Conditions K.O. ANDRA Southern Nationals
ANDRA’s highly anticipated Southern Nationals event for Calder Park in Melbourne (VIC) was not competed after cool air and track temperature and deteriorating conditions prevented the completion of the schedule…
The ANDRA Drag Racing Series and Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship series racers did manage to complete some of it’s qualifying on Friday but the full race elimination program (set for Saturday) was not finished. Similar to Friday night, safety concerns were raised as a result of rapidly dropping track temperatures.
Top Doorslammer found their groove earlier in the day over the 1000 foot distance as Stuart Bishop and John Zappia put down the pass of the day in the final qualifying session. Bishop top qualified on a 5.136 with Zappia close behind on a 5.270. As it turned out they were due to face each other in the final after blitzing their elimination opponents.
Bishop said his form was down to the tune of the car as the auto transmission allows the team more room to dial back the set up for the shorter distance.
“We’re all so hyped up to run 5.80s that you get to a track like this and the track just can’t cope with that type of horsepower,” he said. “You can dial it right back and that’s where I think they come into their own.”
“I think it’s been great (at Calder Park). I’d like to see them spend some money and do the track up. I think the venue could be absolutely fabulous again with its proximity to Melbourne and the fan-base here.”
Unfortunately we would not get to see a Bishop v Zappia final but Zappia had some fun with what might have been.
“We got the maximum amount of points under the situation so we earned 97 points and Stuart earned 88 points and we feel we got the moral win,” said Zappia. “We came here to play a game and we won the most points.”
“The Fuchs Striker Monaro was flying all weekend and even though we had some tyre shake, flying over bumps and moving around all over the place, under the conditions we put a similar set up to Adelaide where we had run a 5.03.”
“When the sun came out today the traction got better and we we’re able to go 5.08 with a pedal and a 5.11 in the semis with a pedal at 222 mph.”
In other Group 1 action, Pro Stock completed the first round of eliminations with Lee Bektash making headlines for knocking out 2013 champ Jason Grima on a 7.115 from a 7.296.
Top qualifier Bill Kostias also went out in the first round with an NTR as Tyronne Tremayne crossed on a 7.279. The fourth and final matchup saw Rick Chilton post a 7.157 to defeat Nino Cavallo running 7.584.
Pro Stock Motorcycle completed one round of eliminations but did not stage a semi final though the action came thick and fast.
Australian number one Luke Crowley had low ET of the round on a 7.324 to defeat Lachlan Ireland on 7.694 and Phil Howard ran an 8.179 to defeat Scott White on a troubled 10.750.
But the drama came when Maurice Allen (NTR) defeated Tony Hinkley (NTR), after Hinkley took a tumble off the bike taking out the finish line cones. Safety crews reacted while Maurice Allen immediately pulled up his bike and ran to the aid of Hinkley who was okay and walked away.
As the night progressed and Top Doorslammer completed the semi finals, Group 1 would not get to see another green light once track and ANDRA officials deemed the surface to be unsafe due to the cold conditions.
Several elimination rounds were also completed in Round 5 of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.
Posting courtesy of Drag News Australia
Photo by: dragphotos.com.au