Warm day time conditions gave way to a cool, overcast night at the Quit Motorplex as eliminations got underway.
The feature for the night was a Nitro Funny Car match race between Allan Dobson in Allan Greene’s Greene Machine up against the Bailey Bros Funny Car of Ashley and Rodney Bailey from Queensland.
The first race at 6:00 saw Bailey with a slight lead until the 330′ timers where bad tyre shake shook out the chutes and caused some damage to the differential.
Meanwhile Dobson motored on, but after a few flashes from the header flames he went through with an early shut off 5.64. The Greene Machine was dropping cylinders from the start line until quarter track where it cleaned up, but at least this kept it controllable.
The second match was full of drama as the Greene Machine had a fuel line come loose as it was starting up. Bailey waited, however was forced to go alone. He staged then launched with a cylinder out on the left side before getting all eight in to action. Tyre shake again hit the run, causing more serious damage to the diff and a headache for Ashley. The Greene team managed to get their car fixed and come out for a run. However it seemed the nitro car was very temperamental and Dobbo didn’t even stage the car before launching. It was a clean pass until it got out of the groove at 1000′, Dobson hitting the chutes to straighten it up but coming within an inch of the wall. Even with the chutes out, the run looked to be a high five.
The third pass for the night saw the Baileys unable to make the line after the damage the previous tyre shake caused. The Greenes however were determined to make a strong pass and Doboo was going to put on a show. A 400 feet long burnout got the crowd going. The car staged, then launched with cylinders out all over the place, but got its act together after the 330′ marker and went right through the finish line for a 5.52 @ 280 mph.
In Top Comp eliminator, Stuart Rowland top qualified in his Pontiac AA/FC, running a 6.25 for the honours. Peter Nowak held second with a 6.91 in his CC/D, whilst Rob Pannizza was third with a 7.64 in his CC/G Ford. In the “B” Final, Trevor Morrison used a 7.32 to defeat Rob Pannizza’s aborted run. In the “A” Final, Stuart Rowland, who ran a 6.15 in the previous round, appeared to pop the burst panel on a 6.60 to lose to Nowak’s 6.91.
Super Comp saw Ian Johns top qualify with a PB 7.08 on a 7.29 index. Errol Quartermaine also ran a PB 8.15 for second in his DD/SK Torana, whilst Steven Norman, all the way from Queensland, put an 8.41 down to be three hundredths under the B/SK index. In the final, Ian Johns matched up against Rob Demaniel. Johns had earlier put down a PB 7.00 and was looking for a six. He didn’t get it, but still got the win with a 7.11 over Demaniel’s B/SK 8.56.
In Comp Bike, Ray Easson continued where he left off from last season, with a top qualifying A/CB 7.68. Sean Arthur followed with an A/CB 7.98, as did Mick Sargent with a B/CB 8.29. Sargent faced Gary Arthur in the “B” Final, Sargent using an 8.19 to down Arthur’s 8.54. The “A” Final was a big disappointment, with Sean Arthur red lighting away his chances against Ray Easson, and then both bikes shutting down even before half track.
Modified eliminator had a returned Brian Murray on top of the list with an 8.09 at a suspicious 219 mph. He recorded an equally suspicious 220mph later on in eliminations. After three rounds of racing, Pauline Igglesden faced Peter Townsend in the final. Townsend put a good holeshot on Igglesden and took it to the end to take an 8.31 win.
Super Sedan showed Colin Mortimore as top qualifier with a 9.20 from his Commodore. The big field came down to John McKrill and Mike Smith in the finals. Despite Smith taking a .412 to .520 holeshot, he broke out, leaving McKrill to take the win.
Modified Bike featured Greg Durack on top after qualifying with a quick 7.89 at a big 173 mph with the Kawasaki funny bike. The 26 bike field was reduced to Les Holden and Neil Anderson at the end, Anderson taking the win from the red lighting Holden.
Super Street had last year’s champion Jason Gill in pole position with an 11.20. By the end of racing, Kristie Hudson came out on top with a victory over Adrian Bonser.
And finally, in Junior Dragster Matthew Johnson top qualified with an 8.59. Johnson also made it to the final, however he lost as Laurence Adamos took the holeshot and the win.
Some other notes from this event:
– This was the first outing for the Ford Dealer Team sponsorship at the Motorplex, which saw a car given away during the season and plenty of Fords used as safety vehicles.
– Ian Johns ran a 7.009, very close to the first six second naturally aspirated sedan pass in the country.
– A match race between morning radio hosts ended with 92.9’s ‘Bernie’ in the sand trap at the end of the braking area.
Click here for full eliminations results.