The Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars have made a spectacular debut at Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway at the weekend, with great weather treating a big crowd to some scintillating performances from the nitro-powered 11-car field.
The Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car event victor is the driver who accumulates the most points across three rounds of racing, with Shane Olive – driver of the ‘L.A. Hooker’ Outlaw Nitro Funny Car – taking out the victory at the conclusion of on-track festivities.
The event win was a welcome one for Olive, one of the most experienced drivers in the series. Olive was joined on the podium by perennial front runner Greg Leahy, with former Top Fuel Champion Darren Morgan rounding out the podium.
“I have to thank Graeme and Wendy (Cowin). None of this would be possible without them and the car was just a pleasure to drive. This was probably one of the most satisfying race meetings we have had,” said Olive.
In a treat for the Ipswich fans, the action earlier kicked off with a ‘salute to the crowd’ – seeing more than 45,000 horsepower cackling away on the hallowed Willowbank Raceway surface.
Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars Series Manager, Steve Bettes explained, “the ‘salute to the crowd’ is our way of saying thank you to the race fans who come out to see our series and take in the full spectacle of race cars all running in unison. It was a great thing to do here at Willowbank and we think the crowd loved it!”
In the race to the podium, the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars delivered a night of highlights.
The first round kicked off with local racer and new ‘nitro new guy’, Jake Donnelly, taking a win over nitro veteran, Anthony Begley. The second pairing then saw Peter Leahy cross the centreline in his battle with Rick Gauci, with Gauci’s Chev also setting the lowest elapsed time (ET) for the round; while Justin Walshe and Shane Olive took respective wins to take them to the top of the points tally.
The second round saw repeated side-by-side passes with the crews benefiting from the track knowledge gained in the first session. None did it better than ‘Nitro Express’ pilot Gauci. His 5.66 second pass in the very last run of the session bettered a very quick 5.80 second effort from Olive.
Round three opened with Olive racing alongside Nathan Peirano, with a scorching 5.66-second pass putting him in the prime position for the overall event win. Darren Morgan saved his best pass for last with a 5.9-second victory over Jake Donnelly. Paul Messineo managed a red-light in his final round against Peter Leahy who has his own issues with an engine fire; while Justin Walshe and Greg Leahy both came into the final round on maximum points, before Leahy’s 5.87-second pass took him to the podium at night’s end. Gauci and Anthony Begley contested the final run of the night and a wild run on both side of the racetrack saw Begley take the win.
Also on-track today were racers for Kenda Tires Drag Radial, Pro Radial, Factory Xtreme and Pro Mod (exhibition). For full results, please click here or visit outlawnitrofunnycars.com.au.
The Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars now head to Sydney Dragway for the innovative Aeroflow Triple Challenge event before kicking off 2016 at the Perth Motorplex; while next up for Willowbank Raceway is the latest round of the Queensland Drag Racing Championships on Saturday 19 September. For a full event calendar, please click here.