Perth Motorplex played host to some world class nitro action tonight in round 1 of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series Top Fuel and Top Fuel Motorcycle.
The ultra-consistent Phil Lamattina set a pair of quick times in qualifying (4.632) before losing a chute and stopping just shy of the sand trap, and again in the eliminators (4.631).
In fact it wasn’t just Lamattina who ran in the fours as Mark Sheehan (4.658), Damien Harris (4.758) and Allan Dobson (4.841) all set the track alight within minutes of each other.
That set the tone for the A Final in the new three race format as Lamattina’s Fuchs top fuel dragster recorded a 4.651 to defeat an engine detonating Mark Sheehan (4.753).
Earlier in the night Mark Drew went under the national record (6.489) on his Top Fuel Motorcycle before taking the final with a 6.653 to defeat the chasing Mark Ashelford (6.753).
But it was Lamattina who stole the show with a trio of high voltage passes electrifying the crowd in warm conditions at the ‘plex.
Lamattina said he was excited to win the first ever ANDRA Drag Racing Series silver Christmas tree and acknowledged the excellent work his team put in during their preparation and throughout the night.
“Pretty stoked the car is running consistently, Aaron is doing a fantastic job on the tune up,” he said.
“I’ve got to really take my hat off to Fuchs for their support for the team and always the crew, you’ve got to thank them. They work tirelessly and this win is for them.
“(I’m) pretty excited, we’re in the championship lead and the start of the season is looking pretty good so hopefully we can back it up tomorrow.”
Damien Harris was due to take the track in a solo run during the B Final but failed to make the start meaning he will have to settle for 10 points less in the championship chase.
After going as fast as anyone on a Harley in several years, Mark Drew expected greater things during his Top Fuel Motorcycle A Final against Mark Ashelford. He did what was required by getting the win but Drew was far from happy with his time of 6.653.
“The bike was really good, we ran the 40, but I’m still at a loss as to why we ran a 60 in the last one. I’ll have to go through all the data tomorrow and work it all out,” said Drew.
“I’ve normally got my finger on it, when something happens I know what I’ve done. I might need a bit more timing and bit more fuel in the first stage. When I got to the end I was pretty surprised we only ran a 60.”
Despite his disappointment Drew was happy for the win and thanked his team for their efforts but with the high standards he has set for himself, look out at round 2 tomorrow night!
In Friday’s B Final Australian Champion Chris Porter took the win with one wheel off the ground until the half way point with a 6.916 from Greg Durack running a 7.312.
Tonight’s other action also saw early qualifying for round 2 of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Series commencing on Saturday night.
Russel Ladbrook qualified 1st in the Top Comp with a AA/FC ET of 5.863, Andrew Katavatis is first in Super Comp with a B/AA ET of 7.170, Comp Bike top qualifier is Ross Smith with a C/AB ET 8.470, Jon Ferguson scored an ET of 6.647 in the Outlaws and Michelle Osborn recorded a 7.146 to take top spot in the Modified, Lorenzo Gullotto sits atop the qualifiers in Super Sedan with an 8.093, Modified Bike provisional top qualifier is Luke Nieuwhof on a 8.421 and Super Street sees Bernie Ellerby currently atop the field with an 11.013.
Round 2 of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Series and the ANDRA Drag Racing Series Top Fuel and Top Fuel Motorcycle is set to take place in stifling conditions tomorrow night at Perth Motorplex.
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