Kwinana (WA)

Top five badass race cars you will see at Nitro Night!

Top five badass race cars you will see at Nitro Night!

15/02/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 25797134




There has been an explosion of new machinery in Western Australian drag racing in recent weeks and fans at this Saturday’s Nitro Night at Perth Motorplex will get a chance to see some of the coolest drag cars in the country make their debut.

While the ground shaking spectacle of Mark Sheehan and Anthony Begley going head to head in their 500kmh, 10,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragsters will rock your world plenty, not to mention the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam, Nitro Bikes and an Outlaw Radial field that has reached critical mass, there are so many extreme race cars planning on attending this weekend that we just had to wrap them up!

So let’s start our countdown…

  1. John O’Dwyer’s Holden Torana Outlaw Radial

John O'Dwyer

WA’s Streetbuilt Racing has unveiled a cool new radial tyre drag racing weapon. This workshop is far from a stranger to radial builds, with many street cars in their arsenal, but this twin turbo, LS-engine Holden Torana marks a new level in their operation.

Owner John O’Dwyer will hand the keys to Josh Lopreiato for Nitro Night at Perth Motorplex where the team will make their first laps in the car.

“It’s been a hectic couple of months to get this car together, from what started as a very old school roller into a race ready radial car,” O’Dwyer said.

“To say I’m excited to see what this car is capable of is an under statement – Josh, it’s gonna be a wild ride mate. I cannot thank everyone involved enough for what has been done in such a short time frame.”

On the dyno the car registered a pretty serious 1043hp figure at the rear wheels from 376 cubes on 21psi of boost!

  1. John Faraone’s Valiant Charger Outlaw Radial

John Faraone

John Faraone might run WA plates but sightings of his Valiant Charger on its home soil are rare, especially at Perth Motorplex.

Faraone has spent years taking the car back and forth from Australia to the USA, where he competes in Hot Rod Drag Week, a gruelling test of man and machine that requires racers to compete at five tracks in five days, driving their car in between them all with only a trailer for support.

This is one of WA’s quickest street cars and we expect the Charger to be firmly in the seven second zone, even on radials (it normally runs a big tyre).

  1. Wayne Keys’ Camaro Top Doorslammer

Wayne Keys

Wayne and Lisa Keys have unveiled their brand new Chev Camaro AA/AP and Top Doorslammer, ready to debut this weekend.

The car has been in the build for a couple of years now, with Wayne selling his iconic Holden Monaro. Wayne will no doubt looking to return to the five second zone once he has this badass hot rod singing the right tunes. More on this car later in the week!

  1. Paul Carey’s Top Alcohol Altered

Paul Carey

After a braking area crash in his Toyota quad cam V8-powered Mazda RX7, Paul Carey made a brief move to a Ford Falcon Top Doorslammer to get back into racing but always dreamed of a centre steer chassis.

He is now set to release this sweet Top Alcohol Altered on the track at Nitro Night.

“This has been a few years in the making really,” he said. “We are hoping that running under 2000 pounds (of weight) may really bring the small cammer (motor) into its own.”

At just over four litres in size, the Toyota V8s aren’t big on capacity but they do produce plenty of high revving horsepower and Carey has been one of the pioneers of the motor’s use in Australia.

Carey anticipates five second ETs eventually!

  1. Mark Sheehan’s Nitro FED


This one is so new we don’t even have a picture of it yet, but it will be worth the wait!

Mark Sheehan isn’t content to race just a Top Fuel Dragster and a Nitro Funny Car – he has gone full ‘Nitro Madman’ by getting a front engine nitro dragster too!

Known as ‘nitro slingshots’, these dragsters run the same kind of engines as are in Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars. Small tyres and plenty of nitro cackle means they can be a wild drive, but we’re sure Mark is up to the challenge.

Mark’s just lucky his wife Sharon loves drag racing too, as he is going to spend Valentine’s Day testing the new car! Keep an eye on from updates on how he goes.



The post Top five badass race cars you will see at Nitro Night! appeared first on Perth Motorplex.


14/02/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 25789117

Mark Sheehan-2

A wild new dragster will make its first appearance at Perth Motorplex this Saturday for Nitro Night – and with plenty of nitro horsepower it is sure to excite!

Mark Sheehan is ready to rumble in the ‘Black Widow’, a rare front engine nitro dragster capable of five second times with nitro flames to boot.

Sheehan tested the car for the first time today (Wednesday), and was already on the pace with a safe 6.15/223mph pass to check everything out in readiness for his match race against Michael Brooks in ‘Nitro Mayhem’. When the pair line up, it will be the first time two nitro front engine dragsters have gone head to head in WA in the modern era.

The quickest nitro front engine dragster pass in Australia is a 5.96, so Sheehan will no doubt have that mark in his sights for Saturday. Front engine dragsters run a slightly different engine combination to rear engine Top Fuel dragsters as well as smaller rear tyres.

Front engine dragsters are something of a throwback to the early years of drag racing, where they were once the most common layout. Safety concerns prompted drivers to change to rear engine cars, which also proved better performance wise too. But the front engine configuration has remained active in nostalgia racing, where safety advances have ensured drivers can enjoy the thrill without worrying about their legs sitting over the rear axle!

Sheehan will be plenty busy come Saturday night, also racing his ‘big show’ Top Fuel dragster against Anthony Begley, where the two will be chasing mid four second runs at well over 500kmh! With 10,000 horsepower at their disposal, it will be a show not to be missed.

As well as four nitro dragsters, the Nitro Night event will also feature the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam, Nitro Bikes and a big APSA Outlaw Radial field.

Don’t miss all the action Saturday – the feature program begins from 5.30pm!

The post BLACK WIDOW READY TO BITE! appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
Rude Stude loses the attitude

Rude Stude loses the attitude

12/02/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 25769298

NitroSlam! at Perth Motorplex

With a name like ‘Rude Stude’, perhaps the struggles of Shane Catalano and his Studebaker Top Doorslammer make sense.

When Catalano made the shift from Supercharged Outlaws to Top Doorslammers five years ago, he could not have foreseen the difficult path ahead for the budget team.

Catalano brought the car in from the USA and struggled for a season getting the set up right. When the family team looked like they were heading in the right direction, the car went in very much the wrong direction – into a wall.

“We were just starting to get a handle on the car when we crashed,” he said. “It was two years to rebuild it and a considerable amount of money.”

The ‘Rude Stude’ did eventually get back on to the track, but the team was still searching for a way to make the car handle. Catalano said the unpredictability of the Hemi-powered, 2500 horsepower Studebaker brought down his confidence in his own driving.

“When you are constantly in tyre shake and trying to keep it off the walls, after a while you think it is you and not the car,” he said.

“Now it feels like a race car again, it has traction and goes straight. I hadn’t been in the car for 18 months and I was starting to get scared of it. I lost my nerve, the car has been that bad.

“We got the car right and it was easy, like driving an armchair. I was able to hit all the shift points again, which was very rewarding five years after the crash.”

Catalano’s luck turned significantly at the December 29 Night of Fire at Perth Motorplex, where he scored a runner up in the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam and set a new personal best time of 6.16 seconds.

“We made a small change to the rear suspension,” he said. “We had been trying a lot of suspension settings with no real results and then changing the rear springs made a lot of difference. It has been a long road back, because we only get to do a few meetings a season.

“I haven’t had much of a chance to enjoy the car, so the runner up was the shot in the arm we needed to justify it to ourselves.”

A following appearance at January 20’s Nitro Slam was not quite as successful with the engine burning some components, but that damage has now been fixed in preparation for the February 17 Nitro Night.

“We melted some pistons, not badly, but it popped the burst panel out and then broke a supercharger belt too,” Catalano said. “There was quite a smoke show but no major damage. We got the engine back in the car last weekend and now we can put some more fuel in it and hopefully we can start finding some consistency, that is what we have been chasing.

“We just want to keep running as often as we can. The ultimate goal is to run a five second pass. I think we will get there in time, but budget is the biggest restraint. We have to do enough passes to get the data and have the smarts.”

Catalano will be part of a big Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam Series round included as part of Nitro Night, taking on big names like John Zappia, Kelvin Lyle, Daniel Gregorini and Ryan Moresby.

Fans of drag racing shouldn’t miss the return of the Top Fuel dragsters, with Mark Sheehan taking on Anthony Begley in a best of three match race – plus a never before seen bonus with Sheehan to debut his front engine nitro dragster and take on Michael Brooks in a first for Perth Motorplex.

Click here for Nitro Night ticketing & information

The post Rude Stude loses the attitude appeared first on Perth Motorplex.


22/01/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 25553282

NitroSlam! at Perth Motorplex

The Nitro Slam at Perth Motorplex brought out all manner of nitro-breathing vehicles for an entertaining night of drag racing on Saturday.

The two big hitters on the property were Mark Sheehan and Anthony Begley, taking on each other with their 10,000 horsepower Nitro Funny Cars.

Sheehan came away with two wins from the three rounds of racing, with both racers struggling to keep their wild mounts in the centre of their lanes.

Begley’s 5.48sec. time in the first round remained the quickest of the night however as the Chemical Warfare team found their Australian feet once more in their first race back on home soil since competing in the USA in 2016.

Sheehan and Begley will be returning to match up for Nitro Night on February 17, but this time in their Top Fuel Dragsters.

The Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars provided some of the best match ups of the night as Matt Abel and Andrew Katavatis duked it out in Fun-da-mental and the Beach Bomb respectively. Abel drew first blood in a close 5.68sec to 5.72sec. contest in round one, but Katavatis was able to recover to win the last two rounds of the night as the team stayed consistently in the five second zone.

The Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam saw Daniel Gregorini return to form after a season that has seen him change much of the technology in his Scratch and Match Motorsport Camaro.

Gregorini used a 6.25sec. run in the final round to knock out series points leader Kelvin Lyle.

Nitro Bike honours went to Greg Durack, who extended his championship lead with a 7.37sec. win against Benny Stevens.

Stuart Moresby took his Ford Falcon to the win in Top Comp, defeating bracket newcomer and number one qualifier Nigel Johnson in a close final round.

Wayne Patterson struck for the second event in a row in Competition Bike, belting out a strong 8.32sec. run on his turbocharged Ducati against Phill Paton in the final and close the gap to Paton’s points lead.

Darren White was another to claim a second event in a row, handed the victory in Supercharged Outlaws thanks to a red light from Alan Mahnkoph.

Alby Bakranich began to edge his way back into contention for the Top Sportsman State championship with a win against Johnny Brecich.

James Duffy showed that some time away from racing had done him no harm, going to the winner’s circle in Modified against Neil Gannaway.

Ian Guppy took home the trophy in Super Sedan, as WA drag racing legend Christine May went red on the tree.

Veteran Modified Bike rider Paul Nieuwhof was back in the winner’s circle, taking the win by mere hundredths of a second against Stan Lisle, moving back into championship contention.

School teacher Steph Gullotto drove her Commodore magnificently in the final round of Super Street, earning the win over Adam Buckley.

The nitro action won’t stop yet, with Nitro Night on February 17 marking the sixth round of the WA Drag Racing Championships. Make sure you don’t miss it!

NitroSlam! at Perth Motorplex

NitroSlam! at Perth Motorplex

NitroSlam! at Perth Motorplex

So what is a Funny Car anyway?

So what is a Funny Car anyway?

20/01/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 25531824

Mark Sheehan Parachute

We know they are excitement packed machines (and will be racing this Saturday, January 20 at the NITRO SLAM), but these fan favourite race cars also have one of the longest histories in drag racing.

It was the 1960s when motors from Top Fuel dragsters began to be transplanted into sedans with altered chassis by brave (or even foolhardy) drag racers. While the term Funny Car has cemented itself in the sport, the unusual name was originally something of an insult, referring to the odd stance of the cars as drivers and motors were shifted back through the chassis for better weight distribution.

Greene Machine at Ravenswood

The famous flip top bodies began to emerge around 1965 as modifications became more and more extreme in the chase for performance.

While Top Fuel Dragsters made the shift to rear engine layouts in the early 1970s, the Funny Cars kept the engine in the front. The danger was part of their appeal to fans and severe fires were not uncommon – even today Funny Cars catch fire like nothing else in motorsport.

Western Australia has had a long affection for Funny Cars. The biggest crowd ever at Ravenswood Raceway (the home of drag racing in WA before Perth Motorplex) was for a Boxing Day match up in 1995 between the USA’s Gary Densham and Allan Dobson, who was racing for the first time in the Greene Machine.

The track also held the Funny Car Nationals in 1998.

A Nitro Funny Car made the fastest ever wheel driven pass at Ravenswood (Lloyd Jones at 283mph), while the final ‘official’ run in competition at the now defunct venue was by the Greene Machine.

When drag racing moved to Perth Motorplex, the Funny Cars followed. Chemical Warfare owner Rod Bailey was there from the start, with brother Ashley Bailey racing against Dobson in the second ever major event at the venue. This match race saw fans get more than they bargained for when Bailey threw rods from the motor at the startline and speared into the opposite wall.

We’ve since seen a bunch of fantastic Funny Car runs, with the track record currently set at 4.87sec by Mark Sheehan, while Damien Harris holds the speed record at 315mph.

Nitro Funny Cars have also evolved and indeed split into two distinct varieties. The Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars have been producing popular shows around the country. They use a smaller fuel pump, different transmissions and are generally cheaper to run. Performances are mostly in the high five second zone.

‘Big show’ Nitro Funny Cars up the fuel volume and as a result are roughly double the horsepower of an Outlaw Nitro Funny Car, capable of covering the quarter mile in the four second zone.

The track records are definitely under threat this weekend from Sheehan and Anthony Begley, while the first side by side four second run is also up for grabs.

They might have a funny name, but when it comes to drag racing excitement it is hard to beat the Funny Cars.

Make sure you are in your seat from 5.30pm to catch all the motor-tainment of the NITRO SLAM at Perth Motorplex

Chemical Warfare hits the wall

The post So what is a Funny Car anyway? appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
Top ten entries to watch at the Nitro Slam!

Top ten entries to watch at the Nitro Slam!

19/01/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 25522078


The Nitro Slam is upon us for another season at Perth Motorplex and this drag racing show has been filled to the brim with the best drag racers the state can offer – and plenty of nitro, of course!

Here is our list of the vehicles you should take a closer look at on the track and in the pits.

Test n Tune - Perth Motorplex

Jay Upton

If there is one vehicle that captures everybody’s attention at Perth Motorplex, it would have to be Jay Upton’s insane Top Fuel Motorcycle. Fuelled by nitro and supercharged to boot, this streamlined machine has been edging closer and closer to the ‘sweet spot’ with every appearance. The first five second run by a motorcycle in Australia is still up for grabs and Jay would love to be the one to do it. One thing is for sure, don’t miss this motorcycle!


Michael Brooks

Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars are common in Australia but less seen are Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters. Michael Brooks is changing that with his front engine car! One of the best things about this car is the sound, thanks to the high percentage nitro mixture that makes the dragster ‘cackle’. Listen and you can hear a real snap with every little explosion in that motor.


Paul Ryan

While we’re on the subject of front engine dragsters, we’ve also included Paul Ryan on this list.

His dragster looks similar externally to Michael’s, the difference with Paul’s is that some parts of it are legit 1960s nostalgia tech. The car was built by Woody Gilmore and raced through the 60s and 70s. It was restored after being rediscovered in the late nineties at a radiator shop in California.

Another fun fact, Paul’s father Mick ran one of the first two dragsters to arrive in Western Australia in 1967.


Ryan Learmonth

He was a part of the world’s slowest drag race when he foot raced against Maurice Allen in a now famous Motorplex contest, but Ryan Learmonth plans on being much, much faster in general.

The flamed Pro Stock Motorcycle revs high and cuts times in the low seven second zone.

Night of Fire

Danielle Neil

Funny Cars are not unusual to Perth Motorplex, but they are rare to the Modified class. Danielle Neil has changed that with this Camaro. Despite being naturally aspirated, Danielle bolted to a seven second personal best last time out. This car just goes to show that if your dream is to race a Funny Car, it doesn’t have to be a budget buster!

Night of Fire

Steve Aldridge

Steve Aldridge acquired the ex-Frank Mamone Cuda last season but his debut was soured by a crash as the beginning of this season.

Fortunately the car has been repaired and we expect that this should be the next five second Top Doorslammer in Western Australia. Crew chief Andrew Fowler made some great strides with Aldridge’s last car, a very heavy 55 Chev, so with this newer and lighter chassis we expect big things.

Night of Fire

Russell Batley

Super Sedan is a class that relies on consistency and turbocharging doesn’t always cooperate with that goal. Not that Russell Batley cares with his bright orange Toyota Supra!

Low slung and with the famous Toyota 2JZ engine in place, watch out for Batley building up the boost and hot footing down the race track.

Test n Tune - Perth Motorplex

Joe Bertolini

After some time away from the track, Joe Bertolini is back and ready to take on the tough Modified Bike field.

Bertolini’s Suzuki is one of the quickest rides in the class and when combined with his many years of experience on the track, he is one of the major threats to the winner’s trophy.

GoldenStates at Perth Motorplex

Nigel Johnson

A new Top Alcohol Dragster burst on to the Perth Motorplex scene when Nigel Johnson rolled out his brand new car at the start of this season.

Johnson’s early performances were strong, with the engine combination from the USA’s Darren Mayer doing a fine job. He has missed a couple of events since but now is back and ready for more times in the mid fives.

Powerpalooza at Perth Motorplex. Photo by Phil Luyer, High Octane Photos

Michael Buckley

If you hear a sound that resembles a machine gun at Perth Motorplex don’t panic, it’s probably Michael Buckley’s mad Mazda RX7!

Watch out for long, high revving burnouts and the long flames that pop from the exhaust when Buckey gets on to the two-step rev limiter before launch.

Well there’s our top ten, but if we had to add one more it would be ANYTHING WITH NITRO! And there are a bunch. Mark Sheehan in the Nitro Madman, Anthony Begley in Chemical Warfare, Andrew Katavatis in the Beach Bomb, Matt Abel in Nitro Thunder, Frank Taylor in No Laughing Matter – the Nitro Slam is going to be epic!

Qualifying begins from 12.00pm with feature racing from 5.30pm.

The post Top ten entries to watch at the Nitro Slam! appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
MacTrack Westernationals March 3 & 4 2018

MacTrack Westernationals March 3 & 4 2018

18/01/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 25514276

MacTrack Westernationals is the biggest event in WA Drag Racing and the 46th running of this quarter mile spectacle will take place over two days on March 3 and 4.

See National Championship Drag Racing take over the West as Competitors vie for this prestigious title.


Competitor Entry Gates:
Time: 9.00am
Main Spectator Gates:
Time: 1.00pm
Qualifying From: 
Time: 9.00am
On-Track Time: 
Time: 12.00pm to 10.30pm
The above Fan Entry Schedule is an early indicative schedule subject to minor alterations. The detailed Competitor Schedule is released the week of the event.


Adult 18+ :
Student* 13-17:
Child 5-12:
Child Under 5:
Concession* :
Family (2+3):
Adult 18+ :
Student* 13-17:
Child 5-12:
Child Under 5:
Family (2+3):
Adult 18+ :
Student* 13-17:
Child 5-12:
Child Under 5:
Family (2+3):

Tickets coming soon


General Admission:
Silver Admission:
Gold Admission:
General Admission:
Silver Admission:
Gold Admission:



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.




DR Schedule Thumbnail


DR Entry List Thumbnail


DR Pit Map Thumbnail
Entries / Schedule: Updated approx. week prior to event. Pit Map uploaded approx. 72 hours prior to event.

LIVE SCHEDULE (Active Event Day)

One of the best weekends of Drag Racing in WA!

With the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer, Pro Alcohol and Top Bike National Championship Series racers from all over the country will be converging on the Perth Motorplex venue for two full days of top class Drag Racing action.

This event will also see Round 9 of the ANDRA Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series that also attracts the best Sportsman racers from around the country to WA.

Pro Slammer

Pro Alcohol

Top Bike


Super Stock

Comp Bike

Supercharged Outlaws

Top Sportsman


Super Sedan

Modified Bike

Super Street

The post MacTrack Westernationals March 3 & 4 2018 appeared first on Perth Motorplex.
Mark Sheehan claims the underdog status (and spills the beans on a secret new car)

Mark Sheehan claims the underdog status (and spills the beans on a secret new car)

17/01/2018, Kwinana (WA), Motorsport - Drag Racing, Perth Motorplex, Article # 25504138

Mark Sheehan by Phil Luyer

The ‘Nitro Madman’ Mark Sheehan believes Queensland’s ‘Chemical Warfare’ have the upper hand ahead of the Nitro Slam this Saturday at Perth Motorplex.

Sheehan has been out of the seat of the 10,000 horsepower Ford Mustang-bodied Funny Car for over 12 months and said the pressure is on the team to perform.

“You don’t drive a car for a year and then you come out in front of the crowd at 6pm and drive it to over 500kph in just four seconds,” he said.

“We’re coming in a little rusty whereas Anthony (Begley, driver of Chemical Warfare) has been keeping busy racing Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars and also got the NHRA experience. They’ve learned a lot racing in the USA and that puts the pressure back on us to perform.”

While trying to keep a car straight for just 402 metres sounds easy, it is a lot more difficult when you are travelling near enough to half the speed of sound.

“A Funny Car is totally different to a Top Fuel Dragster, you have to think aggressive, aggressive, aggressive,” Sheehan said. “The steering needs manhandling. Dragsters have a more finessed style and you can’t afford to shake them around too much, but in a Funny Car you can’t be too aggressive.”

John Smith will again fly from the USA to tune Sheehan’s Funny Car, with the team making some small fuel system adjustments since last time but keeping the rest of the package the same.

“We don’t have a game plan as such, other than to just go out there and try to put down three solid runs,” he said. “I am looking forward to being back in the seat and seeing some nitro flames in front of me for a change.”

Sheehan will have plenty to keep him busy over the coming month, as it was recently announced he would be at Nitro Night on February 17 in his streamlined Top Fuel dragster – and maybe one more!

“I am building a front engine nostalgia nitro dragster too which we are trying to get ready to take on Michael Brooks as a back up show for Nitro Night,” he said.

“We are planning on testing on Valentine’s Day. That’s my gift to my wife, going racing. I don’t think I have told her yet actually…”

Well, so long as Sharon Sheehan (a dragster driver herself) lets Mark out again, he will be in action from 6pm this Saturday alongside a massive drag racing show including the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam, Top Comp, Supercharged Outlaws and more.

The post Mark Sheehan claims the underdog status (and spills the beans on a secret new car) appeared first on Perth Motorplex.