Mildura local and reigning ANDRA champion Darren Morgan has taken out the first ever ANDRA championship event in Adelaide and has claimed the championship lead with after a dominant performance in the Top Fuel final at the Pro Series 1000 event this weekend.
Morgan, John Cannuli, Chris Matheson and Locky Ireland will go down in history as the winners of the first championship drag racing event over 1000 feet in Australia following an exciting race day at the Adelaide International Raceway.
Morgan's AEG team contested the final against his Mildura rival Phil Lamattina in the Fuchs dragster proving too strong by running a 4.65sec pass at 409kmh.
“Leading the championship is always better than being behind,” he said.
“We’re on top of this new car now so we should be right for the remaining two rounds.
“In qualifying with some runs I had to let it do what it was going to do so (crew chief) Benny could learn from it. Once we had that figured out Ben knew where to go with it.”
Morgan has a 12.5 point lead in the championship over Andrew Cowin who top qualified and reached the semi finals, with points leader going into the event Damien Harris falling to third.
It was also an action packed Top Alcohol final with taking the win however opponent's Wayne Newby run came undone crossing lanes and smashing into the newly installed concrete barriers near the end of his run. Newby emerged unharmed after the incident.
For Cannuli it was his third win in Top Alcohol and his first this season in the Wash It Chev Monte Carlo.
“We haven’t raced this car since November so I’m getting my head back around it and the more laps I was driving the better I was getting,” he said.
“It was tricky at the start; we underestimated the track at first. We realised we could throw more at it and we kept putting more power in it until we got down there with a nice 4.89 in the semi finals.”
Cannuli also took bonus points for low time and top speed of the event in Top Alcohol.
Top Bike champion and championship leader Chris Matheson dominated the weekend with his nitro machine again with a 5.38sec win over Chris Porter in the Top Bike final.
“We struggled a little bit with the track all weekend and we took a lot of power out of it so we could hook up,” he said. “Our 60 foots (launch times) weren’t where they normally are.
“ANDRA and Racing Onn Promotions did a great job getting the Pro Series 1000 all together. Hopefully we can get a few more punters in Top Bike for the next round in Sydney to make it a better show.”
in Pro Stock Motorcycle Locky Ireland took his first ANDRA win over over Phil Howard who crashed heavily after the finish line of his run in Qualifying.
Ireland said he was happy to be a part of history.
“I’m definitely rapt for my first win and being the first winner in a 1000 feet race in the first event back in Adelaide in over ten years is one to cherish,” he said. “I really want to upgrade the number three plate to a number one.”
The next round of the ANDRA Pro Series will be the Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway in May with the next round of the ANDRA Pro Series scheduled to return to Adelaide as Round 1 of the 2012 / 2013 championship on 6th October 2012.
ANDRA Pro Series 1000 Adelaide - Top Fuel Final Results
W: Darren Morgan RT 0.236 ET 4.655 MPH 254.30
RU: Phil Lamattina RT 0.128 ET 6.825 MPH 94.75
Low ET: 4.372 (Andrew Cowin)
Top Speed: 270.67mph (Phil Lamattina)
2011 / 2012 ANDRA Championship Points
Top Fuel (after four rounds)
1 Darren Morgan 384
2 Andrew Cowin 371.5
3 Damien Harris 357.5
4 Phillip Lamattina 335.5
5 Mark Sheehan 149
6 Cory McClenathan 102
7 Mark Mariani 88
8 Bob Shepherd 43
9 Terry Sainty 41
10 Phil Read 20
Top Alcohol (after three rounds)
1 Gary Phillips 243
2 Wayne Newby 242
3 Adam Marchant 236.5
4 Rick Gauci 169
5 Debbie O'Rourke 162.5
6 John Cannuli 136
7 Steven Ham 113
8 Rob Pilkington 107
9 Wayne Price 103.5
10 Steven Reed 85
Top Bike (after three rounds)
1 Chris Matheson 399.5
2 Mark Drew 231
3 Phil Parker 208.5
4 Chris Porter 156
5 Graeme Morell 108
6 Craig Bonwick 66
7 Michael Gregg 44
Pro Stock Motorcycle (after three rounds)
1 Maurice Allen 254
2 Phil Howard 225
3 Locky Ireland 214
4 Michael Gilbertson 197
5 Glenn Wooster 150
6 Scott White 135
7 Ross Lemberg 113
8 Mark Hancock 86