Dragphotos.com.au: Blog http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog en-us (C) 2018 Dragphotos.com.au - All Images remain property of Dragphotos.com.au sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) Wed, 13 Jun 2018 02:34:00 GMT Wed, 13 Jun 2018 02:34:00 GMT http://www.dragphotos.com.au/img/s/v-5/u128866207-o1063731982-50.jpg Dragphotos.com.au: Blog http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog 120 90 WINTERNATS WIN FOR TEAM BRAY RACING http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/6/winternats-win-for-team-bray-racing WINTERNATS WIN FOR TEAM BRAY RACING​

 

Ben Bray has taken the Factory Xtreme victory at the Gulf Western Oil 51st Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway this weekend while his father and drag racing legend Victor Bray made a very popular comeback.

TBR principal Victor made his return to Pro Slammer racing this weekend after a 13 month absence following a courageous battle against an aggressive form of skin cancer.

The six-time national champion joined with his son Ben and TBR team-mate Frankie Taylor to mount a three-strong attack on the Pro Slammer competition at this weekend’s event, and while a record bump-stop (5.804s) saw only Ben (5.777s) make it through to race day, the smiles could not be wiped off the faces of all at the Gulf Western Oil-supported team following Victor’s triumphant return.

The capacity crowd were just as happy, welcoming Victor’s first foray on-track – which included a three-quarter track burnout in the second qualifier – with a foot-stamping standing ovation.  

“That moment was really good,” Victor said. “I was a bit nervous on Friday, I felt much better on Saturday. I love the fans and I really enjoyed being back signing autographs and chatting to everyone – I really didn’t want anyone to miss out!

“Then while working on the car to get it ready, I was feeling a bit crook. I felt really comfortable though when it was time to get in the car – it didn’t bother me that we didn’t make it out for the earlier session, when I finally got in the car, strapped my belts and settled in, I felt right at home again. It is just what we do as racers.

“A big thanks has to go to Ben for working lots of late nights to get my car ready, and to David ‘Sully’ Sullivan, our crew chief of 20 years. A big thanks to the fans too for all of their unwavering support, they sure made a lot of noise for me and it was really greatly appreciated.”

From the sidelines on Sunday, Victor and the rest of Gulf Western Oil TBR watched on as Ben took on eventual semi-final winner Paul Mouhayet in the first round of Pro Slammer, before taking on Rod Harvey for the win in the first round of the Factory Xtreme eliminations. He would then impress in the semi-final with a new personal best of 6.639s at 209.39mph to see his Gulf Western Oil Toyota Solara now the quickest 1FZ powered car in the country. From there, the Factory Xtreme final called with the three-time national champion taking on and defeating Gina Bullians for the event victory in cold conditions, despite a very slippery top end.

“What a weekend – to take the victory in Factory Xtreme is brilliant but how good is it to see dad back where he belongs, in the seat of his Gulf Western Oil Pro Slammer,” grinned Ben.

“A Gulf Western Oil Winternationals win, a new PB and Australian record, and dad back in black: this is a weekend all at TBR will remember for a long time!

“We also saw Kelly Bettes win her Top Fuel semi-final and take out the Top Fuel championship, making her the first female ever to win a professional drag racing category in Australia and only the third female in the world to win a Top Fuel championship. Our congratulations go to Kelly on her massive achievement this weekend.

“And I have to mention the crowd – what a crowd we had this weekend! The place was bursting, we were overwhelmed all weekend with well-wishers, and there just aren’t words to properly describe the noise and the atmosphere after dad’s burnout on that first pass. They sure were happy to see him back and made no secret of it!”

Team Bray Racing will next be on-track for the upcoming Nitro Up North event, to be held at Hidden Valley Drag Strip across July 13-14, the first round of the 2018/2019 400 Thunder Championship.

To keep up to date with all of the latest news from TBR, visit www.teambrayracing.com, follow the team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teambrayracing, or interact with them on instagram (#teambrayracing).

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) ben bray factory willowbank winternationals xtreme http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/6/winternats-win-for-team-bray-racing Wed, 13 Jun 2018 02:33:38 GMT
RAPISARDA AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL PART OF HISTORY http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/6/rapisarda-autosport-international-part-of-history RAPISARDA AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL PART OF HISTORY 

 

Rapisarda Autosport International were part of history when Queenslander Kelly Bettes became the first women in Australia to win a Top Fuel championship. The 33 year old Queenslander won the title by a minuscule 2 points over RAI star Damien Harris.

There was redemption for RAI when Harris won  the  Gulf Western Oil Winternationals, the most prestigious event on the domestic calendar, plus setting a new Australian record for the1000 foot race distance  along with strong performances from his team mates Wayne Newby and Ashley Sanford. 


In Qualifying Harris headed the field with a world class run of 3.78//524 km/h to earn a first round bye then faced off against Sanford who earlier in the day had easily defeated Victorian racer Rachelle Splatt. 

There were no team orders from within the RAI camp with Harris, needing to defeat Sanford to keep his title hopes alive.

Both cars stepped off the line in unison. Harris edged to the front and hung on to  with a new Oz record of 3.78/526 km/h to Sanford’s 3.89/509 km/h.

In the other semi -final Bettes needed victory to secure her championship while Newby was on a mission to win and give team mate Harris the chance to win his second 400 Thunder title. Both cars launched hard and set sail to the end zone. Bettes prevailed and took the win in a photo finish to claim the 400T title.

 

The T/F final was a brutal affair. Harris nailed the green light and with a full candle pass of 3.77/527 km/h defeated Bettes smashing his Australian record and grabbing the prized Winternationals championship much to the delight of the near capacity crowd.

QUOTE BOOK
“In the final we went for broke. Junior gave the car a bit of a tickle and it went straight down the track. It was a great result for our team and for Santo who was the backbone of the series this season running three cars.” Damien Harris.

“In the lead up to the meeting I wasn’t happy with the consistency of the car and I decided to change the clutch program a little bit. Dad also gave us a rev up because we weren’t doing as well as we should. That helped as well.” Santo Rapisarda Jnr. 


 “Running my fastest time ever in Australia, a 3.83 was a great way to end the season with the Rapisarda family. When we went up against Damien in the semi final we were out to win. We gave it all we had and he deserved the win. Then for him and Santo junior to win the Winters and set again a new Australian record was a great result for all the Rapisarda teams.” Ashley Sanford.   
 

“This is a very humbling sport and earlier in the weekend we had electrical issues. Just when your down, you go out there and suddenly it all comes together and we ran a 3.83 That’s very satisfying and gives the team the confidence that your on the right track.” Rob Cavagnino, tuner of the Ashley Sanford car.

 

“There was a lot of pressure across all the cars in the Rapisarda team. Santino and his crew gave me an awesome car and we gave it our best shot. Santo put three cars on the track and speaking to fans over the weekend they really appreciate what he has done for the sport this season.” Wayne Newby.

“We may have missed out on winning the Winternationals but I think we can be proud of how we performed over the weekend.  Our crew gave 100 percent and  for a Rapisarda car to walk away with another Winternationals win and Australian record is something  we can all build on in the off season.” Santino Rapisarda.

THE FINAL WORD.

“Congratulations to Kelly Bettes and the Lamattina boys on winning the championship. To see a women win a Top Fuel championship is a real milestone  for the sport. I’ve very proud of my boys. When we struggled a few rounds ago they never gave up. They put their heads down, went to work and bounced back over this weekend. A Winternationals win is always special and too see a 3.77 run is something I don’t expect to see this season. Maybe in a couple of years time but not this year.”  Santo Rapisarda. END  

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) fuel rai rapisarda top winternationals http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/6/rapisarda-autosport-international-part-of-history Wed, 13 Jun 2018 02:29:41 GMT
First female Top Fuel champion crowned at Winternationals for LTFR http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/6/first-female-top-fuel-champion-crowned-at-winternationals-for-ltfr
Lamattina Top Fuel Racing has celebrated an amazing national 2017/2018 Top Fuel season in the best
possible way - a championship win!


Arguably the best driver of the season, Kelly Bettes secured the very first Top Fuel Championship for a female
driver in Australia.


Kelly was elated to record a first for the sport and deliver a championship in her rookie season with the team.


“I am so grateful to the Lamattina family for giving me this opportunity but I always wanted to do more than
drive the car – I wanted to win for them and for me!”


“To be able to reward the crew and the team plus our team sponsors such as Fuchs, is just the most amazing
feeling.


“Phil (Lamattina, team boss) was nervous over the weekend but I told him to trust in our entire team, we have
been working so well all year and I knew that it would continue at this event.


“Our head tuner, Aaron Hambridge, had the car set to run very low 3.80s and we did that and made the rounds
that we needed to secure the title. I knew we had a good package and I had to just do my job as a driver.


“We really went after it for the final run against Damien Harris and we went a little too aggressive but that’s
how it goes. We wanted to see what we could learn for next season.”


The LTFR team had an ongoing battle with the nitro front runners, RAI Autosport, who fielded an impressive
three car line-up throughout the season.


Phil Lamattina added, “To race against the Rapisarda guys so competitively this year made it even better, we
know that we have to be on our game every time we hit the track.


“They have some great cars and great drivers and that’s what has raised the level not just for us, but for the
entire Top Fuel field.


“Some people thought we took a chance when we appointed Kelly to the driver’s seat – I always thought we
took a chance if we let someone else get her – I’m glad that on this occasion I was right!”


The team now prepares to head to Darwin’s Hidden Valley for a non-championship round.
Kelly added, “Now we have the championship we have some other goals in mind – bring on the quarter mile in
Darwin!”
Nitro Up North – 13-14 July 2018
Hidden Valley Dragway
Featuring Top Fuel Motorcycle, Top Doorslammer & Top Fuel Exhibition

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) bettes gulf kelly ltfr oils top fuel western winternationals http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/6/first-female-top-fuel-champion-crowned-at-winternationals-for-ltfr Wed, 13 Jun 2018 02:25:36 GMT
TBR READY FOR WINTER WONDER http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/6/tbr-ready-for-winter-wonder TBR READY FOR WINTER WONDER

 

Team Bray Racing is set for a huge Gulf Western Oil Winternationals at its home-track of Willowbank Raceway this weekend.

TBR’s Ben Bray will undertake double duty by competing in both the Pro Slammer and Factory Xtreme brackets at the 51st running of the event, while Frankie Taylor is back from the US and on a mission to beat Bray to a 5.6s ET.

At the same time, the TBR compound at the June 7-10 event will host many of the cars sponsored by team supporter and event sponsor, Gulf Western Oil, including four Pro Slammers, two Sport Compact cars, two Modified Dragsters, one Nitro Harley and one Junior Dragster alongside a bustling corporate guest area.

“The Gulf Western Oil Winternationals is always a huge event for Team Bray Racing, but this year is just on another level altogether,” Ben enthused.

“I will be doing double duty, podium positions in the Pro Slammer championship are on the line, and we will have a host of amazing racing vehicles as well as plenty of GWO corporate guests calling the TBR compound home during the event

 

“It is really exciting for us too to race at yet another event sponsored by our own partners, Gulf Western Oil. GWO is the biggest sponsors in Australian drag racing at the moment I believe, backing not only ourselves but some great events, Top Fuel racers, Sportsman racers and more. Hopefully, we can bring home a great result for them at the Winternats.

“We won’t be the only ones chasing winning results though - with 498 racers lined up for the event that everyone wants to win, you can expect to see racers putting it all on the line in the pursuit of victory.”

One racer excited to take in all the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals festivities is Texan Frankie Taylor.

“The Gulf Western Oil Winternationals is a huge event with four huge days of both on and off-track entertainment scheduled, it is one not to be missed. I can’t wait to see it all unfold and to be a part of what will be a very big and busy event for Team Bray Racing,” Taylor said.

“When it comes to the racing, the championship positions are certainly on our mind but at the same time, Ben’s PB is a 5.700s while mine is 5.703s (in Australia), so the race is on to see who can be the first to run a ‘five-six’!”

Heading to the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals? Remember to tag your Team Bray Racing captures with #teambrayracing and #gulfwesternoil for a chance to be featured on the TBR Instagram account (Instagram.com/teambrayracing).

To keep up to date with all of the latest news from TBR, visit www.teambrayracing.com, follow the team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teambrayracing, or interact with them on instagram (#teambrayracing).

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/6/tbr-ready-for-winter-wonder Mon, 04 Jun 2018 07:46:23 GMT
Volunteer manpower behind the horsepower http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/volunteer-manpower-behind-the-horsepower Volunteer manpower behind the horsepower for Winternationals.

 

The Gulf Western Oil Winternationals is a world-class event, where over 500 race teams gather across four days in front of over 30,000 spectators to take part in the largest drag racing festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

The logistics behind producing an event of that scale are complex and would be next to impossible to manage without the valued contributions of some 140 volunteers who will be looking after everything from directing spectators in the car park to activating the green light for a pair of 500kmh Top Fuel dragsters.

Some volunteers have been with Willowbank Raceway since it opened, others will be new for the event. But in total they will all contribute around 1700 hours of effort into making the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals the greatest drag racing event in Australia.

The Gold Coast's Dale Wong volunteers in the high pressure area between the staging lanes and the track, where pairings of vehicles are formed and the 'fire up' signal is given. Timing and communication between race control and track safety officials are vital with Wong giving the command for vehicles with up to 10,000 horsepower to come to life.

“Volunteering at the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals gives you the greatest feeling of euphoria just from knowing that you have played a part in one of the greatest motorsport events in the country,” Wong said.

“I enjoy the challenge of being able to keep the event moving forward, particularly when things start to go in different directions and you might have delays.

“During the running of the event it can be hard to gauge how the public and racers are finding it but when you speak to these people and they praise how awesome the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals are or were, the sense of pride is almost overpowering.”

One of Wong's favourite moments is the Officials' Parade, which takes place on Sunday morning before the opening ceremonies.

“When the crowd is cheering the whole team of volunteers it gives you the biggest feeling of achievement,” he said.

While Wong's role will be virtually invisible when performed smoothly, Yamanto's Mark Allan will be heard by almost everyone attending the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals as one of the commentary team.

Allan splits his time between racing and commentary, enabling him to give back to the event while still enjoying it on the track.

“I’m very fortunate to have the role that I have,” he said. “I get to call the racing from the best seat in the house. I’m invested in every race that I announce. I feel the jubilation of a record breaking run to the heartbreak of a team not qualifying in that final session. I like to think that way of calling a race engages the spectator to have some of their own personal emotional investment into each run from the stands as well.

“The Gulf Western Oil Winternationals is the pinnacle of the sport and to contribute that tiny bit towards such a large event is rewarding.”

Mark is not the only member of the Allan family to be involved, with cousin Kristie greeting racers at the front gate. As a former racer herself, the role allowed Kristie to keep meeting more teams.

“When I finished racing Junior Dragsters in 2010 I was a little lost on what I could do,” she said. “I had always spent a lot of time with the officials at the track and always loved giving them a hand. So when I was asked if I could volunteer on the front gate I was a tad excited!

“At the time I was only 17 and I thought it was an opportunity to learn new things; it was a totally different approach to customer service than what I was used to.”
The position is unique, with Allan getting to see racers with all their pre-event excitement and nerves.

“I always find the Gulf Western Oils Winternationals an exciting time of year. For me personally I think it has this amazing feeling, the atmosphere is just something you can’t explain. Everyone is so upbeat and ready to kick butt.

“Coming from a racing background I love seeing the racers and the crew, having a chat and a joke with them all. It’s also great to see the spectators coming in and having a chat to them, so many of them travel from overseas.”

The Gulf Western Oil Winternationals run from June 7 to 10 at Willowbank Raceway. For more information head to www.willowbankraceway.com.au.

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/volunteer-manpower-behind-the-horsepower Thu, 31 May 2018 01:42:39 GMT
GOUWS FAMILY LOOKS TO MAKE IT 2 FROM 2. http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/gouws-family-looks-to-make-it-2-from-2 GOUWS FAMILY LOOKS TO MAKE IT 2 FROM 2.

 

SCG Racing will soon be heading out to the biggest drag racing event outside of U.S.A with the 51st running of the Gulf Western Winternationals. With more than 500 competitors racing over 4 days, it will certainly be jammed packed full of action with Stephan and Liezel looking to take bragging rights!

Stephan Gouws Jnr who is competing in a strong 52 car modified field with his SCG Electrical and Lucky Bling dragster is looking to defend his current national title, currently sitting in 2nd position only 30 points adrift.

“It has been an amazing season with lots of ups and downs while learning the new car and what conditions it likes and doesn’t like” said Stephan Jnr.
Stephan has shown signs of why he is the reigning national champion by recently putting together ‘0.00’ packages at the Queensland Championship event, where he was undefeated for the day with 3 out of 3 wins racing Chicago Shootout format.

“I think the car and I are starting to become one. I’ve started to learn where I can push myself and when it is time to back off. Certainly, getting a perfect (0.000) reaction and a 0.001 in our recent Sydney trip is testimony to how I can push the car”.

 

Modified is one of the toughest racing brackets in the Australian drag racing scheme and though there are higher accoladed racers with multiple national and track championship, Stephan is prepared to take it all head on.

Liezel Gouws, the other family member of SCG Racing is looking for her first Junior Dragster National crown. Running for SCG Racing Parts, Liezel is the current points leader after a solid performance at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder. Making it all the way to the Semi-Finals, the crew was thrown a curve ball by the sudden weather change which ended their day.

“It was great going rounds at a major event before the Winters” said Liezel.

“I have started to believe in myself more and more in my car after we did an engine and clutch swap. Having the B/JD in my car was a huge boost and certainly showing.”

Liezel also has to contend with a 54 car Junior Dragster field and with only having a 20-point lead needs to be on her game if she is going to hold off the other competitors chasing her.

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) 400 dragphotos dragster electrical gouws junior modified scg thunder willowbank winternationals http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/gouws-family-looks-to-make-it-2-from-2 Thu, 31 May 2018 01:23:39 GMT
Rod’s racing turbo charged by power duo sponsorship http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/rod-s-racing-turbo-charged-by-power-duo-sponsorship Rod Harvey may drive a Toyota Celica but there is nothing pedestrian about this sports compact drag car: it is, in fact, the fastest import car in the southern hemisphere and the fifth quickest in the world.

The Kiwi driver, who holds more than 20 tracks records, national records and event wins across Australia and New Zealand, splits his time between his homeland and Kallangur, Brisbane to compete in the Australian racing circuit season.

Rod’s best race to date was at last year’s Willowbank Raceway Winternationals where he reached 253.1 miles per hour. In June he will again take to Willowbank for the Winternationals and is stopping in at Battery World Ipswich on Tuesday (June 5) at 10.30am with his car to meet with fans who can get up and close to the car.

In 2017, his car was the first ever Factory Extreme/Sport Compact car to run a five-second pass in Australasia at the Gulf Western Oil Winter Nationals and the third fastest in the world for mile per hour at 253 mph.

 



It is nothing for this driver to reach speeds as fast, and faster than some competition door slammers: full-bodied racing sedans with V8 supercharged engines fuelled by methanol.

“To qualify for door slammer, at the last Winternationals you needed to reach a 5.90: that’s covering a quarter of a mile in 5.9 seconds, or faster,” Rod says. “What makes me passionate about this machine is we have been able to do that and faster. So, to be able to get this much power out of this engine is something pretty special. They say you’ve got to drive these cars like you just stole it.”

Rod and his small team are hitting the 51st Gulf Western Oil Winternationals this year thanks to a joint sponsorship by Battery World Australia and Century Yuasa.

“Sponsorship is critical in racing,” he said. “The duo of Battery World and Century Yuasa is a great fit for us and it is great to support an Australian-made manufacturer. There is a standard joke on how you make a million dollars in racing – you start with 10 because it quickly whittles down. I was always attracted to racing cars from motorbikes and streetcars: racing V8s until 2000, when I switched to sport compact, but I also have a trade. My dad made sure I would have something to fall back on if racing didn’t pan out.”

 



While hitting speeds of over 407km per hour is all in a day’s work for the 46-year-old builder his 10-year-old daughter Shavaun, who races alongside him in the junior categories, and is also sponsored by Century Yuasa, is only allowed to reach speeds of 100km or 11.9 over an eighth of a mile.

“Shavaun says she can’t wait until she can race as fast as me,” Rod says. “And her younger brother Carlos, 6, also can’t wait for the day when he can get his junior dragster. It’s definitely a family affair with my wife Natalie down on the track with us. She is the one talking to us through our headsets keeping us calm and she is also our chief ‘strapper-inner’: she won’t let either of us drive unless she has made sure the seatbelts are safe and secure and only she can do it. She is also in the tow vehicle that brings the cars back in.”

To keep up to date with all of the latest news from Rod Harvey, visit https://www.facebook.com/rodharveyracing
 

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/rod-s-racing-turbo-charged-by-power-duo-sponsorship Wed, 30 May 2018 11:17:22 GMT
NZ TOP DOORSLAMMER CHAMP TO FULFIL AUSTRALIAN RACING AMBITIONS http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/nz-top-doorslammer-champ-to-fulfil-australian-racing-ambitions
NZ TOP DOORSLAMMER CHAMP TO FULFIL AUSTRALIAN RACING AMBITIONS

 


Pics COLIN SMITH 

Trevor Smith’s 75 Holden Statesman won the IHRA Nationals Top Doorslammer title at Meremere in March with Rod Harvey at the wheel. 
Beachlands drag racer Trevor Smith has re-powered his 365km/h family heirloom in the quest for another performance step, and to fulfil his long-held ambition of racing at Australia’s Winternationals.

Smith has shipped his 75 Holden Statesman — the winning Top Doorslammer at the IHRA New Zealand Nationals back in March — to Brisbane for next month’s Winternationals, but in an upgraded specification that has never seen the track in New Zealand.

The big Holden has been re-powered, with its big block Chevrolet engine replaced by the supercharged Chrysler Hemi from the Lodge family Top Alcohol dragster. Smith will benefit from the knowledge of Australian drag racing stalwarts Victor and Ben Bray in the lead-up to the 51st annual Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway near Ipswich on June 7-10.

“We got to know Victor and Ben Bray a few years ago through Rod Harvey,” said Smith.

“They have offered several times over the years to help us if we wanted to race in Australia.

“I’ve shied away from it until now but this time the offer was too good to refuse.

“So the day after winning the Nationals, the Chev came out of the car and we started work on fitting the Hemi. The car is over at Team Bray Racing now getting set up to run in Pro Slammer.”

The switch to Hemi power is the latest step in the ongoing development of the big Holden that, to date, has achieved a best quarter-mile pass of 6.261secs at Meremere Dragway.

“It started life as my father’s daily driver and it became my race car and we’ve developed it ever since. My son [Trevor Junior] will get to race the car soon, so it will have three generations in the family. The goal is one day to race Doorslammers side-by-side against my son.”

Smith missed most of the 2017-18 local season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He called on Rod Harvey to take over driving duties and the pairing clinched the IHRA New Zealand Nationals victory at Meremere.


“We’ve got a great group of sponsors with P&I Pascoe Transport and B&T Earthmovers so, rather than miss last season, we ran the car with Rod driving and won the Nationals.”

Winning isn’t part of the plan for the Australian campaign.

“It’s a big experiment and an experience for us,” said Smith.

“They run into the 5.60s over there. Our goal is to get the car sorted with the Hemi in it, using the help and knowledge of the Bray team, and be ready for when the season starts here next summer.

“I’ve been to watch the Winternationals a few times and to race there has been on my bucket list for a long time.”

The Winternationals is the final round of Australia’s 400 Thunder national series. With 500 entries, it’s considered the largest and most prestigious drag racing event outside of the US.

The Pro Slammer class has 17 entries and Smith will get an up-close view of a final round title fight that sees 10-time ‘Slammer champion John Zappia (Holden HQ Monaro) leading outstanding series rookie Paul Mouhayet (68 Ford Mustang) by just 16 points.

Smith’s entry makes it a quartet of Kiwi racers set for this year’s Winternationals.

Rod Harvey is a regular on the Australian scene in his Yuasa Batteries Toyota Celica Factory Xtreme contender and his daughter Shavaun has been racing at recent Australian events in the Junior Dragster category.

Pukekohe’s Lee Sherwin has based his V8-powered Mk 1 Ford Escort in Brisbane for the past two years, commuting across to compete, and was the runner-up in the Super Sedan division in last year’s Queensland series.

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) doorslammer drag harvey meremere nz raceway racing rod smith trevor willowbank winternationals http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/nz-top-doorslammer-champ-to-fulfil-australian-racing-ambitions Wed, 16 May 2018 08:01:40 GMT
AEROFLOW OUTLAW NITRO FUNNY CARS SHAKE UP WILLOWBANK RACEWAY http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/aeroflow-outlaw-nitro-funny-cars-shake-up-willowbank-raceway AEROFLOW OUTLAW  NITRO FUNNY CARS SHAKE UP WILLOWBANK RACEWAY

By Dragphotos.com.au

 

Terminator AONFC Flames Up Willowbank RacewayPhoto - Dragphotos.com.au

The weather gods played nice for the AONFC round at Willowbank Raceway on the 12th May 2018, with fans rocking up early to check out the cars up close and in person, including meeting the drivers and event Captain America!!!

 

Willowbank Raceway and AONFC put on a party in the pits to entertain the little ones with jumping castles, rides and entertainment leaving the kids with smiles from here to the Winternationals on most faces !!

 

Combining the event with the local track championship it was going to always be a full day of action on the black stuff and once the afternoon sun started to set it was nitro time !!!

 

The battles over the night are always close and keep the crowd on their toes with the good old battle of the track and the power leading to a very happy winner!!

 

Or in Rick Gaucci case both with a new record in the Nitro Express 57 punching it out the back door with celebrations all round !!!

 

The series puts on a great show with close racing for everyone and is a family-friendly event well worth putting on the calendar for the next one !!!

 

 

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) aeroflow bee bumble drag nitro photos willowbank winternationals http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/aeroflow-outlaw-nitro-funny-cars-shake-up-willowbank-raceway Wed, 16 May 2018 04:42:26 GMT
A FIVE THIRTY SEVEN FROM THE ’57 SEALS WILLOWBANK WIN http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/a-five-thirty-seven-from-the-57-seals-willowbank-win A FIVE THIRTY SEVEN FROM THE ’57 SEALS WILLOWBANK WIN

 

Nitro Express Shatters The Record With New PBNitro Express - New PB at Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars at Willowbank Raceway - Photo Dragphotos.com.au

An eager crowd, a party in the pits, blazing fast passes and close racing made the Willowbank Raceway round of Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars on May 12 one of the best yet.

 

After the crowd were treated to a “Party in the Pits” with drivers and crew, as well as entertainment and rides for the kids, round one of racing started with almost every car in the field recording a pass in the 5-second range.

Chelsea Leahy Warms Up The Sheriff Chelsea Leahy Warms Up The Sheriff for the fans in the Pit Party

 

Rick Gauci’s Nitro Express went quickest of all the cars but the real highlight was both Donnelly brothers recording wins in their respective match-ups and also recording near identical 5.67-second elapsed times!

 

Josh Leahy drove The Bandit to wins in both the first two rounds with scorching runs, which meant Leahy would head to the final run of the night to matchup against Gauci in Nitro Express for overall event win honours. One Bad Kiwi and Morice McMillin returned to form in the second round, with a stout 5.65 second pass and Bumble Bee would also enter the final on the maximum six points, after recording another win.

 

The final matchups saw Bumble Bee take on One Bad Kiwi and it was local-boy Donnelly who took Bumble Bee to the win and maximum 9 points.

 

That meant Gauci or Leahy were the only two racers who could take the top spot away from Bumble Bee – all hinging on the final run of the night.

Gaucci In The Zone Ready To BattleRick Gauci ( Nitro Express ) brings home the gold and a new PB

 

Josh Leahy blasted The Bandit to a super-quick 5.58-second pass but even that wasn’t enough with Gauci recording an outright record for the class with a 5.37-second pass at a massive 271mph!

 

That result meant Gauci took top honours with Jake Donnelly in second and Josh Leahy third.

 

Gauci explained “We knew we had to step it up for the final, Josh and The Bandit were running hard for the whole meeting and he’s quick on the lights too!

 

“GC (Crew Chief, Graeme Cowin) put a strong tune-up in Nitro Express for that last pass and what can I say, I had to hold on!

 

“I have to give a massive thanks to the whole crew and well done to Jake Donnelly and Josh Leahy on their podiums, it’s so close between the cars, we are having to step it up every time we go out.

 

“I can’t wait for the next one!” laughed Gauci.

 

Fans Checking Out The Huge Wheels Up Action of SheriffSheriff wheelstander up on 2 wheels showing off to the crowd with Chelsea Leahy behind the wheel.

 

The next event for the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars will be at Springmount Raceway, near Cairns in Queensland.

 

 

Full Gallery from the event can be found here - OFFICIAL GALLERY HERE

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) aonfc cars express funny nitro willowbank http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/a-five-thirty-seven-from-the-57-seals-willowbank-win Sun, 13 May 2018 00:05:59 GMT
XIBERRAS LAMENTS LOST CHAMPIONSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOLLOWING CRASH http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/xiberras-laments-lost-championship-opportunity-following-crash  

XIBERRAS LAMENTS LOST CHAMPIONSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOLLOWING CRASH



Top fuel pilot Peter Xiberras had his challenge for the 400 Thunder Top Fuel Title well and truly underway at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder event at the weekend, reducing the gap between he and title leader Damien Harris with a round one victory.

Unfortunately, a race two incident which saw Xiberras hit the left-hand wall in his PremiAir Racing dragster now sees his championship hopes in tatters.

“The weekend started out really positive for us – we came to Sydney third on the ladder, 20 points shy of second-placed Kelly Bettes and 22 away from the leader, Damien Harris,” Xiberras explained.

“We had our eyes on closing that gap right up, and with a race one win we were on our way to that goal, reducing the gap to Harris to just 16 points with two more races ahead of us for the event.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. In the second race, we were in the right-hand lane and early in the run the dragster shook the tyres very hard, with the car turning to the left and making contact with the left-hand wall.

“Thankfully, we didn’t make contact with Wayne Newby who was racing in the left-hand lane and I was able to extract myself from the car on my own and walk over to see the ambulance, which took me over to the hospital to be checked out.


 

“Unfortunately, when they have run a CT scan they have found some spinal fractures which will mean I will be in hospital for a couple of weeks. At this stage we are hopeful of avoiding surgery and a MRI tomorrowwill give us some more information on whether we will be lucky in that regard.

“It isn’t the news you want of course but I am going to be a-okay, and that is the main thing. The fact that my injuries aren’t worse is a real testament to the safety of these cars. Unfortunately, while I will make a full recovery, I will be missing out on the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals so our championship title for this season is well and truly over.

“We will just have to come back next season bigger and better to make up for it,”

 



“In the meantime, I would like to send my thanks to all of the track staff and officials at Sydney Dragway as well as the medical staff who are looking after me, the racers that have checked in with me, to my sponsors, and to all of the fans and supporters who have been sending their well wishes – all of your support is very much appreciated.”

For more information on PremiAir Racing, please visit http://premiairhire.com.au/ or follow the team on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PremiAirRacing/

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) drag fuel hire ihra photos premiair sydney top xiberras http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/xiberras-laments-lost-championship-opportunity-following-crash Sun, 06 May 2018 09:02:11 GMT
TBR FINDS PBs IN SYDNEY http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/tbr-finds-pbs-in-sydney TBR FINDS PBs IN SYDNEY

Frankie Taylor set not one but two personal best ETs across the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder event at Sydney Dragway at the weekend, while between them Taylor and stable-mate Ben Bray claimed three race wins for the GWO-supported Team Bray Racing.

While the blisteringly cold weather for Friday’s two test sessions saw the majority of the Pro Slammer field unable to set representative times, come Saturday’s test run US-star Taylor was able to lay down a 5.744s pass at 239.44mph – a personal best for the Texan in Australia.  

When it came time for the three-round ‘all run’ racing format, Taylor would go on to better that personal best ET to 5.703s at 255mph in his second round redemption win over Steven Ham. That PB effort followed on from a first-round loss against Steven Ham and preceded a third-round victory over the Moits Racing Mustang.

“We may not have won the meeting outright – our congratulations go to John Zappia on his victory – but for me to walk away with two race wins and having reset and then bettered my personal best here in Australia is something I am very happy about,” Taylor said.

“It was also really great to see the fans at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder – I am told the crowd was the biggest it has been in years and that is always great to see.”



For Bray, a 5.716 @251.85MPH round one win over Michelle Davies preceded some more difficult racing in rounds two and three.

“In round one we had a great run to the finish against Michelle to take the opening win in the Gulf Western Oil TBR Pro Slammer,” Ben said.

“In round two we looked set to do it again, however, unfortunately we had a gear brake at the 1000-foot mark which gave Emilio Spinozzi the chance to drive around me right on the finish line!

“For round three, Mark Belleri broke his car on the start line, but as I was running down the track I, unfortunately, got out of the groove and crossed the centre line which saw the win handed back to Mark.


“While things might not have gone to plan for me, it was great to see Frankie putting out some really strong times and for TBR to have the chance to put on a show in our Pro Slammers and also the burnout car for such a huge crowd – it was the biggest I have seen at Sydney Dragway in 10 years I think!”

Following the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder event, which was the penultimate round of the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer championship, the battle for third place will continue to the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals in June with Taylor (fourth – 362 points) and Bray (fifth – 347 points) still hot on the heels of third-placed Belleri (390 points).

Before TBR heads to that event, to be held at their home-track of Willowbank Raceway, they will first visit the Ipswich (Queensland) facility this coming Saturday (May 12) for the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car event where Ben will compete in the Top Sportsman bracket in his Gulf Western Oil Toyota Solara.

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) bray racing sydney team http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2018/5/tbr-finds-pbs-in-sydney Sun, 06 May 2018 08:41:11 GMT
DIXON TO RACE AT WINTERNATIONALS FOR RAPISARDA AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2017/5/dixon-to-race-at-winternationals-for-rapisarda-autosport-international DIXON TO RACE AT WINTERNATIONALS FOR RAPISARDA AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL

3-time NHRA champion, Larry Dixon, will race alongside Rapisarda Autosport International team-mates, Damien Harris and Wayne Newby, at the 50th anniversary Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway.
“Anytime you get a phone call from Santo to race for the family team is an honour and privilege," said Dixon, who last raced for RAI at Sydney Dragway in November 2016. “Santo has assembled a great team with all the right equipment and crew, as well as having Lee Beard on board to tune the car for the meeting. I’m also excited to be returning to race at Willowbank.”
With RAI star Wayne Newby needing only to qualify to win the 2016-17 400 Thunder Championship, the team travels to Willowbank Raceway with three goals in mind. To claim the 400T title, take out back-to-back Winternationals titles and be the first team in Australian drag racing history to run under the 4.50 second barrier.
The current record of 4.503 was set by Dixon at Willowbank Raceway in 2012.
“We’ve been knocking on the door for the last 12 months and I think the Winternationals could see the record broken and the first pass under 4.50 seconds,” according to team-owner Santo Rapisarda. “To many involved in the sport it’s the next frontier in Top Fuel and I think that all the teams entered for the Winters would want to be the first into the record book. I’m quietly confident that one of our cars could break the barrier. Who it will be? I don’t know. All three of our cars are capable, as well as Darren Morgan and Kelly Bettes in the Lamattina entry. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. Firstly we want to win the Winternationals and having Larry in the third car, our hopes have received a major boost.”
A sub 4.50 sec. run holds great significance for Dixon who made NHRA history when he became the first driver to crack the barrier running a 4.486 at Houston in 1999.
“A 4.40 run is in our sights,” said Dixon. “All three Rapisarda tuners - Santo Junior, Santino and Lee - would all love to run under the current record and dip into the 4.40 zone. If the conditions are right, and that means an air temperature around 20C and track temperature in the vicinity of 21C-27C, then you could see history made.”

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sales@dragphotos.com.au (Dragphotos.com.au) http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2017/5/dixon-to-race-at-winternationals-for-rapisarda-autosport-international Mon, 29 May 2017 11:57:20 GMT
BISHOP SHOWS PROMISE PRIOR TO WINTERNATIONALS http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2017/5/bishop-shows-promise-prior-to-winternationals

Designing and manufacturing Jewellery by day and tinkering with his Supercharged V8 Pro Slammer at night, it is a balancing act for CEO of Wallace Bishop Jewellers, Stuart Bishop as he prepares for this year’s 50th Winternationals sponsored by Gulf Western Oils and Ipswich City Council.

 

Stuart Bishop Racing is revving up the new immaculate Camaro Pro Slammer in preparation for this year’s Winternationals hosted at Willowbank Raceway on June 8-11, piloted by Mr. Bishop himself it will be an exciting event to see not only a celebration of 50 years of drag racing but also to see what Bishop and his new car is capable of on the Willowbank track.

 

"I can’t wait to hit the track in the new Pro Slammer, it’s a whole new setup and learning curve but we are not racing to come second” Mr. Bishop said. 

 

The car is a work of art with carbon fibre every which way you look and even the little things manufactured in house by head crew chief Daniel Reed son of the famous Steve Reed and grandson of one of the innovators in Drag Racing Jim Reed. "If it needs to be made or we want to try something new Daniel designs it and make it happen, hopefully giving us that little edge we are all chasing for" said Bishop.

 

Being the big Five-O it is a chance to celebrate what is known as the jewel in the Australian drag racing calendar, the Winternationals. Over the 4 days, 500 racers will take part in the festivities with thousands of drag racing fans traveling from all over the country and also from around the globe to see what is the biggest drag racing event outside of North America.

 

For full information on the event head to www.willowbankraceway.com.au


 

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Up Close And Personal - Kelly Bettes http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2017/5/up-close-and-personal---kelly-bettes

Street machine sits down with Australia's newest top fuel pilot. 

 

Full interveiw here : https://www.streetmachine.com.au/street-machine-tv/1705/kelly-bettes-to-race-for-lamattina-top-fuel-video

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Summerland 10 Spot http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2014/6/summerland-10-spot

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THE 47th WINTERNATIONALS http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2014/6/the-47th-winternationals

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SANTOS SUPER 3 THE PEOPLE http://www.dragphotos.com.au/blog/2014/4/santos-super-3-the-people

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