As originally reported many years ago on WA Drag Racing…
HOT! Thats’s the one word that just about sums up this February meet. 39.7C was the recorded maximum in Perth, but around the bitumen at Kwinana it was probably closer to 50! The night remained warm and humid, not giving conditions especially conducive to fast racing, but it was good racing none the less.
The feature for the night was a Top Fuel match race between Rachelle Splatt and Steve Read. Both cars came out early in the day for test runs. Read was out first, and after a good burnout, the car broke a rod immediately on the launch, which in turn may have affected the clutch, resulting in bits of shrapnel all over the track. Rachelle’s pass wasn’t much more successful, when the front wing was activating the staging beams. Eventually she just stood on it anyway, but recorded no times.
The first race was one that will live in the memory of West Australians for a while. As the national anthem faded and the starter motors whirred, the awesome cackle of the fuel motors thundered through the Quit Motorplex. Strong burnouts from both cars had the crowd cheering. As they pulled to the line the anticipation was immense. They were not to disappoint. Read took the holeshot with a .551, but Rachelle was to lead from there, carding an awesome .874 60 foot time, and bolting to the finish. Let me tell you, two fuellers charging into the distance, distorting the air is a magic sight. Rachelle shut off just before the finish with a 4.96 to Read’s valiant 5.19. The crowd went wild as the number flashed up on the boards, Western Australia’s first four second run.
However the news wasn’t all good. Splatt had damaged a motor and needed to put another in, so she called in the reserve, Allan Dobson in the Greene Machine. The WA crowd loves to see the underdog take a win and thats what happened. Dobbo took the holeshot, to put his dud-maggie affected 5.70 in the winners circle to Read’s quicker 5.53.
The last race was all set to be a stunner. From the start it was, as both cars bolted away, Splatt’s car once again getting to the 60 foot beams in super quick time, a .894 this time, however soon after the car overpowered the track, handing Read the win as he thundered through the traps for a 5.15 at 283 mph.
In Top Comp, it was Damien Harris top qualifying for the first time this season with a great AA/FC 6.347 in the Ventura Homes Pontiac Firebird. As racing progressed it came down to Peter Nowak and Debbie O’Rourke in the B Final. It was all over at the start though when O’Rourke redlighted, handing Nowak a win. In the A Final, Harris and Morrison were mixing it up. Harris was out for revenge after last meeting’s final, and he got it with a 6.36 taking out the altered.
Super Comp saw Ian Johns continuing his dominating run in qualifying with an A/AP 7.13 in the heat of the day to set the tone. However when he was defeated in the semis, it came down to Rob Demaniel and Geoff Chaisty. When Demaniel’s B/SK Calais left before the green, Chaisty was free to take an 8.79 G/SK win.
In Comp Bike, Ray Easson once again top qualified with a 7.83 second lap good enough for top spot. In the B Final, Dave Richter simply outran Gary Arthur to take a C/CB win. In the A Final it was a closer affair, with Easson and Sean Arthur duelling it out to the finish, Easson’s 7.84 winning from Arthur’s 8.10.
In Modified, the final had serious points implicationsfor Neil Gannaway. A win would mean equal first with Rick Johns, but a runner up would still leave him in second at event’s end. John Craig meanwhile would be able to work his way into third, and within 40 points of the leader. It was to be a great final. With a 9.34 dial in, Gannaway left first with a .482 RT, followed soon after by a .476 from Craig’s bright red altered, dialed in at 8.88. As the smoke cleared it was Craig who emerged the winner, an 8.90 taking victory over Gannaway’s valiant 9.37.
In Super Sedan, a win on the night would put Graham Kennedy at the top of the points table, whilst for Shane Wynd it would mean closing the gap between himself and second placed Greg Carter. It was an anticlimax though when Wynd left on a .380 red, putting himself out of contention and handing the win to Kennedy.
In Modified Bike, the two finalists had faced off once before this season, in the final on November 30. Julie Nieuwhof was the victor on that occasion but this time it was to be different. Neil Anderson took a holeshot, a .463 gaining a large advantage over Nieuwhof’s .545 and from there a 9.12 on a 9.08 dial in was unbeatable, letting Anderson add to his incredible points tally. Nieuwhof remains in second place on the points with Glen Learmonth in third.
The final of Super Street pitted the neat looking VK Commodore of Brett Stewart against rookie John Szabo’s Falcon in a classic Holden vs. Ford match up. However for Szabo, a win in his rookie season was not to be, as a .374 reaction brought up the red light to give Stewart his first win of the year.
The final of Junior Dragster was yet another rematch between Krystal Ecclestone and Matt Johnson. It was the latter who got holeshot, Ecclestone’s .521 getting out on the Mozzie’s .556, but as both pushed hard to the end in a double breakout situation, it was Johnson who emerged the victor, his 8.659 on an 8.66 beating Ecclestone’s 11.158 on an 11.17, tough racing!