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Drag Racing the True Winner After the East Coast Thunder at Sydney Dragway

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The buzz from the East Coast Thunder at Sydney Dragway is undeniable. The second event of the 2016 - 2017 400 Thunder Series drew in record numbers on the track and packed the grandstands.

World class performances were seen across the board, with highlights including –

  • One of the tightest Top Fuel Qualifying Fields in Australian History, punctuated by Larry Dixon racing to the number one spot with a 4.74 in 30 + degree temperatures.
  • The unofficial record for the worlds quickest Front Engine Dragster at 5.521 by Russell Mills.
  • Near Australian record setting runs by Brad Lemberg and Corey Buttigeig in Pro Bike.
  • Personal best runs by many racers across the weekend.
  • Sensational racing in all of the 400 Thunder sportsman categories.

Top Fuel racer Wayne Newby delivered the perfect end to a sensational night of racing at Sydney Dragway, racing to the quickest time of the weekend en-route to overcoming Peter Xiberras in the Top Fuel final. Culminating in one of the closest races of the day – a 4.65 for Newby to a 4.67 for Xiberras.

Pro Alcohol saw Steven Ham take home the Gold trophy over Wayne Price in an all funny car final round. Price used a .009 reaction time to beat reigning champion Garry Phillips, who ran low elapsed time of the event with a 5.43 in the semifinal round.

Mark Belleri picked up where he left off last season, with a win in Pro Slammer over local hero and long-time racer Jeff Wilson, who raced to his first ever five second run in his semi-final win over Gary Phillips. Number one qualifier Scott Maclean’s hopes were dashed with a red light in the semifinals - instantly disqualifying him despite racing to the quickest elapsed time of the event with a 5.81 at 405.77.

Top Bike racer Chris Matheson looked on track to give a five second run a shot early in the event, but power application issues plagued the team throughout the weekend. Despite this, Matheson took home the Gold winner’s trophy and with it the points lead in the 400 Thunder Top Bike Championship over Queensland’s Damien Muscat.

Multi-time champion Aaron Tremayne dominated the East Coast Thunder in Pro Stock, taking home the top qualifiers award, the winner’s trophy, low elapsed time of the weekend with a 6.91, top speed at 317.90 and the points lead in the 400 Thunder Pro Stock Championship. Bill Perdikaris took a deserved runner up position after returning to Pro Stock after a serious accident earlier in the year.

Brad Lemberg delivered world class performances in winning Pro Bike at the event, defeating Corey Buttegeig in the final round. His 7.09 from qualifying held up for the quickest run of the event despite some blistering performances from Buttegeig and Glenn Wooster respectively.

Sydney Dragway General Manager, Peter Beaumont, reflected on the event and stated, “The 400 Thunder Drag Racing Series is moving forward with the full support of the Pro-Series racer group. Together we are delivering a contemporary product that presents as a fully professional motorsport series. We are working directly with our teams to introduce new sponsors and programs to develop our sport. It is a great feeling to look forward to the future and not backwards whilst working on a series like 400 Thunder”.

The 400 Thunder Drag Racing Series is one part of a comprehensive business building program for Sydney Dragway. The entire venue has been reshaped and restructured to introduce new business to the venue, ensuring the long term viability and profitability to benefit the long term health of Drag Racing, and guaranteeing that Sydney Dragway remains one of the best Drag Racing venues in the world.

The series now shifts to Queensland and Willowbank Raceway for the New Year’s series on January 7, before moving back to Sydney Dragway two weeks later for the Santo’s Summer Thunder on January 21.

Content courtesy of Sydney Dragway and Drag News


Last modified on Thursday, 17 November 2016

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