Special performances highlight sportsman show at Festival State Nationals

Day two of the Festival State Nationals offered no shortage of fantastic performances, including from the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship competitors with a number of breakthrough wins highlighting the results.

For Matt Forbes in Competition, it was a very exciting victory indeed, as it marks him becoming the first Australian national championship competitor to win national events in five different championship brackets – Super Gas, Modified, Top Sportsman, Super Stock, and now Competition Eliminator.

The win follows two previous runner-up and top qualifying combos at the last two NDRC championship events, with Forbes again top qualifying this weekend before going on to finally clinch the win with victory over Mitch Oxley. Forbes went to the final following a round one bye and a round two victory over champion racer Craig Geddes, Oxley meanwhile had defeated Ralf Perri in round one before a round two bye.

“To get the fifth win is huge. It is not a relief; it is more a celebration. We have been trying to do it for a while and we have worked really hard. We didn’t know if it would happen this weekend or in a month’s time or never – Competition Eliminator is a super tough class as they all are,” Forbes said.

“You have to have everything go your way on race day and it was just our weekend. We top qualified with three really good and strong passes in qualifying and then on race day we had three passes that were just perfect. I could not fault the car, I could not fault the track prep, the meeting was fantastic with a huge crowd, and the NDRC put together a great meeting and the Dragway at The Bend staff were great. This was a really, really enjoyable event,” he concluded, while thanking the NDRC, Dragway at The Bend, Aeroflow, and his sponsors Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks, Paul Rogers Performance Transmissions, VP Race Fuels, Vinyl Wraps and Graphics and Eureka Engineered Products.

Above: Bob Sherry. At top: Matt Forbes (Cackling Pipes)

In Supercharged Outlaws, it was a special victory for long-time racer Bob Sherry, who took the win over Larry Basile following a round one win from Lucas Woodburn, while Basile had enjoyed a round one bye. Top qualifier Milan Dokic was unable to compete today due to push rod issues.

“I have gotten five Christmas Trees over the years, but this one is a very special one and I dedicate it to Chris Stewart, my team and my family,” Sherry said.

“All of my Christmases have come at once,” he said when asked about the venue, “we now live at Murray Bridge, and this place is really something. We are so blessed to have something like this.”

In Junior Dragster, Lachlan Walker claimed his first ever Christmas Tree trophy with a win over Savanna Condello, after defeating Paige Harvey in round one before a round two bye, and a semi-final win over Savanna’s brother Zayne Condello. Savannah meanwhile had taken on Brock Furlanetto, top qualifier James Barlow and Cooper Plummer on her way to the final.

Lachlan Walker (Cackling Pipes)

“This was my first Christmas tree and I’m really happy with how it all turned out today,” Walker said.

“The car was running so consistently; it was just up to me to cut a good light throughout the day. I ended up racing Savanna Condello in the final and it was a great race with a margin of 0.008 at the finish line.

“I would like to thank my mum and dad, Glow Heating Cooling and Electrical, Dream Works Garage, RKB Transport, Century Yuasa Batteries, Marson Hire, The Barossa 50’s Diner, and also Mick Osborne for all of his help and support along the years.”

In Super Sedan, Sean Maher took the win over Kym Driesener following earlier wins over Deb O’Connell, champion Lance Larcombe and Chevy Taylor – who had defeated top qualifier Tony Miskelly in the second round, while Driesener had taken on Robert Kardum, Darren Russell, and Darryl Stephen on her way to the final.

In Modified, Cory Dyson had a successful weekend, taking the big trophy over Fiona Crisp in a heads-up final which followed earlier wins over Peter O’Donnell and top qualifier Simon Barlow, before a bye in the semi-final. Crisp had ensured her place in the final with victories over Daniel Bader and Daniel Carranza before also enjoying a semi-final bye run.

In Super Street, Brian Keane and Julian Semmler faced off for the NDRC Christmas Tree, with both racers red lighting and Keane awarded the win by being the second to turn on the cherry. Keane had earlier taken on Andrew Shirely, Dutchy Holland and Michael Bridges while Semmler had faced off against top qualifier Andrew Ricketts, Rick Pfitzner and Rod Kerr.

On two-wheels, Lucas Neagoe took a win over Nick Thompson in the final despite running a 17 second pass when Nick broke out. He had earlier taken on Chris Morgan and Cheryl Beddoes while Thompson had taken on Dean Jamieson and top qualifier Brian Alvisio. While in Competition Bike, Chris Allen and Sam Scerri did battle for the final victory following a three-round Chicago Shootout which saw top qualifier Allen record wins on a bye and over Paul Andrews and Rob Church, while Scerri defeated Jake Hamilton-Moderate and David Willis before a round three bye.  

In Super Stock, Steve Norman took a solo win in the final when defending champion Adrian Vella couldn’t fire up to greet the starter. Top qualifier Norman had earlier taken on Ray Oxley before a round two bye while Vella had taken victories from Simon Lazarevski and Kim Fardella.

In Top Sportsman, Glenn Henley collected another NDRC Christmas Tree with victory over Cory Read. Henley made his way to the final courtesy of wins over Chris Dalton, Greg Damiani and Dean Tassone – who defeated top qualifier Vlado Turic in round two, while Read had dispatched Jason Young and David Foster before a semi-final bye.

To learn about the Festival State Nationals Day Two results for Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer and Top Fuel Motorcycle, please visit ndrc.tv.

Chris Allen (Cackling Pipes)

The NDRC action continues thick and fast from here, with the Australia Day Nationals at Sydney Dragway on January 26 and 27 to be followed by the South Coast Rumble at South Coast Raceway on February 3 and 4, and further racing at Willowbank Raceway (February 17) and at Mildura’s Sunset Strip (February 16 and 17). For the full calendar of upcoming events, please visit ndrc.tv.

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