This weekend’s ENZED Top Fuel Championships at Willowbank Raceway in Ipswich, Queensland has changed the shape of the chase for the Top Fuel, Pro Stock and Pro Bike championships in the ANDRA Pro Series.
After a frenetic day of racing at the Ipswich quarter mile Phil Lamattina, the defending champion and points leader heading into this weekend, is now trailing Martin Stamatis by 5 points in the Top Fuel ranks. Lamattina’s long-time rival and three-time Top Fuel champion Phil Read is now only 40 points behind of the lead in third position.
The points shake-up comes courtesy of team-mates Stamatis and Read facing off in the final after Lamattina suffered an uncharacteristic loss to Read in the semi final when he was thwarted by an broken throttle bracket – up to this weekend, Lamattina had won five times to one when he had faced off against Read in the past.
“To draw into the lead of the championship is good, and with two rounds to go and both at killer tracks, its going to be an exciting rest of the championship,” said Stamatis.
“The track was just outstanding today and we were able to show that with our 4.62 second pass that gave us the low ET bonus points, and its just great to have a good result for Billview, Valvoline, Auto One and of course the entire team of Jim Read Racing.”
While Stamatis took the lead, Read took the win and with it, drew considerably closer in the championship chase.
“It is great to take the win for our sponsors including McDonalds, Auto One, Snap On, Wynns, especially for the first win for McDonalds since they came on board as a sponsor,” said Read.
“As far as the championship goes we aren’t giving up yet, we didn’t win three championships by giving up and the win today has given us a great start in chasing that back – to be honest I am most worried about catching Marty (Stamatis) as he is running the good gear with me!”
Entering the weekend 15 points clear of Stamatis and 70 points ahead of Read, Lamattina says that all bets are now off with just two rounds left in the championship which concludes with the Castrol EDGE Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway across June 10-13.
Also set to take their championship chase to the final round are the competitors of Pro Stock, with a day of upsets seeing the championship close up with reigning champion Aaron Tremayne and Ayr’s John Barbagallo now only ten and fifteen points shy respectively of the leading Lee Bektash. Barbagallo finished runner-up tonight behind Dave Newcombe but the low Elapsed Time and Top Speed bonus points locked in his move up the points ladder from fourth position.
”To have two Australian built pro stock engines in the final (Newcombe runs a JB Automotive engine of John Barbagallo) is just great, and its always better running against your mate, it’s a lot less stressful I think,” said Newcombe.
“We sat out in Perth and had a look at what we needed to do and that has paid off this weekend, I am happy with the car and we will look at the data and see if there is anything to tinker with before the next round but I am pleased with the performance so far of the Village Motors machine.”
In the Pro Stock Motorcycle category, debutant Ross Lemberg had a near fairytale beginning, making it through to the final in his first ever Pro bike showing but an engine problem saw him unable to front for the starter. The demise of Lemberg allowed Andrew Badcock to take the win, the speed points in his final run and the championship lead after disposing of defending champion Michael Gilbertson in a hard-fought semi-final run.
Badcock, who was chasing Phil Howard in the points prior to this weekend, took over the championship lead this morning when Howard had his qualifying time disallowed overnight, seeing him out of the field for today’s racing, with his new-found lead compounded by his performance today.
Over 200 sportsman racers were also on track today, with hard fought racing for championships taking place across the categories with wins going to Justin Walshe in Lifestyle Floorcoverings Competition, Paul Beauchamp (Lifestyle Floorcoverings Super Stock), David Rundmann (Custom Central Competition Bike), Chris Loy (Wheelboyz.com.au Supercharged Outlaws), Phil Bellert (Knijff Earthmoving Modified), Tony Whyatt (Powercruise Super Sedan), Tony Wallace (Speed Elec/Prime Signs Super Street), Brian Vernon (Modified Bike), Simone Paine (Qld Diesel Spares Junior Dragster), and Darryl Stephen (Super Gas).
Fans craving more high-stakes drag racing action at Willowbank Raceway don’t have to hold out for long, with the season-ending Castrol EDGE Winternationals – the largest drag racing event outside of the United States – set to hit the Ipswich quarter-mile over June 10-13.
The Thursday to Sunday event will host the championship ANDRA Pro Series final rounds for Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock, Morgan & Wacker Top Bike and Morgan & Wacker Pro Stock Bike as well as final championship rounds for all of the sportsman brackets. For more information, schedules or to purchase tickets, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au
ENZED TOP FUEL CHAMPIONSHIPS AT WILLOWBANK RACEWAY
FEATURE CATEGORY RESULTS:
PLEASE NOTE: Kilometre per hour figures are approximate
Phil Read 5.766s at 190.22 (304.52kph) def Mark Mariani 14.837s at 53.45mph (85.52kph)
Darren Morgan 4.770s at 290.94mph (465.50kph) def Allan Dobson 4.931s at 306.60mph (490.56kph)
Martin Stamatis 5.267s at 204.57mph (329.23kph) def Steve Read (no time recorded, stopped on track)
Phil Lamattina 9.076s at 82.55mph (132.86kph) def bye
Phi Read 4.779s at 301.27mph (484.85kph) def Phil Lamattina 5.862s at 156.35mph (251.63kph)
Martin Stamatis 4.622s at 298.54mph (480.45kph) def Darren Morgan 4.701s at 314.68mph (506.43kph)
Phil Read 4.771s at 280.60mph (451.59kph) def Martin Stamatis 5.798s at 156.70mph (252.18kph)
Denis Whiting 7.174s at 189.97mph (305.57kph) def Shane Tucker 9.307s at 95.50mph (153.69kph)
Wayne Daley 7.214s at 189.04mph (304.24kph) def Rick Chilton 7.344s at 186.12mph (299.54kph)
Lee Bektash 7.157s at 191.05mph (307.47kph) def Brian Pursell 7.397s at 187.76mph (302.17kph)
Tyronne Tremayne (no time recorded) def bye
Aaron Tremayne 7.161s at 190.54mph (306.64kph) def Bill Kotsias 7.214s at 190.19mph (306.08kph)
Dave Newcombe 7.157s at 191.87mph (308.78kph) def Nick Xerakias 7.150s at 192.08mph (308.13kph) – HOLESHOT WIN
John Barbagallo 7.215s at 191.57mph (308.30kph) def bye
John Barbagallo 10.562s at 85.49mph (137.59kph) def Denis Whiting 17.056s at 49.19mph (79.16kph)
Aaron Tremayne 7.162s at 190.02mph (307.25kph) def Wayne Daley 7.259s at 188.10mph (302.71kph)
Tyronne Tremayne 7.167s at 190.43mph (306.47kph) def Lee Bektash 7.186s at 188.67mph (303.64kph)
Dave Newcombe 7.145s at 192.11mph (309.18kph) def bye
Dave Newcombe 7.134s at 191.84mph (308.72kph) def Aaron Tremayne 7.168s at 190.81mph (307.08kph)
John Barbagallo 7.167s at 192.08mph (309.12kph) def Tyronne Tremayne 7.162s at 191.10mph (307.56kph) – HOLESHOT WIN
Dave Newcombe 7.162s at 187.13mph (301.16kph) def John Barbagallo 8.675s at 114.93mph (184.86kph)
Pro Stock Bike
Note: Phil Howard’s final qualifying run from Saturday April 17 which saw him into the field was disallowed following the close of qualifying, seeing Locky Ireland who was in position nine brought back into the field in eighth spot and Howard out of the field.
Andrew Badcock 7.422s at 159.23mph (256.26kph) def Locky Ireland 7.88s at 174.75mph (281.24kph)
Peter Cochrane 7.553s at 175.46mph (282.37kph) def Maurice Allen (no time recorded)
Michael Gilbertson 7.558 at 150.95mph (242.94kph) def Mark Hancock 7.553s at 165.64mph (266.57kph) – HOLESHOT WIN
Ross Lemberg 7.650s at 159.27mph (256.32kph) def Glenn Wooster (no time recorded)
Andrew Badcock 7.374s at 175.27mph (282.08kph) def Peter Cochrane 7.527s at 176.97mph (284.82mph)
Ross Lemberg 7.549s at 173.01mph (278.43kph) def Michael Gilbertson 7.551s at 172.25mph (277.22kph)
Andrew Badcock 7.320s at 176.30mph (283.74kph) def Ross Lemberg (did not start)
UPCOMING EVENT INFORMATION: CASTROL EDGE WINTERNATIONALS
Thursday June 10 – Sunday June 13
Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock, Morgan & Wacker Top Bike and Morgan & Wacker Pro Stock Bike.
Also includes racing from Lifestyle Floorcoverings Competition, Lifestyle Floorcoverings Super Stock, McKern & Associates Super Compact, Custom Central Competition Bike, Wheelboyz.com.au Supercharged Outlaws, Knijff Earthmoving Modified, Powercruise Super Sedan, Speed Elec/Prime Signs Super Street, Modified Bike, Qld Diesel Spares Junior Dragster, Super Gas and Perfect Print Perfect Light
Ticketing information: pre-purchase available from willowbankraceway.com.au
Adult three day admission, including complimentary Thursday admission – online pre-purchase only: $140.00
Adult two day admission – Saturday/Sunday – online pre-purchase only: $95.00
Adult Admission – Thursday 10th June 2010: $20.00
Adult Admission – Friday 11th June 2010: $42.00
Adult Admission – Saturday 12th June 2010: $50.00
Adult Admission – Sunday 13th June 2010: $50.00
Student (with ID) three day admission, including complimentary Thursday admission – online pre purchase only: $110.00
Student (with ID) two day admission – Saturday/Sunday – online pre purchase only: $80.00
Student (with ID) Thursday 10th June 2010: $20.00
Student (with ID) Friday 11th June 2010: $37.00
Student (with ID) Saturday 12th June 2010: $42.00
Student (with ID) Sunday 13th June 2010: $42.00
Startline Club Seat – reserved Saturday and Sunday, EXCLUDING admission – $32.00
Grandstand seat – reserved Saturday and Sunday, EXCLUDING admission – $24.00
Please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au to purchase tickets and for full event information.