Domenic Luppino has officially become Australia’s fastest radial racer during Saturday’s APSA Pro Street Shootout event at Willowbank Raceway.
Luppino was one of more than 100 racers taking to the track on the 3rd of October, with Scott Cortina (Mod Street Blown), Andrew Searle (True Street), Blair Pennington (Pro Street Bike), Peter Alexander (Pro/Mod Street Unblown), Tim Hocroft (DYO), Marc Leake (Outlaw Radial), Tony Webb (X275), Craig Hewitt (Pro Street Blown) and Neil Murphy (Outlaw Extreme) celebrating alongside him at the close of the evening after taking victory in their brackets. For full event results, please click here.
The 43 year old Luppino took to the track in his new ’67 Fastback Mustang in the Outlaw Radial class in pursuit of officially becoming Australia’s fastest radial racer after unofficially running under the existing marker during testing earlier in the year.
The fruiterer would succeed in his pursuit not once but twice, setting a 6.796 second pass at 201.58 miles per hour (324 km/h) pass during the first round of racing, before bettering that effort with a 6.785 second effort at 177.88 mph (286kmh) during the second round.
Courtesy of his results, he would also make the final round of racing for the Outlaw Radial class, however an event win was not on the cards for the Victorian and his red and silver machine this time around.
“We came out to this meeting to reset the national record and we did that – we are now officially the fastest (street) car in the country, and we bettered it during the event,” said Luppino.
“We also made it to the final, but we had hurt a push-rod in the semi-final and while we thought we had it repaired we had obviously done a bit more damage than we had originally thought – while we fronted to the final, we unfortunately couldn’t race.
“We are very happy regardless – we are absolutely stoked. It was an excellent event. The track staff, Ray Treasure, Chris Diggles and everyone involved did a great job as usual, and of course I have to thank my crew.
“As far as what is next for us following this record – look out! We are coming to Sydney, and we have got plans,” laughed Luppino, referring to the final round of the 2015 APSA championship at Sydney Dragway in November.
Just as happy with the results of the day was Scott Cortina, who took the Modified Street Blown win from Matt Walker in the final race of the evening. Prior to the event, Cortina and Outlaw Radial competitor Frank Marchese had been planning a much-anticipated match race.
“We were the second qualifier, and we went on to win the meeting – so it is fair to say it was absolutely awesome,” said the 46 year old Cortina of Toowoomba.
“The car ran faultlessly all day thanks to my awesome crew – Dale, Kyle and Peta from Six Boost, Dale Gridley, and my brother Paul Cortina – who worked non-stop all day to turn the car around pass after pass. We also need to thank our American connection Paul Klyczek from PKRE Racing and Gazzard Brothers Suspension for their support.
“With this victory we have now won events in outlaw radial, X275 and now Mod Street Blown – I am pretty sure we are the only car to have won so many different classes, if not one of only a few to have done so.
“While we unfortunately didn’t get the chance to do the match race with Frank, we won the challenge at the end of the day because we ran faster than them all weekend.
“The meeting ran faultlessly, the spectators were good, the competitor numbers were strong, and Chris Diggles in commentary put in a fantastic performance and we can’t thank him enough for the efforts he put sin praising us and all of the other racers – he is one of the best commentators I have ever been in the presence of.
“The track staff also deserve a big thanks – they gave us an absolutely ‘off its head’ killer track once again despite challenging starting conditions due to the weather – they did a great job.”
For Andrew Searle in the True Street bracket, today’s win was all about strategy.
“It was a cracker day, we were lucky to have good weather, and all the officials and the track put in a great effort,” said the 48 year old Searle, of Burpengary.
“At the end of the day we can only have one winner, and I was lucky enough that it was me! It is all about strategy and planning the event at the end of the day rather than about always being the fastest – I am very happy with the result.
“To get to the final you have to win every round, and that is what we did – we made the car do what it had to do to make it to the final, and once we were there we were fast enough. It ran so consistently and we were very happy with it – at this point I am pretty sure we have won just about every True Street meeting held here at Willowbank in recent years.
“I have to thank my crew Darren and Pete as well as Bob Grant Automatics, Performance Wholesalers and Acme Composite Supplies, as well as the Australian Pro Street Association for putting on some good meetings around the country.”
Next up for Willowbank Raceway is the penultimate round of the Queensland Drag Racing Championships on Saturday the 10th of October, followed by the finals for the Street Series during the 21 October (Powder Puff) and 31 October (Street Sedan, Street Bike) Test n Tune events.