Epic Final Battle Set Following Thrilling Show In Sydney
This weekend’s Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway – the penultimate round of the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship and Australian Drag Racing Championship chase – have ensured the Top Fuel title battle will go down to the wire at next month’s finale in Darwin.
LIVE VIDEO COVERAGE – Friday
LIVE VIDEO COVERAGE – Saturday
Top Fuel Motorcycle
Winner – Benny Stevens
Runner-up – Rob Cassar
In the Australian Drag Racing Championship, Benny Stevens took the Top Fuel Motorcycle victory over title leader Rob Cassar (Stevens is second in the points), while John Zahra won a solo B-Final when the record-breaking Chris Matheson was a non-starter for the finals following a scrape with the wall in his round two run.
“We have never raced in Sydney before, so we have been studying the weather and everything. In the first round we went out with a tune that we thought would work, and ended up running a 6.51 while riding through the finish line on the back wheel, so that gave us a good indication of where we were at,” Stevens said.
“In the next qualifying pass, we sort of left the tune the way that it was as we wanted to get a bit of consistency and back up what we did in the first pass, and we ended up running a 6.62 with the bike sliding around a bit from the half-track onwards. At the end of the day, it was another win, and we were the top qualifier, so we were happy.
“Come race day, we put the tune back to the six fifty run, and we ran a 6.52, which were happy with. We left it the same for the second round against Rob Cassar, as we focused on consistency. We ended up winning that second round against him with another 6.52 which we were really happy about.
“In the final round we turned it up just a bit, going through and adding a bit more fuel and clutch where it was needed, and we finished with a win in the final with a 6.47. The biggest thing for us what we ran a few passes that were over 195mph to the half-track, which is a big win for us, as this is an area we have been focusing on and we can see results from that, so we are very, very happy.
“Another highlight of the weekend for us is Aaron Deery’s bike. We have been focusing on that bike and it has been running awesome times even with being off the throttle early. In Q2 he went into the sand and damaged the bike a bit which saw him unfortunately out for the weekend, but it was awesome to see that bike performing so well and that he ran a PB – I am very proud of him and we will have that bike ready to go for Darwin,” he concluded, while thanking his team’s sponsors: Worx Equipment, AAA Demolition and Tree Services, Racecraft, Darling Downs Drilling, Bakers Creek Harvesting, West Coast Air, TRP, CJD Trucks, Red Line Synthetic Oil, Gardiner Engineering, MDR Trans, Nelg’s Ali Mods, Applied Automotive Performance Engines, and The Gate Bar and Bistro.
Matheson had earlier had the crowd on their feet by setting Australia’s first five second Top Fuel Motorcycle pass.
“This has been a big effort from the team, how’s that for a bit of history here in Australia,” Matheson grinned after the record-setting effort.
Chris Matheson 5 second Pass
“To everyone, wow, thank you for supporting us, I can’t do it without the team and all of my guys, Performance Wholesale, Rocket, Aeroflow…all the guys who support what we do. Steve McBride back in the States…what a big moment.
“We have been plugging away at this for about 11 years, I can ring the nursing home now and let them know I am coming next week.
“That’s a big moment.”
The final round of the 2022/2023 Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship, and the Australian Drag Racing Championship for Top Doorslammer and Top Fuel Motorcycle, will be held in Darwin across June 16 and 17.
Winner – Albi Davidson
Runner-up – Lucas Neagoe
Winner – Jessy Barnes
Runner-up – Michael Riches
Timesheet data from Dragnews Magazine – www.dragnews.com.au
To learn more about the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship and the Australian Drag Racing Championships, visit www.topfuelchampionship.com.au