The extended 2019/2020/2021 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series has drawn to a spectacular close with the ANDRA Grand Finals event this weekend at Mildura’s Sunset Strip.

Wet weather on Saturday could not stop the festivities, with racing shifted to Sunday to ensure season champions and event winners were celebrated at the Victorian venue.

Claiming the ultimate reward for their efforts over the season were Colin Griffin (Super Gas), Sarah Donnelly (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Shane Walker (Modified Bike), Paul Garbellini (Super Street), Martin Mirco (Super Sedan), Adam Mundy (Modified), Christine Steffens (Supercharged Outlaws), Sam Cardinale (Top Sportsman), Levi Addison (Competition Bike), Matt Forbes (Super Stock) and Craig Geddes (Competition).

Proudly being awarded as runners-up in the title chase were Michael De Rose (Super Gas), Jake Berias (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Bryan Finn (Modified Bike), Nikolas Karanovic (Super Street), Chris Lioulios (Super Sedan), Kenny Stewart (Modified), Justin Russell (Supercharged Outlaws), Vlado Turic (Top Sportsman), Rob Cassar (Competition Bike), Steve Norman (Super Stock) and Terry Waterman (Competition).

A number of these racers had their hands full at the presentations, with Walker, Cardinale and Forbes also claiming the ANDRA Grand Final event victories in their respective classes while Donnelly, Finn, Steffens and Norman took out the event runner-up honours for their brackets.

Joining them in the winner’s circle were fellow event victors Adrian McGrotty (Super Gas), Daniel Carranza (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Paul Jennings (Super Street), Matthew Cockerill (Super Sedan), Craig Baker (Modified), Dale Tucker (Supercharged Outlaws) and Joe Khoury (Competition Bike); while Justin Wilson (Super Gas), Gary Vogelsang (Super Sedan), Shane Wynd (Modified), Darren Saliba (Top Sportsman) and Edge Mallis (Competition) took the event runner-up honours.

Steffens in particular needed help walking away from the presentations as she took out not only the championship trophy for Supercharged Outlaws, but also the prestigious John Storm Memorial Trophy and the Supercharged Outlaws event runner-up trophy.

Steffens in particular needed help walking away from the presentations as she took out not only the championship trophy for Supercharged Outlaws, but also the prestigious John Storm Memorial Trophy and the Supercharged Outlaws event runner-up trophy.

Commissioned in memory of Mr John Storm, the first National Director of ANDRA, the John Storm Memorial Trophy is an annual national award made to the competitor in Group Two, Three or Four who scores the highest total overall points from all rounds of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, including the final event. In the 41 seasons of this accolade being awarded, Steffens is only the second woman (alongside Kelly Bettes, 2010) to claim the award.

“I am so exhausted and overwhelmed – it is just amazing to not only win the national championship but also the John Storm Memorial Trophy,” Steffens said.

“When Brett (Stevens, ANDRA CEO) brought the John Storm Memorial trophy over to me, I was just stunned. To me the John Storm Memorial is the pinnacle of sportsman racing.

“Never in my whole lifetime of racing did I ever think I would have the opportunity to take it home because it involves so much commitment, so much driving and so much travelling.

“I really couldn’t have done it without (husband and crew chief) Ricky – without his commitment and his drive, this just wouldn’t have happened, and I don’t know what I would do without him.

“I also can’t thank my crew enough either, including ‘Slim’ and Peter who were here with us this weekend – Peter has been away from home since the 25th of February helping us out, so thank you so much to him and also to his wife for letting him come away with us for so long!

“I am very chuffed to win the championship – I didn’t believe it to begin with as I originally thought I had to win the final to take it out. It is really awesome. It was strange though because when I found out I still had two rounds of racing to go and I wanted to try and take out the event win as well, so I had to switch focus right away. Unfortunately, I went to sleep on the startline so I did not have much luck in the final race, but that is okay, I guess I can’t have all the gold,” she laughed.

“To be honest this all still hasn’t sunk in. Up until today, three people could have taken (the national title) out so to be able to secure it, it means all of our hard work has paid off.

“Thank you so much to our crew including Ricky, Slim and Peter, our businesses Lockyer Engine Reconditioners and Christine Steffens Accounting, Tony Harrington for the spare ‘just in case’ gearbox following what happened at Portland, and all of our supporters.

“Thank you also to Summit Racing Equipment for supporting the series, and to Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks – we have claimed a fair few of those Top Qualifier medallions this season, so thank you to Craig for that support.”

Further details from the ANDRA Grand Final weekend including national record updates and quotes from more of the winning racers will be released across this coming week. 

ANDRA thanks the Sunraysia Drag Racing Association and all of its volunteers and sponsors for an outstanding race track and a well-run event.

The 19/20/21 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series season was extended in the face of COVID-19 to not only deliver successful completion of the current competition, but also a record prize pool thanks to Summit Racing Equipment. The performance powerhouse offered 50 percent extra end of season prize money for a total prize pool of more than $100k including $10k for the prestigious John Storm Memorial, creating the biggest prize pool in Australian Drag Racing history.

For full results from the ANDRA Grand Finals, please click here.