Race fans have delighted in all that the National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) had to offer Jan 13-14, at “The Bend” in Tailem Bend, South Australia with epic performances from Top Fuel Motorcycles, ensuring the 20,000+ strong crowd on-track and the many watching live on 7plus were captivated from start to finish.
In Top Fuel Motorcycle, Benny Stevens put in a A-Final winning performance, taking the win over Greg Durack to add to his championship lead. Stevens – who had a problematic day on Saturday, took a win over Corey Buttigieg in the first round, before an early shut off in round two on a solo.
Durack meanwhile put down a huge run in round one to signal his return to competitiveness with a 6.671 ET at 326kph over a struggling Aaron Deery and followed that up with a round two victory over Buttigieg who again encountered issues.
The B-Final was between defending champ Rob Cassar and top qualifier Damian Muscat. Muscat had turned the tyres on a solo round one before going on to win over Rickard after a big thrash to be ready for round two, while Cassar had a round one win over Rickard and a round two win over Deery. When it came to their final match-up, it was Cassar who took the win on a holeshot, with his 7.229 second pass enough to beat Muscat’s 7.07 ET thanks to his much better reaction time.
The C Final saw Rickard and Deery matched up, with Rickard taking the win with a PB 7.428/278.9kph, while Deery continued to grapple with issues on his Harley.
“It was a bit of a difficult weekend for us tuning wise,” Stevens explained.
“We tried a few different things in the Dananni Hot Shots Harley and just couldn’t get away from running six-sixties. We were putting power in, we were taking it out, playing with the clutch – we just couldn’t seem to come to terms with the conditions. On a lot of laps the bike was moving around over the track and more or less hazing the tyre.
“When we went out for the final we took a heap of power out of it and a heap of clutch out to make sure we could get from A to B. We dropped cylinders at the 1000ft, but we still came away with the win against Greg Durack and have another trophy on the shelf, so it is happy days.
“I want to thank Dananni Hot Shots, Darling Downs Drilling, Race Craft Australia, Triple A Demolition and Tree Services, Worx Equipment, Baker’s Creek Harvesting, Fierce Signage, Red Line Oils Australia, Oil and Energy Bibra Lake, TRP/CJD, The Gate Bar and Bistro, Applied Automotive, Curtain Engine Reconditioning Mackay, Phil Gardner Engineering and Nelg Alli Mods. And I also want to send a special thanks to Clyde Carstairs of Bravo Resources for getting a head and barrel welded and ready for us following an explosion last weekend, he went out of his way to help us to be ready for this weekend, so a big thanks to him.”
Also on two-wheels, Lucas Neagoe took a win over Nick Thompson in the final despite running a 17 second pass when Nick broke out. He had earlier taken on Chris Morgan and Cheryl Beddoes while Thompson had taken on Dean Jamieson and top qualifier Brian Alvisio.
While in Competition Bike, Chris Allen and Sam Scerri did battle for the final victory following a three-round Chicago Shootout which saw top qualifier Allen record wins on a bye and over Paul Andrews and Rob Church, while Scerri defeated Jake Hamilton-Moderate and David Willis before a round three bye.
The NDRC action continues thick and fast from here, with the Australia Day Nationals at Sydney Dragway on January 26 and 27 to be followed by the South Coast Rumble at South Coast Raceway on February 3 and 4, and further racing at Willowbank Raceway (February 17) and at Mildura’s Sunset Strip (February 16 and 17).