Kwinana (WA)

Modified Bike and Super Street the championship hotbeds

Modified Bike and Super Street the championship hotbeds

06/04/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 26316858

darranbakranich

This Saturday’s 96fm Powerpalooza marks the final round of the gruelling WA Drag Racing Championship, where racers have been striving for points all season long.

As the Grand Final, the 96fm Powerpalooza ramps up the drama by offering 50% bonus points – opening up a championship win to more potential victors.

While a number of brackets have already been locked up, there are intriguing battles to be found in the others, with Perth Quad Bikes Modified Bike and Mactrack Super Street containing the most mathematical probabilities of different winners.

An amazing seven riders in total could leave with the Modified Bike championship win by the end of Saturday. Paul Nieuwhof leads on 605 points – his two mid season wins providing a valuable boost. Bruce ‘Budgie Jones’ sits second on 580 points while Luke Seaton holds down third with 575 points.

Given there is a 77.5 point difference between a win and a first round lose, there is still light in the tunnel for another four riders, including reigning champion Zoe Nieuwhof on 570 points, Chris Moore on 550 points, Brian Hotker on 545 points and Ian Read on 540 points.

Super Street has four drivers in the running for the title, and with just a 20 point spread between them it will be one of the great battles seen for the championship. Darren Bakranich’s win at Nitro Heaven could not have come at a better time, elevating him to the top position with 640 points. As a bridesmaid in the championship three times before, he would love nothing more than to finally come out with the number one. Former champion Ashleigh Wroe knows what it is like to stand on the top step and is ready to strike in second on 635 points, while Steph Gullotto would dearly love her first championship and with 625 points she has a great base. Robert Stone hasn’t much figured in final rounds this season but by consistently going rounds he has stayed in touch with the leaders and on 620 points is more than a contender, he is a genuine threat.

Malaga Specialised Restorations Top Sportsman still has three drivers in the running for the honours with Johnny Brecich currently showing the way on 707.5 points thanks to two wins and a runner up this season. Paul Downe and Alby Bakranich have some work to do on 657.5 and 645 points respectively, but drag racing has shown before that the odds can quickly turn.

All other undecided brackets are down to two horse races. Jamie Chaisty seized the lead of Super Comp at the last event and with 542.5 points he will need to hold off reigning champion Ralph Lewis on 515 points.

Phill Paton and Wayne Patterson have waged war all season in Competition Bike and now with just 20 points between them the Grand Final 96fm Powerpalooza is going to decide it all.

We are guaranteed a first time champion in Modified, as Nicholas Wroe leads James Kemp into the final with a 35 point lead.

Martin Mirco has run away with Super Sedan’s points lead on 715, but if he goes out in the first round and Nick Panagopoulos (on 645 points) can win, then we could see a surprising champion.

While Top Comp and Supercharged Outlaws have already been decided with Stu Moresby just having to show up for the first round and Jodie Mellitt not even having to do that, strong fields mean they will still provide plenty of racing entertainment this Saturday at the 96fm Powerpalooza.

Don’t miss any of the drag racing action from 10am and make sure to stick around for a ballistic show of burnouts, speedway and even a demolition derby afterwards!

johnnybrecich

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Top of the Top Comp pops set for 96fm Powerpalooza thriller!

Top of the Top Comp pops set for 96fm Powerpalooza thriller!

04/04/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 26293579

topcompzappia

The highest quality Top Comp field to assemble for the season so far will converge on Perth Motorplex this Saturday for high horsepower drag racing combat in the final showdown of the State championship series.

Fifteen cars in total have entered for the Top Comp field, which will form an entertaining segment of the 96fm Powerpalooza show, an event that combines drag racing, speedway, burnouts and even a demolition derby.

Top Comp is a mix of Top Doorslammers, Top Alcohol Dragsters/Altereds/Funny Cars and supercharged Comp cars that was created in Western Australia in the early nineties. Originally designed when there was just a small number of blown vehicles in the State, Top Comp has since evolved to become one of the most entertaining sportsman divisions in the country.

Spearheading the show are six Top Doorslammers including national champion John Zappia and his quasi-team mate Kelvin Lyle, five second runners Daniel Gregorini and Marty Dack, plus Steve Aldridge in his new Plymouth Cuda and Owen Ducker’s flaming 37 Chev.

The quickest cars in the field will likely be the set of Top Alcohol Dragsters and Altereds that have infiltrated the event. Aaron Deery returned from a brief time away from the track at the Nitro Heaven last month and was promptly back in the 5.5 second zone. He will be back for the 96fm Powerpalooza along with Nigel Johnson. Representing the Altereds will be Paul Carey in his unique Toyota V8-powered machine.

From there it is on to the ‘blown Comp’ entries spread across a variety of different classes that represent engine sizes, vehicle type and weight. Top Comp championship leader Stuart Moresby is likely to be the favourite from this lot in his AA/Gas Ford Falcon ute. He will be joined by a AA/AP trio that includes Wayne Keys’ new Camaro, Frank Taylor’s Chevelle and Russell Taylor’s wild Torana. Throw super quick AA/Funny Car driver Russell Ladbrook and AA/Altered’s latest hitter Al McClure into the mix and you have a field where predicting a winner becomes mere guesswork, such is the quality of racers.

The action of 96fm Powerpalooza begins from 10am Saturday morning, with drag racing finals rounding out at 7pm, just in time to watch a sweet show of speedway, burnouts and the demolition derby. Get your tickets online now at motorplex.com.au.topcompgregorini

topcompladbrook

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NITRO HEAVEN LIVES UP TO WILD EXPECTATIONS

NITRO HEAVEN LIVES UP TO WILD EXPECTATIONS

26/03/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 26199547

NITRO HEAVEN LIVES UP TO WILD EXPECTATIONS

SpookyThe Aeroflow Nitro Hot Rods lived up to their wild reputation with a series of close fought rounds and loose runs at Perth Motorplex on Saturday night.

New Zealand’s Morice McMillin took victory with three wins from three rounds in the ‘Spooky’ car.

While Sydney’s Rick Gauci was the performance leader early with a run of 5.98sec. in ‘Berzerk’, McMillin got the upper hand in a messier final where a 6.33sec. at 354kmh proved enough to cover a 6.40sec.

“To get the win in what I am told was a pretty entertaining final was pretty cool,” McMillin said. “These cars are about entertainment and between the side by side races and the wild runs I hope the Perth crowd were happy.”

McMillin had much to celebrate with the birth of his first child Lochie on Monday with wife Monique.

“It was tough to leave them Friday to come racing but I reckon this was worth it,” he said.

The nitro action wasn’t restricted to the Aeroflow Nitro Hot Rods with Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars also on track. Andrew Katavatis took three wins from three rounds of match racing against Matt Abel, setting a new personal best time of 5.56sec.

“Running one of these nitro cars is a tough deal and to run a 5.56sec. is just incredible,” Katavatis said. “This places us as the third quickest Outlaw Nitro Funny Car in Australia and the quickest in WA which is a big achievement for our small, family-based team. 5.4sec. could be around the corner for the ‘Beach Bomb.’”

Mark Sheehan and Michael Brookes also matched up in their front engine Top Fuel Dragsters, with Sheehan recording his first 5sec. run in the ‘Black Widow’ car.

Ryan Moresby’s hot streak in the final event for the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam season continued with another event win, bringing him to second in the points standings. Moresby was back in the five second zone in the Dananni Hotshots Ford Falcon with a 5.96sec. blast in the elimination round. The final was unusual with opponent Wayne Keys not appearing due to a braking issue while Moresby’s car had an electrical problem.

“In the final the car shook the tyres and a plug came undone on the Electrimotion unit which shut the car down early,” he explained.

The win went to Moresby but the championship would go to Kelvin Lyle, whose consistently strong performance figures during the season delivered the result he was after.

Greg Durack scored the win in the Nitro Bikes, taking enough points to claim the championship series on the night as well.

Russell LadbrookRussell Ladbrook had a smile return to his face, earning the win in Top Comp after an extremely unlucky Westernationals several weeks ago. Ladbrook looked to be one of the hot chances at that event win until his tyres delaminated and he was unable to find suitable replacements.

There were no such issues this time, with a 5.70sec. run to defeat Nigel Johnson’s 5.76sec. in the final round. While the turnaround in form was no doubt appreciated, it may be too little too late for Ladbrook’s championship hunt, with points leader Stuart Moresby only having to make a qualifying run at the season-ending Powerpalooza on April 7 to wrap up the Top Comp state title.

In contrast, Super Comp’s championship looks set to end on a thrilling note at the same event with Jamie Chaisty overtaking reigning champion Ralph Lewis in the points following a win against Graeme Simms in the final round on Saturday. Chaisty has been on a strong run in recent events with a runner up at the Westernationals, where he also set a national record for his class.

The to and fro between Phill Paton and Wayne Patterson in Competition Bike continued with Paton striking the latest blow. Paton defeated Justin Townson in the A Final while Patterson was resigned to a win in the B Final, allowing Paton to leapfrog into the lead of the points series.

“We were having some trouble getting the bike to stick to the track bit still managed to fluke a few good numbers,” Paton said. “Unfortunately Justin had a nitrous backfire which ended his run early. I had no idea Justin’s bike was hurt so I just stayed head down and bum up which landed me a nice run for the win. With the season drawing to a close, we really need the points.”

The points for Supercharged Outlaws are now a foregone conclusion, with Jodie Mellitt to put her name in the history books as the first female Supercharged Outlaws state champion in history. Mellitt took the win over Greg James in the final round and now has a large enough lead to guarantee the title.

A superb final round run by Chris Roe in Top Sportsman went unneeded against Alby Bakranich, who red lit (foul started) himself out of contention by just eight thousandths of a second. Roe would have been tough to beat regardless, leaving the start line .016sec. after the green light and running a 7.851sec. time on his 7.84sec. handicap.

Erin Healy denied Ralph Italiano his first Modified win in a tight final round. Italiano had the holeshot early but Healy’s closer time to his handicap, a 7.495sec. run on a 7.47sec. dial in, snatched the victory.

Martin Mirco might not have won the Super Sedan division like he has the previous two events, but yet another final round appearance has given his state championship hopes a massive boost. Mirco was bested in the final by Mick Fenton, but is a near certainty to win the title with an 80 point lead ahead of the last event of the season.

Troy ThompsonTroy Thompson might have only appeared at a couple of events for the season but the quick Suzuki Hayabusa made an impact with a win against Trent Anthony. In an unusual event for the championship, many of the front runners went out in early rounds, creating one of the largest pools of potential series winners of any category ahead of the final round of the season. In total five riders will go have a mathematical chance including Paul Nieuwhof, Bruce Jones, Luke Seaton, Zoe Nieuwhof and Chris Moore.

Darran Bakranich did his championship hopes no damage with a win against Makenah Begg. Like Modified Bike, the Super Street points are a wide open affair with five drivers – Ashleigh Wroe, Steph Gullotto, Robert Stone, Graham Smith and Bakranich – all in with a chance for the title.

The final round of the WA drag racing season will be Powerpalooza on April 7, a massive event featuring not just drag racing but also speedway, burnouts and a demolition derby.

BUY TIX HERE FOR OUR SEASON GRAND FINAL

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The Aeroflow Nitro Hot Rods lived up to their wild reputation with a series of close fought rounds a

The Aeroflow Nitro Hot Rods lived up to their wild reputation with a series of close fought rounds a

26/03/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 26196691

dragcarone

The Aeroflow Nitro Hot Rods lived up to their wild reputation with a series of close fought rounds and loose runs at Perth Motorplex on Saturday night.

New Zealand’s Morice McMillin took victory with three wins from three rounds in the ‘Spooky’ car.

While Sydney’s Rick Gauci was the performance leader early with a run of 5.98sec. in ‘Berzerk’, McMillin got the upper hand in a messier final where a 6.33sec. at 354kmh proved enough to cover a 6.40sec.

“To get the win in what I am told was a pretty entertaining final was pretty cool,” McMillin said. “These cars are about entertainment and between the side by side races and the wild runs I hope the Perth crowd were happy.”

McMillin had much to celebrate with the birth of his first child Lochie on Monday with wife Monique.

“It was tough to leave them Friday to come racing but I reckon this was worth it,” he said.

The nitro action wasn’t restricted to the Aeroflow Nitro Hot Rods with Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars also on track. Andrew Katavatis took three wins from three rounds of match racing against Matt Abel, setting a new personal best time of 5.56sec.

“Running one of these nitro cars is a tough deal and to run a 5.56sec. is just incredible,” Katavatis said. “This places us as the third quickest Outlaw Nitro Funny Car in Australia and the quickest in WA which is a big achievement for our small, family-based team. 5.4sec. could be around the corner for the ‘Beach Bomb.’”

Mark Sheehan and Michael Brookes also matched up in their front engine Top Fuel Dragsters, with Sheehan recording his first 5sec. run in the ‘Black Widow’ car.

Ryan Moresby’s hot streak in the final event for the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam season continued with another event win, bringing him to second in the points standings. Moresby was back in the five second zone in the Dananni Hotshots Ford Falcon with a 5.96sec. blast in the elimination round. The final was unusual with opponent Wayne Keys not appearing due to a braking issue while Moresby’s car had an electrical problem.

“In the final the car shook the tyres and a plug came undone on the Electrimotion unit which shut the car down early,” he explained.

The win went to Moresby but the championship would go to Kelvin Lyle, whose consistently strong performance figures during the season delivered the result he was after.

Greg Durack scored the win in the Nitro Bikes, taking enough points to claim the championship series on the night as well.

Russell Ladbrook had a smile return to his face, earning the win in Top Comp after an extremely unlucky Westernationals several weeks ago. Ladbrook looked to be one of the hot chances at that event win until his tyres delaminated and he was unable to find suitable replacements.

There were no such issues this time, with a 5.70sec. run to defeat Nigel Johnson’s 5.76sec. in the final round. While the turnaround in form was no doubt appreciated, it may be too little too late for Ladbrook’s championship hunt, with points leader Stuart Moresby only having to make a qualifying run at the season-ending Powerpalooza on April 7 to wrap up the Top Comp state title.

In contrast, Super Comp’s championship looks set to end on a thrilling note at the same event with Jamie Chaisty overtaking reigning champion Ralph Lewis in the points following a win against Graeme Simms in the final round on Saturday. Chaisty has been on a strong run in recent events with a runner up at the Westernationals, where he also set a national record for his class.

The to and fro between Phill Paton and Wayne Patterson in Competition Bike continued with Paton striking the latest blow. Paton defeated Justin Townson in the A Final while Patterson was resigned to a win in the B Final, allowing Paton to leapfrog into the lead of the points series.

“We were having some trouble getting the bike to stick to the track bit still managed to fluke a few good numbers,” Paton said. “Unfortunately Justin had a nitrous backfire which ended his run early. I had no idea Justin’s bike was hurt so I just stayed head down and bum up which landed me a nice run for the win. With the season drawing to a close, we really need the points.”

The points for Supercharged Outlaws are now a foregone conclusion, with Jodie Mellitt to put her name in the history books as the first female Supercharged Outlaws state champion in history. Mellitt took the win over Greg James in the final round and now has a large enough lead to guarantee the title.

A superb final round run by Chris Roe in Top Sportsman went unneeded against Alby Bakranich, who red lit (foul started) himself out of contention by just eight thousandths of a second. Roe would have been tough to beat regardless, leaving the start line .016sec. after the green light and running a 7.851sec. time on his 7.84sec. handicap.

Erin Healy denied Ralph Italiano his first Modified win in a tight final round. Italiano had the holeshot early but Healy’s closer time to his handicap, a 7.495sec. run on a 7.47sec. dial in, snatched the victory.

Martin Mirco might not have won the Super Sedan division like he has the previous two events, but yet another final round appearance has given his state championship hopes a massive boost. Mirco was bested in the final by Mick Fenton, but is a near certainty to win the title with an 80 point lead ahead of the last event of the season.

Troy Thompson might have only appeared at a couple of events for the season but the quick Suzuki Hayabusa made an impact with a win against Trent Anthony. In an unusual event for the championship, many of the front runners went out in early rounds, creating one of the largest pools of potential series winners of any category ahead of the final round of the season. In total five riders will go have a mathematical chance including Paul Nieuwhof, Bruce Jones, Luke Seaton, Zoe Nieuwhof and Chris Moore.

Darran Bakranich did his championship hopes no damage with a win against Makenah Begg. Like Modified Bike, the Super Street points are a wide open affair with five drivers – Ashleigh Wroe, Steph Gullotto, Robert Stone, Graham Smith and Bakranich – all in with a chance for the title.

The final round of the WA drag racing season will be Powerpalooza on April 7, a massive event featuring not just drag racing but also speedway, burnouts and a demolition derby.

BUY TIX HERE FOR OUR SEASON GRAND FINAL

dragbike3

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MIRCO MAKES HIS MOVE IN SUPER SEDAN CHAMPIONSHIP

MIRCO MAKES HIS MOVE IN SUPER SEDAN CHAMPIONSHIP

22/03/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 26155613

WebResultsPageNitroHeaven

Martin Mirco has fought back to the lead of the WA Super Sedan Championship following a breakthrough performance at the MacTrack Westernationals.

The Bibra Lake-based driver of the Holldon Rigging Camaro used one of the best passes of his career in the pressure of the Westernational final round to defeat national champion George Tipouikidis and leapfrog Nick Panagopoulos in the local points.

“The Westernationals was an awesome weekend of racing for our team,” Mirco said.

“In the past I’ve always struggled to go rounds at the Westernationals so this year we tried something a bit different. We decided at the last minute to go to the test and tune on the Wednesday, which I’d never done before, and the extra laps seem to have paid off.

“We got through some tough early rounds of racing and then a solo in the semi final helped us dial it in for the final. With the current Australian number one in the other lane I knew I had to have a good package to get the win in the final, so we went for it. Holding a gold Christmas tree (ANDRA trophy) for the first time was well worth the wait.”

Mirco is no stranger to State championship battles – he is in fact the defending champion. His experience means he is far from counting any points chickens before they hatch. That said, with nearest opponent Panagopoulos going out in the first round of the MacTrack Westernationals it has given Mirco a helpful lead.

“We’ve been in this situation before so myself and the team know there’s still a long way to go and anything can happen in the next two rounds,” he said. “There’s some tough competitors in Super Sedan and you can never write anyone off, especially with the 50% bonus points on offer at the last round.”

The immediate challenge for Mirco is at Aeroflow Nitro Hot Rod Nitro Heaven on Saturday, March 24 – the penultimate round of the WA Super Sedan Championship. As the weather begins to cool for the final two events, Mirco admits it can be a challenge to keep a car consistent.

“Trying to keep that consistency going from one race meet to the next and also round to round is the trickiest thing about racing a Super Sedan,” he said. “Each race meet has different weather and track conditions, so it can be a bit tricky adapting to those changes, and adapting throughout the day as conditions are different from qualifying and the early rounds in the afternoon to the finals later in the night.

“We’ve been fairly consistent for the last three seasons now which have been successful seasons, so it’s just been a continuation from there. We haven’t played around with the car too much at all during this time which has helped.”

Whatever the result of the State championship is, Mirco is looking forward to one day testing his skills at a national level.

“With Holldon Rigging coming on board as major sponsors we are looking at travelling to Darwin and Alice Springs in July this year. If we can do well at those two events we will then continue to chase the points in the ANDRA Summit Sportsman Series and have a crack at the national championship.”

Mirco and over 150 other high horsepower drag racing teams will be leaving nothing on the table at Aeroflow Nitro Hot Rods Nitro Heaven on Saturday, March 24, where fans will be thrilled by the 3000 horsepower nitro burning hot rods Psycho III, Chucky’s Toy, Spooky and Berzerk for the first time ever in Perth.

For more details, make sure to keep checking www.motorplex.com.au!

Martin Mirco

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