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AIR sees Lamattina take Top Fuel lead while Zappia secures Top Doorlammer


Phil Lamattina has regained control of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series Top Fuel at the Fuchs Springnationals while John Zappia sealed the Top Dooslammer title.

Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Luke Crowely also extended his lead over Maurice Allen with one round remaining.

Lamattina brother Phil and John qualified first and second ahead of eliminations giving them lane choice for the semi-finals.

John Lamattina defeated Damien Harris with a 4.205 second pass at 273.55 mph while Harris spun the tyres on the line.

Title rivals Allan Dobson and Phil Lamattina went head-to-head in the other semi final with Lamattina progressing with a 4.313 second run at 247.66 mph beating Dobson’s 4.673 second, 235.10 mph. 

In the battle of the brothers ANDRA Drag Racing Series Top Fuel final, Phil went on to take the win with a 4.203 second pass at 267.14 mph from John’s 4.537 second, 235.78 mph run. 

“It’s great to have the points lead, it’s always better to be chased than doing the chasing,” said Phil Lamattina.

“I really have to thank John’s team for allowing me to have lane choice in the final and also to have two Fuchs Top Fuel Dragsters in the final, that’s no mean feat.

“The Rapisarda team is a tough, tough opposition. They want it and they want it bad. We came out on top today, but Sydney is another thing.

“In Sydney we’ll be running the one car. We just believe that we just need to focus all of our efforts on the one car and we believe that’s the best shot we have.

“We don’t go to a race meeting just to win a couple of rounds, we would love to go three rounds and win the Championship with an exclamation mark.”

John Zappia made it seven ANDRA Drag Racing Series Top Doorslammer Championships in a row by reaching the Fuchs Spring Nationals final however, it was Grant O’Rourke who secured his very maiden championship victory in his first ever final. 

Stuart Bishop, nearest Championship rival to Zappia, took himself out of contention after two stepping and red lighting in the semi finals against eventual winner O’Rourke, who then recorded his lowest ET of the weekend with a 5.156 at 216.97 mph.

Zappia had earlier come through a testing opening eliminator against Marty Dack but was able to skate and pedal his way around the Falcon in a left lane that proved troublesome in losses for Gary Phillips, Pino Priolo and Bill Goonan before him. 

Against Grant O’Rourke the final, Zappia got very out of shape on the hit, tagging the wall with his rear wing as O’Rourke celebrated all the way on a 5.260 at 216.97 mph.

“We’re wrapped, don’t really know what to say,” said O’Rourke.

“To take out Zappia, arguably the best of the best, the last person to beat him was me in the first round of the whole season and here we are now. 

“I’m absolutely stoked. This whole weekend, this whole thing is about the mates and the kids that got shot down in that plane. I can’t be more honest, more genuine about that.

“It just seems to be if there is any two people that have ever been matched together, it’d be me and Zap and I don’t mind. There’s a game here and a game there but I’d rather meet him in a final than the first round.”

Despite the final round loss, Zappia secured his seventh ANDRA Drag Racing Series title and his first in Top Doorslammer.

“Any time you make a final it’s a good effort,” said Zappia. “Unfortunately we staged a bit too far left in the final and the car went too far left.

“I pedalled and just scraped the wall. I didn’t know I had scraped the wall, I thought it was close but just grazed a layer of paint off and that was it. 

“Winning the seventh championship is awesome so the Fuchs/Striker Monaro lives to fight another day. We’ll head to Sydney, crank it right up and see if we can push the record.”

Pro Stock Motorcycle saw the strong Crowely and Maurice Allen rivalry continue with Crowely claiming the win and extending his championship lead.

Although Scott White performed very well all weekend and Ryan Learmonth impressed on his pro debut, Crowley and Allen met in yet another final for all the marbles. 

Allen took down Glenn Wooster in round one and had to ride around White in the semi when it looked as though he was beat, but White slowed allowing Allen to go through on a 7.902.

Crowley was in a familiar position winning his first round match up against Phil Howard then opening it up on a solo semi final pass of 7.299.

He all but secured his second consecutive ANDRA Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship defeating Allen in the final on a 7.217 at 184.46 mph from a 7.766 at 160.94 mph.

“This win means more. It’s three in a row, we haven’t done that before and we ran our personal best for Adelaide in the final, 184 mph. The bike really seems to be moving,” said Crowley.

“It was a bit of dash after the solo run. I did a few things wrong so we looked back through all the data, looked at the conditions and went back to the setup we ran at the X-Champs.

“We 60-footed really well at the X-Champs so we went back to that exact same clutch set up within a gram and it worked. That’s as quick as this engine has gone at this weight.

“We had a few little dramas all weekend. We put the spare engine in and the transmission didn’t work for some reason and then golf cart broke down after we top qualified and I was sitting down the bottom end in the dark for 25 minutes wondering what was going on,” he added.

“We went through everything we had to and come race day I just sit down, do my job and try run the wheels off and luckily it all came together today.” 

The final round of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series and Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship moves on to Sydney Dragway for the Australian Nationals be 31 October– November 2, 2014.

Image supplied © Outlaw images


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