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Article Date: 16 June 2016

Under the lights of Willowbank Raceway on the evening of Friday 10th June, 2016, John Cannuli and his Crossroads Racing team prepared for their first Qualifying Round at the 2016 City of Ipswich Winternationals. With packed grandstands, all eyes were on 2016 Championship-contender Cannuli. Few had forgotten his recent gravity-defying wheel stand at the Santos Super 3 event over the Easter weekendat Willowbank which, although spectacular, had left the team chasing a myriad of gremlins in the car to get it back to top form.
As recently as Monday 6th June, 2016 when the team tested ahead of the Winternationals, Cannuli admits he and the team were nervous to see if the late nights and super-human efforts to correct the car had all been worth it.
“We had a really good start to the year. [The car was] really fast; really good,” he begins. “Since the wheel stand at Easter we just haven’t been able to get the car back to where we were. The guys have worked day and night to change the complete set up in the car – the clutch, fabricate a new wheelie bar, the fuel system, the timing – it was as if we’d started with a brand new car again,” he continues of the massive effort his crew put in the search to find their form.
Monday’s testing would repay their effort with some great feedback.
“Monday was successful because it confirmed that the car didn’t need what it had needed before. With all we’d changed it really was a brand new car, and we started treating it as such… By the last test pass on Monday we thought we’d nearly got it, and then that first pass on Friday 10th June, 2016 was the smoothest the car had ever gone,” enthuses Cannuli.
The result was a record-smashing 5.358sec@256.36mph.
Cannuli continues that the team didn’t line up ready to break a record, but as a testament to their hard work, their first qualifying pass couldn’t have gone any better. “All we wanted was the car to go from A to B. Since the accident we’ve had trouble getting it off the line; all we wanted from Qualifying was to get it down straight and when it left the line it felt so smooth. I hit my shift points, the thing was perfect,” he continues with a beaming smile.
“I even let off early! I thought to myself ‘that was smooth,’ but I certainly didn’t think it was fast. It was all history from there,” he adds with a chuckle.

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