Damien Harris has assumed the points lead of the 400 Thunder Top Fuel series following victory against Mark Sheehan in night one of Nitro Max at Perth Motorplex.
Harris began his night by qualifying third with a 4.79sec. in the Rapisarda Autosport International dragster, putting him up against four times national champion Darren Morgan for the elimination round. In one of the most stunning Top Fuel races seen at Perth Motorplex, Harris clinched the race by just .014 of a second with a 4.73 to Morgan’s 4.74.
The A Final was more one sided as a consistent 4.74 by Harris defeated Sheehan in the all-Western Australian final.
Harris said changes made by crew chief Santo Rapisarda Jnr paid off.
“Santo Jnr has done a great job this weekend, he has turned this car into a bracket car,” he said. “He made some big changes in the clutch area and that has really come through.”
With another championship round and another gold Christmas tree trophy on offer for Sunday night, Harris said the team would love to double up.
“If things work out the way we hope they will, we will definitely have a second one,” he said. “We will tickle the car a little bit overnight and hopefully it should go out and run sixties tomorrow.”
Sheehan wasn’t to go home completely dissatisfied, having top qualified with a 4.63 pass and experienced less mechanical carnage than at Coates Hire West Coast Nitro a fortnight ago.
“We did a lot better than we did two weeks ago, we are getting more consistent with what we are doing and unfortunately we just couldn’t get the win on the board tonight,” he said.
Top Bike saw an upset as Chris Porter took out national champion Mark Drew in the A Final. Porter’s 6.70 was there to strike as Drew headed out towards the wall and had to get out of the throttle on his 6.87.
“The bike was coming on strong, we ran three six second passes that were nice and straight so it was good,” Porter said following his win.
Drew meanwhile rued his missed opportunity.
“I was heading for the fence, so we’ll try and go a little bit quicker tomorrow,” he said.
Chris Matheson might have missed making the A Final but he showed he will be a serious contender for day two of Nitro Max with a 6.33 defeated Les Holden’s 7.65 to earn low ET of the event for the two wheeled missiles.
Nitro Max continues today with early sportsman qualifying from 12.40pm and the feature program from 6pm.