GRAND SLAM

THE CURTAIN CAME DOWN HARD ON THE 2015 PRO STREET RACING SEASON WHEN THE COUNTRY’S QUICKEST STREET CARS HIT SYDNEY’S QUARTER-MILE STRIP

STORY ROY VELARDI PHOTOS SIMON DAVIDSON

THERE was action aplenty when the Australian Pro Street Association circus returned to Sydney Dragway for the season finale in November last year.

While several class championships like Pro Street Unblown and True Street had already been decided, several others were poised on a knife’s edge.

Frank Marchese from Dandy Engines and a few other racers had hired the Dragway for some testing in the lead-up. World-famous British DJ – and motorsport enthusiast – Carl Cox was set to debut his new Capri, which runs a Dandy-built 422ci Windsor featuring an alloy Fontana block, CHI heads, CID manifold, FuelTech EFI and a single 101mm Precision turbo. Unfortunately, it was loaded back onto the trailer without making a pass due to a problem with the converter.

Cox is looking to run in the 6.80 zone once it’s sorted.

Competitors were greeted by ominous skies come race day, but as teams set up their respective battle stations in the pits, the sun made an appearance and the racing was soon underway.

One class that caught our eye was the new X235 class; it’s much the same as X275 except on a 235mm tyre, with a class index of 9.50.

Queensland racer Michael Silk gave it a red hot go in his Datto 1200 wagon. It runs a tough Nissan SR20 turbo coupled with a Ford C4 gearbox, and he’s gone as quick as 8.9sec on the tiny 235mm tyre. But in the end the X235 final was an all- Ford Capri affair that went right down to the wire, with Sam Danaskos beating Nathan Ghosn on a holeshot. Nathan ran a 9.86@137mph to Sam’s 9.97@134mph, with Sam getting the win on the tree by 0.002sec!

In the popular X275 class, Tony Webb came into the final round leading the charge after putting in strong performances at Portland and Benaraby earlier in the season. Dave Rogers and his nitrous big-block Monaro loomed as a threat, but he hurt the engine in the second round, which handed the series crown to Webb and his turbocharged Holden 355ci LJ Torana. Webb finished the round runner-up to Chris Michaloudakis, who took the p win in his 598ci Torana.

In True Street, Tony O’Connor already had the series sewn up thanks to round wins at Portland and Benaraby in his brown eight-second XD Falcon.

Round honours went to Anthony Visintin in his ultra-quick naturally aspirated XE Falcon, which

APSA’s system of racing does not have eliminations. Instead, it uses a Chicago Shootout-style format, with racers contesting three rounds at each meeting and accumulating points for each win. One win is worth 40 points, two wins 60 points and three wins 80 points. The points accumulate towards the season championship.

Even without wins, a racer can still rack up a fair score if he or she is willing to travel. The two consistently quickest cars at each meeting face off in the final, with the winner taking an additional 100 points and the runner-up 90 points.

APSA also awards a bonus of five points for the top qualifier and those travelling from interstate, and another five for running a pass worthy of the all-time Top 10 in the class. A win in the final in addition to each of the bonuses adds up to a perfect score of 115 points – which some competitors have achieved.

THE PSB CHAMPIONSHIP WENT TO CRAIG HEWITT IN HIS BLOWN HEMI-POWERED CV8 MONARO G R A N D S L A M !

ran a 8.94@151.8mph in the final to overcome Greg Brooks’s LX Torana with a 9.21@146mph.

Anthony’s XE runs a 440ci Windsor that he built himself using ported CHI alloy heads and a castalloy manifold and has made 950hp on the dyno.

Carolyn Tzortzas ran a new PB in her TRUE9Z Torana hatch, crossing the line with a 9.77@137.85mph. “We changed shock settings and how I launched the car and picked up from 1.43 to 1.40 in the 60-foot,” she said.

“Aspirated it’s probably close to its limit, weighing 3450lb, but I’ve got plans to put it on the bottle in future.”

In the Outlaw Radial class, Tim Cross raised eyebrows with his twin-turbo 450ci Windsorbased Cortina. Prior to the meeting Tim noticed that his Dart block had a few hairline cracks along the mains tunnel and cam tunnel. But that didn’t stop him heading to Sydney in search of a six-second pass.

He almost did it, too, running a best of 7.03 at an insane 206mph. The 3400lb Corty is showing around 2200hp thanks to a pair of 88mm Pro Mod Precision turbos and 40psi of boost. Unfortunately, its day was cut short due to a broken planetary in the Powerglide.

“I took the risk on running this weekend and it almost paid off,” Tim said. “I’ll be back again next year to do it all again and I will run a six; it’s just a matter of time.”

In the Outlaw Radial final, Marc Leake’s twinturbo 622ci Torana took on Danny Busbridge’s 2WIZAS Torana; Marc scored the win with a 7.00 to Danny’s 7.28.

Pro Street Blown saw Tomi Raikko achieve a PB with his SB2-powered LJ Torana, and he also took the class win. Tomi ran 7.09@197mph with the four-door sedan on the back wheels for most of the pass. Thankfully it runs nice and straight!

“The car is a pretty wild ride,” Tomi said, “but it goes as straight as a barrel so I’m not too worried about it at the moment.”

The PSB championship went to fellow finalist Craig Hewitt in his blown Hemi-powered CV8 Monaro.

The Pro Street Unblown championship was already a done deal with Chris Stevermuer taking the silverware. Fred Soleiman from Protrans raced Joseph Somma’s Cortina to win the meeting when his would-be opponent, Tony Nicolaci, couldn’t make the startline for the final.

Fred put in an uncontested final run of 8.05sec.

IN OUTLAW RADIAL TIM CROSS RAISED EYEBROWS WITH HIS TWIN-TURBO CORTINA RUNNING 7.03 AT AN INSANE 206MPH

TOMI RAIKKO RAN A 7.09@197MPH WITH HIS LJ TORANA ON THE BACK WHEELS FOR MOST OF THE PASS

Ashley Mason’s turbo LS-powered RX-7 ran hard all day and won Mod Street Blown with an 8.63sec against Peter Vallis’s ProCharged 400ci Chevy-powered Capri; Ashley also won the MSB championship.

Mod Street Unblown in 2015 saw the emergence of Peter Alexander in his Camaro, which runs a 555ci BBC on alcohol.

Peter finished runner-up in MSU against Mick Brody, who took the win in Sydney and the championship in his 622ci LX Torana.

It wasn’t all insane timeslips and awesome wheelstands.

There were quite a few close calls during racing, with many competitors getting loose on the startline or reaching for the sky.

Paul Cibotto had a shocker, crashing his turbo 347ci ’04 Mustang. “The car left clean, and it ran 7.22, but it moved left when I backed off and then turned hard right into the concrete barrier and rolled,” Paul said.

Luckily for Paul, the well-built chassis saved his life. He was taken to hospital battered and bruised and with a broken vertebra, but he is up and about now. The cause of the accident is believed to have been a broken track locator bar. Paul is unsure whether or not to rebuild the Mustang or buy another rolling chassis.

As usual, the team at Sydney Dragway, aided by Ray Treasure and Peter Pisalidis, did a stellar job putting the event together.

Another awesome season of APSA racing awaits in 2016. Do yourself a favour and check www.austprostassc.com.au to see when they’ll be coming to a track near you. You won’t regret it! s