“November Round-up” from “Down Under” 

Australia’s now reset 2012/13 Racing calendar has kicked into high gear with events held at both Sydney NSW and Perth WA during the month of November.  Here are the results from their exciting racing season so far… 

At Sydney, reigning Australian Top Fuel champion Darren Morgan took his second win in a row, backing up his victory at Adelaide two weeks prior.  With renewed consistency Morgan was able to drive to a 4.781 secs win in the final and also recording top speed of the event at 513 KMH (319.29 mph) which defeated opponent Phil Lamattina.  

Darren Morgan is now 2 for 2 in 2012/13 ANDRA Top Fuel racing

Morgan reported that mechanical changes had made the impact they were looking for. 

“Last year tested the hell out of us consistency wise so we changed some things in it,” he said. “It’s all worked and we’re starting to get happy with it. The difference between qualifying when it was cold and racing today when it was hot was a challenge.” 

In Top Doorslammer, it was like a win read straight from a script as Peter Kapiris came back from a clutch explosion in qualifying to win the event. 

Kapiris was sent to hospital for checks following the incident but returned to the track hours later to assist his team in the rebuild and produce a car that would go on to win over Gary Phillips, 5.98 to a 6.01. Kapiris was still bearing the burns on his face from the fiery explosion, which filled the cabin of his Top Doorslammer with smoke and flames, and had also been treated for carbon dioxide inhalation.

Peter Kapiris beat Gary Phillips in the Top Doorslammer final round at Sydney

“The whole team has only had about an hour sleep, normally they would be jumping up and down but this time they were just glad it was over,” he said. “I’m over the moon, I would have been happy just to make it to the first round. When you work that hard for a win, it means more.”  

The win allowed Kapiris to build up a significant advantage over John Zappia, likely to be his chief rival throughout the season. 

Pro Stock featured a major upset in the final as Wayne Daley took out a red-lighting (foul start) Jason Grima. 

Wayne Daley scored an upset win in Pro Stock driving his Dodge Avenger

Grima’s PC Group Ford Mustang had been on record pace all day but when he jumped the start it was Daley’s Diamond T Mopar crew who were jumping for joy, a 7.12 the winner from Grima’s much quicker 7.02.  

The win also earned the Daley team the Greg Flaherty Memorial Trophy, in honor of one of the original heavy hitters in the class.  

Grima went home far from empty handed however, setting the quickest time and fastest speed ever for Pro Stock at 6.982 secs and 315 KMH (195.79 mph).

John Grima recorded the quickest Pro Stock run ever in Australia — wheeling his 400 CID Mustang to a 6.982 secs.

Steve Reed followed up his Fuchs Winternationals win (last June at Willowbank) with victory in Top Alcohol over Jon Sting, 5.66 to a 5.79 and Chris Matheson continued his dominant streak in Top Bike with a 6.23 to 6.83 win against Chris Porter.  

Luke Crowley was another to follow up Fuchs Winternationals success with a 7.33 to a 7.48 decision over reigning series champion Lachlan Ireland. 

Event Essentials:  Australian Nationals (November 2-4th, 2012) Sydney NSW

ANDRA Series Name ET MPH  
Top Fuel        
Winner: Darren Morgan 4.781 319.29  
R/UP: Phil Lamattina 5.007 240.98  
Low ET: Gary Read 4.693    
Top Speed: Darren Morgan   319.29  
Bump Spot:   N/A   7-cars
Top Alcohol        
Winner: Steven Reed 5.667 248.11  
R/UP: Jon Sting 5.795 251.44  
Low ET: Gary Phillips 5.497    
Top Speed: Gary Phillips   261.72  
Bump Spot:   5.932    
Top Doorslammer        
Winner: Peter Kapiris 5.984 234.45  
R/UP: Gary Phillips 6.019 251.81  
Low ET: Peter Kapiris 5.860    
Top Speed: Stuart Bishop   253.29  
Bump Spot:   6.012    
Top Bike        
Winner: Chris Matheson 6.234 226.01  
R/UP: Chris Porter 6.830 173.09  
Low ET: Chris Matheson 6.092    
Top Speed: Chris Matheson   226.01  
Bump Spot:   N/A   5-Bikes
Pro Stock Car        
Winner: Wayne Daley 7.129 193.38  
R/UP: Jason Grima 7.020 195.22  
Low ET: Jason Grima 6.982    
Top Speed: Jason Grima   195.79  
Bump Spot:   N/A   15-cars
Pro Stock Bike        
Winner: Luke Crowley 7.331 181.08  
R/UP: LachlanIreland 7.486 174.35  
Low ET: Luke Crowley 7.258    
Top Speed: Luke Crowley   181.35  
Bump Spot:   8.790    
Sportsman  Winners:        
Pro Comp Greg Clayton 6.123 224.55  
Super Stock Jason Simpson 8.324 155.02  
Super Compact Joe Signorelli 7.249 185.21  
SC Outlaws Michael Watkins 7.105 184.90  
SuperSedan Neil Constantinou 9.980 122.29  
Modified Craig Baker 8.755 149.90  
Super Street Carl Taylor 11.23 119.54  
Super Gas Roy Romeo 9.917 148.37  
Comp Bike Corey Scholes 8.738 154.14  


T/D Giants Square Off! 

Old sparring partners Victor Bray and John Zappia matched up in the final round at Perth Motorplex with Bray emerging as the upset winner during Round #2 of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer championship chase.  

It was a night to remember for Bray, with the Queensland-based tomato farmer also running his first ever 5-secs passes; a 5.96 in the semi finals was backed up with a 5.95 in the final.  

Australian Top Doorslammer heavyweights John Zappia and Victor Bray matched up for the title during Perth’s Golden State Nationals

The finals match up of Bray, a 6-time champion, and Zappia, a 5X champion, had the crowd salivating.  But when Zappia got loose early in his run Bray was able to stretch the legs of the Sidchrome 57 Chev through to the finish line and his first win since September 2006.  

“It is great to win again, it feels terrific, it gives everyone uplift,” he said. “It’s been tough with the way John Zappia and all the boys have stepped up over the years.” 

Bray said running his first five second pass came with much relief.

“I thought ‘you beauty’, I don’t have to go to my grave not running a five,” he said. “We had to step it up but we still concentrated on consistency, I think now we know which way to head with it.” 

Series points leader Peter Kapiris was a shock first round loser to debutant Pat Carbone, but still holds the lead in the championship with 160 points, followed by Bray on 122 and Zappia on 118. 

In Top Alcohol Rob Pilkington followed up his 2011 Goldenstates win with the 2012 version as well. The win didn’t come the way Pilkington would have liked, with his opponent Craig Glassby barely running out of time to make it to the start line before the noise curfew in the all-WA final.  

“Overall we have earned it this weekend, we’ve done all the right things,” he said. “We were hoping to run a 5.50 in the final but we weren’t quite there. But as the night went on we were able to make progress and we kept going forward.” 

Pilkington said he will give some consideration to attending another round of the championship, though he is primarily a Perth-based racer.  “It will be a wait and see game, we’ve got a little bit of time until the next round to think about it,” he said.  

Western Australia’s own – Rob Pilkington – won in Top Alcohol

Gary Phillips picked up the Top Alcohol series lead at the event with 114 points, followed by Pilkington on 108, Steve Reed on 106 and John Cannuli on 105.  

The next championship round of Top Doorslammer will be at the return of ANDRA championship drag racing to CalderParkon February 16-17 while Top Alcohol will head to Adelaide on February 23-24. 

Event Essentials:  Golden States National Open (Nov. 16-17th 2012) Perth WA 

Top Doorslammer        
Winner: Victor Bray 5.953 243.24  
R/UP: John Zappia 7.650 125.00  
Low ET: John Zappia 5.828    
Top Speed: John Zappia   248.61  
Bump Spot:   6.050    
Top Alcohol        
Winner: Rob Pilkington 5.610 256.41  
R/UP: Craig Glasby NTR NSR  
Low ET: Gary Phillips 5.579    
Top Speed: Gary Phillips   257.87  
Bump Spot:   N/A   7-cars


Posted by:  Luke Nieuwhof  

Photos courtesy of :  Grant Stephens (www.dragnews.com.au)  and Fred Dwyer