Australia’s drag racing Top Fuel “Kingpin” Santo Rapisarda’s team dominates at AC Delco East Coast Thunder event….

Despite the best efforts of a rather un-cooperative mother nature, the ACDelco East Coast Thunder drew to a close with sensational racing across the 400 Thunder Professional Series held at Sydney Dragway.

In Top Fuel, reigning champion and number one qualifier Wayne Newby was defeated by his Rapisarda Autosport International teammate Damien Harris in the final round. Newby defeated Phil Read in round one and Mildura based Darren Morgan in round two. Harris took down the third of the Rapisarda cars driven by Ashley Sanford in Round one and took down a red lighting Peter Xiberras in the semi-finals.
With the win, Harris leads the championship after round one of the six round 400 Thunder Top Fuel Series.

Wayne Newby roared to the victory during the first of six new calendar year 400 Thunder Series Top Fuel events

Young lady racer Ashley Sanford (from the USA) drove the 3rd Rapisarda Autosport International car at the Sydney event.

Pro Slammer provided plenty of highlights, with American visitor Frankie Taylor taking the trophy back to Texas after defeating Michelle Davies in round one, a red lighting Scott Maclean in round two, and the reigning champion Mark Belleri in the semi-finals before defeating Paul Mouhayet in the final round.

PDRA circuit regular Frankie Taylor (from Texas) drove the Team Bray Racing Corvette to victory in the Pro Slammer class

Paul Mouhayet placed runner-up in Pro Slammer racing with his absolutely awesome new supercharged Mustang.

Scott Maclean qualified his Northern Territories based Holden #1 in Pro Slammer racing

With his second runner up in succession, Mouhayet took over the 400 Thunder Series points lead for Pro Slammer. John Zappia, despite being knocked out by Mouhayet in the semi-final re-set the National Record to a staggering 5.601 seconds.

Aussie Pro Slammer racing icon John Zappia raised the class performance bar again with a mind-numbing/national record setting 5.601 secs ET!

Pro Stock saw a wounded Jason Hedges nurse his car to the final round, however he was defeated by the most successful racer of his generation, Aaron Tremayne driving the Mega Bulk Fuels Pontiac. Tremaye Defeated hedges with the quickest run of the day in the final round with a 6.994.
Reigning champion in Pro Bike, Brad Lemberg, picked up where he left off by defeating Cory Buttigieg in the Final. Buttigeig red lit after a stellar performance, returning after a 12 month layoff.

Pro Stock winner -Aaron Tremayne

Top Bike had a first time finalist in an all Nitro Harley final round. Adam Layton could not complete the fairytale but did take home a runner up trophy for his efforts, falling to Chris Porter in the Top Bike Final.

A small but quality field in Pro Alcohol saw Steve Reed take the win light in a sensational side by side race with Sydneysider Russell Mills. A 5.482 for read was just enough to defeat Mills’ 5.560 to take the lead in the Championship Series.

Whilst mother nature was determined to impact the event, including forcing the Sydney Dragway track crew to dry the race track 3 times from scratch throughout the day, the conclusion of one of the most dramatic days of racing drew to a close under lights and certainly went out with a bang.

The 400 Thunder Series now moves to Willowbank Raceway with the New Years Thunder on 6th January 2018.

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Posted by Rusty Gregory

Photos by Grant Stephens (Cackling Pipes) & Bruce Biegler