How can you describe this meeting? Excellent weather combined with excellent racing made for one of the best meetings yet at the Motorplex.
The Top Doorslammers were simply stunning, with even 6.2 second passes not cutting it, 6.1’s were becoming the norm and 6.0’s were required to win. Got your doorslammer going 220 mph? That ain’t good enough. 230 was now the order of the day. And what about Top Bike. After years of dominance the Harleys have become weak, and in their place has emerged Jay Upton riding “The Edge”. 6.66 @ 214 mph was awesome.
Top Doorslammer had high expectations going into the event. The excellent Kwinana track could provide the traction needed for great times if the weather came to the party. And it certainly did. Qualifying was a spectacular show, headed by Brett Stevens charging to a 6.09 PB (and new national record) for 1st spot in the eight car field. Ben Bray used a second session 6.13 for second spot, followed by Victor Bray who’s first session 6.18 put him in third. Peter Kapiris was a mere hundredth of a second behind with a 6.192, closely followed by local Robin Judd who’s now PSI-equipped Studebaker punted a 6.199, which was only good enough for fifth. Grant O’Rourke was the quickest of the 3 non-PSI cars present with a 6.20, followed by John Zappia in the brand new Zap’s Rat, who set the crowd alight with a 6.25 pass. It was a shame that Gary Phillips did not run a 6.2 for an awesome bump, but his 6.37 made it a record bump spot anyhow. Out of the field were Maurice Fabietti and Wayne Keys, both running the new VX Monaros.
The first round didn’t see a close race, but the numbers were there. The first match up pitched the two Studebakers of Kapiris and Judd against each other. For Judd it was all over as he wheelstood away and got out of shape, crossing the centreline, handing the win to Kapiris who shook and pedalled his way to a 6.29. The next race saw Bray Jr. taking on Zappia. The new Zap’s Rat has been a cause of concern for the Brays, who used to compete across the country with the first version of the legendary HQ. They were not to be worried in this race however when Zappia got out of shape and had to watch Bray run away with a 6.13 win. Brett Stevens and Gary Phillips were next to face the starter. Away from the line it was even, but Phillips was soon shaking, Stevens running on to a 6.12 @ 236 mph for a win. The last race of the round saw Bray Sr. up against O’Rourke. The O’Rourke’s again hit the tyre shake which they have been battling, leaving Bray to run away for a 6.17 victory.
The semis saw the father and son contest between the Brays emerge for the first time at the Quit Motorplex. On the tree, it was Bray senior who got out on the younger version, with a .464 ahead of a .508. But when Victor’s car went silent, Ben was left to take a stunning 6.09 win, a PB and one thousandth short of a national record. The next race was to have been between Stevens and Kapiris. But when Stevens couldn’t turn around in time, it was left to Kapiris to solo into the final. He could have made a shut off run, but that just ain’t the Kapiris way. What followed was an awesome 6.05, the quickest legal alcohol Doorslammer pass in the world! The crowd went wild, as did the crew for the great ET.
The final was going to be a magic race and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Bray took the lead off the line, an excellent .428 reaction getting out on Kapiris’ by-no-means shabby .469, and at the finish line that was the difference as both ran identical 6.120 ET’s. It was a great final and a great climax for an excellent weekend’s racing.
Top Bike would have been a fairly lacklustre affair if it weren’t for the awesome performances of Jay Upton. He top qualified with one of his standard on and off the throttle, early shut off passes, still going a 6.96, four tenths in front of next qualifier Ian Ashelford. The field was made up of only seven, Mark Drew on the bump spot with an 8.99.
The first round saw Upton take his solo, only a 7.52 when a fuel line came loose, meaning the tyre was breaking traction. Ian Ashelford then took a 7.47 solo when Mark Drew had to shut off on the line. The next race was one of the most exciting, even if the numbers weren’t there. Mark Ashelford smoked the tyre on his Nitro Harley off the line, getting all out of shape, as Brett Jonas in the other lane also struggled. Ashelford went right out to the wall, but couldn’t catch Jonas in the 8.49 to 8.79 contest. The closing race was also a good pairing, as Brett Stevens put a holeshot on Sid Standring, which was enough to defeat the local’s quicker 8.05.
The semi finals saw arguably the most impressive run by a Top Bike in years. Jay Upton left the line like a rocket against Stevens, and with only one pedal ran a great 6.66 at a massive 214 mph. The crowd cheered for the run and it was a great to see an almost full powered pass by the bike. Stevens’ 7.80 was left way behind. Ian Ashelford got another solo into the final, which he took with a 7.90.
With two of WA’s best bikes facing the starter, the final was going to be great. It was even to the 60′ clocks as the Harley kept pace with the Triumph, but from there the awesome power of the Edge saw it runaway, a 6.74 @ 211 mph easily outrunning the Harley’s 7.4. It was a good way to finish a bracket that didn’t always have the action that has made it so popular to date.
Competition saw the return of Stuart Rowland in his AA/FC. He made it a good comeback with a .40 under AA/FC 6.10 for top qualifying honours. He was followed by Trevor Morrison with a .32 under BB/A 6.52 and Ian Johns on a .13 under A/AP 7.06. The final came down to Rowland and the only interstate competitor in the bracket, Anthony Selva. Selva had qualified number four and used his good consistency and excellent reactions to get to the final. However off the line it all came unstuck as the C/D moved all of about a couple of metres before breaking the transmission, letting Rowland take an easy 6.84 win.
In Super Stock, Terry Stacey made his debut in his new RR/SK Mazda. An awesome .46 under 8.25 had the field stunned, but when his fuel failed a check in the first round, Rob Demaniel was reinstated. Demaniel made it to the final up against Graeme Simms. Simms left marginally behind Demaniel but a .1 under F/SK 9.64 was too good for Demaniel’s 9.06.
Competition Bike had Ray Easson as top qualifier with an A/CB 7.79. Unfortunately for Easson a broken motor prevented him from returning for eliminations. The final came down to Mick Sargent (who was very popular through the night thanks to reverse gear Chilli) and John Parker from Queensland. It was all over on the startline though when Parker left a red light hanging on the tree to hand Sargent victory.
In Modified, Steve McGrath was averaging a .43 light through eliminations so far, so Rick Johns had it tough. It got harder when McGrath left with an awesome .404 light to John’s .519. With that tenth buffer, McGrath was expected to win but a PB 8.99 on a 9.02 breakout handed Johns the night. The win means Johns is currently on top of the national pointscore, as well as the local series.
There was a certain anticipation in the air before the Super Sedan final. Could David Grima’s unbelievable run continue or would the West Australian, Phil Rowles, take it all out? The answer came as Grima’s car again slowed, this time running an 11.88 on a 10.10 dial in, with Rowles putting in a 10.68 on a 10.66 for a great win in only his second season. Grima’s points from both the Nationals and the Westers leaves him in the lead for the national pointscore. In the local championship, Carter leads ahead of Kennedy and Wynd.
The final of Modified Bike was to be an interesting affair. A street style Hayabusa up against a wheelie barred full on drag bike. However it was all anticlimactic when Michael Macri put a .313 red on the tree to hand Rob Stevenson victory, which must have excited him because he missed just about every gear on the way down track! Anderson still leads the local points series, ahead of Learmonth and Julie Nieuwhof.
Both racers in the final of Super Street were aiming for their first win of the season. Not only were the local points up for grabs, but there was 150 national points on offer for the winner of the event. Kevin Stipkovich took a big holeshot on the line, a .431 reaction time to Brian Hanich’s .574. Stipkovich lead Hanich across the finish line, but even still, Hanich was forced to a breakout, giving Stipkovich a great win at the biggest event ever staged in Western Australia. Jason Gill remains on top of the local pointscore, with Treloar and Hudson trailing behind.
Junior Dragster saw Mackay in his first final for the season whilst Adamos was in his second. Off the line it was Mackay, with a wired .432 getting a huge jump on Adamos’ .680. With Mackay’s engine experiencing a few troubles, Adamos was in with a chance, but he couldn’t close the gap and an 11.08 on an 11.85 from Mackay was enough to defeat his opponent’s 9.73 on a 9.58. With the bonus points scored, Mackay now plans on traveling to the Winternationals to have a go at the championship. In the local series, Johnson has an unassailable lead over nearest rivals Ecclestone and Scott.