500kph+ test foreshadows mega nitro show this weekend

The next two days at Sydney Dragway will bring NDRC history to the fore with double the nitro to hit the track across Saturday and Sunday for the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs.

A packed house is set to be treated to an epic show of Top Fuel, XPRO Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock and FuelTech Pro Mod, two rounds of the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship, plus Red Bull Air Race Champion Matt Hall performing in the skies overhead.

With intense interest building, NDRC organisers are encouraging race fans to pre-purchase their tickets to secure their trackside seat at http://www.bit.ly/NITROCHAMPS

The on-track action kicked off today in style amidst fantastic weather conditions, with a test pass for all six Top Fuel Dragsters plus qualifying and racing for the first of two Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship rounds to be held this weekend.

Highlighting the Top Fuel action was championship leader Wayne Newby who stormed to an impressive 3.795 at 505kph on a solo, while Shane Olive (3.861/455kph) and Phil Read (4.027/411kph) also had the fans on their feet with a side-by-side full-candles run to really whet the appetite of race fans and essentially guarantee that this weekend’s Top Fuel show is not to be missed.

Peter Xiberras, Phil Lamattina and Damien Harris all also took to the track, putting in some short runs to ensure they are as best-prepared as possible to turn up the dial on Saturday and Sunday.

Wayne Newby (Cackling Pipes)

“That was a good pass, an excellent pass actually! We clicked it a little early, so it was going to be better – everyone is happy and ready to move into the first round,” Newby grinned.

“It is going to be tough racing out there, because it doesn’t matter who you race, it is tough competition. Hopefully we can extend our point lead by the weekend!

“Everybody should be out here this weekend, it is going to be huge with Top Fuel cars and the Nitro Funny Cars as well, which hasn’t been seen for a long-time in Australia – everyone should get behind it!” he added, while thanking Rapisarda Autosport International, Santo Rapisarda, Atlantic Oils, Uplift Cranes, Santo’s Cranes and Wild Ink for their support.

In the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship, after an exceptionally busy day of racing, winners were found for all but one of the brackets, with all the racers now preparing to do it all again across Saturday and Sunday for a second time.

Taking the wins were Zayne Condello (Junior Dragster), Roy Romeo (Super Gas), Davyyd Estcourt (Supercharged Outlaws), Wally Hosta (Performance Bike), Tex Griffiths (Super Street), Lucas Neagoe (Modified Bike), Steven Athans (SuperComp), Brett Farnell (Modified), Joe Zammit (Super Sedan) and Steve Fowler (Top Sportsman). The Extreme Bike final will be held Saturday morning.

Friday’s Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship winners and runners-up (Cackling Pipes)

In Super Street, Tex Griffiths raced through to the win in his Plymouth Satellite, with the North Curl Curl NSW competitor claiming the big trophy over Robert McBurnie and his Holden VZ Clubsport. On his way to the final, Griffiths took a win from Richard Matosevic in round one before a round two bye and a semi win over Craig Warren, while Kingston QLD racer McBurnie had faced off against Ray Ross (round one) and David Matosevic (round two) before a semi-final bye. Top Qualifier Dino Stefanapoulos did not participate in racing this evening.

“I am just really, exceedingly happy,” Griffiths enthused.

“I have had a lot of help from a lot of people and I couldn’t be happier with the way today went, the track, the track crew, all the races, it was all great.

“The NDRC as a concept, I tell all the guys I race with, I love it – this is how racing should be here in Australia. It has just been great. It all ran well and I took the win, so that is very exciting as it means I have capped out in the Eastern Conference so my life is a little bit easier!

“I am still looking forward now to two more days – hopefully I can be a legend as Sean Maher called it in his pre-event story and take two wins! I am looking to prove him right! Hopefully that doesn’t mean I go out first round now,” he laughed.

Tex Griffiths (Cackling Pipes)

In Modified, Brett Farnell and his Front Engined Dragster took the win over Monique Ambruosi. Farnell, of Redbank Plains in Queensland, had earlier emerged victorious from battles against Nicholas Galea (round one), Rocco Romano (round two) and top qualifier Daniel Carranza (semis), while Ambruosi had enjoyed a bye in round one ahead of wins over Cory Dyson (round two) and Leigh Hartill-Law (semis).

“I don’t even know what to think or how to put this into words,” Farnell said.

“I am little dumbfounded! The car didn’t perform well or the track didn’t like it today so I was struggling a bit every pass for the last three passes, so I have been kissed a little bit and somehow got the win!

“It has been good racing, but hard, and my lights have been good. It is pretty exciting to get this far!

“At the start of the weekend I said it would be good to go well in the points today and then over the weekend, which would see us go to the Winters with a chance in the championship.

“We will see now how we go over the weekend. It is a brand new engine with just the six runs on it today, so I am pretty happy so far – it is awesome!”

Brett Farnell (Cackling Pipes)

In Junior Dragster, Zayne Condello of Barrack Heights took the win from a red-lighting Alex Rottenbury of Picton after having earlier taken victories from Edith Maggs (round one) and Dylan Knezevic (round two) before enjoying a semi-final bye. Rottenbury meanwhile had taken on Jett Peirano (round one) before a round two bye and a semi-final win over top qualifier, Jacob Schulz.

In Super Gas, it was a father and son match-up with Roy Romeo taking the win over his son Luke Romeo in his Ford Roadster T27, who ran under his dial-in in his VP Commodore. The Werombi NSW pair headed to the final after earlier victories for Roy over Anthony Panetta (round one) and top qualifier Vince Panetta (round two) and for Luke over Nicholas Polito (round one) and Colin Griffin (round two).

In Supercharged Outlaws, Davydd Estcourt took the win in his Funny Car Pontiac over David McGaw and his Firebird. Estcourt, from Narre Warren in Victoria, had booked his ticket to the final – which delivered a double break-out – with wins over Alf Sciacca Jnr (round one), top qualifier Peter Byrne (round two) and Bruno Matijasevic (semi), while McGaw had earlier taken on Josh Fletcher (round one) and Charlie Ladanyi (round two) before a bye in the semis.

In Performance Bike, Wally Hosta and his Suzuki GSXR 1000 took the win over bracket debutant Bobbie Schluter and her Kawasaki ZX64. Hosta, of Horsley Park in NSW, had earlier matched up with Chris Hocking (round one) and Joe Khoury (round two), while Schluter ensured her place in the final with wins over Phillip Webster (round one) and top qualifier Edge Mallis (round two).  

In Modified Bike, Lucas Neagoe and his Suzuki GSXR 1000 took the win over a red-lighting Sean Ricketts, with the Stanhope NSW racer having earlier emerged victorious from wins over Cheryl Beddoes (round one) and Adrian Watson (round two) before a semi-final bye. Ricketts meanwhile had dispatched Dale Williams (round one) before a round two bye and a semi-final win over Jamie White with his Kawasaki ZX12R. Top qualifier Dean Jamieson did not take part in racing this evening.

In SuperComp, it was Steven Athans who took the win in his Ford Mustang, defeating Pat Firriolo and his Chev Camaro in the final battle. Athans, of Pakenham in Victoria, found himself in the final after earlier wins over Darrin Gay (round one) and top qualifier Jai Schluter (semi), while Austral (NSW) racer Firriolo had taken on Rahia Tarr (round one) and Mitch Oxley (semi).

In Super Sedan, Joe Zammit and his Holden VL Commodore took the win over Nathan Cowie and his Mighty Boy racer with a close final. Claremont Meadows (NSW) racer Zammit had taken earlier successes from top qualifier Zack Knezevic (round one), Sean Maher (round two) and Dale Hartill-Law (semis), while Cowie – of Seven Hills in NSW – had taken wins from Michael Schaper (round one) before a round two bye and a semi win over Leo Georgis.

In Top Sportsman, top qualifier Steve Fowler and his Pontiac GXP took the win over his dad Greg Fowler, who broke-out aboard his Chevrolet Beretta. The all Fowler final followed a round one and round two bye for Steve Fowler ahead of a semi-final win from Anthony Whyatt, while Greg had put Paul Clarke (round one), Vlado Turic (round two) and Pete Hamilton (semi) on the trailer.

The Extreme Bike final will be held on Saturday morning. Non-championship category Junior Drag Bike was also on-track today, with Adam Jordan taking out the top qualifying honours before Anastazia Luckie took out the first victory of the weekend over runner-up Lincon Delios, with more racing for this bracket to also hit the track tomorrow.

The Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs action tomorrow kicks off from 9.00am on Saturday May 18 – for the full event schedule, please click here.

Tickets are on sale now at http://www.bit.ly/NITROCHAMPS

Adam Murrihy (Cackling Pipes)

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