Grand Final Beckons Following Sizzling Twilight Nationals
The penultimate round of the 2022/2023 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, the Twilight Nationals, concluded in style on Saturday evening at Mildura’s Sunset Strip, setting the stage for what is sure to be an intense ANDRA Grand Final fight in just two weeks’ time (Perth Motorplex, March 4/5).
After two hot days of racing, it was Sean Ricketts (Modified Bike)and Jake Hamilton-Moderate (Competition Bike) who secured the coveted ANDRA Christmas Trees for their brackets. Also celebrated at the end-of-night presentations were runners-up Brian Alvisio and Joe Khoury (Competition Bike).
In Competition Bike, a win for Jake Hamilton-Moderate was something of a redemption for the SA racer, after recent difficulties.
The bracket runs a three-round format, with Hamilton-Moderate earning his way to the final with wins on his Suzuki Hayabusa over Archie Fabian (round one) and David Willis (round three) with a bye in round two, while runner-up Joe Khoury defeated David Willis in round two and enjoyed a bye in round three, following a round one lose to Mark Habel. Edge Mallis was the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier for the bracket.
“We haven’t had a chance to do much racing lately, so it is good to come out on a high. We ran in Alice Springs and blew the bike up, and then went to Portland and I disqualified myself,” explained the former champion.
“The bike ran very well all weekend, we definitely go ourselves comfortable, and the final went well, including a personal best run.
“We are definitely happy to have another tree – thank you to Modcon Civil, and also to my wife and family.”
Sean Ricketts took out his second consecutive ANDRA Christmas Tree with his Kawasaki in Mildura this weekend, taking the Modified Bike win over Brian Alvisio after having earlier emerged victorious from battles against Rob Church (round one), Derryn McGregor (round two) and Dean Jamieson (semi).
On his way to the runner-up spot, Alvisio successfully faced off against Glen Bellini (round one) and Shane Walker (round two) before enjoying a bye in the semi. Jarrod Healeay was the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier for the bracket, and was defeated by Jamieson in the first round.
Twilight Nats a Record-breaker for David Willis
Willis reset the D/AB Competition Bike 660ft MPH record to 125.28mph
Willis’ record-setting performance comes following a recent class change.
“We only recently made the switch from B/Street to D/Altered and I am still in the process of setting the bike up, so we came over early for the Test and Tune on the Thursday and did some tuning on the rear suspension which saw me very happy with how the bike was leaving the line,” Willis explained.
“Going into qualifying, it was very hot as everyone knows, and it was still a little ways off the index, but I was getting a lot more comfortable with the way the bike was leaving the line and the MPH was really good.
“We had a reasonable qualifying, a little slower than what I expected, but still mid-field, and I actually went over the MPH record during qualifying but didn’t realise it at the time.
“When it came to the racing on Saturday, in my very first run I went over the record and then again in the second round, before my last run of the night was my best of the evening with 125.7mph.
“This is my first time setting a national record and I am pretty happy with this achievement. I have been racing for a while now and I don’t have any sponsors, I just do it all by myself, and it feels really good to have the hard work rewarded – there is a lot more to come to I think, it has a lot more in it. The ET record is the next one I will be looking at!
“Thank you to Viv Coe from Coe’s Electrical in Port Pirie for the assistance in tuning the bike. All in all, it was a very good weekend for everybody; even though it was hot, it was a great weekend of racing – it is always good to get over to Mildura and have a run there.”
ANDRA thanks the Sunraysia Drag Racing Association and all of its volunteers and sponsors for an outstanding racetrack and a well-run event.
For results from today’s action at the Sunset Strip, please click here
The final round of the 2022/2023 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series will be held at the Perth Motorplex, as part of the Westernationals across March 4 and 5. For event information, go to www.motorplex.com.au
The Australian National Drag Racing Association Ltd, or ANDRA for short, is the drag racing sanctioning body of Australia. The organization was created in 1973 from a more drag racing oriented faction of the Australian Hot Rod Federation. Today ANDRA sanctions races throughout Australia and throughout the year at all levels, from Top Fuel to Junior Dragster, on everything from temporary regional tracks to international standard facilities in capital cities. ANDRA and its members make drag racing a family-friendly, safe sport. So come along as a spectator or bring your street car to an “off-street” event and enjoy the excitement that is Australian drag racing. www.andra.com.au