Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Champs Crowned
The 10 round 2015/2016 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series has come to a close at Adelaide International Raceway with the coronation of 10 Champions across the 12 bracket Series.
A healthy crowd was on hand for the completion of the first ever ANDRA Championship Grand Final in Adelaide and they were treated to some close, cutthroat action when friendships were put aside in pursuit of a title.
The Super Stock Championship went down to the wire when Kim Fardella and Jim Ioannidis fought it out, trading wins for what looked like a sure fire final showdown. That was until Ioannidis beat himself in the semi finals with a red light against Jamie Chaisty.
Fardella (Manjimup, WA) was crowned 2015/2016 Champion as a result of advancing to the ULX110 Custom Blend Oils Super Stock final and he finished the job defeating Chaisty who pulled a red light of his own. Fardella secured the golden double of event win and Championship trophy with an 8.352 second pass on an 8.57 index at 162.54 mph.
“It’s unbelievable, don’t know what to say actually,” said a speechless Fardella.
“I have to say thanks to Terry and Jackie who have been with us all along the way. Terry makes a lot of the decisions on the car to make it go faster. We left some stuff for today and it worked out for us.
“A lot of people helped us and number one is Huntsman Racing for putting this on and looking after us while we were in Adelaide. There’s a lot of people and I can’t name them all but thank you.”
Fardella defeated Chris Soldatos in Round 1 and Louis Svingos in the semi final.
Matt Lisle (Chipping Norton, NSW) already had a hand on the Super Compact Championship and he confirmed it with a run all the way to the Pro GTR Motorsport Super Compact final that fortunately included two solo passes.
Although he saved the car for the final it was Andrew Dyson (Wallington, VIC) who dispatched David Clark, Andrew Sanders and then Lisle in the final to win the event. Dyson reacted quickest leaving Lisle behind with an 8.137 on a 7.80 index at 179.45 mph to a 12 second pass.
Adam Murrihy (Karama, NT) travelled far and wide this season and he was rewarded with the ultimate prize winning the Supercharged Outlaws Championship for the first time. The title was wrapped when his nearest rivals Doina day was eliminated in Round 1 followed by David Thornton in Round 2. Murrihy went all the way to the Zauch Transport Supercharged Outlaws final but couldn’t secure the double as Shane Kramer (Birdwood, SA) claimed his second victory in a month. Kramer defeated Ben Gatt, Mark Zauch and Graham Hargrave to set up the final against Murrihy. He covered the 1000ft distance in 5.655 seconds on a 5.64 dial in at 183.63 mph to Murrihy on a break out 5.437-second time, quicker than his 5.44 dial in.
“It’s just awesome to take away another trophy, our second one,” said Kramer.
“I’m so thankful to the people who help me out, my mate Dave, the family was here. It’s just a great achievement; all the hard work is paying off. Can’t do it on my own like I say. Congrats to everyone here who put on the meeting and getting it back happening in Adelaide, Mark Kuhn and everyone else, thanks to all my competitors, it’s been an amazing weekend.”
Before this season Jason Stares had never won an ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy. Now he has two Silver Trees and two Gold Trees after sweeping the ANDRA Championship Grand Final and the Top Sportsman Championship.
It was a slogfest as first Jason Arbery in Round 1 and then Stuart McBain and Darren Saliba in Round 2 had their title hopes dashed. That left Stares and Paul Russo to battle it out but Russo fell in the semi final opening the door for Stares.
Stares raced to the Old Skool Speed Shop Top Sportsman Grand Final win on a solo when Matt Forbes wasn’t able to compete. The victory lap was a 7.233 elapsed time on a 7.23 dial in at 197.91 mph to top off the title-winning season.
“This is just unbelievable,” he said. “We tied the Championship up in the semis and we didn’t think it could get any better and then we come out of the final with a Gold Christmas Tree, it’s just out of control.
“There are a lot of people to thank. The sponsors that helped me chase it all this year. Lucas Oil Products, VPW, Proflow, Sunoco Race Fuels, anyone else I’ve forgotten I’m sorry. My crew, my family – special thank you to my sister who has travelled the country, my Uncle Bob, Aaron, my wife and kids who couldn’t be here this weekend, it’s just unbelievable.”
Matt Forbes (Ballarat, VIC) has now added a Modified Championship to his two Super Gas titles steering his Lucas Oils dragster to the semi finals. His Grand Final run would end there as top qualifier Jess Turner (Epping, VIC) advanced to the Denso Spark Plugs Modified Final at the expense of Forbes to face Cory Dyson.
Turner eliminated Shaun White, Leanne Braggs and Forbes before taking the final busting out of the gate with a .009 reaction to lead all the way with a 7.189 ET on a 7.18 dial in at 181.30 mph to Dyson’s 7.375 on a 7.37 at 174.97 mph.
Defending three time Super Sedan Champion John Kapiris (Two Wells, SA) had a nervous wait for his fourth in a row when he was eliminated in Round 1. He then had to watch on as his rivals tried to take advantage to win the Championship.
George Tipouikidis did not start and Danny Bucella also went out in Round 1 leaving just Steve Hunt to win it all if he could go all the way and win the Pro Towing Super Sedan final. Hunt went close but couldn’t finish the job as Michael Jennings (Valley View, SA) beat his mate, out reacting him at the start line and crossing the finish in 10.752 seconds on a 10.73 dial in at 123.11 mph from a 10.213 on a 10.19 dial in at 129.68 mph.
The “Red Dog”, Bryan Finn (Stirling North, SA) started the season with a runner up in Alice Springs but he ended with a win in the Ballistic Performance Parts Modified Bike final to claim the double and win the Modified Bike Championship.
It came down to a winner takes all race with Wally Hosta but Finn held his nerve with a 10.986 ET on an 11.00 dial in at 113.38 mph from Hosta who broke out with a 9.339 ET on a 9.38 dial in at 147.97 mph.
“I’m absolutely amazed I got this far today,” said Finn.
“All credit to my sponsors… let me think for a tick. It’s Adam and Tara from Toll Port Augusta, Deon Mchugh Signs and Phil, Naomi and the crew from Northern Motorcycles in Port Augusta.I’d like to thank the crowd, the volunteers that made this meeting what it is, it’s just been fantastic and my good mate Wally, racing off against him for the Championship was worth it. It was absolutely fantastic, I couldn’t be happier.”
Finn had earlier defeated Malcolm Price, Shane Walker and David Willis to reach the final.
The 2015/2016 Super Street Championship came down to Harry Harris and Kylie Tanner (Wingfield, SA) who each advanced rounds with a date in the EPS Super Street final looking like a formality. It wasn’t to be as Harris exited in Round 3 leaving Tanner to celebrate the Super Street Championship on a third round solo pass before booking her spot in the final. John Kerr (Enfield South, NSW) spoiled the party, not that Tanner minded, when he won the final on an 11.021 ET with an 11.03 dial in at 117.17 mph from Tanner on a breakout 11.685 on an 11.71 dial in at 111.52 mph. Kerr knocked out Anthony Marta, Ross Cooper, John Kalantzis and Tony Barbara to reach the final.
Also in EPS Super Street, Joe Polito and his team won the Gridstar by YBI Creative Best Presented Award and are now the proud owners of the last Best Presented Trophy of the season, six Best Presented Caps and a $50 Summit Racing Equipment voucher.
The Naylor Family (Marangaroo, WA) doubled up with Michael Naylor claiming the Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster Championship when all his rivals fell by the wayside as he advanced to the final.
There he faced his brother and former Junior Dragster Champion Brayden who was making his very last appearance in the bracket before stepping up.
Brayden won the final with an 8.239 on an 8.13 dial in at 72.35 mph after out reacting his brother who recorded a quicker but losing 8.001 on the 7.90 dial in at 81.23 mph. Neither brother minded as they each walked away with a Gold ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy.
In Safe Site Traffic Solutions Super Gas, Darryl Stephen (Orangeville, NSW) outlasted his title rivals to claim the Super Gas Championship for a second time and rubber stamp it with a final win for the weekend double.
Stephen drove past Richard Caval, defending Champion Graeme Spencer, top qualifier Peter Datson and Jeff Romeo in the final. Romeo red lighted by .097 seconds while Stephen clocked a 9.902 ET on the fixed 9.90 index at 144.89 mph.
ANDRA wishes to congratulate all of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Champions, runners up, Grand Final winners and runners up on a great season and weekend.
ANDRA extends its gratitude and thanks to all the volunteers this weekend at Adelaide International Raceway and to those who helped stage a fantastic event.