200mph Barrier Smashed By Outlaw Nitros
By Mark Humphrey
Portland, Vic/Aus. 22nd February 2016. Simply awesome is one thought that comes to mind when describing the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car event at Portland’s South Coast Raceway over the weekend. For the huge provincial crowd that packed the hill the memory of what they witnessed will surely be with them for years to come.
Celebrating their 10 year anniversary, South Coast Raceway had decided what better way to celebrate their milestone than with the Graeme Cowin backed Outlaw Nitro Funny Car show and boy did they deliver.
Twelve months ago the Nitro Funny Cars were rattling the South Coast Raceway with the 200mph barrier seemingly within reach. Rick Gauci had come close to the magical barrier in round 1 going 197+ mph but unfortunately the weather closed in which put a halt to the remainder of the program. Gauci had commented that he was chasing down that magical 200mph mark and was disappointed that he didn’t get another opportunity to have a crack. Turn the calendar forward to February 20th 2016 and the scene was set for the Nitro boys to once again chase down that magical 200 mark. As is custom with the Nitro series the drivers select an envelope that contains a number which is used for seeding the drivers. Gauci pulled out #5 meaning that 4 drivers had the opportunity to grab the 200mph mark before Gauci.
First up was the pairing of Daniel Schultz and Aaron Russell with Russell taking the win. Schultz had to pedal the car mid track and come home strong going through the traps at 191.46mph. The track was fast and it wouldn’t be long before the crowd would witness South Coast history. Up next was the pairing of Darren Fry and Shane Olive. What a race with the first 3 second side by side pass for the South Coast Raceway. Olive got the job done with a 3.701 @ 198.70mph to set a new track record. Fry in his first time out posted a very tidy 3.937 @ 186.64mph. That was the first chunk of history and heat 3 would provide the next. It was now Gauci’s turn to have a crack at the 200 mark and after coming so close last year you could feel the anticipation in the team on the start line of what was to come. Gauci rolled into stage to take on Jake Donnelly from the well credentialed DBS Motorsport team. Gauci was away first and blazed the track to post a scintillating new track record of 3.652 @ an amazing 209. 61mph. He had done it! The first driver in the history of the South Coast Raceway to break the 200mph barrier and what a way to do it.
What a year the South Coast Raceway has had with Matt Forbes creating history in round 3 of the Summit Sportsman Series by winning 2 brackets on the same day and now Rick Gauci being the first person to crack the 200mph barrier. No matter what transpires in the future, the record books will show that Rick Gauci was the first driver to break the 200mph barrier at South Coast and like the feats of Forbes will be etched into history forever.
There have been numerous claims circulating that South Coast Raceway is the fastest 1/8 track in Australia and although some may have differing opinions the facts are that currently South Coast Raceway boast 13 National Sportsman records, more than any other track 1/8 track in Australia and it also was the first time in the history of the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car competition that one of their cars has reached 200mph over the 1/8th distance. Those facts can’t be disputed and it’s a credit to Andrew Smith and his team down at the seaside racetrack for producing a superb racing surface.
With Gauci going into that magical barrier one could be forgiven for thinking the day would simply roll through barely providing a highlight to match the moment that was Gauci. The next pairing to wind up round 1 had Paul Messineo up against Justin Walshe. You couldn’t wipe the smile off Messineo’s face and you just knew that this guy was loving life with the Outlaws Nitros. In what was another cracking race Messineo took the win with a 3.827 pass @ 201.50mph to Walshe’s 3.908 @ 184.25mph. What a moment for Messineo as he became the second person into the South Coast Raceway 200mph club. I’m not sure if South Coast Raceway has a 200mph club as they hadn’t needed to worry about it in the past but after the Outlaws had finished with the track Saturday afternoon there were no less than 5 new members for the club sharing 10 passes in total that dipped into the 200mph bracket.
Round 2 was dominated by Shane Olive who come so close to setting a new track record when he took the heat win with a 3.687 @ 207.91 mph making him #3 into the 200mph club. The run was enough to get past Schultz who had posted a 5.976 pass in the Dukes style Dodge. Gauci had a solo and backed up his first run with a wild 3.671 @ 203.49mph. Walshe and Fry combined to put down the fastest ever side by side pass at South Coast with Fry becoming #4 into the 200mph club tripping the traps @ 200.05mph. Fry took the win posting a 3.731 ET @ 200.05 mph to Walshe’s 3.750 @ a faster 204.66mph. Walshe became the 5th entrant into the 200mph club with that losing pass. Russell found the going tough in the next heat cruising through the traps at just 41mph. Messineo took the heat with another 200mph pass posting a 3.797 pass @ 201.40mph.
Round 3 had Walshe and Schultz going head to head with Walshe posting another 200mph pass this time slightly down on his round 2 venture posting a 3.724 @ 202.96 to take the win from a slowing Schultz. Shane Olive threatened Gauci’s track record with a solo pass posting a 3.674 @ 206.37 mph to sit in the #1 spot. Fry and Russell were up next with Fry getting the job done with a slick 3.742 pass to Russell’s 8.630 pass. The last race of the event had Gauci paired up against Messineo with both drivers undefeated and needing to firstly take the win and secondly post a quicker time than Olive’s 3.674. Gauci had set the car up for something special but an extended wheels in the air run put paid to his chances posting a losing 4.163 @ 146.45mph to Messineo’s 3.757 @ 205.63mph. Although it was another blistering run by Messineo it wasn’t fast enough to dethrone Olive from top spot with the smiling assassin having to settle for 2nd spot. What a day for Messineo though. Like Olive he posted 3 wins for the day and was the only driver to go 200+ on every run posting 201.50, 201.40 and 205.63mph respectively.
So after 3 rounds Shane Olive was declared the winner from Paul Messineo with first timer Darren Fry in 3rd spot. What a day it was down at South Coast Raceway, one that the huge crowd will long remember. As for Graeme Cowin, what a show. The whole experience is centred on providing the fans with a drag racing spectacle like no other in Australia and it certainly did that. From the opening parade and start up to the final pairing of Gauci and Messineo, the spectators were treated to an experience un-matched in Australian drag racing. 14 passes in the 3’s with the 200mph barrier breached 10 times. Not bad for a 1/8 mile track.
As per usual South Coast Raceway was well supported by the sportsman racers with plenty going on over the event. Shane Baxter went under the National Index 3 times and is feeling super confident about the ANDRA Finals at AIR in April. Gavin Dohnt posted 3 Pb’s Friday night during testing with even more action on race day while Mario Baker was also dipping under the national record. Doina Day debut her new Supercharged Outlaw dragster and was on the money from the get go. Doina faced off against Jason Keily in the final with Jason adding another South Coast victory to his collection. The Sherry’s had the sedan ranks sewn up with Lisa taking the win in Super Street and Bob getting the chocolates in Super Sedan with the help of the Russo boys. I managed to catch up with Bob after the meeting to talk drag racing and the return of drag racing to the AIR with the interview to be aired in the lead up to AIR. Leanne Braggs stepped out of her dragster to give Craig Baker a run and he went all the way to the Modified final coming a close second to Jess Turner who is having a great season. Lots of other highlights with the burnout boys putting on a tyre frying show Friday night. Brett Parker returned to the Wilful Damage pad picking up the win from Taylor Henley in the Merc with Dutchy (Greg Holland) having a ball in 3rd place. A couple of heavy hitters in Cleary and Peek missed out on the podium but nevertheless put it killer skids to keep the crowd riveted.
Well that’s a wrap on what was a magical weekend of Australian drag racing. Once again South Coast Raceway has delivered and must surely be rated as one of if not the best 1/8 mile tracks in Australia. As for the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars, what a blast and a must see event when the Cowin circus rolls into a town near you.
Australian Pro Street Association kicks into gear this weekend with round 1 of the 2016 series firing up at Calder Park Raceway. Head to Calder Park Drag Racing for more info. The ANDRA Summit Sportsman Series heads over to Whyalla for the March long weekend with Calder Park Drag Racing hosting Group 1 ANDRA drag Racing the same weekend. South Coast Raceway has more action lined up for the 2015/16 season with details at South Coast Raceway.
PRESS RELEASE, 07/01/2016
|Parente powers Pro Stock Camaro to Portland|
Fans at South Coast Raceway in Portland, Victoria will be treated to a little Group One action when the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series returns January 16-17 for Round 7 of the championship.
South Australian Pro Stock team Parente Motorsport are headed to the eighth-mile strip as an exhibition on their way to the Australian Nationals at Calder Park to be heldJanuary 23-24.
The event in Portland will allow Gerry Parente and his team to gain more experience in the still new Camaro ahead of the big show in Melbourne a week later.
South Coast Raceway will also be the first track other than Adelaide International Raceway that Parente Motorsport has put the car through its paces.
“Given the lack of racing/testing in Adelaide, Portland will be a great opportunity for the team to collect valuable data and give Gerry more time in the seat,” said son and Crew Chief Michael Parente.
“We have not attended South Coast Raceway yet, but from all accounts, the surface is great and we are really looking forward to getting the Parente Motorsport Camaro out there!”
Following Portland, Parente will then take on a strong Pro Stock field headlined by Lee Bektash and Nino Cavallo at Calder Park six days later.
“We have entered the Nationals at Calder and are really looking forward to running with a tough field of Pro Stockers,” added Michael.
“It's great to see National drag racing back in Melbourne, I take my hat off to Pete Pisalidis who has done an amazing job!”
The action will commence at South Coast Raceway with qualifying from 11am Saturday January 16 and eliminations from 10am Sunday January 17. Gates open at 9am. For more information please visit: www.southcoastraceway.com
The Australian Nationals return to Calder Park Raceway January 23-24 with qualifying from 9am-9pm on Saturday January 23 and eliminations from 9am Sunday January 24. For more information please visit: www.calderparkdragracing.com.au
We hope everyone had an awesome Christmas and New Year break. Just a friendly reminder to get your entries in before Monday the 10th Jan for the Portland Sportsman round.
The entry numbers are looking great so far, with still nearly a week to go before they close. The club is also buzzing about our first sportsman TV coverage, which will be telecast on SBS Speedweek a few weeks following the event.
Looking forward to a great weekend racing on the 16th and 17th of January.
See you all there….
South Coast Raceway
Fuchs Fryday Video Action
Portland, Vic/Aus. 19th November 2015. Video action from the Fuchs Fryday event that was run in conjuction with round 3 of the ANDRA Summit Sportsman Series. All 21 burnout runs are listed below.
The event was taken out by Taylor Henley in the old school Merc.
|Six New National Records Come Out Of Fuchs South Coast Event|
Six new national eighth-mile records were set in Round 3 of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series at Fuchs South Coast Raceway November 14-15.
Victorian Shane Baxter rewrote the Competition Eliminator record books for CC/DA with a 4.328 second pass and 159.39 mph to wipe out the minimum set at 4.34 and 158.00 mph.
Fellow Victorian Craig Geddes reset the ET record for B/D with an event-winning pass of 4.578 seconds to beat his previous record of 4.615.
Western Australia’s Kim Fardella reset both ends of the Super Stock D/G record with a 5.215 second pass to destroy the minimum of 5.30 while also breaking his own speed record reaching 131.69 mph. His previous mph record was set at 128.57 mph.
Jim Ioannidis from South Australia set a new speed mark for the B/MSA class going 117.90 mph to surpass the minimum set at 115.00 mph.
ANDRA extends it’s congratulations to all four teams.
South Coast Produces One Of The Classics As Forbes Makes History
By Mark Humphrey
Portland, Vic/Aus. 15th November 2015. Portland’s Fuchs South Coast Raceway produced one of the more memorable Summit Sportsman Rounds that netted no less than 8 national records, first time winners, and emotional speeches along with Ballarat super racer Matt Forbes creating ANDRA Summit Sportsman Racing history by winning 2 brackets at the same event. To sum up Forbes’s domination here at Portland you have to go back to Saturday’s qualifying where he managed to top qualify two drag cars in Super Gas and Modified Eliminator. In Super Gas Forbes was up against the current National Champ in Graeme Spencer along with a few of the sports elite runners with the goal of posting an ET as close to 6.30 seconds as possible. Forbes managed to be the closest in Qualifying and then took on the highly competitive Modified Eliminator bracket where it simply comes down to sheer horsepower and driving skill with the outright quickest ET (elapsed time) recognised as the number 1 qualifier. Come finals day the rules change somewhat with racers nominating a set time or dial in time that they think they will run over the distance. If they go faster than the time they nominated they are out so it comes down to a lot of pre planning and driver skill to stay in the competition. The Super Gas bracket remained the same on finals day with racers having to stay either on 6.30 or above. As with dial in times if the racer goes under the Super Gas time they are ruled out of the event. So now you get a picture of how hard it is to win one event let alone two on the same day. Most racers will go through a lifetime of racing never winning an ANDRA Xmas tree yet Matt Forbes managed to pick up 2 on the same day.
In the Super Gas final Forbes was up against a South Coast regular in Colin Griffin who dispatched Aussie Champ Spencer in round 1 and Warren Bull in round 2. Forbes as top qualifier had to get past Jeff Romeo in round 1 with a bye in round 2 sending him straight to the final. A 6.332 on a 6.30 was enough to get past Griffin in the final snagging the first Xmas tree.
In Modified Eliminator Forbes was up against the ever consistent Leanne Braggs who has battled through tough times recently to get back on the track. A serious accident a couple of years back put the racing program on the shelf for just under a year but Braggs worked through the hardships to get back in the saddle once again to do the thing she loves most outside of family and that is to go racing. Braggs had to get past Derek Wills in round 1 and then Craig Baker in round 2. A bye in round 3 meant that Braggs was straight into the final with a chance to win her first ever ANDRA Xmas tree. Forbes on the other side of the ledger had a round 1 bye as top qualifier and then got past Shane Wynd in round 2 to set up a round 3 clash with the Fuchs sponsored dragster of Kenny Stewart. Forbes got through this tricky round to pair up against Braggs in the final. History tells us that Forbes took out the win over Braggs but not before Braggs put up an awesome challenge for the win. In the end Braggs dipped under her dial in time posting a 4.653 on a 4.66 dial in to hand over the win to Forbes who amazingly posted a 4.634 on a 4.63 dial in. It was a very emotional presentation for Braggs who had been battling a medical condition of recent times. Son Michael had taken on the driving duties recently while Leanne was sitting it out waiting to get the all clear again. Although Braggs who had to gather her thoughts several times during her acceptance speech noted that she had never won an ANDRA Xmas tree in her life, she felt there was one just around the corner. Leanne Braggs displayed the reason why the ANDRA Summit Sportsman Series is held in such high regards with racers around the country and it’s not money. It’s passion for the sport and for competing. After such an emotional speech that reached out to plenty in the audience and knowing what she has endured to get back in the car in recent weeks it is testament to her character and the passion she has for the ANDRA Summit Sportsman Series. Matt Forbes in accepting his second Xmas tree for the day assured Braggs that an ANDRA win was just around the corner. Having just recently returned from the USA, Forbes spoke of how he had adopted the things he learnt in the states into his Australian racing program. Special attention to shock absorbers and settings had helped him with both of his racing programs over the weekend. To c come away with 2 x top qualifiers and 2 x bracket wins is simply outstanding and testament to Forbes’s professionalism in the sport of Australian drag racing.
Even more emotion was to come on the presentation dais when Top Sportsman runner up Jeff Fitzgerald got up to accept his runner up trophy. Having to re-check himself several times during his speech Fitzgerald thanked all of his supporters and sponsors for the assistance they have given him over the distance. Fitzgerald is the pilot of LOW JOB an LJ Torana regularly featured on sportingscribe.com and walked up on stage to accept his runners up trophy sporting a Mohican haircut. Once again the emotion displayed by the racers at this event showed just how much they love the sport of drag racing and in particular the ANDRA Summit Sportsman Series. There is no doubt these racers wear their hearts on their sleeves. Winner of Top Sportsman was Jason Arbery driving a Henley Chassis Ford Capri. Arbery posted a 5.449 on a 5.39 dial in while Fitzgerald posted a 5.505 on a 5.40 dial in after red lighting the start.
Junior Dragster had Kelly Donnelly sitting on the start line for the best part of 4 seconds while Daniel Carranza tried to put some space between himself and Donnelly. Nominating an 8.01dial in, Donnelly barely got the job done posting an 8.114 to take the win over Carranza who had posted a 12.383 on a 12.30 dial in.
Super Street was a battle between two South Aussies with Harry Harris going up against Kylie Tanner in the final. Tanner had looked on the money right from the start of qualifying and you just had this feeling that she would turn up in the final. Tanner was up against the #1 qualifier Garth O’Hehir in round 1 and after dispatching O’Hehir she worked her way past Cammileri and local racer Greg Holland in round 3 to reach the final. Harris had an even tougher run getting past Kalantzis, Tatchell, Franze and Kendall in the semi to reach the final. Harris nominated a 7.26 dial in running a 7.264 race to take the win from Tanner who dipped under her dial in posting a 7.307 ET on a 7.31 dial in. Extremely tough racing in a category that is currently under the hammer.
Super Sedan like Super Street was once again a highly competitive bracket with Steve Hunt taking out the win in a Ford XW Panel Van over a fellow South Australian in Danny Buccella. Hunt dialled in with a 6.45 and managed to stay inside his dial in with a close 6.458 time to take the win over Buccella who posted a 5.722 on a 5.67 dial in. Current dual Aussie champ Johnny Kapiris was a surprise first round loser today along with Dave Yanco and Vlado Turic. These three guys have been at the pointy end of events for quite a while and it was strange to see them all bow out in round 1. Kapiris in particular didn’t look comfortable during qualifying and had the car on the trailer unusually early for the current champ. Top qualifier Glen Henley went all the way to the semis in his neat Datsun ute before getting rolled by Hunt in the semi. On the other side of the draw Ned Karanovic driving the Haddad Performance 57 Chev had made it through to the semis for a meeting with Buccella after taking care of wheel standing Bill Farrugia in round 1, Brett Mathew in round 2 and then Caine Reed in round 3.
Modified Bike was taken out by Tasmanian registered racer in Shane Walker on a Harley Destroyer. Walker who had comp bike pilot and current Warrnambool Drag Racing Club president Tony Frost in his corner was too good for New South Welshman Wally Hosta posting a 5.991 on a 5.95 dial in to Hosta’s 6.112 on a 6.14 dial in after red lighting the start. Top qualifier Matt Allen made it all the way to the semi-final stage but couldn’t get past Hosta. As is the case when there is a big field, a lot of fancied riders were packing up early with Alice Springs runner up Brian Finn out in round 1 along with Rob Cassar due to mechanical issues. Walker had made a calculated decision to travel to Alice Springs in search of bonus points with a semi-final appearance paying dividends for the well-travelled mod biker. Today’s win will have Walker close to heading the category.
Supercharged Outlaws provided the highlight of the round when local Calder Park drag racer Jason Keily put the 34 Ford Couple into victory lane for the first time in his career. Posting a 4.951 on a 4.65 dial in Keily was handed the win when Mildura regular Dave Thorton broke out with a 4.623 on a 4.64 dial in. That aside, the improvement coming out of the Keily camp has been nothing short of encouraging with the blown racer making big in-roads with the cars performance over recent months. Having witnesses Keily’s development with the car over the past 2 years it’s times like this that provide the sport with those special once of moments just like Steve Normans Summit Series win last time out at AIR after 23 years of competition. 12 Months ago Keily was hesitant with the car opting to get off the gas as soon as the car was out of shape which seemed to happen on a regular basis. With limited running time in the car over the past 18 months due to the temporary closure of Calder Park Drag Racing, Keily perserveered with the set-up and after making some adjustments to both the car and his driving methods was able to find some consistency with the set-up. A turning point for Keily was a recent trip to Whyalla to contest the Whyalla Steel City’s Supercharged Shootout event. Although he didn’t make the final the car showed tons of performance especially in the early part of the event to give Keily the confidence to drive the car hard with the end result being the #2 qualifier behind Doina Day this weekend culminating in an ANDRA Summit Sportsman Series win. Day who had been faultless all weekend lost to Thorton in the semi but will add nicely to her points tally in this year’s series.
The final bracket to be contested at this year’s Summit Series round 3 fixture was the Super Comp bracket which was a combination of Super Compact, Super Stock and the Competition brackets. This class had some of the sport’s biggest heavy hitters lining up to take a shot at the champ in Craig Geddes. The Geddes team never seems to be under duress with what it seems like a walk in the park for this team every time they roll into the staging lanes. I’m sure that’s not the case but it was certainly a surprise when Geddes just rolled through the finish line after completing a burnout during round 1 of qualifying. To see the Geddes dragster limping through to the finish line was unbelievable but it wasn’t long before all was set right with Geddes running under his index by 0.25 seconds with his second qualifying pass. In today’s action Geddes was up against Wayne Talbot in the funny car. Talbot posted the quickest ET yesterday and was the first big scalp of the day for Geddes. Next up was Shane Baxter who had put away the Nissan powered Pontiac of Daniel Camilleri. Although Baxter had been smashing records along the way Geddes found a way past the dragster to reach the final where the bracket’s #1 qualifier Jim Ioannidis was waiting. Ioannidis had the bye in round 1 courtesy of the top qualifier tag and faced off against West Aussie Kim Fardella in the Ford Falcon. Having just competed in Sydney Fardella decided to stick around and do the Portland round before heading back home. Fardella put on an awesome display of drag racing with his viscous Falcon and was definitely another highlight of the weekend. I don’t know what it is but the West Aussie cars we see over here in the East are always spectacular and put on such an awesome display of drag racing for the fans. Fardella had earlier taken out Andrew Dyson in the rotary powered Mazda which was a mission in itself. Next time the Dyson rotary is entered in an event in your area do yourself a favour by getting along to watch the best in the business when it comes to rotary power. The Dyson dynasty goes way back with rotary powered drag racing cars and at one stage were the world leaders in rotary performance. So the win by Fardella over Dyson was even more impressive but unfortunately for Fardella that is where it ended as the top qualifier in Ioannidis managed to get the win against Fardella.
The final saw Geddes go even quicker than qualifying posting a 4.578 on a 4.75 index to take the win over Ioannidis who posted a 5.911 on a 6.03 index.
That wrapped up one of the best Summit Sportsman Series rounds ever contested and with 8 national records coming out of the event puts the Fuchs South Coast Raceway up with the best tracks in Australia. With all the turmoil in the industry over the past few weeks it was good to witness first-hand the incredible emotion and commitment displayed by the sportsman racers.
The ANDRA Summit Sportsman Series moves onto Warwick for round 4 on the 28/29th of November with the series returning to Victoria the following weekend for round 5 at Mildura’s Sunset Strip.
Queenslanders now have the opportunity to support Australia’s greatest sportsman series when Warwick host round 4. Lots of track prep and improvements have taken place in preparation for the block buster round.
For more info on the series go to: http://andra.com.au/series/calendar/2015-16-calendar.html
For more info on the Warwick round go to: http://www.warwickdragway.com/
For more info on the Mildura round go to: http://www.sunsetstrip.org.au/
Forbes Set For Massive Day
By Mark Humphrey
Portland, Vic/Aus. 15th November 2015. As we move into finals day for round 3 of the Summit Sportsman Series at the Fuchs South Coast Raceway former dual national Super Gas champ Matt Forbes finds himself as top qualifier for not only Super Gas but also Modified Eliminator. In what has been a busy weekend for Forbes steering cars in 2 different categories he has set himself up for what could turn out as a very successful weekend of racing for the Victorian?
Forbes has re-found the form in Super Gas which saw him collect back to back championships in the class to just edge out current Aussie champ Graeme Spencer who also looked solid during his 2 qualifying runs yesterday.
In Modified Forbes goes into today’s eliminations having narrowly edged out the ever consistent Leanne Braggs with champ Simon Barlow a whisker behind as 3rd qualifier. Too many options in this quality field but by the end of the day Matt Forbes could quite possibly walk away with 2 Xmas trees.
Modified Bike as usually was well represented with more than 20 entries. Mark Allan takes a handy #1 qualifier spot into today’s eliminations but with a quality field ahead of him will have to be on his game to advance into round 2. Lots of tough competition in this bracket with Shane Walker and Edgell Mallis consistent runners at plenty of events around the country and definitely in the mix for silverware. Summit Sportsman Series round 1 runner-up Brian Finn has made the journey over from SA and goes into today’s eliminations leading the National Championship and should be considered a real chance on the Honda.
Junior Dragster sees Kelly Donnelly as the #1 qualifier yet again and should figure deep into the day’s eliminations. Once again the JD ranks are busy with talented runners throughout the qualifying list with last weekend’s Gold Xmas tree winner Brooke Farelly looking to add to the collection.
Super Sedan had 2 dozen racers line up in qualifying with Glen Henley in a Datsun Ute taking out the #1 qualifier tag with a 5.53 pass at 124.53 mph. Quality racers all through the list with Aussie Champ John Kapiris qualifying mid pack. Kapiris looked a touch off yesterday which for most racers would be on the money and needs to find the groove today if he is to add to the silverware collection.
Super Street like Super Sedan was well represented with 2 dozen racers lining up in qualifying. Garth O’Hehir top qualified in his Chevy Camaro with local hopeful Scott Cleary dropping into the #3 spot. Normally running in the 7.1’s Cleary had fallen away recently to sit around the 7.5’s with a close inspection of the power plant showing some head gasket issues the cause of the slower times. A freshen up for the event had Cleary posting 7.0’s for both qualifying runs and goes into today’s eliminations as one to watch along with Dave Yanko, Kylie Tanner and a host of others.
Top Sportsman sees South Aussie Phillip Yfantidis as the #1 qualifier with the only 4 second pass in the class. Yfantidis posted a 4.93 @ 141.10mph to easily head the list but will need to be on his game with last season’s hard chargers Stu McBain and Darren Saliba qualifying well.
Doina Day qualified in the #1 slot for Supercharged Outlaws and looks the one to beat in today’s eliminations. Having won the championship in 2014 and then backing that up as the series runner up last season Day is certainly the favourite to take out round 3 here at South Coast. In what was a fantastic result Jason Kiely picked up the #2 spot with a solid pass of 4.75 @ 144.12mph in his 34 Ford Coupe. Kiely has been slowly getting the rod into shape and his recent trip to Whyalla to contest the Supercharged Shootout seems to have paid off for the Calder Park regular. Having found the speed in the car Kiely now needs to find some consistency with his racing but if yesterday is anything to go on he is definitely heading in the right direction. Who knows what will transpire today but you can bet the Kiely camp is as proud as punch with yesterday’s result.
The last bracket to be contested at the Fuchs South Coast Raceway today is the Super Comp bracket. Supercharged Outlaws has always been my favourite bracket but Super Comp is fast becoming another favourite with runners like West Aussie Kim Fardella putting on another awesome display of qualifying yesterday in the Ford Falcon. Big time winner Craig Geddes never seems to put a foot wrong in this class and is always at the pointy end when finals time comes around. Geddes uncharacteristic had a dummy pass yesterday when the car sounded off after the burnout. Although this could be considered just a slight hiccup in most camps you never see anything short of perfect every time this race team rolls out onto the track so it will be interesting to see how the camp comes back. Geddes did manage to drop into the #3 spot just ahead of Fardella and behind Shane Baxter. Baxter who is well known for his Altered racing managed to go 0.30 under his index to drop into the #2 spot just behind top qualifier Jim Ioannidis who went 0.38 under his national index. Wayne Talbot in the Pluger Funny Car posted the day’s top ET and mph with a 4.31 pass @ 180mph over the 1/8 mile distance. Andrew Dyson competing in Super Compact and Daniel Camilleri in the Super Stock bracket rounded out the bracket in what was a very exciting day of qualifying. No doubt this will be one of the highlights of today’s racing. Eliminations commence at 10am with a full day’s racing expected to be completed around 6pm this evening.
For more info on the day’s activities go to: http://www.southcoastraceway.com/
PRESS RELEASE, 12/11/2015
|Matt Forbes at the double beginning in Portland this weekend|
Click image for high res. Photo credit: Dave Hope
Ballarat’s Matt Forbes will begin a dual campaign for supremacy when he lines up in both Modified and Super Gas at the South Coast 660 at Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Portland, Victoria this weekend (November 14-15).
Having already competed in Modified at Alice Springs’ Desert Nationals in July, Forbes’ Lucas Oil team will now begin a run of events racing both the TNT Supercars Dragster and ‘57 Corvette Roadster.
The event in Portland this weekend will double as Round 3 of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series before the next five rounds of a 10 round Series at Warwick Dragway in Queensland, Mildura Sunset Strip and Calder Park Raceway followed by return trips to Portland and Calder in the New Year.
“There is nothing better than being busy at the track and I will certainly be applying some of what I learned in the USA,” said Forbes who recently experienced NHRA championship racing abroad.
“We have some new programs and procedures to use so we hope that helps us in our points chase this season.
“To be able to race both cars at these events really came down to a good friend offering to transport the Corvette while his car is not ready to race. We are competitors and I believe in what we do and how we go about it, if I do what I am meant to on race day I believe we have a realistic shot at winning races and if we do that enough times Championships follow on from that.
“I am new to racing a dragster, we have only had it out three times and have been to two semi finals and one runner up so I hope we can improve on that and get a win soon!”
Forbes says his experience in the dragster is better than he ever thought and credits TNT Supercars for helping to make improvements heading into the busy schedule these next few months.
“After speaking with Dillon (at TNT Supercars) – he knows my car very well – he gave some advice on what he thought would make it even better. As far as I am concerned TNT build one of the nicest and most competitive bracket dragsters around so I am listening to his advice.”
The two-time Super Gas champion will also apply the experience and knowledge picked up on his recent trip the USA where he made his national NHRA debut in a Super Gas Corvette Roadster owned by Buddy and Karen Wood.
He competed first at an NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Divisional event at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Oklahoma and the following week a National event at the Texas Motorplex in Dallas.
“The experience was just fantastic, I was invited into Tommy Phillips team for the duration of both events and nothing was off limits. Whatever I required it was there at my disposal.
To learn from one of the very best in the business is incredible and his team are just the most wonderful people. The racing there is incredibly close, the staff and racers very friendly and the programs are very efficient.
“My host Tommy won Super Gas at the Dallas event so it was very special to be a part of the winners circle celebrations and watching Aussie Richie Crampton winning in his Lucas Oil Top Fuel car was magic.”
Forbes also spent time at his sponsor Lucas Oil in Corona, California with Tom Bogner, a true gear head.
“He lives and breathes motorsport and lubricants. Tom is as enthusiastic as ever and his passion is contagious. Tom and I stay in regular contact and he is really proud of the way the Lucas Oil race teams in Australia operate.”
The Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series at Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Portland, Victoria commences with qualifying from 11am on Saturday November 14with eliminations scheduled from 10am on Sunday November 15.For more information about the South Coast 660 please visit www.southcoastraceway.com
PRESS RELEASE, 10/11/2015
Wayne Talbot feeling Forever Young
Click image for high res. Photo credit: Dragpix
Fans at Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Portland this weekend can look forward to some old school cool as Wayne Talbot (Clyde, Victoria) pilots his Forever Young II Funny Car at the South Coast 660.
Round 3 of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series rolls into town for the first of two events this season with Talbot leaving behind the Supercharged Outlaws bracket and entering Super Comp.
“We ran last year in Supercharged Outlaws but the dial in deal is not for us,” he said.
“We like to run as fast as we can. We have a little rivalry with our neighbours Craig Russo who can run the first three-second pass on the eighth-mile.
“My racing goal has always been to run nitro like the Outlaw Funny Cars.
"But my close friend Graham Hussey is always talking me out of it as the failures are terminal when you get it wrong.
“So in the meantime we are going to be happy in Group 2 and have some fun along the way.”
Talbot first started racing in 2005 at Heathcote Raceway and Calder Park in an LJ Torana. Come 2008 he purchased a front engine dragster with the intention to run it as a nitro car however the rules changed.
“The nitro guys changed their rules just as we had finished the engine and our motor was too large. So new pistons and compression and we run it on alcohol. I really liked this car and we ran it ‘til 2014.
“2014 I saw the Forever Young Funny Car and had to have it.
“Sometimes this blown hemi deal can send you crazy with maintenance. Time I don't have but must make.”
Talbot will be making time this weekend at the South Coast 660 at Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Portland. The event serves as Round 3 of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series featuring Super Comp, Supercharged Outlaws, Top Sportsman, Modified, Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Super Street, Junior Dragster and Super Gas.For more information please visit: www.southcoastraceway.com
Drag Challenge, Test n Tune & All Burnout Night - 23rd & 24th October 2015
Our first meeting of the season is rapidly approaching. The weekend will made up from the three events:
Friday 23rd October - Tyre Frying Friday
Saturday 24th – Street Machine Drag Challenge
Saturday 24th – Open track Test n Tune
Tyre Frying Friday - Friday 23rd October
All Burnouts Night
3 Hours of Burnouts
3 Smokin Rounds
Gates open 5pm / Action From 6pm
Open track Test n Tune – Saturday 24th
Gate Opening Times
Gates Open 9:00AM
Licensed Event. Bar facilities available. Strictly No BYO Alcohol
Entry Cost $15
No Pre-Entry Required
Entries will be available at the gate on the day of the event.
Test n Tune - $70 – Driver Only
Additional Crew $15.00
Drivers Briefing 10:30AM
Scrutineering will be compulsory for all vehicles on the day
Street Machine Drag Challenge - Saturday 24th
This event is organised by Street Machine and will run in tandem with the test n tune day.
If you have any questions about this event, drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org