Round six of Sydney Dragway's Atura Championship Series was in stark contrast to the previous round being incident free and a smooth day for bracket racing, albeit a little on the warm side for this time of year.
With only two rounds remaining following this event, any falter could seriously dent aspirations of those high up in the points for the Sydney Dragway Track Championship.
There were no eliminations for Top Comp, Super Comp, Pro Extreme and Super Gas again, with racer electing just to test instead. We saw though Terry Sainty shakedown the ex-Paul Madill driven Top Alcohol Funny Car that the Sainty team have now acquired for Pro Alcohol in the 400 Thunder Championship.
Pro Slammers of Mark Belleri and Geoff Gradden also took to the track for some testing and performed solidly with a 5.87 and 5.94 bests respectively.
In a small Supercharged Outlaws field an interesting umpires decision gave Shaun Liefting the win over Norm McCormack. The Speedflow altered of Liefting broke out by just 1 thou while McCormack's FED spun the tyres and broke, stopping before half track. Precedence on the breakout would normally give the win back to McCormack who saw a clean green.
Neil Constantinou gave the rest of the Top Sportsman field a break by not going to his fourth straight final, the shock round one exit at the wheel of Thomas Leake gives a glimmer of hope for the rest of field to chase down the points leader. Leake went all the way to the final to face Ronnie Palumbo, a .005 light from Palumbo put the pressure on Leake's .025 and the ute could not make up the difference by the stripe.
Martin Borg is only one of two Modified racers who have contested every round of the championship, as a result Borg and the other being Peter Brown find themselves clear front runners for the title. Borg did his championship hopes no harm by reaching the final at this event in his dragster against Chris Mank's six-second altered. A perfect light for Manks in final would usually spell doom for any opposition in Modified, and that fact didn't change here, Manks with a 6.98 on a 6.94 took the win.
After the previous event was upset-ville in Super Sedan, eliminations reverted back to situation normal with the championship heavy-hitters featuring in the later racing rounds. The final hosted Jim Denaro and Michael Little, a .008 light from Denaro dropped Little's chasing .020, at the stripe Denaro lit the win bulb with a 9.863 on a 9.85 to a 9.429 from a 9.39 from Little. David Gruber still leads the championship by 11pts over Denaro with Little just 10 more points behind along with a gaggle of other racers.
It was the one and two in the Modified Bike points with Lorenzo Capogna and Robert Simmonds going head to head in the final. The race was anti-climatic with the "Simmonator's" Hayabusa losing a spring that killed off the engine mid track and Capogna would extend his lead to 20 points. During eliminations Leonard Azzopardi snatched the AA/MB track record with a 7.464 at 197.28mph all on a radial tyre.
David Matosevic made his championship move in Super Street by winning round six over championship leader Michael Walsh. After a pair of slack reactions in the final, Matosevic's Cortina went 11.217 on a 11.20 to Walsh's 11.273 on a 11.25 in his Commodore. Matosevic moves into third 20 points behind Walsh with Luke Griffiths splitting them as the only likely challengers left now for the championship.
In Junior Dragster Antonio grabbed the winners trophy from young rookie Denis Plessas. Despite a holeshot to Plessas, the dragster of Panetta rounded him up with a 8.108 on a 8.05 against a 8.590 on a 8.50. Neither racer will feature in the championship, as Joel Burns' semi-final outcome sees him extend his lead over Brad Bishop.
Tim Ritzrow made his first final in Street Fighter and made it count by defeating reigning champion Danny Stadelmaier in the final. Stadelmaier nailed his 13.35 dial in with a 13.359 but was nailed to the tree by well over a tenth keeping Ritzrow's Commodore in front at the line.
In Street Bike, Bobbie Jo Simmonds tried to make up for hubby's Modified Bike loss, however a .205 reaction to a .067 from opponent Stefan Stivala was too big a handicap forcing the Hayabusa racer to break out. The result though still sees Simmonds leading the championship by 30 points and we could have husband and wife track champions yet.
Only three HAMBsters in the pits for this event, and after competing over three round robin rounds Kim Saunders and Peter Grant contested the final. Saunders drilled Grant to the tree, but the more experienced Grant drove around her in the top end for the event win.
Finals and event highlight videos by Madman Productions.
Event gallery by Cackling Pipes Photography. Full gallery here - https://www.facebook.com/209943969058180/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1765196903532871