Return to Adelaide Includes ANDRA First
Darren Morgan, John Cannuli, Chris Matheson and Phil Howard will go down in history as the winners of the first championship drag racing event over 1000 feet in Australia following an exciting event at the Pro Series 1000 in Adelaide…..
The event also marked an historic return for the ANDRA to the South Australia state after a 10-year absence.
Morgan’s AEG team took the final over Phil Lamattina’s Fuchs dragster with a 4.65 secs at 254.30 mph as a strategic approach to gaining data on the new race surface proved successful with the reigning champion taking over the ANDRA Pro Series points lead.
“Leading the championship is always better than being behind,” Morgan said. “We’re on top of this new car now so we should be right for the remaining two rounds. In qualifying with some runs I had to let it do what it was going to do so (crew chief) Benny could learn from it. Once we had that figured out Ben knew where to go with it.”
Morgan has a 12.5 point lead over Andrew Cowin who qualified #1 and reached the semi finals, with points leader going into the event Damien Harris falling to third.
Top Alcohol’s final was all drama with John Cannuli taking the win but all eyes on the opposite lane as Wayne Newby got loose and crossed lanes, crashing into the opposite safety barrier at the finish line. Newby emerged unharmed thankfully after the incident.
For Cannuli it was his third win in Top Alcohol and his first this season in the “Wash It” Chevy Monte Carlo.
“We haven’t raced this car since November so I’m getting my head back around it and the more laps I was driving the better I was getting,” he said. “It was tricky at the start; we underestimated the track at first. We realised we could throw more at it and we kept putting more power in it until we got down there with a nice 4.89 in the semi finals.”
Cannuli also took bonus points for low time and top speed of the event in Top Alcohol. Meanwhile Newby closed to within one point of Gary Phillips in the ANDRA Pro Series points, with Adam Marchant lurking just a further six points behind after making it to the semi finals.
Top Bike champion Chris Matheson demonstrated the power of his nitro machine again with a 5.38 secs win over Chris Porter.
“We struggled a little bit with the track all weekend and we took a lot of power out of it so we could hook up,” Matheson said. “Our 60 foots (launch times) weren’t where they normally are.”
Matheson has the championship all but sewn up with a massive 168.5 point lead over nearest rival Mark Drew, who did not contest the Adelaide round.
Finally in Pro Stock Motorcycle Locky Ireland took his Lucas Oils Suzuki to the winner’s circle for the first time in a victory over Phil Howard, who came back from a braking area crash in qualifying to take a runner up spot.
Ireland said he was happy to be a part of history – “I’m definitely rapt for my first win and being the first winner in a 1000 feet race in the first event back inAdelaide in over ten years is one to cherish,” he said. “I really want to upgrade the number three plate to a number one.”
The next round of the ANDRA Pro Series will be the Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway in May.
Posted by: Rob Sparkes http://www.dragnews.com.au/
Photos Courtesy of Luke Nieuwhof and Grant Stephens
Event Essentials: ANDRA Pro Series 1000 (April l3-15th, 2012)
|Low ET:||Andrew Cowin||4.372|
|Top Speed:||Phil Lamattina||270.67|
|Low ET:||John Cannuli||4.898|
|Top Speed:||John Cannuli||226.07|
|Bump Spot:||5.844||8-car field|
|Low ET:||Chris Matheson||5.300|
|Top Speed:||Chris Matheson||196.67|
|Pro Stock Bike|
|Low ET:||Phil Howard||6.212|
|Top Speed:||Phil Howard||165.68|
|Extreme Outlaws||Steven Walker||12.99|
|Modified Bike||Tony Keating||9.521|
|Super Gas||Bruno Romeo||8.303|