HomeNews / Race ResultsNDRC: 2024 Celebrations Abound at NDRC Season-Ending Winternationals

NDRC: 2024 Celebrations Abound at NDRC Season-Ending Winternationals

NDRC - National Drag Racing Championship

Celebrations Abound at NDRC Season-Ending Winternationals

Four days of history-making Australian drag racing has come to a thrilling conclusion today as the inaugural National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) champions were crowned alongside event winners and Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship Eastern Conference victors at the season-ending Gulf Western Oil Winternationals.

There was no shortage of edge-of-your-seat action across the day at Willowbank Raceway with plenty of side-by-side runs, rookies lifting championship Gold Christmas Trees, and nail-biting finals to decide who would lay claim to championship and event glory.

The intensity was quickly dialled up from the first three-second 500kph+ Top Fuel passes of the day and stayed high right through to the finals for Top Fuel, XPRO Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer, Top Fuel Motorcycle, Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, FuelTech Pro Mod and 12 Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship brackets.

Luke Crowley
Luke Crowley

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, it was inaugural NDRC championship-winning racer Luke Crowley who would secure event honours, claiming a rare third consecutive Winternats win.

As the Top Qualifier, Crowley enjoyed a bye in round one, before a win over Tony Frost in round two. In the final, Crowley took the win with a 7.132-second 305.38kph run over Jason Lee’s 8.015-second 192.75kph effort. Lee earned his way to the final with victories over Paul Andrews and Daniel Rabnott.

Luke Crowley
Luke Crowley

“This is just fantastic,” Crowley said, on taking the championship and the Winternats win.

“To win this event three times in a row, well I didn’t think it would happen!

“The last three weeks have been an absolute thrash. The guy working the Motec for me has worked late nights for the last two weeks solid, we have been doing stuff the whole time, and it has been a struggle, but obviously, this makes it all worthwhile.”

Benny Stevens
Benny Stevens

In Top Fuel Motorcycle, Benny Stevens took out the championship Christmas Tree, while his Dananni Hotshots teammate Aaron Deery took the event win on ‘The Gorilla’ with a 7.182-second, 278.75kph pass over Corey Buttigieg – who had dispatched Stevens in round two following a win over Damian Martini in round one.

Aaron Deery
Aaron Deery

Deery got a fantastic launch off the start and was well down the track before Buttigieg crossed the line, taking out timing boxes along the way. He had found his way to the finals with a round one win over John Zahra before a broken drive belt and other mechanical issues struck Top Qualifier Damian Muscat in round two, leaving Deery to ride through for the win. In both wins, Deery was ecstatic with the performance of his bike.

Benny Stevens
Benny Stevens

“It has been a great year, we have had some really good wins, some really good races and really good times,” Stevens said.

“I am really happy with the outcome. It is a mission running two bikes, and at the end of the day, it is really rewarding. It is great to see the efforts paying off. And I was so happy to see Aaron get the win for the event, it means the world.”

Deery was equally happy with his result, feeling that they are in a good place as a team at the end of the season.

“Oh my god! I can’t even believe this is happening,” he said.

Aaron Deery
Aaron Deery

“We have such a strong team here; we just never give up. This bike has been a real pain since we put this new motor in, but we are really starting to get a handle on it now and I feel we are somewhat competitive. Lady Luck probably got us here, I don’t know, I just can’t believe it. I am speechless. This is a dream come true.”

A full complement of Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship racers also wrapped up their Eastern Conference on Sunday. Racers in each of the 12 championship brackets on-track this weekend gave it their all across the four-day Gulf Western Oil Winternationals, leaving nothing on the table as they battled it out for event and conference glory, and an invitation to the National Aeroflow Sportsman Grand Final which will be held in October.

Taking out the Eastern Conference wins for their respective brackets were
Dean Jamieson (Modified Bike, over Nick Thompson)
Adam Jordan (Junior Drag Bike, over James Lowday)
Leonard Azzopardi (Extreme Bike, over Brendan Miglionico)
Edge Mallis (Performance Bike, over Ken Collin)

Joining them in being celebrated at the end-of-event presentations were the event winners and runners-up, with the following racers taking out the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals accolades:

Brian Alvisio (Modified Bike, over Dale Marshall)
Marcus McDonald (Junior Drag Bike, over Jaidyn Schofield)
Nathan Neilson (Extreme Bike, over Dillan Lacey)
Phillip Webster (Performance Bike, over Edge Mallis)

Phillip Webster
Phillip Webster

Stay tuned across the coming week for further Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship reporting from the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals, including further interviews with Eastern Conference and Winternationals winners as well as bracket by bracket rundowns.


Saturday Qualifying

STAGE SET FOR MASSIVE NDRC FINAL SHOWDOWN AT WINTERNATS

There was no shortage of incredible National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) action on track today for what was the penultimate day of the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway – the season finale for the inaugural NDRC championship and also the Eastern Conference final for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, series leader Luke Crowley never yielded the Top Qualifier spot, leading the way in qualifying from the start and improving in Q2 with a 7.155s/301.78kph pass which was enough to see him hold onto the number one spot in Q3. Daniel Rabnott also enjoyed consistency in qualifying, holding on to the second quickest time throughout, with his best run (7.201s/295.74kph) coming in Q3. Tony Frost rounded out the top three with a 7.286s/301.20kph, ahead of Jason Lee (7.345s/290.51kph), Paul Andrews (7.375s/294.34kph), and Andrew Badcock (7.854s/245.21kph), who closed out the field as sixth quickest.

In Top Fuel Motorcycle, Top Qualifier Damian Muscat shaved .838s off his Q1 run in Q2 with a 6.070s/346.33kph pass which was enough to keep him in the top spot in Q3 despite the fact he was unable to run after making a mistake on the startline.

Championship leader Benny Stevens is also sitting in a comfortable position to continue his title chase closing out the three qualifying sessions as second quickest

(6.757s/357.91kph), with his team-mate Aaron Deery ecstatic with the performance which saw him quick enough for third on the timesheets (6.911/304.02kph). Corey Buttigieg was fourth quickest after bettering his Q2 time by 3 seconds with an 8.072s/230.03kph Q3 solo run, with Damian Martini (12.019s/94.58kph) and John Zahra (13.452s/90.63kph) rounding out the field of six.

Damien Muscat
Damien Muscat

“We have had to work hard, that is for sure,” Muscat said.

“In testing last weekend we did quite well but also did some damage, and each round today we have incurred engine troubles which has seen the crew working very hard in between rounds, and we have managed to get it back out there each time.

“Unfortunately, in the third qualifier, the nitro switch rattled to the neutral position, which is actually still ‘on’ but I like to see it ‘full on’ so I flicked it over, but unfortunately I flicked it the wrong way without realising and basically turned my fuel off and didn’t realise until the engine started coming down off fuel and it was too late to do anything.

“That was disappointing for the crew who have worked so hard to get it back out there for the third round of qualifying. But it does save us some work tonight and we will be out there tomorrow for the first round of eliminations.

“It is always awesome to race in front of big crowds like this and Willowbank Raceway has done an awesome job to get the track to an awesome level and so smooth with so much traction, it is just great, and we can’t wait for tomorrow.”

The Gulf Western Oil Winternationals concludes Sunday where the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship event and Eastern Conference winners plus the inaugural NDRC Top Fuel, XPRO Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer, Top Fuel Motorcycle, as well as Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and FuelTech Pro Mod champions and event winners will be celebrated.


Friday Qualifying

NDRC COMPETITORS IMPRESS AS WINTERNATS CONTINUES

It might be the ‘Winters’, but the National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) intensity is heating up at Willowbank Raceway as day two of the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals comes to a close.

Damien Muscat
Damien Muscat

Top Qualifiers
Damian Muscat (Top Fuel Motorcycle)
Luke Crowley (Pro Stock Motorcycle)
Alan Annis Jr (Modified Bike)
Lillian Hagan (Junior Drag Bike)
Nathan Neilson (Extreme Bike)
Edge Mallis (Performance Bike)

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Q1 leader Luke Crowley was pleased with the performance of his Suzuki, with plenty of changes made since the last round of the championship.

“From The Bend to now it is almost a completely different bike, we changed engine programs from a two-valve engine to a four-valve engine which basically means it has more power, and we have gone away from MSD carburetors to fuel injection for this event,” Crowley said.

Luke Crowley
Luke Crowley

“We are still getting our head around what it wants – we only came off the dyno at 10pm last night, so it is pretty fresh, and we didn’t get any track time last week.

“But to run essentially a ‘21’ (7.213) on the first pass was pretty impressive and as a team we are really happy with that. We still have a few curveballs to work out going forward for the rest of the weekend, but I think it will be on the money.

The Gulf Western Oil Winternationals continue Saturday with more Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship elimination rounds and Top Fuel, XPRO Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer, Top Fuel Motorcycle, as well as Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and FuelTech Pro Mod qualifying – including the delayed Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs finals for Pro Stock and FuelTech Pro Mod in Q3 – ahead of the final races for the 2023/2024 NDRC championship season, beginning on Sunday.

Lilan Hagan
Lilan Hagan

Thursday Qualifying

PICTURE-PERFECT START TO WINTERNATIONALS 

A full day of Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship qualifying has provided the perfect start to the four-day (6 – 9 June) Gulf Western Oil Winternationals – the largest championship drag racing event held outside of the US – at Willowbank Raceway today.

Alan Annis
Alan Annis

At the close of today’s running, the following racers were leading the way for their respective brackets: Alan Annis Jr (Modified Bike), Paul Neilsen (Real Street), Jacob Schulz (Junior Dragster), Lillian Hagan (Junior Drag Bike), Ray Ross (Super Street), Luke Rosadi (Super Sedan), Neil Maxwell (Top Sportsman), Kellie Kidd (Modified), Nathan Neilson (Extreme Bike), Edge Mallis (Performance Bike), Matthew McKnight (Supercharged Outlaws), and Steve Sloan (SuperComp).

Nathan Neilson
Nathan Neilson
Edge Mallis
Edge Mallis

In Junior Drag Bike, Lowday’s win over Jordan comes at a pivotal moment for the youngster: this year’s Winters marks his last juniors event and he’s looking to continue this dominant form across the remainder of the weekend.

James Lowday
James Lowday

“We are really happy with the win – we weren’t 100 per cent certain on the dial-in, but we went in, it was a great light, a close race, and we are really happy with the result,” Lowday said.

“This is my last event in Juniors, so to win one event is great, and we will try and win a second one this weekend.

“Everything has been amazing so far, I am pitting with some friends, and both of us were in the final, so to have two trees for the team on the first day is great.

“The bike is running really well, really consistently, and my lights are perfect, so I have nothing to complain about!” he concluded, while thanking Fine Line Motorsports, his mum, Sophia, Zayne and the whole Condello family, Westside Collision Centre, and Johnny Lewis.

The Gulf Western Oil Winternationals continues Friday with the final round of the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship qualifying and the first rounds of racing for Junior Dragster and Super Sedan, and all eight NDRC Group One brackets will also hit the track. XPRO Nitro Funny Cars, Top Doorslammers, Top Fuel Motorcycles, as well as Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and FuelTech Pro Mod will line up for their first qualifying round, while the Top Fuel racers will enjoy a test session.

Adam and James
Adam and James

For more information about the NDRC, please visit www.ndrc.tv

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