Mother nature tested Sydney Dragway on day one of the East Coast Thunder with 35+ degree scorching temperatures, driving winds and thunderstorms all making appearances during the day.
Before the rain put an end to proceedings, all 400 Thunder Professional Series categories were able to record 2 qualifying sessions – with the exception of Top Fuel, who had one pair left to run before the rain hit at around 8pm local time.
Damien Harris recorded the only official 3 second pass with a 3.95 to hold the provisional number one spot, however his Rapisarda Autosport International teammate Wayne Newby recorded a 3.99 in the uncompleted second session, that in the end counted for nought.
Reigning Champion Kelly Bettes was second in the order with a 4.07, with a big fire leaving the team with plenty of work to do to turn the car around for racing on Saturday.
Pro Slammer was somewhat of a surprise with Western Australia’s Kelvin Lyle the early leader with a sensational 5.695 in the heat of the day to pace the field after the first session. Several contenders struggled in the hot conditions, but by the end of 2 sessions 10 time National Champion John Zappia was the leader with a 5.66.
In all, 9 cars dipped into the 5 second zone, with the reigning 400 Thunder Champion Paul Mouhayet struggling in the hot conditions with a 5.775 leaving him down in the number 6 qualifying position.
Aaron Tremayne gapped the field in Pro Stock qualifying, a 7.017 leaving the Current Champion number one qualifier heading into race day. Chris Soldatos overcame his recent engine dramas to record a sensational 7.05 to take the number two position, with Wayne Daley and Tyronne Tremayne rounding out the top half of the field.
20-time champion Gary Phillips leads the Pro Alcohol field into race day with a 5.480, over a tenth of a second in front of the second placed Chris Hargrave. Current Champion Steve Reed sits fourth on a 5.65. Championship contender Wayne Price began his hunt for a maiden title in the worst way possible, recording a DNQ after finishing ninth in the final order.
Gavin Spann and Adam Layton were surprise number one and two qualifiers respectively in top bike after two sessions. Points leader Jay Upton sits third after a one shot qualifier in the second round, the result of a controversial decision by the Meeting Director to shut him down in Q1 after his parachute ejected during the burnout. Current Champion Chris Matheson sits fifth after problems on his one and only qualifying run for the day.
A small but quality field of Pro Bikes was led by Daniel Rabnott, who picked up his maiden number one qualifying position with a 7.36. Glenn Wooster sits second, with Luke Crowley and Lachy Ireland rounding out the 4 bike field.
Racing will resume on Saturday 3rd November, with racing due to kick off at 9am. Tickets are available at the gate.
For more information visit www.sydneydragway.com.au