Three first time winners take the Nitro Champs glory
A trio of first time winners stood atop the rostrum in Sydney Dragway’s Nitro Champs, the latest in the ANDRA Drag Racing Series headed by Pro Stock racer, Lee Bektash who was joined as a first time victor by Russell Mills in Top Alcohol and Graeme Morrell in Top Bike.
In the premier category, Top Fuel, it was Darren Morgan who opened up his lead in the Australian Championship after not only setting the best time in qualifying, but winning the event and setting the quickest time for the weekend. Meantime, Chris Matheson was taken to hospital after a get off at 371kph.
Bektash’s first win comes mere weeks after importing his new Mopar machine. He faced Scott Porter in the final and when Porter red-lighted Bektash was handed the win, in what would have been a close run final.
Morgan’s Top Fuel win came after a solid race against Best Tractor Parts/Rapisarda driver, Damien Harris. The pair came to the line together with Morgan just getting the win in the K-Trans machine, Harris’ engine detonating as he ended the run. Harris eliminated NHRA visitor, Tommy Johnson Jnr in the first round, the American struggling from the beginning of the weekend to get a handle on the Sydney track.
Harris then took out Phil Lamattina in the semi-final after Lamattina got past the returning Phil Read in the opening round. Morgan had a solo run into the final after getting past Terry Sainty in the first round.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Maurice Allen took the Golden Christmas Tree on his Milwaukee machine, defeating Luke Crowley with a 7.605 second pass.
Top Doorslammer became an embarrassing affair when Mark Belleri was on a solo pass in the final when John Zappia and Murray O’Connor failed to present due to a staging issue in their semi-final. Belleri damaged his engine in the semis, so staged the car at idle then shut it down, not doing a pass at all. Belleri had a solo run in the first round and then beat Peter Kapiris in the second round. O’Connor eliminated Victor Bray in the first round.
The next round of the ANDRA Drag Racing Championship’s will be the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway on the June Holiday weekend.