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Date: 2/10/12

By Chris Diggles

There’s not too many automotive lifestyle events that can lay claim to a 22-year old lifespan, let alone feature world-class performance standards, industry innovation and a healthy undercurrent of still- emerging machinery from the garages of many. However each time Jamboree rolls around at Willowbank Raceway in September, a virtual snapshot is taken of how the hi-tech car culture is faring in today’s ever-changing entertainment appetite. And judging by the class of 2012, there’s still life left in the concept.

The huge crowds that packed the stands in years past have been replaced by a still-healthy, but more committed mob of diehards who travel from nearly every state of Australia, as well as New Zealand, Asia and Europe to witness the hottest Sport Compact machinery in the world. And with great weather conditions showing that summer is here, all of those who made the pilgrimage to “Metric Mecca” left at the end of the weekend knowing they have again seen the very best in the game.

World Record performances, new cars on debut plus continual evolution of the regular car species went hand-in-hand with the off-track entertainment and of course the traditional scantily-clad female presence let everyone know that Jamboree’s formula still works well. The Just Car Insurance New School Saturday Show n’ Shine saw many late-model cars on display in the paddock area, whilst Sunday morning saw the Shannons Old School Sunday emerge, where the chrome bumper brigade brought out the roots of where Jamboree began. It was great to have both insurance companies acknowledging the market, and fitting into the theme well. Madmen on motorcycles showed the masses their skills with stunt and trials madness, whilst the famous Fabre Australia stage was busy with Babes, Bikinis and Beat Boxing, courtesy of international artist MC Kitch, who helped steer the girls around too. Tonnes of Traders made sure early Christmas shopping options were aplenty, and free stuff was either stamped out on the Gas Motorsport cap press, given out from PAC in the form of neat purple sweat bands, or shot out of a cannon into the appreciative crowd.

On-track is where Jamboree remains strong, with an entry list topping the 200 mark and beyond. Qualifying sessions throughout Saturday saw each competitor hit the track three times, with the Mazfix Street Grudge bracket added for those who just wanted to run a number without actually competing. The air temperature hovered above 30 degrees for most of the weekend, with slightly more cloud cover emerging on the Sunday, and the racing surface, despite quite a few delays due to traditional Jamboree breakage held up very well, as the following race report will attest.

Factory Xtreme: Scott Porter
In its first full competitive season, Factory Xtreme hit Jamboree as its final round of the year. Craig Dyson in the Top RPM team led the pack points-wise, and needed to repeat its white-hot form of 6.50’s from recent testing. However an engine vibration had the team struggling from the get-go, which opened up the competition. Rod Harvey’s Rayglass team hit the ground running, with passes of 6.58, 6.50 and 6.40 from the 2JZ Celica cementing top spot. Scott Porter’s 6.50 from the billet VQ35 Infinity held 2nd , whilst Godzilla Motorsport boss Mark Jacobsen’s 6.641 sharpened his already world-record setting RB30-powered R35 performance for 3rd, closely followed by Joe Signorelli’s shaking and peddling 6.642 from the Gas Motorsport Celica. PAC Performance had their new Mazda 6 SP with billet 20B power grab 5th position with George Rehayem driving through tons of wheelspin to a 6.71, whilst Malcolm “Hurricane” Glassett’s APC wrapped and tuned 2JZ Solara put down a 6.79 for 6th. Zoran Gajic’s Gas Bmw turned out a 6.87 to be the last six second qualifier in 7th, with Archie Kajewski’s beautiful 20B Mazda 6 returning after flipping earlier in the year with a sorting 7.11 in the last session. Tony Wedlock’s Aurion ran a best of 7.121 for 9th, Collin Willshire’s record breaking billet 4G63 Eclipse was 10th with a 7.128 and Dyson never tripped the beams to be 11th. On a side note, Porter’s 6.50 beside Jacobsen’s 6.64 in qualifying was the quickest and fastest side-by side Nissan pass in drag racing history.

Overnight, Porter was ready to pull the V6 for an engine change, but only needed to change the bearings. Top RPM were evaluating flywheel changes to end the vibration woes and Signorelli had the clutch and transmission out for repairs and changes before race day.

Sunday’s round one kicked off with Dyson back in the points hunt. His 7.02 held out a troubled Hurricane’s 7.26 whilst Wedlock’s better leaving and improved 6.73/210 held out a lazy-leaving .349 light from Signorelli and a booming 6.60/221. Jacobsen then lowered the RB world record again with a stout 6.63/211 to oust Kajewski, who had problems on the line. Porter used a shaking 6.56/217 to beat Gajic’s broken 20.20, Willshire proved to be a giant-killer when he out-reacted and out-drove a wheelspinning Rehayem with a 7.06/194 to the PAC flagship’s 7.29/185. Harvey was looking to put down their first 6.30 on a solo, but after the burnout it was clear that something was wrong in the engine. The car was staged, and then quickly hauled back to the pits to reveal a dropped valve, and subsequent head change.

Round 2 saw Glassett solo for a 6.70/213, whilst Gajic’s absence saw Porter do the same, albeit a loose, shut off run. Rehayem faced Dyson and despite wheelspin, the Mazda 6 ran a 6.84/205 whilst the Celica again shut down on the line. Signorelli lined up against Willshire for what was to be an interesting encounter. Willshire showed in round 1 that if the bigger engined cars had issues, then he could streak ahead. Signorelli rarely backs the power down in any encounter, and threw no caution to the wind. When the lights dropped, both Willshire and Signorelli left with sluggish reaction times. Signorelli’s 1.028 60ft time and subsequent mild powerstand past the timers showed that he was on a mission. The half-track timers showed 4.15/173, and when 6.30/227.11mph came up on the boards the crowd erupted to its feet. Willshire’s 7.09/193 had the best view of the quickest and fastest Sport Compact pass in history, taking Harvey’s 224mph and Signorelli’s own 6.38 marks in the one pass. After many seconds of celebration, Jacobsen took out Wedlock with a 6.88 to a 13.15, whilst Harvey spun, shook and pedalled hard, but did enough with a 7.42 to handle a troubled Kajewski.

Round 3 in comparison saw a battle of attrition, with Porter’s drive job 6.99/217 edging Willshire’s 7.06/197, Wedlock’s 6.97/212 defeating a motionless Harvey, Glassett running a 6.64/213 best against Kajewski’s manifold-busting 7.29 and Jacobsen on a heavy-breathing 6.70 solo. With no Gajic or Dyson, Rehayem soloed to a 6.92 whilst all eyes were on the Signorelli solo to finish the 3 rounds of racing. Odds were on for another .30 pass to back up the record, but what all in attendance saw was another mind-bender. Leaving on a slightly slower 1.031 60ft, the power was ramped up again with another skywards lurch from the Celica’s front end at 80ft. With a 4.12/174 half track time, anticipation grew as the bullet sped through the beams. A 6.265/230.06 set the place on its head, with the world record dropped now into the 6.2 and 230mph zone. With three wins apiece from Jacobsen and Porter, it was an all-Nissan final.
Porter was hoping that the VQ could last another run on the bearings, whilst Jacobsen towed the R35 around the return road, trying to clutch start the stroker RB inline six. Porter expressed interest in the event’s still-outstanding biggest burnout trophy on offer after Benny Bray’s 300ft effort, so buried the V6 to 10500rpm in the skid, much to the crowds delight after he went to around 330ft. When the lights came down, Porter rocketed down the strip to an all-time PB and lowered world-record 6.464/222 whilst Jacobsen’s 9.53 cried enough. This secured Porter as the first ever Factory Xtreme National Champion, edging Dyson by virtue of his 3 round wins and the final win.

Pro Turbo: Gina Bullians
McKern and Associated Pro Turbo has evolved into a 20B bracket, due to Factory Xtreme’s emergence, however it didn’t mean the racing wasn’t exciting. Sydney’s “Godfather” Sam Sadek had run a six-second pass the week earlier, and was looking to be the man to beat. However, he was shut down every time after the burnout due to leakage, and didn’t get a run in. Hot off her runner-up at the Sydney Jamboree earlier in the year, Gina Bullians put down a 7.78 to be on pole, followed by debutant Careem Ahmaz in an RX3 with a 7.83, Nick Tsoltoudis’ 7.84, Daniel Swanney driving Jerry Kehl’s Rx7 with a 8.11, Brad McIlroy’s Datto 1200/20B with a 8.52 and Perth’s Mick Farrall’s troubled 8.58.

Round 1 on Sunday saw Farrall get it all together with a 7.56 taking out Tsoltoudis’ troubled 14.63, Bullians 8.16 defeat a cherrying Swanney and Sadek finally getting a run in at a 7.20/195 solo. Ahmaz used a better light against McIlroy to score a 8.40 to 8.33 win.

Round 2 saw Ahmaz and Sadek missing, but Swanney’s 7.79/181 holeshot kept Tsoltoudis’ 7.34 at bay whilst solos to Bullians (7.74), Farrall (17.40) and McIlroy (8.56) wrapped it up quickly.

Round 3 had 2 more absentees, with McIlroy and Tsoltoudis adding to the group. Swanney took on Bullians, and his 7.73/181 kept out a 7.71 courtesy of Gina’s .289 light, whilst Farrall soloed to make it 3 wins from 3. This put the West Aussie into the final against ex-pat Kiwi girl Bullians, by virtue of her lower ET in the 3rd round. When the finals tree was dropped, Gina’s 8.11 was enough to create more Jamboree history when Farrall limped the RX7 down for runner-up spot. Her win makes her the first ever female winner in Jamboree heads-up history.

Pro Compact: Ben Bray
Sonic Performance Pro Compact has for years promised to uncork some of the best small-capacity door car racing around, and Jamboree 2012 was the place. Times continue to tumble, as an ever-growing group of players battle to keep their combinations together in the search for sixes.

Sydney’s Steven Dimech has been chipping away with his SDR 13B 1200 coupe, and was rewarded with a top-qualifying 7.28. Ben Bray nailed 2nd in his stunning new Nissan Altima with a 7.39, followed by Jett Racing’s Rob Novak with a 7.40 from the Datto 1200 ute. Rotary Corolla driver Jim Magliveras put the KE20 in 4th with a 7.54, whilst Chris Tait’s S15 nailed 5th with a 7.56. Michael Baghdadi’s S15 put down a 7.76 for 6th, whilst debutant Marcio Francisco took his KE25 to 7th with a respectable 8.03. Michael Maclean’s debut in the Forbidden tube EVO netted him 8th with a 8.31, whilst Rotary boys Lee Docherty (MX5 8.51) and Craig Dyson (R100 9.03) rounded out the qualifying.

Tait had the head off his 3RZ powerplant overnight, Baghdadi was chasing a clutch tune-up to get the massive SR20 stroker power down whilst the other teams prepared for a mighty three rounds come Sunday morning.

Round 1 started with Dimech soloing for an easy win, Tait stepped up with a 7.22/188 against a shutting-off Dyson whilst Novak belted out a 7.47/186 to Maclean’s wild shut-off pass. Magliveras proved that the piston/rotor parity is right with a 7.48/180 against Docherty’s 7.87/170, Bray used a safe 7.41/187 to dispose of Francisco’s 10.53 and Baghdadi soloed with something out of this world.

Having previously running a 7.16 in Sydney earlier this year, the SR20-powered car was closing in on Puerto Rico’s Kako Racing, who had been the quickest SR20 in the world for years. Recently Kako had run an amazing 6.916/199 at Palm Beach Raceway, making history in the process as the first SR20 powered car in the sixes. However at Willowbank Raceway, another world record went to Jamboree, as Baghdadi uncorked an unbelievable 6.914/197. However Baghdadi could not back it up, as the block split on the record run at about ¾ track. Baghdadi has vowed to return with another bullet, to not only defend his title, but to run 6.80’s!!

Round 2 saw Bray run a new personal best with a 7.17/192 solo with his billet SR20 powerplant, Novak used a 7.42/181 to defeat Docherty, Dimech’s 7.27/189 handled Maclean’s wild ride and Magliveras ran another 7.48/181 to Dyson’s troubled 8.37. Tait tried out the start line on his solo and shut off, whilst Francisco also soloed, albeit with some issues.

Round 3 started with a Maclean solo, improving to an 8.24/160, Novak also scored a solo and went 7.42/186 whilst Dimech met Docherty. A 7.31/190 belting of Docherty meant that Novak and Dimech were on 3 wins apiece. Tait faced Francisco with a chance to do the same, but his late light saw the Corolla win with a 8.08/172 to the S15’s smoking 8.14/185. Bray soloed to make it 3 from 3, and his 7.25/192 meant he had the lowest ET in the 3rd round. Magliveras also had a solo, and his 7.49/181 was his 3rd win too, but he and Novak had to watch as Dimech and Bray went to the line in the final. It was a classic piston vs rotor, QLD vs NSW, Old School vs New School final, and Bray’s holeshot .076 light to Dimech’s .097 was as close as the Datsun got, as Bray streaked to a new PB of 7.10/196 to close down Dimech’s 7.73/173, making it no secret at the presentations that he’s out to not only better Collin Willshire’s 6.98, but to beat Baghdadi into the 6.80’s!!

Pro 289: Ben Hunt
Speedflow Pro 289 again took the quickest 8 cars from the small tyre category, which was led by an in-form Po Tung and his Gas Motorsport Supra. The car was so well managed off the line on every pass, netting him a 7.93/185 top qualifying position. Chris Fakinos’ wild R100 almost had a big lose in the traps as he wrestled the car sideways through the traps for a last-ditch 8.09 to grab 2nd position, as it looked like he may have grazed the wall, with the chute saving the little car from trouble. Grant Henderson slotted into 3rd with a 8.13, Rotary Motorports Ben Hunt used a wheelspinning 8.17 for 4th, likewise Bill Nabhan in the Escort with an 8.28, Rod Boyd 8.30 for 6th. Mouhamed Ibrahim’s RB30 Gemini was 7th (8.45) and Chris Hall’s Rx7 8th (8.77).

Round 1 saw Hunt defeat a wild Hall with an 8.18, Boyd holeshot Fakinos with an 8.61 beating an 8.51, Nabhan redlit against Tung, whose 7.93 would have been hard to beat and Henderson’s 8.01 shut down Ibrahim’s 9.38. Round 2 started with another cherry for Nabhan, giving Hunt a lifeline, Tung again ran well to use a 7.98 against a troubled Boyd, whilst Hall and Henderson ran the race of the round. Hall’s .267 light and 8.302/135 edged Henderson’s .270 light and 8.315/135 by a hair, but Ibrahim and Fakinos did the opposite, both losing power early and coasting through, a 13.68 beating a 18.76 from Fakinos.

Attrition again ruled in round 3, with Nabhan soloing to a win, Tung’s 7.92/187 solo making him a shoe-in for the final whilst Hall and Fakinos had a ding-dong round 3 battle. Hall’s .155 light and 8.48/170 edged out Fakinos, whose .238 light and 8.46/170 was close. Hunt and Boyd faced off, with Hunt’s .083/8.31 package beating Boyd’s 8.40, meaning another final round appearance for the Rotary Motorsport owner/tuner.

It was a case of the quick and the dead in the final, with Hunt’s.179 light handling Tung’s .731 with ease, and his 8.23/174 just edged out a fast-closing 8.01/185 from the Supra. Hunt adds this to his earlier Sydney Jamboree win this year, as well as back-to-back Brisbane Jamboree wins.

Modified Compact: Daniel Ruggier
A massive field of exquisite machinery fronted for the Haltech Modified Compact category, with many new or reconfigured cars appearing. Phil Penny’s amazing Honda 600 reappeared wearing a massive turbo out through the bonnet, and powered by none other than a 2JZ!! 8-second timeslips on a mild tune were the order of the day, with Penny vowing to run harder as he gets used to the power. Justin Cook’s Chevy S10 truck also turned heads on debut, powered by a Horsepower Solutions 2JZ. Top Qualifier was Reece McGregor’s R32GTR with a 7.77/178. Due to the large entry list, elimination racing saw the very best racers forge their way through the rounds.

After the dust had settled, Kempsey’s Kym Vonholdt met Sydney’s ‘Rotorgeek” Daniel Ruggier in the finals to make it an all-NSW, all-rotor final. Ruggier’s C4 auto equipped 13B Rx3 had cut a perfect .000 light in qualifying, as well as a .001 light in round 1. He met VonHoldt’s clutchless-equipped, 13B turbo Ford Anglia in the final. VonHoldt used similar consistency to make the final, running a spot-on 8.850 on an 8.85 dial-in in round one and never looked back. Come final time, Ruggier cut his worst light at .155, but his backing-off 9.27 on an 8.90 dial was enough to cover a fast-closing VonHoldt, whose start line wheelie netted him the ‘Sky’s the Limit” award , but a lazy .546 light and 9.10/8.90 meant that Ruggier took home the win.

All Motor: Glenn Alcorn

Torque Calibration Services All Motor was again a battle between piston vs rotor, VW vs Honda, etc. Sydney’s Benny Tran top qualified with an 11.031 with his 2.4 Honda Civic, and the elapsed times spanned from this down to the low 15 second zone, making for some interesting racing and chasing. In a repeat of the 2011 results, the finalists turned out to be Glenn Alcorn and Elwin Cilas. Alcorn had defeated a redlighting Rod Richardson in round 1, outran Andrew Swanson in round 2 and was lucky to defeat Nicholas Jack in round 3 when the 13B Mazda 1300 wagon missed a shift and slowed.  Cilas out-reacted and out-ran Ben Robinson in round 1, soloed in round 2 when Tony Gooderham’s RX7 was pushed back and in the biggest chase of the round, outreacted and outran Tran’s 120mph top end charge.

Cilas and Alcorn kept their dial-ins for the final, and despite their horsepower figures, put on a cracker of a final. Cutting a .087 light, Cilas left on his 15.20 dial, whilst Alcorn’s 14.25 dial and .083 light meant the finish line was the final frontier. And when the win light came up in Alcorn’s lane, his .21 over 14.46 on a 14.25 dial in edged Cilas’ .21 over 15.41 on a 15.20 dial-in…by just .0005!!!

Modified 10.5: George Haramis Modified 10.5 provided a small, but diverse field of opponents, which included some V8 variants. Top qualifier was Brett Benz in his twin-turbo, chev-powered VL Commodore with a PB 7.75 followed by Sydney’s George Haramis in his RB30-powered VL with a 7.83. Graham Harrison’s Barra-powered VL, Danny Landsdowne’s RB VL wagon, Shane Crichton’s Cressida, Michael Arnold’s single-turbo chev-powered HT ute, Ben Pearce’s VL and James Horan’s wild twin-turbo Toyota V8 ute made sure that anything could happen in this wild pack.

The heads-up category saw the two quickest cars, being Haramis and Benz carve their way through to the final.  Benz took care of Crichton in round 1 with a 7.97, Lansdowne in round 2 with a backing off 8.91 and soloed with an 8.24 in round 3, Haramis used an 8.04 in round 1 against Lansdowne, lost to Pearce in round 2 with troubles, but found form in round 3 against Harrison, running a 7.93. With Benz on 3 wins from 3, and Haramis 2 from 3 with low ET in the 3rd round, Benz and Haramis met for the gold.

Crowd sentiment showed a big lean towards the RB30 powered VL, and when the heads-up tree fell, Haramis had dumped the clutch and was past a troubled Benz within a few feet, never backing off on his way to a 7.81/174 win.

Street 289: Tim Graham
GAS Motorsport Street 289 featured a depleted field once the top 8 left to play heads-up, but when the tyre smoke cleared it was a battle of the Datto 1200’s and a battle between the two Tim’s.

Tim Graham had returned his blue 1200 sedan to the strip after a break, and his Horsepower Solutions-tuned CA18 turbo ride was running in the low tens. Tim Dangerfield from NSW was also running his Datsun 1200 ute into the low tens with rotary power, and did well enough to meet his namesake in the final.

Graham had defeated Ryan Junni in a double breakout round 1 meeting, going 10.15 on a 10.20 to Junni’s 9.84 on a 9.90. He easily disposed of Shaun Manfredotti’s lazy 3 second reaction with a buttoning-off 12.49 and was set to meet the other Tim in the final. Dangerfield used a 10.06 on a 10.00 dial to despatch a troubled David Medwin in round 1 and a closer 10.02 on a 10.00 to send Andrew Stavrou packing in round 2.

Two Tims, two Datsuns, two states and two engine types met to see who was the baddest Datto driver named Tim in the final. With a quarter of a light stagger on the tree, Graham moved first with a .253 light, whilst Dangerfield’s .608 put him at a disadvantage from the start. Graham covered his tracks well, and his 10.29 on a 10.10 held out a 10.44 on a 10.00.

Extreme: Ben Diggles
ACL Gaskets Extreme again had a mixed bag of various powerplants, including sedans featuring a twin-turbo V8 in a Gemini and Valiant (Nikki Hepburn and Jed Sladden) Nitrous EFI big block in a Monaro (Justin Simpson) and even an RX7 with an LS engine (Ashley Mason) The open-wheeled small engine brigade made worthy opponents, with a 13B altered (Glenn Anderson), 2 Pinto-powered dragsters (Kim and daughter Megan Anderson) and the Nissan FJ20-powered dragster driven by Ben Diggles. Diggles top-qualified with a 7.14, and after 3 round wins in racing, met fellow 4-banger dragster driver Megan in the final. Anderson had also scored 3 wins, defeating Sladden in round 1, soloing in round 2 and scoring a round 3 win when Simpson jumped out of stage. Diggles beat an out of shape mason in round 1, Out-reacted and chased down Hepburn in round 2 and ran a testing 7.19 on a 7.14 in round 3 when Kim Anderson redlit.

The final could have been a cracker, except that Megan cherried with a -.027 light. Her 8.56 on a 8.50 would have been a tight race, as Ben’s .016 light and 7.16 on a 7.15 dial-in was spot on when it counted. In a world of records, Diggles’ rail is the quickest FJ20 drag car in the world, and is working on running a six with the 30-year-old engine, after previously running a 7.02.

Street Compact: Steve Johnson
Turbosmart Street Compact is where a mixture of cars appears. Made of up of newcomers who might just turn into the future pro drivers of Sport Compact as well as seasoned Dial-your-own combatants who like the thrill of close competition, the variety was interesting to watch unfold throughout the rounds of elimination. Regular Willowbank heavy-hitter Russell Sticklen turned up in a Ford Capri convertible, running low 15’s. A week earlier he had been running his XW streeter in the DYO class at the Pro Street event. Sticklen slowly pulled his side of the ladder apart, defeating Christine Thomson in round 1 with a 15.07 on a 15.00, a troubled Marke Bilbow in round 2, a breaking-out Garry Henry in round 3 and another 15.07 on a 15.00 against Glenn Rogers in round 4. His round 5 solo put him into the final against Steven Johnson, whose RA23 Celica benefits from some turbo Toyota 6 power and 11-second timeslips.

Johnson ran a smart 11.81 on an 11.80 dial-in against an equally smart David Rodgie in round 1, was lucky against a better-reacting Harry Bates with an 11.99 on a 11.80 in round 2, broke out against a red-lighting Adam Hackett with an 11.67 on an 11.80 in round 3 and took care of Ian Quaresmini with a backing off 12.08 on an 11.80 in round 4. Brett Saunders cherried against Johnson in round 5, which sent the Celica into the final to make it a plastic bumper vs chrome bumper final.

Both drivers kept their dial-ins for the final, and Sticklen’s .092 light put him in good shape. 3.2 seconds later, Johnson left on a slower .173 light. When both cars edged towards the traps, Johnson’s Celica was in front, and triggered the win with a 11.815 on a 11.80 dial in to Sticklen’s 15.11 on a 15.00. Again the margin was tight, and the overall racing quality was excellent.

Sports Bike: Sam Taylor
Rapid Bikes Magazine Sports Bike was a small but sharp field of no-bar variable wheelbase racing action. Top Qualifier was Daniel Sekli’s ZX10R with an 8.97, but the rest of the field was tightly stacked in behind. Kawasaki riders Sam Taylor and Phil White rose to the top of the pack with great round wins, and were going to be worthy opponents in the final.

Taylor on his ZX10 disposed of Paul de Roo in round 1 with a 9.35 on a 9.30 dial in, Christian Penny with a 9.42 and top qualifier Sekli in round 3 with a tighter 9.325 on a 9.30. White outrode Kevin Cleeve on his ZX14 with a 9.85 on a 9.80 in round 1, outran Robert Simmonds in round 2 with a 9.82 on a 9.80 and cut a .015 light in round 3 against Chris Collin to run a winning 9.97 on a 9.80.

On paper it was again going to be close, but White’s red light numbed the excitement, and Taylor’s 9.45 on a 9.30 dial secured the gong, whilst White ran the ZX14 out the back door to a 9.73 on the 9.80 dial-in.

That rounds out the 2012 Brisbane Jamboree, World Records and all.