The 50th Annual running of the Westernationals was nothing short of spectacular. Widely supported by eastern states competitors during a Covid-19 travel restriction the event could have failed if not for the support from the wider drag racing community in not only Western Australia, but across this whole land.
Costs associated to racing have not decreased over the past 12 months and while events have been limited nationally, the Perth Motorplex have been able to provide an almost uninterrupted calendar of events.
The building of Group 2 and 3 categories and competitor numbers has been the cornerstone of ANDRA’s survival through Covid-19 times however they have dipped the toe in the water for Top Doorslammer our favourite doored cars at this year’s Westernationals.
In Top Doorslammer John Zappia once again lead the field by Top Qualifying with a 5.71. He showed why he is one of the greatest by tuning his way to another Gold Christmas Tree. Of note was the performance by Frank Taylor in the Chevelle – stepping up to a 6.03 wiping out 3/10th off his PB. Sadly, Stuart Moresby and Daniel Gregorini were Round 1 and Round 2 victims of broken cars and were unable to get the cars down the track. In the final it was Steve Alderidge and John Zappia with Zap running a 5.68 to Alderidge’s slower 5.80. We understand at the time of putting this article together that John Zappia’s 5.68 is a new ANDRA record for Top Doorslammer.
Consistency is always key in drag racing, even in the realm of Group 1 and Wayne McGuiness was a good example of that in Top Fuel Bike. Running a 6.42 and a 6.41 in the final. Sadly, Jay Upton had a mechanical failure in the final and was stranded at around 1000ft requiring the assistance of the tilt tray go remove his normally reliable Top Fuel Bike.
In Competition it was great to see some names from the Ravenswood era – Ian Brown and John Napier. The Boston Strangler was one of the most formidable Funny Cars from Ravenswood and it is great to see it back on the track. While John Napier’s car is new, it was great to see him running in Competition none the less. Ian would make it all the way to the final, but Wayne Keys was able to drive around him without effecting his index greatly. It is great to see the Group 2 racers going on or under their index when they need to.
Super Stock was no different with South Australian racer Steve Norman running almost 5/10ths under his index to beat WA’s Errol Quartermaine in the final. The BMW of Normans is certainly a crowd favourite and is no stranger to the Perth Motorplex.
Competition Bike ran a 3-round format with Trent Anthony on his CC/CB Suzuki taking the win against Ross Smith on his B/AB Suzuki. Not to be out down the competition was fierce in Modified Bike with 29 entrants battling it out. In the final it was Tony Hinkley over Hamish Cunningham who red lit has way out of a win.
In Supercharged Outlaws it was a battle of the females with Cristine Steffens winning over Jodie Mellitt. Christine top qualified with a 6.52 and Jodie a 7.06. The final saw Christine run a 6.579 on a 6.57 dial in and leaving only 0.060 on the tree.
The return to good field numbers in Top Sportsman was definitely evident with 11 entrants. Chris Roe Top qualified with a 7.219. The racing in Top Sportsman was undeniably close and provided many highlights through the night including wheel stands from Yvette Gregg.
The excitement certainly flowed over into Outlaw Radial with Kevin Boulton upping the game and reeling of several PB’s. It was great to see some recently updated and new cars in recent weeks to Radial Racing in WA. In the end it was Kevin Boulton taking the win over Tim Roads wheel standing the Datsun ute coming down in an awkward landing taking him out of the race. Lorenzo Gullotto continues to feel his way through the setup process of his twin turbo Fox body Mustang running a 7.613 in the third round.
One of the first-round pairings in Modified was Cory Treasure against Darryl Treasure – LS express vs Cleveland Express, Darryl would go on and win that one and go right through to the final against Kasey McClure. In the end Kasey pushed too hard running under her dial in giving the win to Darryl Treasure in Cleveland Express.
Super Sedan saw several South Australian competitors take up the challenge to the West Aussies. Joe Carbone running all the way into the Semi Final in his VK Commodore causing Marty Mirco some nerves as he red lit in the second round. In the end it was the two West Aussies of Roger Moorhouse taking on Ray Le-Cocq. Roger taking the win in his super tough LX Torana over Rays Leyland P76.
In Super Street we saw the renamed Hermatitis Bee of Bernie Ellerby take the win over Chris De Bruin in Tango 3. We are not sure why Bernie’s Torana (HB) changed name in the leadup to the Westernationals, but he was flawless in any event taking home a Gold Christmas Tree.
Junior Dragster numbers never fail to impress. Top Qualifying had to go down to 5 decimal places to determine who would sit on top of the list. In the end Lucas Green would take that with an 8.600 on an 8.600 index. Zara Board also qualified with an 8.00 on an 8.00 index. In the final it was Brodie Zappia dialing in his own car taking the win over Angel Bakranich. Brodie dialed in 8.00 and run an 8.00 against Angel who red lit out of the final.
It may be one of the few times we have seen an Uncle and Nephew share in winning a Gold Christmas Tree at one event.
Not to be out done – the Nitro exhibition was always destined to impress with Matt Abel reeling off a 5.35 in Rory Taylors Nitro Thunder while Nathan Coles also stepped up and got some valuable seat time in Nitro Thumper in preparation for March 20th meet.
Regards Nick Dicembre