals Andrew Priolo and Jamie Maiolo.
After a disappointing Bonza Bradford Memorial last weekend where Bradford endured a broken steering box while in a commanding position, he more than made up for the bad luck with a positive night in Kwinana.
“The track was awesome and everyone drove pretty well I thought,” he said. “There was only one or two stoppages and limited damage to cars.”
Bradford does not currently plan to contest the whole series, but he hopes that will give him the opportunity to contest for wins and take some risks versus having to be conscious of points.
“We will do a few races up to the State title and reassess,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep it rolling, even if we podium races and don’t bend anything you are much better off. If you have a tear up (crash) and a bunch of tyre wear the budget can go down pretty quick.”
Bradford felt he had the right car for the night, with good speed on track.
“We are just getting all the ducks in a row,” he said. “They are hard to win and if you can win one you take it. We had a real good car tonight and will try to keep that rolling.”
Priolo was not too disappointed, as though he is still searching for his first victory, he sensed an improvement in his race fitness and car set up.
“It was a win I wanted, not a second place, but I think we moved a fair way forward,” he said. Priolo has spent the last six weeks training for six days a week in an effort to improve his fitness and the strategy is paying dividends.
“I remember a heat race last year where Shaun got the lead and passed me, and after three or four laps I was making constant mistakes from getting tired. Now I have just done 30 laps and I wasn’t a quarter of how tired I was (last year). I feel completely different in the car and the car feels like it is on rails.”
The next round of the AHG Sprintcar series takes place this Saturday at the Harris Engines Super Speedway Stampede.
Meanwhile, Lyle proved strongest in a wild day of Top Comp on the drag strip, where many teams struggled to make it down the track.
Lyle’s Top Doorslammer qualified in number one position with a 6.29sec. time and then defeated Frank Taylor in the final round.
“We have changed a few things so we are trying to get them all to work at the moment,”he said. “None of our passes were clean runs with the car having tyre shake soon after launching, so that’s something we are working on.
“It’s good to get a win in the new car and also to have the quickest time and fastest speed overall for the day.”
Errol Quartermaine launched his championship defence in fine fashion with a win in Super Comp over Brett Glover, while Daniel Natalotto claimed the victory in Competition Bike against Wayne Patterson.
Natalotto said some adjustments to the ride height of his BMW made the difference.
“I had a theory about lifting the rear ride height of my bike to shift the centre of gravity forward to help my launches and it turns out it is working,” he said. “The bike is definitely going in the right direction.”
Other standing in victory circle at day’s end included Alby Bakranich (Top Sportsman), Nicholas Wroe (Modified), Nick Panagopoulos (Super Sedan), Dean Dawes (Modified Bike), Andy Oorschot (Super Street) and Alanah Cope (Junior Dragster).
Panagopoulos in particular enjoyed a career day out, recording three personal best times across the event.
“We had our backs to the wall after our second qualifying run on Saturday before the rain,” he said. “The car was unstable on launch and going hard to the right. We went away, made a few changes, came back on Sunday and ended up with three PBs with a best of 9.019 and a win in an awesome final race (against Yvette Gregg). We are absolutely ecstatic with today’s achievements.”
Photo credits: (Speedway) Richard Hathaway and (Drag Racing) Phil Luyer
The post Rain, hail or shine! Shannons Powerpalooza wrap up appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
General Admission: Terraced grass section from 400-foot mark (just beyond one-quarter mark) to 1000 foot mark (three-quarter mark). No Pit Area access.
Silver Area: Terraced grass section from behind start line, adjacent to start line all the way to half-track. Includes sun shade sales on western side. Also includes access to general admission area. Pit area access included.
Gold Area: Reserved premium seats in stand in front of corporate suites near start line. Only gold area members can enter stand. Also includes acres to general admission and silver areas. Pit area access included.
As usual this crazy fire breathing show will be backed up by the wild men of Drag Racing on their Nitro Guzzling Top Fuel Motorcycles. This along with full fields of Doorslammers, Funny Cars, Dragsters and Altereds bringing plenty of Supercharged action your way ahead of a massive Fireworks Spectacular will make it a memorable night of Drag Racing action to see out the year!
Brackets for this Event includes;
- Jet Dragsters
- Top Comp
- Super Comp
- Comp Bike
- Supercharged Outlaws
- Top Sportsman
- Super Sedan
- Modified Bike
- Super Street
The post Night Of Fire Jet Dragsters & Fireworks December 30th appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
The first ever Shannon’s Powerpalooza takes over Perth Motorplex this Saturday with a world first combination of drag racing, burnouts and speedway all in one day.
Fans will be entertained by a festival of horsepower that begins with drag racing qualifying from 10am and the Shannons Show and Shine from 12pm, featuring street machines, Targa West rally cars and classic speedway vehicles on display. Drag racing eliminations will begin in the mid afternoon.
Speedway divisions will begin circling from 6pm, as drag racing finals commence from 7pm, leading into an invite-only burnout show featuring Western Australia’s top showmen as well as a jet dragster fire display. The storm of motorsport will conclude with the thundering Sprintcars and Late Models on the speedway and the feature races for the evening.
Perth Motorplex speedway manager Gavin Migro said the Shannon’s Powerpalooza was shaping up to be one of the most exciting events ever held in the 18 seasons of the Motorplex.
“Bringing the elite speedway, drag racing and burnout sports together for one unified day of racing is unheard of in the world,” he said.
“We can’t wait to showcase an amazing venue with great racing and give patrons the opportunity to see everything we do in a Perth Motorplex season.
“The Super Speedway event has a huge racing class list with Wormall Civil Sprintcars, awesome Late Models, TW Mechanical 360 Sprintcars, The Pool Shop Group Speedcars, Formula 500s and Harris Engines Wingless Sprints.”
Meanwhile, new Perth Motorplex drag racing manager Ray Treasure said the logistical task of bringing in three top level sports will pale in comparison to the quality of the show.
“From an event manager point of view I am looking forward to bringing the entire Perth Motorplex complex to life with the awesome sights and sounds only our types of motorsport can bring,” he said. “It will be a massive challenge but I am sure we can make it work with the help of the competitors from the three codes that will be showcased on this massive day of motortainment.”
The post Powerpalooza brings best of everything to Motorplex appeared first on Perth Motorplex.