It has been over ten years since ANDRA Championship Drag Racing has been contested in Victoria, last weekend saw the drought broken when the seaside town of Portland hosted round two of the Aeroflow Sportman Drag Racing Championship (ASDRC) at the popular Fuch's South Coast Raceway eighth mile venue.
The event will be the first championship round specifically designed for the eighth mile distance, with ANDRA needing to recalculate full track indexes to factor in Group 2 and 4 index racing.
With a low car count in Super Stock it was decided that Competition and Super Stock would be combined which meant 13 cars would line up for battle.
After three rounds of qualifying it would be Craig Geddes in his E/AA altered taking top qualifying honors with a 4.70 (-0.39), second was Shane Baxter with a 4.35 (-0.34) in his CC/AA altered followed by Darren Parker in the first of the Super Stock rides and his B/APA GXP with a 4.73 (-.31), and Jason Maggs in the number four spot with his BB/AP Corvette going 0.25 under his index with a 4.50.
Rounding out the rest of the field was Louis Svingos B/MS 6.12 (-0.22), Wayne Cartledge B/DA 6.46 (-0.18), Les Heintz B/MP 5.51 (-0.17), Mario Barbon C/G 5.30 (-0.10), Lyle Gilmore CC/AA 4.64 (-0.05), Geoff Kelly CC/AA 4.67 (-0.02), Mike Nola AA/AP 4.48 (0.14), Peter Pisalidis AA/APIA 5.04 (0.27) and Cameron Ambesi BB/DA 7.82 (3.42).
In round one Geddes cruised through to the second round with a bye, Nola's nitrous snorting Pontiac took down the old school Valiant Svingos with a 4.47. Parker looking to make up from his Nationals drama took the win light over Gilmore's blown altered. Maggs' Corvette was too good for the blown altered of Kelly with a 4.50, Shane Baxter had some premature acceleration red lighted to Barbon and Cartledge had no troubles defeating Ambesi.
Kicking off round two Nola got a lucky win with Barbon sleeping on the line with a 0.426 light, Geddes ended Magg's event running a 4.70 and Parker took out Cartledge in a tight race.
Semi finals time and Parker easily accounted for Nola who has been struggling to find the right set up all weekend, the other semi saw Geddes just accepted the green.
The final between Parker and Geddes would go right down to the wire with both cars leaving on almost identical lights, at stripe it was the small cube altered of Geddes holding on for the win with a 4.750 (0.15) to Parkers 0.142 under 4.758, the margin of victory a mere 0.012 of a second. Fittingly both finalists also walked away setting both ends of their respective National Records.
Six riders made the trip to Portland and after qualifying it was Australian Nationals winner Corey Scholes in the number one spot on his DD/CB turbo Kawasaki running a 0.26 under 5.37, Paul Harrison all the way from Perth was second with a 5.89 (-0.08) on the Harley. Third went to Rob Cassar with a 0.07 under 4.95 on another Kawaka followed by Jason Salmon with a 0.03 under 5.605 on the lone Suzuki. Lionel Linn next 0.89 over his index and a problem plagued Howard Laing-Smith CC/CB Kwakasaki rounded out the field.
Scholes accepted the green and pushed back saving the bike in round one, Harrison had no issues defeating an off pace Lionel Linn while in the final pair it was Salmon taking his Suzuki into semis with Laing-Smith again encountering problems. Scholes' bike lost noise in the semi handing Salmon a spot in the final against Harrison who had the bye run.
The final was decided at the start line with Harrison leaving way early handing the win to Salmon who ran a 5.85 at 121 MPH on his 5.64 index.
The Supercharged Outlaws field consisted of a solid 14 cars and after qualifying was dusted Mike Evans from across the straight in his Camaro topped the sheets with a 4.302 @ 166, narrowly out qualifying Jack Danahar's dragster with a 4.309 @ 160. A pair of funny cars were next with Dave McGaw sporting a ex Rick Gauci Mustang body clocking a 4.32 followed by Luke Marsden 4.39. The dragster of Doina Day would come in at fifth with a 4.49 just ahead of John Brunner's stunning Monaro at a 4.50. For the rest of the field it was Chris Van’tHof 4.53, Paul Stephen 4.56, Grant Fraser 4.79, Chris Hargrave 4.89, Darryl Walford 4.99, Tim McCarthy 5.04, Michael Vidau 5.10 and Mick Mahoney debuting his blown Capri with a 6.03.
Marsden will be a championship contender again this season and a 4.65 (4.36DI) took down Hargrave's altered, The Vidau ute's tidy 4.51 (4.50DI) was not need over a red lighting Van’tHof and his spectacular Corvette. Day moved on with a 4.49 (4.45DI) over the Skip's Racing funny car pedaled by Darryl Walford, McGaw saw red also over Fraser, McCarthy's 5.28 (4.95) was good enough to advance over and in the match up of the round Stephen's 4.52 (4.45DI) kept the altered in front of Danaher's 4.32 (4.28DI) courtesy of a holeshot.
Stephen tested his 4.50 dial in with a 4.54 on a single in round two, Marsden 4.32 (4.38) dropped a huge holeshot win on Vidau 5.15 (5.12DI) to get out of jail on that pass, Fraser 4.83 (4.78DI) had a easy win over the Pontiac of McCarthey while Day accepted the green.
In the semi Day was gifted a passage to the final when the dragster of Fraser went cherry picking and Marsden also had no competition following Stephen losing all drive in the altered.
The final a classic dragster vs funny car affair, Marsden taking a comfortable win in his Monte Carlo funny car after Day had a snooze with a .222 light leaving little hope of holding off the consistent funny car.
Modified had twelve contenders in the pits after qualifying was done Aaron Russell was the quickest with a 4.68 in his dragster, in the number two spot was Leanne Braggs in her beautifully presented altered at a 4.72 followed by Simon Barlow’s dragster with a 4.89, former champion Kenny Stewart 4.93 and Jasmine Day rounding out the top five with a 5.10 second best.
In round one Braggs easily accounted for Jak Kane, NSW heavy hitter Petrie took out Russell, Johnson red lighted handing Kenny Stewart the win and Nationals winner Craig Baker could not back up that form yanking a red light advancing Barlow too a spot in the next round. Day accounted for Graham Hullah and Turner took out Pearson.
In a female dominated round Braggs went through after Day went red, Stewart won a close one over Petrie in a match up of experience, Turner a former Junior racer in her first season of Modified threw away a perfect run by going red by the barest of margins (-0.001) handing the win to Barlow.
The semi finals saw Braggs take the win following another red light in elimination this time Barlow was the offender and Kenny Stewart receiving a bye in the other semi tested his dial in with a 5.08 (4.99DI).
The final was a dragster vs altered, male vs female which ever way you want to cut it affair and in a close race the dragster of Stewart turned on the win light with a 5.07 (5.04DI) Bragg's 4.77 (4.72DI).
Fifteen riders rode into qualifying for Modified Bike, Mathew Allan stood on top after the three rounds of qualifying with a 5.47 on top if his Suzuki, followed by Tony Frost with a 5.56, Chris Hosken 5.56, Shane Walker 6.07, Gavin Dohnt 6.18, James Dohnt 6.28, Ben James 6.30, Jase McFarlane 6.33, Geoffrey Stewart 6.40, Niki Zakrewski 6.64, Brendan Sanders 6.78, Johnny Ireland 6.95, Darren Folkes 7.18, Malcolm Luff 7.40 and regular Top Bike rider Phil Parker rounding out the field with a 8.82 on his Road King Harley.
First round had Nationals winner Gavin Dohnt defeat Ireland, James over Luff, Frost holding off Stewart, Parker over a red lighting McFarlane, Hosken over a travelling Zakrzewski, Tasmanian Walker over Sanders and Jamie Dohnt over Folkes who also made the trek south from Sydney, while Allan received they bye run.
Parker advanced once again due to his opponent red lighting in round two, James took out Chris Hosken, Tony Frost won over Jamie Dohnt and Allan put the Nationals champ in Gavin Dohnt on the trailer.
The semi finals saw Allan 5.54 (5.48DI) ride past James 6.20 (6.27) and Parker turning on the red light this time handing the win to Frost.
The final pitted the top two qualifiers head to head with the Frost Kawasaki knocking off top qualifier Allan in a race peg to race peg dual. Frost's .008 light proving the deciding factor with his 5.67 (5.55DI) lap just eclipsing Mathews 5.59 (5.48DI).
Super Sedan featured was the biggest entry list of the day with 44 cars qualifying for the event, and after three rounds it was Graham Hargrave's 584ci Camaro leading the time sheets his Camaro stopping the clocks with a stout 5.02 @ 139MPH.
Picking up the action from the quarter finals it was Roc Puccini taking the win over Julian Carafa, Brett Mathew over Stuart McBain and Scott Rouhan advancing courtesy of a red light from Trent Dohnt.
In the semis Puccini had the bye with his Pontiac GTO and Mathew in the HT Holden fired off a holeshot win over Rouhan in his LJ Torana.
In a all South Aussie final the final the mint HT of Brett Mathews was too good from start to finish, a .075 light backed up by a 6.85 (6.82DI) proved far too strong Puccini’s .166 reacting 5.82 (5.55) DI.
24 cars in the Super Street field did battle by the seashore.
By the time the quarter finals we reached we had lost heavy hitters Carl Taylor fresh off his Nationals victory and Kylie Tanner who came within a bee's whatsit of winning last seasons championship. Still left was David Bunnich in his Torana who earned the bye, Mark Phillips also in a Torana kept his event alive when veteran Graeme Cooper pulled the dreaded red in ol' Bricklayer and Scott Cleary holeshot a victory over Luke Neumann.
Bunnick won the first semi from a breaking out Mark Phillips and Scott Cleary in his VL Commodore advanced to the final on a bye.
The final saw Cleary take the win with a combination of a great light and a 7.14 on his 7.11 dial in to Bunnik’s 7.06 on a 7.00. It was a deserving win for Scott who as the secretary of South Coast Raceway was the busiest guy in drag racing not only on the day but in the weeks leading up to the event. I am not sure whether he got more satisfaction from the win or from the event success itself. Well done Scott!
Super Gas was under subscribed until Kym Oberauer made the switch from Super Sedan to make up the numbers. The 6.30 fixed index tested the racers with plenty of runs going under during qualifying but after 3 rounds it was Matt Forbes in his roadster who adapted best with a 6.309 followed by Darryl Stephen, Kym Oberauer, Mathew Hoggan, Anthony Panetta with Colin Griffin rounding out the field.
Oberauer dropped a perfect 6.300 to take out Griffin's Celica, Stephen out drove fellow NSW racer Panetta 6.32 to 6.35 and Matt Forbes tested his tune up on a solo when Hoggan could not make the start line.
Oberauer's Camira moved into the final sneaking past Stephen in the Probe 6.31 to 6.34 against Forbes who was yet to face an opponent following a designated bye run.
The kind gesture to move into Super Gas paid dividends in the final when Oberauer was rewarded with a event win after Forbes was a hair too quick cutting a -002 light, Oberhauer who went too fast driving it out the back door with a 6.29 having a moment with the car getting a little loose in the breaking area.
Erin Koukides was listed as top qualifier with a 7.94 in a 14 car Junior Dragster field, though we a pretty sure ANDRA regulations state 8.000 limit in qualifying which would of left Hayley Mackay as best qualifier with a 8.007.
In round 1 Jake Cartledge took the win over a red lighting Hayley Mackay, Luke Cartledge went past Brooke Farrelly, Brock Hodgson gifted by a red lighting Brodie Tedesco, Will Morgan who also went red against Naomi Lightower, Erin Koukides went through over Kelly Donnelly, both David Roberts and Rory Morgan left early with Morgan the worst offender and the final pair saw Toby Austin win against Michelle Donnelly.
Nationals winner Roberts accounted for Hodgson kicking off round two, Koukides trailered Luke Cartledge, Austin went around recently crowed NSW State Champion Naomi Lightowler and Jake Cartledge had the bye.
Koukides defeated Roberts in the all NSW match up in the first semi and Jake Cartledge went through win courtesy of a red light from Austin.
The final was a one sided affair with Koukides streaking away to the win after Jake Cartledge had all kinds of problems with the car not making it to the stripe.
Photos by Hayley Turns (Cacklingpipes.com) & Darren Bingham