ANDRA X-Champs is Full Bore!
Australia’s Sydney Dragway hosted the latest exciting edition for ANDRA as the X-Champs event lived up to the billing, providing total non-stop weekend action that culminating in a pulsating final day of eliminations…..
Just when it looked as though Rapisarda Autosport International’s recent run would come to an end when top qualifier Damien Harris went out in the first round, up stepped Allan Dobson to secure his third successive ANDRA Drag Racing Series win.
Not only did “Dobbo” take home the ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree, but he wrested the Top Fuel championship points lead away from Phil Lamattina.
Dobson started promisingly taking the win light on a 4.69 from Mark Mariani’s 4.88 in round one.
His semi final was troubled by a broken input shaft that destroyed the engine but a 5.33 was good enough to beat Phil Read’s 5.82 setting up a Super 3 rematch with John Lamattina in the final.
Lamattina got through when Peter Xiberras was disqualified on his competitive debut in the semi finals for leaving the parachute pins locked in on the burnout to waste an impressive 4.68.
Unfortunately for Lamattina in the final he could not keep the throttle down consistently on a 6.12 leaving Dobson to bring home another championship win on a 4.92 despite experiencing problems.
“It was so hard to win that one,” said Dobson. “After qualifying yesterday I was starting to doubt our chances of getting through. We just had to get one good pass to get a baseline and we did that today.
“It (the engine) was eating itself up so we had to swap a few engines. There was a lot of pressure on that last race there, the car wouldn’t start and we had trouble with the electronic sensors. We broke the input shaft in the semi finals and it destroyed the engine, there was not a clutch left. “It was excellent to get through to the finals, to do it for Santo and take over the championship lead. Now I’m going for the championship like a fighter, I’ve never felt so pumped up and aggressive.”
Leonard Azzopardi upset the apple cart in Top Fuel Motorcycle by taking home his first Group 1 ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree by defeating Neville Smith on a 7.36 and Mark Drew on a 6.81 in the semi finals.
The final was even better for Azzopardi with a 6.59 as Gordon Crawford got out of the racing groove on a 9.22 pass.
“It feels unreal,” said Azzopardi. “The only plan we came here with was to either run a personal best or win. We weren’t looking to run a crazy pass or anything like that, we were just here to have a run.
“We weren’t prepared to go and try crazy things and then have to come back to start pulling the motor apart. This bike has still got the same pistons and rods in it from when I bought it, for a nitro vehicle that’s nearly impossible.”
Pro Stock number one qualifier Aaron Tremayne solidified his points lead in the championship eliminating Anthony Selva on a 7.12 on his way to a solo in round two and a win over defending champion Jason Grima who shut down before staging in the semi finals.
Tremayne then put down a very solid 7.01 in the final to defeat Emilio Spinozzi’s a 7.20.
“It was a pretty good weekend,” said Tremayne. “I’m a little bummed we hurt a couple of motors but what do you do?
“There’s a bit of an issue there with some fuel, us and some other guys had that issue but that doesn’t matter, we’ll get them fixed up and have our good motors back for the Winternationals.
“It (the X-Champs) was a good race meeting, it was a pity we had rain yesterday that probably hurt the crowd a little bit but the track was a lot better, especially today. There was some good data I collected and hopefully we can go to the Winters, run a couple of sixes and set some big mph.”
John Zappia moved to the top of the point standings powering into the Top Doorslammer final with a 5.84 to defeat Martyn Dack and a semi final winning 5.82 to eliminate an out of shape Victor Bray.
Kapiris had run 5.9s in his previous runs to eliminate Andrew Sutton and Stuart Bishop and so it proved again in the final but his 5.98 was not enough to beat John Zappia running a 5.79 to take the lead in the standings from Stuart Bishop.
Steven Reed added another Gold Christmas Tree to the forest in his trophy cabinet running a 5.95 to defeat Wayne Price early in eliminations, a 5.53 to defeat Wayne Newby and complete the hat trick in the final with a 5.56 to beat Steven Ham who spun the tyres.
Rounding out the Group 1 action, Luke Crowley wrapped up another Pro Stock Motorcycle championship round win progressing through the first round on a solo 7.27 before defeating Maurice Allen in a tight race with a 7.21 from a 7.29.
That set up a final run against Phil Howard with his 7.29 good enough to edge the win from Howard’s 7.45.
The next leg of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series moves onto Willowbank Raceway in Queensland for the running of the Fuchs Winternationals, June 5-8, 2014.
Posting courtesy of : Tim Baker (ANDRA)
For additional event coverage visit: Drag News Australia
Photos by: Cackling Pipes.com, Fred Dwyer and drag photos.com.au