Rick Gauci earned his 10th victory in the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car Series at Perth Motorplex last Saturday night, delivering the night’s quickest time on his way to the trophy.
Driving Nitro Express, Gauci belted out a 5.52sec. run during the second round to match his current track record, before a 5.58sec. pass in the final round to defeat Red Devil driver Shane Olive.
In front of thousands of spectators, 14 Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars delivered some excellent side-by-side action.
The first round opened with Queensland’s Dan Donnelly in Avenger taking the first win of the night over Matt Abel in Fundamental, but it came at a cost with Donnelly breaking a rod in his motor.
It caused a supercharger backfire and saw him out of action for the rest of the night.
Emma Begley valiantly took on Olive in Red Devil but Begley also succumbed to engine damage, with a rod exiting her engine block.
Josh Leahy in The Bandit defeated Nathan Coles in The Gambler, while Justin Walshe, Paul Messineo, Jake Donnelly and Gauci also took opening round wins. The second round saw the potential winners worked out as Jake Donnelly, Walshe, Messineo, Olive and Gauci all took victories again, leaving them on maximum points for the final.
Local driver Andrew Katavatis in The Beach Bomb had a tough draw in the early rounds but found redemption by the final round with a 5.64sec. personal best time.
Morice McMillin saved his best race for last with a 5.62sec. scorcher netting him third for the event while Donnelly would earn second place in the points following a wild race against Messineo, who crossed lanes almost in front of Donnelly at over 400km/h.
Local teams test mettle
While the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars delivered their spectacular show, the third round of the WA Drag Racing Championship continued on the support card.
Russell Ladbrook scooped the victory in Top Comp, driving his Funny Car to a win over Stuart Moresby.
While Ladbrook’s 6.23sec. run was far from his quickest as the team comes to terms with a new engine combination, it proved enough to sneak by a troubled Moresby in the final round.
Eliminations in Super Comp proved dramatic when veteran driver Errol Quartermaine crashed out of the semifinals in spectacular fashion.
Quartermaine had just crossed the finish line at 263km/h when his turbocharged Ford Falcon got loose and rolled in the braking area.
While the news was bad for Quartermaine, opponent Jamie Chaisty was able to take advantage in the other lane and go on through to win the event over Todd Stacy in the final round. Phill Paton remains the man to beat in Competition Bike, using an 8.38sec. run in the final round to defeat Justin Townson.
Supercharged Outlaws was boosted by the return of fan favourite Tony Argentino in the Hitman Chev but it was another popular driver in Jodie Mellitt who would earn the spot in the winner’s circle, driving her dragster to the victory over Alan Mahnkoph, who gave away the race with a red light (foul start).
Johnny Brecich was another driver to benefit from their opponent’s red light, with his victory in Top Sportsman coming thanks to a premature leave from Paul Downe. A small Modified field came down to Nicholas Wroe and James Kemp. Kemp had the advantage on the start line but Wroe’s 8.76sec. run took the trophy.
It was a successful evening for the Wroe family, as sisters Kirstie and Ashleigh went head to head in the final round of Super Street.
A red light from Kirstie decided that pairing, though with two wins and three trophies from three cars, the family had plenty to smile about. Mick Fenton took out Super Sedan over Martin Mirco, while Ian Read snatched a close win over Bruce Jones in Modified Bike.
The next round of the WA Drag Racing Championship takes place as part of the Night of Fire on December 30.
Analysis by Luke Nieuwhof, thewest