At the weekend’s South Coast Nationals, Michael Hanrahan of Haddon in Victoria broke-through for his first ever ANDRA Christmas Tree.
Not only did he take an impressive event victory, he did so against exceptionally stiff competition – relegating the winner of the last three Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series events held at South Coast Raceway, Chris Lioulios, to the runners-up position.
“I didn’t really know Chris’ recent history before the final but even if I had known, I just try and block out who is in the other lane and concentrate on what I am doing,” Hanrahan explained.
“I was talking to some of the other guys afterward and they told me that he had won quite a few lately, so it felt pretty good to beat one of the big guys.
“It was just one of those meetings where everything sort of works properly for you, I feel very lucky and it is very special to me to get that ANDRA Christmas Tree – it is something I have always wanted to achieve and it is great to have one to put on the mantelpiece.
“I really want to thank South Coast Raceway and all of its officials and volunteers for all they did to put together a great event, I can’t wait to come back in January for the South Coast 660. It is great also to see the support that the town of Portland throws behind the club and its events.
“I also want to thank my crew – my wife Gail, my son Matthew and also Tony, Mick and Carolyn – as well as my parents and everyone at the Ballarat Drag Racing Club for their support over the years.”
While this is the first Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series victory for Hanrahan, the 1990 Victorian Champion racer has been involved with drag racing for decades.
“I have been racing on and off for 30 years but this was my first time racing at South Coast Raceway,” he explained.
“I raced all the way through until 2000 and then took some time off before starting back a couple of years ago with my new 1972 HQ Monaro Coupe with a 454 Big Block Chev which I largely built myself with some help from some of the guys in the Ballarat Drag Racing Club.
“I just put a new cam shaft in the car and I hadn’t run it at all before the South Coast Nationals so heading there I was just hoping everything would work!” he laughed.
“It actually ran faultlessly and I didn’t have to put a spanner on it all weekend, we just put fuel in it and charged the battery and away we went!
“The only issue was when I forgot to take my finger of the transbrake button in the first qualifier! But aside from that it had good numbers all weekend, running just over the dial in each time.”
For full results from this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series round, please click here.
Round seven of the 2019/2020 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, the South Coast 660 at South Coast Raceway, will be held across January 11 and 12, 2020. For event information, visit www.southcoastraceway.com.au or www.andra.com.au