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NDRC: Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway

NDRC - National Drag Racing Championship

NDRC: Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway

Double the nitro at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs more than delivered when it came to crowd-pleasing action at Sydney Dragway at the weekend, setting a perfect stage for the upcoming NDRC season finale at the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals (June 6-9).

A dramatic C-Final accident for Joe Gauci saw the Profab ‘67 Mustang drift towards the centre line before getting completely out of shape as the car lifted while moving back across the lane, where it hit the wall and came to a rest in the deep end after sliding on its roof. With the safety crews immediately on hand, Gauci was out of the car and walked away to the awaiting medical staff.

Following the incident and with a lengthy clean-up required in rapidly dropping temperatures, the decision was made to conclude on-track running, with the remaining FuelTech Pro Mod and Pro Stock finals to be completed at the Winternationals.

Eleven Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship brackets had taken to the track for their second round of the weekend, commencing with the conclusion of qualifying for Top Sportsman, Performance Bike, and SuperComp with Steve Fowler, Edge Mallis and Jai Schluter taking those honours respectively, before racing for all brackets commenced.

Edge Mallis
Edge Mallis

On Monday morning, the NDRC brokered a deal with the Winternationals to complete all Nitro Champs Aeroflow National Sportsman rounds that reached the semi-final stages in the second round of this weekend’s event.

This will see Supercharged Outlaws and Junior Dragsters complete from their semi-finals on at the June event, while Junior Drag Bike, Modified, SuperComp and Top Sportsman will run their finals there.

“The NDRC is committed to awarding Christmas Tree trophies and championship points,” NDRC promoter, Andy Lopez, said.

“Despite our best efforts Sunday night, a major on track incident combined with plummeting track temperatures meant we were unable to finish the second Sportsman round of the weeknd.

“We spoke with Willowbank Raceway organisers right away, and we are happy to announce that for those categories that made it to semi-final level, we can offer a chance to secure a result and win a Nitro Champs Christmas tree at the Winters. This racing will occur as part of these brackets’ qualifying sessions on the Thursday of that event.

“This matches the commitment and opportunity the NDRC gives to Group One racers to complete championship rounds at subsequent events.

“Further, I’m pleased to confirm that if the racers in those semis and finals haven’t registered for the Winters, but now want to attend given this situation, Willowbank Raceway has agreed they can secure registration even though registrations have closed given these special circumstances. We will be reaching out to those racers in the next 48 hours.

“At the NDRC we are all about finding ways to deliver meaningful results and reward racers for their achievements, and while we weren’t able to complete racing last night, hopefully this will allow us to do as much as we can to recognise the efforts of our racers who were with us on-track.

“We feel for the other brackets that were not advanced enough to be completed at the Winters. Those racers will be awarded points respective of where their bracket was at the conclusion of racing.

The NDRC title chase now heads to Willowbank Raceway across 6 to 9 June for the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals for the final round of their 2023/2024 season. With Top Fuel, XPRO Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer, Top Fuel Motorcycle, Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and FuelTech Pro Mod all in the one place for four huge days, plus the Eastern Conference final for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship at this event, there will be everything to play for at ‘The Winters’. For event info and tickets, go to ndrc.tv


Satruday

The Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship was also back on track for a full day of on-track action, which saw Friday’s held over Extreme Bike final completed in the morning ahead of qualifying for the second round of the championship to be held this weekend.

At the end of today’s proceedings, the following racers had claimed the ‘round two’ Top Qualifying honours for their respective brackets: Leonard Azzopardi (Extreme Bike), and Dean Jamieson (Modified Bike).

Dean Jamieson
Dean Jamieson

In Extreme Bike, Leonard Azzopardi took the Friday final win with a 7.363 second pass over runner-up Ryan Franks’ 7.858 second effort. Azzopardi also claimed the Top Qualifying honours both on Friday and Saturday.

“It was a challenging (first round of racing) and I think I was a bit luckier with maybe a bit better set-up and a bit more experience and I was able to get the bike down the track and get the win with a bit of luck,” Azzopardi said.

Leonard Azzopardi
Leonard Azzopardi

“I would like to thank my crew, my daughter Bianca and my wife Deanne – without them I would line up in the wrong spot and spin all the way down the track! They know the drill, they have all the experience as we have been doing it together for so long.

“I would also like to thank all the track officials and the volunteers for all their hard work over three huge days, we all really appreciate them. And thanks to NDRDC as well for having us, it is always a pleasure.

“I left a lot on the table with driver error for today’s qualifier, that easily should have been into the sixes as the track was perfect – I was lucky I didn’t get the sack from riding the bike,” he laughed.

“Heading into tomorrow’s racing I am pretty excited and hopefully it all goes smoothly, and we can get a good run, and hopefully a PB. A win would be good too, but I am not greedy, I am just happy to be out there racing!”

The third and final day of history making Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs action kicks off Sunday morning with racing for Top Fuel, XPRO Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock, FuelTech Pro Mod and the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship, while Matt Hall will also return to impress with more aerial acrobatics. Head to the NDRC Facebook page for an updated schedule.


Friday

The next two days at Sydney Dragway will bring NDRC history to the fore with double the nitro to hit the track across Saturday and Sunday for the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs.

In Performance Bike, Wally Hosta and his Suzuki GSXR 1000 took the win over bracket debutant Bobbie Schluter and her Kawasaki ZX64. Hosta, of Horsley Park in NSW, had earlier matched up with Chris Hocking (round one) and Joe Khoury (round two), while Schluter ensured her place in the final with wins over Phillip Webster (round one) and top qualifier Edge Mallis (round two).

Wally Hosta
Wally Hosta

In Modified Bike, Lucas Neagoe and his Suzuki GSXR 1000 took the win over a red-lighting Sean Ricketts, with the Stanhope NSW racer having earlier emerged victorious from wins over Cheryl Beddoes (round one) and Adrian Watson (round two) before a semi-final bye. Ricketts meanwhile had dispatched Dale Williams (round one) before a round two bye and a semi-final win over Jamie White with his Kawasaki ZX12R. Top qualifier Dean Jamieson did not take part in racing this evening.

Lucas Neagoe
Lucas Neagoe

The Extreme Bike final will be held on Saturday morning. Non-championship category Junior Drag Bike was also on-track today, with Adam Jordan taking out the top qualifying honours before Anastazia Luckie took out the first victory of the weekend over runner-up Lincon Delios, with more racing for this bracket to also hit the track tomorrow.


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

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