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Champions crowned at FUCHS Winternationals

Article Date: 13 June 2012

Willowbank Raceway has hosted a frenetic FUCHS Winternationals finals day today with Australia’s largest drag racing event and the finale of the 2011/2012 Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) drag racing season coming to a close this evening at Queensland’s premier drag racing facility. 

The ANDRA Top Fuel championship chase came down to the wire with just a few points separating reigning champion Darren Morgan and challenger Darren Harris. However, bonus points for top speed from earlier in the weekend for Morgan enabled him to secure his second consecutive Top Fuel championship (his third overall) over Harris despite both of them losing out to other drivers in the first round of eliminations.

“The championship really went down to the wire, I am thankful for the results of some of my other Top Fuel drivers,” laughed Morgan.

“We're really happy to have been able to claim it, it is a great testament to the efforts of my team who are all volunteers and also for our supporters AEG Powertools, Shannons and Kennards Hire.”

Allan Dobson in the Santo Rapisarda Top Fuel entry was the first recipient of the memorial Mick Atholwood trophy after taking the FUCHS Winternationals event win over Andrew Cowin.

“Mick often encouraged me when I was down; I am so honoured to receive this trophy. I rang Santo Rapisarda a few weeks ago to see if I could help in any way and they asked me to drive – so it has turned out pretty well!” said Dobson.

Hillcrest’s Gary Phillips was able to claim his 15th Top Alcohol ANDRA Pro Series championship (his 16th overall) after his nearest championship rivals were unable to take advantage of his shock non-qualification for the event.

“It is really hard to sit in the grandstand with your fate in someone else’s hands. I am so proud to have been able to claim this championship, it is just great for me and my family and of course Lucas Oils,” said Phillips.

Brendale’s Steven Reed took the event Top Alcohol win in his Allstars Batteries Funny Car with a solo run in the finals when his opponent Jamie Noonan was unable to front for the final due to engine damage sustained in his semi-final run.

“This weekend started out pretty average (Reed brushed the wall in his first qualifying run) but it has ended up pretty good!” said Reed.

“It is a shame to have not been able to race Jamie (Noonan) in the final, I don’t like to win like that, but it goes like that sometimes and it was a good weekend overall for the Reed, Keating and Watts families (daughter-in-law Fiona Keating claimed the track championship in Supercharged Outlaws while son-in-law Matt Watts claimed the national championship in the same category).”

In Top Doorslammer, West Australian John Zappia claimed his fifth consecutive Top Doorslammer ANDRA championship while the Northern Territory’s Andrew Sutton took the event win against Zappia’s fellow West Aussie Robin Judd who will now retire.

“What a weekend for us and for our sponsors FUCHS, Procomp, Striker Crushing and Screening, Elora Tools, K-Trans and Beta Spuds. We have got to work out how to win this championship at the (previous round) Nitro Champs, it is so much pressure having to come here and win it on the final weekend!” laughed Zappia.

In Pro Stock, Michael Ali claimed the championship while Shane Tucker – whose sister Kirsten Tucker debuted as the first female Pro Stock racer at the weekend – was victorious at this weekend's event in his Monster Energy Drinks machine.

“I am so proud to claim the FUCHS Winternationals win, it is a very hard thing to do, but even so, I am even more proud of my sister Kirsten and what she has achieved here this weekend – I am a tough teacher but she was so impressive, I am so proud of her,” said Tucker.

In Top Bike, Brisbane’s Chris Matheson and his Nitro Voodoo two-wheeled nitro machine continued his absolute dominance of the bracket to not only claim his third consecutive championship but also the event win. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Locky Ireland was able to hold on for the championship win with a runner-up result to event winner Luke Crowley.

Also taking event wins at Willowbank Raceway today were Alistair McClure (Competition), Omar Sedmak (Super Stock), Robert Novak (Super Compact), Kevin Gummow (Competition Bike), Matthew McKnight (Allstar Batteries Supercharged Outlaws), Tony Littlewood (Knijff Earthmoving Modified), Steven Fowler (Powercruise Super Sedan), Lucas Holz (Prime Signs/Speed Elec Super Street), Daniel Sekli (Modified Bike), Matthew Matulovich (Donnelly Blasting Services Junior Dragster) and Michael Stivala (Super Gas) and Craig Dyson (Factory Extreme).

The FUCHS Winternationals is Australia’s largest drag racing event. For full results from today’s action please visit Willowbank Raceway’s event results page at www.willowbankraceway.com.au.

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