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Sydney’s X-Champs thrills both competitors and crowds

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The X-Champs proved itself a racing hotbed on the weekend, with plenty of Group 1 action across the three-day competition ensuring a number of new championship points leaders.

The event, formerly known as the ‘Nitro Champs’, marked Round 3 of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series with the first two rounds held in January.

In Top Fuel, Damien Harris grabbed the ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree – and the championship lead – after defeating Phil Lamattina in the final with a 4.92.

The West Australian was happy with the result, despite experiencing technical issues throughout the weekend.

“It was so hard to win that one,” Dobson said.

“After qualifying, I was starting to doubt our chances of getting through. We just had to get one good pass to get a baseline and we did that today.

“It (the engine) was eating itself up so we had to swap a few engines.

“There was a lot of pressure on that last race. The car wouldn’t start and we had trouble with the electronic sensors. We broke the input shaft in the semi finals and it destroyed the engine, there was not a clutch left.”

“It was excellent to get through to the finals, to do it for Santo and take over the championship lead.”

Top Fuel Motorcycle was all about Leonard Azzopardi, who took home his first Group 1 ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree.

Azzopardi defeated Gordon Crawford in the final with a 6.59, after taking Neville Smith and Mark Drew in the semi-finals with a 7.36 and 6.81 respectively.

“It feels unreal,” Azzopardi said.

“The only plan we came here with was to either run a personal best or win.

“We weren’t prepared to go and try crazy things and then have to come back to start pulling the motor apart. This bike has still got the same pistons and rods in it from when I bought it, (and) for a nitro vehicle that’s nearly impossible.”

Pro Stock number one qualifier Aaron Tremayne solidified his points lead in the championship after he eliminated Anthony Selva on a 7.12, and Emilio Spinozzi with a 7.01.

Tremayne took an easy win in round two, after defending champion Jason Grima shut down before staging in the semi finals.

 “It (the X-Champs) was a good race meeting,” Tremayne said.

“It was a pity we had some rain yesterday, but the track was a lot better. There was some good data I collected and hopefully we can go to the Winternationals and run a couple of sixes and set some big mph.”

John Zappia proved his prowess in Top Doorslammer. He moved to the top of the point standings after a semi-final win against Victor Bray with a 5.82, and Martyn Dack in the finals with a 5.84.

 In Top Alcohol, Steven Reed added another Gold Christmas Tree to the forest in his trophy cabinet running a 5.95 to defeat Wayne Price early in eliminations.

Reed then ran a 5.53 to defeat Wayne Newby and complete the hat trick in the final with a 5.56 to beat Steven Ham, who spun the tyres.

Rounding out the Group 1 action, Luke Crowley wrapped up another Pro Stock Motorcycle championship round win progressing through the first round on a solo 7.27 before defeating Maurice Allen in a tight race with a 7.21 from a 7.29.
That set up a final run against Phil Howard with his 7.29 good enough to edge the win from Howard’s 7.45.
The next leg of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series moves onto Willowbank Raceway in Queensland for the running of the Fuchs Winternationals.

For full X-Champs results: http://www.andra.com.au/series/results.html

Image supplied. © Fred Dwyer

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