The penultimate season round for Australia’s 400 Thunder Series produced some drag racing history for that country…

A historic night of racing concluded with a the first ever all-female Top Fuel Final Round at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder at Sydney Dragway, in front of a massive crowd on May 5th. 

Rookie sensation Kelly Bettes outclassed a solid top fuel field to best Top Fuel Veteran Rachelle Splatt in what was Bettes’ third consecutive win in the 400 Thunder Championship Series. 

Rookie female racing sensation Kelly Bettes won in Top Fuel to move to the cusp of a potential 400 Thunder Series World Championship.

“I grew up as a kid watching Rachelle race in top fuel, and to be in the final against her in the first all-female Top Fuel final – this is a dream!” Bettes said after the victory. “I feel like this is a dream, 3 consecutive wins in my first season – it’s incredible”. 

The racing action was marred by a round 2 crash involving Top Fuel Racer Peter Xiberras. Xiberras’ car lost traction at around 40 meters from the start line, with the car veering across the racetrack and impacting the opposite wall. The car returned to it’s wheels and remained upright. Xiberras was conscious and talking with medical staff and was transported to hospital where he eventually underwent back surgery following the incident.

Australian Top Fuel racer Peter Xiberras endured some serious back injuries during a frighting crash during eliminations.

With the win, Bettes took over the championship points lead from Damien Harris. Bettes takes a 33-point lead into the final round of the Championship the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals at the historic Willowbank Raceway. 

The slugfest style battle in Pro Slammer continues with a dramatic win to John Zappia over first time finalist, NSW-based Sam Fenech. 

The predictions of yet another Paul Mouhayet / John Zappia final round failed to materialise after the former crossed the centreline in the second-round match-up against Andrew Searle, costing him valuable bonus points that ultimately cost him a spot in the final as well as his slender championship lead. 

Western Australian powerhouse John Zappia won at Sydney in Pro Slammer and leads the points case heading to the season finale at Willowbank in early June.

Zappia now lead the title chase with one round to go by less than a round of racing, with a 16-point margin separating the Pro Slammer Championship contenders with just one round of the series to run. 

Maurice Allen took a surprise victory in Pro Bike after his motorcycle threw a chain in testing on Friday night, resulting in considerable damage to the bike including body and chassis components. 

Maurice Allen was the Pro Stock Bike winner

The bike was hastily repaired overnight and although it wasn’t pretty, it was enough to take a victory over points leader Corey Buttigieg.

For the first time in 8 races, the Pro Stock winner did not have the surname Tremayne. Wayne Daley bounced back with a monumental effort  after crashing at the last round of the Championship in Adelaide to best the current championship leader and 6 time Australian Champ Aaron Tremayne in the final. 

Following his recent crash – Wayne Daley – rebounded nicely to win in Pro Stock with his Dodge Avenger.

Daley enjoyed a consistent car all day with very quick 6.90 second runs throughout the event. 

The Pro Stock Championship remains alive but a 91-point deficit between Tremayne and number 2 Jason Hedges will be tough to overcome with just one round of the championship left. 

 The Pro Alcohol title chase will go down to the wire with the number 1 and 2 in points, Steve Reed and Russell Mills, battling it out yet again in the final round.

Steven Reed earned his 3rd win of the season at Sydney Dragway in the Pro Alcohol class division.

Steve Reed remained perfect for the season at Sydney Dragway, with his third win from three outings in the Premier State. 

The 400 Thunder Series will now move to Willowbank Raceway for the final round of the 2017/18 Championship, the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals on June 7-10.

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Posted by Rusty Gregory – Photos by Bruce Biegler

To link to DragRaceCanada’s very extensive photo gallery from this event on the LoudMusicLoudCars photo gallery site click:  HERE