NDRC racers celebrate Happy New Year at South Coast Raceway

The Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship has rung in the new year in style at South Coast Raceway this weekend, with more than 140 competitors taking to the Portland venue for the South Coast 660 – the first NDRC event of 2024.

As the Western Conference points battle heats up, every race win counts for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship racers and in Portland this weekend the following racers got their 2024 racing exploits off to the best possible start by claiming the event win and the prestigious Christmas Tree trophies in their respective brackets:

  • Shane Baxter (Supercharged Outlaws)
  • Todd Wagner (Junior Dragster)
  • Michael Jennings (Super Street)
  • Steve Norman (Super Comp)
  • Edge Mallis (Competition Bike)
  • Jamie Dohnt (Modified Bike)
  • Colin Griffin (Super Gas)
  • Simon Barlow (Modified)
  • David Todd (Super Sedan)
  • Glenn Henley (Top Sportsman)

In Supercharged Outlaws, Melbourne’s Shane Baxter took the event win from top qualifier Doina Day in his Neil and Parks Dragster.

He had earlier defeated Brendan Carr (round one) before a round two bye, while Day had a round one bye ahead of victory over Bob Sherry in round two before breaking out in the final.

Shane Baxter (Automotive Event Images)

“I am over the moon. It was a good final, a great race with Doina Day, and the car had been faultless all day, so I was pretty confident we had a good chance in the final,” Baxter said while thanking Brian Oakley and also his crew.

“We ran it out the back door and right on our dial in, so I am very happy. It was great to win the Chris Stewart Memorial trophy again also, I am very happy about that.”

In Junior Dragster, 12-year-old Todd Wagner of Mildura South (VIC) was left speechless after claiming his first ever Christmas Tree trophy.

Wagner took the win over three-time tree winner, Sarah Osborne, after emerging victorious from match-ups against Lachlan Walker, Luca Lamattina and Jason Maggs, while Osborne had taken on Brock Furlanetto, James Barlow, and Cooper Plummer. Taylor Horton had earlier been celebrated as the top qualifier.

Todd Wagner (Automotive Event Images)

“I do not know what to say, I am very excited. We really wanted to get a Christmas Tree in this car before I step up in May to a new car,” Wagner said, while thanking his mum, dad, his sponsors, and Caroline for their support.

In Competition Bike, Edge Mallis had a very successful weekend at the race track with his Kawasaki H2R, with the Moonee Ponds (VIC) racer top qualifying before going on to take the event win over Joe Khoury – a defending Australian champion and the last round winner.

Competition Bike employs a three-round Chicago Shootout format, and Mallis and Khoury faced off in the final after Mallis had won races against Gavin Dohnt , Rob Church and Jake Hamilton-Moderate while Khoury had also taken three wins over Church, Hamilton-Moderate and Nathan Stone to earn his place in the final.

Edge Mallis (Automotive Event Images)

“It was a great weekend; we were actually de-tuning it and we still ended up breaking records. It worked out really well,” Mallis said.

“In the final for some reason it lost a bit of air and would not shift gears, but Joe red lit so we still got the win – sometimes you have got to be lucky and when it happens, you have to take it! Thank you to the crew – Daniel Fox, Mike Darcy, and Mick Donaghue – and to Blaze Hansen who was tuning the bike from Queensland. It was faultless all weekend.”

In Super Street, Michael Jennings backed up his December South Coast Nationals victory in his 1970 Nova, with Allan Brooks this time being the runner-up.

Jennings, of Valley View in SA, ensured his place in the final by taking wins from Bill Farrugia, Andrew Waight and Andrew Smith before a semi-final bye, while Brooks had taken on Henry Spicak, Nathan Micallef, Rodney Kerr, and Benny Phillips. Ji Ackland claimed the top qualifying honours for the bracket.

In Super Comp, Whyalla’s Steve Norman took the win over top qualifier Matthew Forbes with his championship-winning BMW M3. Forbes red lit in the final after having earlier successfully taken on Adrian Vella before a round two bye, while Norman had dispatched Kim Fardella and Graeme Simms.

In Modified Bike, Jamie Dohnt took the win from last round winner Lucas Neagoe in a great final which saw the pair face off for the Christmas Tree following some great earlier match-ups.

Dohnt, of Mount Gambier East (SA), took opening wins against Cheryl Beddoes and Dean Jamieson in his Yamaha R1 before a round three bye and Neagoe defeated Derryn McGregor before a round two bye and a win over top qualifier, Corey Gathercole.

In Super Gas, Craigieburn (VIC) racer Colin Griffin took the win over a breaking-out Warren Smith in his Toyota Celica.

Griffin was the top qualifier and had defeated Jason Wilson in round one before a round two bye and a semi-final win from Graeme Spencer, while Smith had taken on Jordan Spencer and Waren Bull before a semi-final bye.

In the Modified ranks Simon Barlow took his championship winning dragster all the way to the end with victory over last-round winner, Kenny Stewart.

The Holden Hill (SA) racer got his day off to a good start by top qualifying and earning a round one bye, before he successfully took on Cory Dyson and Adriana Cartledge on his way to the final, while Stewart ensured his place in the final by taking wins from Neil Dyson and Derek Wills before a semi-final bye.

In Super Sedan, David Todd and Robert Kardum faced off in the final, with Todd and his Gemini ultimately taking the Christmas Tree home.

The Beachport (SA) racer had earlier enjoyed wins over Brodie Tedesco, Troy Newton, Alex Gkroidis, and top qualifier Tony Miskelly, while Kardum had emerged victorious from battles against Jamie Mclaren, Lisa Sherry, and Brent Murray before a semi-final bye.

In Top Sportsman, Glenn Henley backed up his South Coast Nationals win with another Christmas Tree trophy, this time over red-lighting runner up, Ricky Smith.

Henley, of Mount Gambier (SA), booked his ticket to the final with wins over Vlado Turic and Greg Damiani ahead of a semi-final bye in his Datsun 1200 Ute, while Smith had dispatched top qualifier David Foster before a round two bye and a semi-final win over, Leon Davies, a current Australian champion.  

The NDRC Western Conference racers will not have to wait long for another shot at valuable championship points in the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship, with the next Western Conference round to be held this coming weekend (January 13-14) as part of Dragway at The Bend’s Festival State Nationals.

Eastern Conference racers are meanwhile busily preparing for their next outing, which will come at Sydney Dragway’s Australia Day Nationals on January 26-27.

For full calendar and series info, go to ndrc.tv

Glenn Henley (Automotive Event Images)

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