Photo courtesy Grant Stephens.
Mopar factory driver Lee Bektash says Pro Stock is likely to become a six second free for all with cool, clear conditions forecast for this weekend's Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway.
The exuberant Victorian brought out a newly imported Dodge Avenger for the first time to do testing on Saturday and even with just his testing motor in place he was able to record early sector times on track for six second runs.
It was at the Nitro Champs in May last year where Peter Ridgeway became the first driver to run into the sixes with a 6.99 in the second round of eliminations and he was joined recently by Jason Grima who ran a 6.98 in November, also at Sydney Dragway.
Bektash has confidently predicted his own first six second passes and he expects many other teams to join him.
"My prediction is that there will be six cars into the sixes by the end of this event and the top qualifier will be around a 6.96," he said. "These cars rely on weather to get the quick times and if we see weather like we had in testing on Saturday then we are going to see a lot of six second runs."
A massive 25 teams have entered for Pro Stock, all of them seeking to get into the 16 car field. This will mean Saturday's qualifying show could be even tougher than race day.
"I challenge people to try and pick which cars won't qualify because every one of them is a strong competitor," he said. "At this level, anyone who can qualify will have just about an even chance of winning on Sunday.
"Like we did in Perth, we are aiming to be in the top six in qualifying and then at least make it through to the semi finals."
Bektash explained that his new car felt a lot more comfortable as it was designed around NHRA champion Allen Johnson, who has a similar build to Bektash.
"It's built around somebody my size, AJ is not a lot bigger than me, so it feels like it was built for me, basic things like the steering wheel is in the right place," he said. "This is a one off car. It's a 'double rail' car so it looks more like a Top Doorslammer on the inside; it's definitely heavily engineered.
"We've done three passes in the car so far, starting off with just some burnouts and then on the first hit it went 1.004 to 60 feet which is a good number."
Bektash has also recently added another car to the stable, albeit at a smaller scale, with son Leon to be racing in Junior Dragster at the Nitro Champs
"I've got three boys and watching one of them have a passion in the sport I'm heavily involved in is good," he said.
The 2013 Nitro Champs takes place at Sydney Dragway May 3-5 and features Australia's most exciting drag racing categories including Top Fuel, Top Doorslammer, Top Alcohol, Top Bike and Pro Stock Motorcycle, plus Nitro Funny Car and Outlaw 10.5 match racing.