American ace Cory Mac clinches USA v Australia 400 Thunder battle

Cory McClenathan

Cory McClenathan. pics: Grant Stephens/400Thunder

MEDIA RELEASE: American Cory McClenathan has denied returning four-time Australian Top Fuel Champion Darren Morgan a fairytale return to drag racing, clinching the inaugural 400 Thunder event, Sydney Dragway’s East Coast Nationals.

McClenathan beat Morgan on a holeshot in classic USA vs Australia final, running the 400m in 4.68 seconds at 505 km/h – his winning time a-hundredth of a second slower than his opponent.

The two-time U.S. Nationals winner, and reigning Australian Winternationals champ, said the East Coast Nationals crown is incentive to keep coming to Australia.

“We had some things go our way and a bit of luck come our way,” McClenathan said.

“I love being part of the four-car Rapisarda Autosport International outfit. Team owner Santo runs a professional operation that rivals American teams and I’ve got incredible backing when I come out to race for them.

“Winning the last two events I’ve raced here should give him reason to keep bringing me out.

11082015 - Darren Morgan“The 400 Thunder racing has been fiercely competitive all weekend. I faced my teammate and fellow American Dom Lagana earlier and he had me scared, and Darren [Morgan] was a great challenge.”

In semi-finals Top Doorslammer competitor Mark Belleri was involved in a big crash in his Holden Monaro, losing control mid-way down the track and whacking the wall at more than 160km/h.

Belleri emerged unscathed in the incident, while eight-time and reigning champion John Zappia went on to take class honours, defeating Ben Bray in the finals.

In Top Alcohol, Steve Reed edged out Wayne Price to take the win, while Tyronne Tremayne upstaged Lee Bektash in Pro Stock.

Mark Drew and Scott White took out 400 Thunder’s two-wheel divisions, Top Fuel Motorcycle and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

The $750,000 400 Thunder Series heads to Perth for its next event held from 5-6 December.