Gallery, Results

Top Fuel vs Funny Car 22/3/2003

With the weathermen predicting thunderstorms, there was a level of uncertainty as to how the event would proceed. There were very light showers throughout the day, and from about 4:30 onwards there seemed to be a weird kind of drizzle that would just drip every so often. Racing was allowed to proceed as any water hitting the track was immediately evaporated anyway.

The feature act for the night was Steve Read in Santo Rapisarda’s Top Fueller up against Allan Dobson in Allan and Cheryl Greene’s “Greene Machine”. The contest was definately not as one sided as it might have seemed. The first race saw a big burnout from the Funny Car against the smaller version from the dragster. On the green, both cars shot out and were even as they passed half track, however from there Dobson had to fight with the Greene Machine, with the Machine winning and the funny car crossing the centreline to end up right behind Steve Read and get a front row seat as Read’s engine expired at the end of his 5.30 pass. Action packed racing!
The next race saw both cars once again return, and the same pre race routine take place. Once again both cars were blistering out of the hole, Dobbo’s .940 60′ particularly impressive. The Greene Machine required a pedal by Dobbo to keep it to the track, which saw the clutch lock up early. Instead of going up in smoke, the car hauled away, reeling in Read and nabbing him right in the lights, a 5.47 at a massive 289 mph defeating Read’s 5.48. The margin of victory was only one hundredth of a second! The Greene Machine’s speed was the fastest outside the US, beating John Spuffard’s 286 mph in the UK.
The last race for the night unfortunately saw the Greene Machine unable to race when a problem with reverse gear was discovered. But was this going to stop them putting on a show? No way! The team chucked an old set of tyres on and proceeded to attempt a FULL TRACK BURNOUT! That’s as in still turning the tyres as the finish line, not one of those pussy go to half track and roll the rest of the way jobs. Dobbo managed to keep the tyres turning to just past the 1000′ mark, where the car had enough and Dobbo let it relax. Needless to say the crowd was impressed! As the Greene Machine rolled off the end of the braking area, reserve John Buchanan and Steve Read were given the go ahead to start up. Buchanan took the lead off the line, recording a good .960 60′, but the car needed a pedal and with Buchanan concerned with the safety of his engine he shut off just past quarter track to let Read run away for a 5.44 victory.

The day was marred by a bad crash from Neil Anderson. The Top Comp Customline veered straight right off the line during qualifying, hitting the opposite wall head on. This jammed the throttle partly open and the car proceeded to dirve over to the other side and come to a rest against the wall there. A fire then began on board as the fuel tank leaked, making it a stubborn thing to put out. Fortunately the fire crew were in the midst of change over, and the crew was vitually right at the scene of the accident. Neil came out unscathed, but the same could not be said of the car.

It seemed action in Top Comp was freely available. Top qualifying was Grant O’Rourke, hitting a T/D 6.22 on his 6.80 index. Following behind was Mark Sheehan with a best yet 6.04 from the AA/A and Peter Nowak, also running a PB CC/D 6.78. Eliminations saw even more bests from a lot of racers. The best race of the elimination round had to be Mark Sheehan against Rob Panizza. Panizza left with a stunning .401 light to Sheehan’s .661, and from there was able to take an incredible 7.09 win! To give you an idea of the magnitude of this, Panizza’s previous best, and the best ever for a CC/G car was a 7.33!!! But Panizza didn’t hve the spotlight all to himself when the readout boards showed Sheehan’s ET, a great 5.99, the first ever alky pass in WA in the fives, the first Australian Comp car into the fives and the first small block altered in the world into the fives! Yowsers! In all this excitement Phil Purser’s AA/A also hit a PB, a 6.84 that was good to put him into the A Final.
The B Final was contested between Wayne Keys and Trevor Morrison. However it was anticlimactic when Morrison left a cherry on the tree to allow Keys to take a 6.37 victory, his best yet in Top Doorslammer trim.
The A Final saw Purser and Panizza take to the track. Panizza once again scored the holeshot, and proved his earlier run was no fluke with a 7.11 downing Purser’s out of shape 7.01.

Super Comp saw change at the top of qualifying with Geoff Chaisty able to take the honours this time, a .138 under G/SK 8.742 good for the job over Ian Johns, second with his .131 under A/AP 7.069.
the final came down to Chaisty and Rob Gaikhorst in an all G/SK match up. It was another final and another red light as Gaikhorst left way too soon when the transbrake had enough, a .209 reaction letting Chaisty run flat out with an 8.74 for victory.

Comp Bike saw Ray Easson return to form after breaking a motor last meeting with an awesome A/CB 7.56 during qualifying. This left him firmly in number one spot followed by Mick Sargent.
The B Final was between Dave Richter and Sargent. Richter put a .410 to .525 holeshot on Sargent and ran away for a C/CB 8.75 win.
The A Final saw Easson and Paul Nieuwhof taking on each other again. Off the line, Nieuwhof used a .410 to .593 advantage. It was needed as Easson ran a 7.64 on his 7.91 index, but Nieuwhof was too far ahead and an 8.12 on an 8.32 index was good for victory.

In Modified, the final came down to Steve McGrath and Pauline Igglesden. After taking the holeshot on the line, McGrath was able to back off for an 8.98 on an 8.96 to take victory and the points lead from Rick Johns.

Super Sedan saw Graham Kennedy up against Jan Takacs in a battle of the Toranas. It was all over on the line though when Kennedy redlit to give Takacs his first win in the category.

Modified Bike featured two street bikes in the final with Dave Garland and Jason Hoesle taking to the track. Garland got a big holeshot advantage which was enough to force Hoesle to a breakout.

Super Street saw a solo in the final, with Richard Wray unable to start. Allan James and the “Ramcharger” were free to take the win with an emphatic 11.28.

Junior Dragster featured two racers who hadn’t reached a final this season, meaning it was going to be a new winner. Adam Fowler was the lucky one, taking a win from Matt Davis.