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Date: 10/09/15


Willowbank Raceway  Sept 29-30

25 Years. A quarter of a century, a third of an average lifetime or a complete generation. Whatever you want to call it, 25 years of doing anything takes a ton of personal investment. 25 Years ago saw the start of Jamboree. The well-told tale of VW enthusiasts enjoying some track time whilst participating in novel off-track activities in 1990 was considered a fun day had by all, whilst marching to the beat of a smaller, slightly different-sounding drum. The traditional v8 form of drag racing was notably absent from Willowbank’s hallowed surface that day, and for good reason. The fact was that some people liked, and drove, and preferred… smaller cars. The small-car performance industry was at its infancy back then, but as more Jamborees followed, more power from these small machines was demonstrated. This focus on drag strip prowess soon saw many enthusiasts hooked, and ultimately an entire generation was drawn into the world of Fast Fours, Rotaries and VW drag racing. Before the term “Sport Compact” was created, Jamboree already existed.

Out of this small-car performance revolution spawned evolution. The turbo era arrived initially as a black art, refined by Australian industry’s thirst for evolution. A healthy supply of Japanese import motors spawned an emerging and expanding aftermarket ECU market, whilst all other aspects associated with this increasing horsepower demand saw growth. As the cars went faster, so did the industry. Workshops emerged as a result of what was seen at each event, and what was once a back-yard build, turned into something way more professional. Thousands of names have raced at Jamboree over the past 25 years. Many have come and gone. However the 2015 racer roster again showed a healthy combination of what we’ve come to expect from the Jamboree brand. New cars, new winners, and a newfound respect for what motorsport entertainment should be. The formula may have evolved throughout the 25 years, but like a good wine, is getting better with age.

The 25th Jamboree at Willowbank Raceway was widely anticipated for its normal variety of reasons. There’s always a mad rush to get cars ready for the event, and the industry again went into overdrive. Promoter Ray Box had recently partnered with Jett Racing’s Collin Willshire, who with his established signage and display business capabilities commenced to expose Jamboree in a big way. Large colourful signage on Brisbane’s major motorways certainly let the world know that this was going to be an event not to miss. This didn’t falter either once the large crowd arrived at the venue, as again the sheer display aspect provided glamour, professionalism and polish. Coupled with the already high standard of event preparation honed over a 24-year period, Jamboree 2015 launched as fresh as ever.  And with the official release of a new Melbourne Jamboree event on October 24, anticipation was high from all in attendance.     

An international flavour emerged again to help celebrate the quarter century mark with a quality 4-car Team NZ line-up. Robbie Ward’s world-record holding R.I.P.S GTR was joined by Tony Markovina’s amazing 20B-powered full chassis Mazda 6, Abbot Racing’s 13b Series 6 and Ben Cox’s neat Sr20 Datsun 1200 coupe.  Rod Harvey was as always included as part of the NZ team, but has been adopted by the locals due to his regular appearances, and of course for his world-record 6.123 pass made at Jamboree 24.
As per last year, the one-day format proved to be a hit with the crowd. And what a crowd! If last years’ crowd was considered a success, then 2015 certainly raised the bar again. The winning combination of drag racing, professional stage shows, industry displays, drifting demonstrations and an impressive show-n-shine line-up again proved that a Jamboree crowd on the move around the venue is a good thing. And once the scheduled off-track entertainment lightened up, focus returned to the dragstrip. The weather forecast had changed 6 times within the past 4 days on the lead up to the event, and locked in at the chance of late afternoon rain. Overcast skies rolled in with no delays to on-track qualifying, but just as the 3rd session had commenced, the rain started, postponing the event until Sunday.

The postponement proved to be a godsend to some, and a disappointment to others. Some racers relished the opportunity to repair overnight, whilst others had no other option but to head back home. Many interstate travellers had planned Sunday as the day to return home, and most stuck to their agendas, However Sunday dawned as a bright and sunny day, with a continuance of the qualifying schedule from the day before with the addition of the Chicago Shootout 3-round format for the normally elimination-style categories.

Factory Extreme: Kajewski
Precision Turbo Factory Extreme was 10 cars strong at the end of Saturday, but circumstances saw George Rehayem withdraw the PAC Mazda 6 due to the reschedule, and Collin Willshire park the Jett Eclipse to focus on making sure his first Jamboree as co-owner got enough attention. Rod Harvey put the Yuasa Batteries Celica on pole with a great 6.153/239.65 pass on Saturday, and made no secret that he was here to run a 5-second pass.

Round 1 Sunday saw 4 rotary cars and 4 piston cars take to the track. Jerry Kehl's Direct Clutch Rx7  upset Scott Porters  v6 Infiniti with a 7.06 to 9.05, Nathan Hagenson’s new Gas Racing powered Camry took out Jason Both’s Rx7 with a 7.04 whilst Archie took out Markovina in an all-20b Mazda 6 battle with a 6.83. Harvey faced Mark Jacobsen’s newly-wrapped Godzilla Motorsport R35 GTR and beat him on a holeshot with a 6.43/232 to a new GTR world record time of 6.37/224.

Round 2 Saw Markovina and Kehl retire with issues, allowing Jacobsen and Both to grab a win each, whilst Kajewski used a consistent 6.82/175 shut-off pass to defeat Hagenson. Harvey faced Porter, and racked up 2 wins when he red lit, throwing away a great 6.42/236 to 6.51/222 pairing.

Round 3 saw Both withdraw, leaving only Kajewski as the lone rotor car. Jacobsen had also withdrawn with a broken crank. Harvey faced Kajewski, and used a 6.26/235 to dispose of Kajewski’s new PB of 6.52/207. Porter then used a 6.64/217 to put away Hagenson’s 7.05/208.

Harvey faced Kajewski in a classic piston vs rotor final, and the matchup did not disappoint. Harvey’s .319 light was better than Kajewski’s .595, but the kiwi’s 1.06 60 ft. time was behind the Mazda’s 1.02. But Harvey had to lift when the Celica got way loose at half-track, allowing Kajewski to claim his first win at a Jamboree since 2004 with a consistent 6.52/214.

Pro Turbo: Payne
Mckern and Associates Pro Turbo saw a dozen cars entered, but the field was drastically reduced overnight due to breakage and the weather situation. However the 4-car field proved that this category is action-packed, no matter how many cars are entered. Anthony Maatouk put his “VL God” Commodore in top qualifying position with a 7.29/205.

Round 1 commenced with Jason Payne’s immaculate RB30-powered R32 taking out Phil Penny’s amazing 2JZ Honda S600 with a 7.50/180 to 8.61/166. Maatouk then used his RB power to face Loues Cosentino’s swoopy 2JZ Rx7, but Loues was shut down after hitting the opposing concrete wall during a very serious burnout attempt.

Round 2 saw Cosentino back with plenty of racers tape on the front nose, ready to face Payne. But his snoozy 1.34 reaction time allowed Payne to trigger the win light with a 7.54/177 whilst Loues ran his PB in the car with a quicker 7.08/185. Penny then used an 8.06/174 to dispose of a wheelspinning Maatouk.

Round 3 saw an all-RB30 matchup with Maatouk against Payne. Maatouk had previously enquired as to what was required to win the best burnout award commonly referred to as “Smoken”. Once informed, Maatouk then proceeded to smoke the startline in comprehensively. This effort ultimately earned him that prize, but when the lights fell, he won the “Sky’s the Limit” best wheelstand when he powerstood at least 3 times during his losing 7.90 to Payne’s winning 7.58/178. Cosentino then took out Penny when the little Honda red lit.

Penny and Payne met in the final, with the R32 overcoming a holeshot from Penny to run a winning 7.54/178 to an 8.18.

Pro Compact: Kiprios
MTQ Engine Systems Pro Compact had an initial field of 13 on Saturday, but the reschedule to Sunday, plus breakage, etc. saw the field drop to7 for round 1. Hot favourite Domenic Rigoli encountered the wall on his first qualifying pass on Saturday, sending the diehard team home just hours after arriving, winning the unofficial hardest luck award of the weekend. Chris Tait’s 3RZ powered 200SX nailed the pole with a 6.798/209.

Round 1 saw Craig Dyson solo with a 7.82 in the 13b R100, whilst Tait used a 7.43/154 to dispose of fellow 3RZ proponent Sam Kiprios’ Starlet. Kelly Bettes used a .077 light and 7.27/185 in the Jett Racing 4G63 Datsun 1200 ute to despatch Steven Dimech’s 7.80 from his 13b Mazda 6, whilst Ben Palmer in is 13b Rx3 put away Michael Baghdadi’s 200sx with a 8.11 to a 8.44.

Round 2 saw Dyson, Baghdadi and Palmer all withdraw, whilst Tait missed the round to change engines Dimech soloed with a 7.86, and Kiprios took on Bettes. Bettes cut a .099 light and left on the Starlet, but shook hard just past the 60 ft. mark. The car turned hard right, with Bettes reacting to the move, but this saw the Datsun Ute tip onto 2 wheels and head for the opposing wall. When the car landed on all 4 enroute to the wall, the front suspension strut failed and took away control from Bettes, ultimately resulting in a heavy impact with the concrete. Bettes was shaken, but in otherwise good shape, which can’t be said for the Jett Racing Datsun.

Round 3 saw Kiprios solo with a 7.84, whilst Tait returned with a new engine to defeat a slowing Dimech.

The final had the largest combined engine capacity of any Pro Compact pairing seen in the history of Sport Compact, with 5.4 litres of Toyota Hilux engine on the starting line. Kiprios was deemed the underdog, since Tait had run a full second faster during qualifying, but as most finals often do, an upset occurred when Tait almost repeated the Kelly Bettes antics when the 200sx took off into Kiprios’ lane, almost tagging the Starlet and the wall.

Pro 289: Tung
Speedflow Pro 289 once again produced a tough 8-car heads-up field of the small tyre type, headed by Po Tung’s 7.16/201 from the Gas Racing Supra.

Round 1 saw an upset from the outset, with Benjamin Moore’s Silvia keeping a snoozy Tung at bay with a stout 8.75/159 to a crazy 7.81/201. Matt Lisle, driving the “Goldmember” V6 Nissan powered Rx7 used a 7.87/193 to beat Frank Cannistra’s Rx3, whilst Kiwi Ben Cox strayed from his new 7 second form to put away James Moore with a 8.33. Moustafa Sakina’s Rx7 edged out Errol Brittain’s Subaru Brumby with a 9.01 to 9.26.

Round 2 commenced with Lisle going faster with a 7.78/195 to take out Benjamin Moore, whilst brother James defeated Brittain with an 8.42 to 8.86 pairing. Tung handled Sakina with a 7.43/186 to 8.97 and Cannistra defeated Cox when the kiwi was shut down.

Round 3 saw Cox and Sakina withdraw due to mechanical issues, leaving Lisle to take out Brittain, Tung to defeat James Moore, and Cannistra improve to run an 8.45/158 to narrowly beat Benjamin Moore’s 8.55/157.
The final was eagerly-awaited, as the Phil Laird-owned and tuned Rx7 has become a worthy opponent for Tung, as the Supra has an impeccable win record. But when “Goldmember” rolled the beams during staging, the record remained intact for now. Nonetheless the Supra was ready for the battle, still running 7.16/195.

Modified Compact: Ward
Haltech Modified Compact initially had an entry list of 17 cars, but again the attrition and precipitation led to a reduced field come Sunday. Team NZ visitor Robbie Ward put the World’s Quickest Skyline on the pole with a stout 7.346/190, which was not far from his 7.32 PB. He vowed to turn up the boost and nitrous to reset his record, but narrowly missed each time. He faced Rod Richardson’s amazing turboed Manx Buggy in the final.
Richardson had defeated DYO heavyweight Daniel “Rotogeek” Ruggier in round 1 with a 10.42 on a 10.30 dial-in, soloed in round 2 with a 10.39 and was defeated by Ward in round 3 with a 10.42.Ward defeated Mick McGregor in round one with a 7.37 on a 7.29 dial, Geoff Lucas in round 2 with a backing off 8.88, and Richardson in round 3 with a 7.35.

Richardson softened his dial-in to a 10.35, whilst Ward did the same with a 7.32. However Richardson red lit with a close-to perfect -.004 attempt, handing the win to Ward, with a 7.37/189 charge.

Modified 10.5: Roselund
Mazfix Performance Modified 10.5 has matured into an exciting combination of cars, and J25 was no exception. Justin Wilkinson top qualified in the 13-car field with his RB30 VL Commodore with an 8.06/178, but mechanical attrition and the weather pared the field back to 6 for round one.

Danny Lansdowne’s Spot On Performance 2JZ Commodore wagon had run a PB of 8.25 in qualifying, and defeated Craig Eveleigh’s neat Barra-powered street Cortina in round one, whilst Wilkinson unleashed Low ET for the category with a 7.67 to defeat the 8.27 of rookie Mitch Roselund in his immaculate 2JZ powered Datsun 1200 ute. Adam Cruden’s “Wasabi” 2JZ powered Corolla used an 8.54 to down Anthony Briggs’ tough Cortina.

Round 2 started with a Roselund solo 8.19 when Eveleigh had issues, then Lansdowne’s 8.26 took care of a tyre-blazing Briggs and James Thomas returned with his RX3 to holeshot Cruden and run a slower 8.99 to 8.57.
Round 3 saw Cruden solo with an 8.52 when Eveleigh didn’t front, Roselund used an 8.26 to beat Briggs and Thomas improved to an 8.56 to defeat Lansdowne.

Roelund and Cruden faced each other in an all-2JZ powered final, and was shaping up to be an epic battle. But Cruden suffered a mechanical issue not far into the run, seeing Roselund disappear to a PB 8.15/164 first-time win.

Street 289: Spannenberg Street 289 is always full of potent weaponry, and the 2015 roster was no different. Over 30 entrants strutted their stuff on the small rubber, ultimately seeing the top 8 qualifiers move to Pro 289, with Gerry Pieratos holding top spot with an 8.69. However the weather and mechanical issues saw an 8-car field launch Sunday with dial-ins on their windows. The three-round format meant that the more wins racked up, the more chance of making the final. Sydney’s Rodney Spannenberg in his 7 Sins RX7 reeled off three out of three, whilst Ben Clark did the same in his VL Commodore.

Spannenberg faced rookie Karl Herbert in his newly completed RX3 for round 1, and used a .067 light to defend his 9.07 dial in with a backing off 9.41 to Herbert’s 9.12. He adjusted his dial-in to 9.12 and fled from Pieratos’ charging rX3 with a 9.63 win over an 8.79 in round 2, and scored some luck in round 3 when Mick Silk redlit against his tardy .551 light. He retained his 9.12 dial-in for the final to face Clark.
Clark started with a first round win with a 10.59 on his 10.29 dial-in, taking out Silk’s refurbished Datsun 1200 wagon.

Round 2 saw him win a tight race against Thomas Horton’s RX7 with a .029 light and 10.45 against Horton’s .092 light and closer 9.78 on a 9.60.He then almost repeated the performance in round 3 with a .055 light and 10.48, using the reaction time against Mark Field’s .399 light and closer 9.24 on a 9.20.

The final was the closest of the event, with both Spannenberg and Clark both nailing a .020 reaction time. Both cars stayed glued together until the win light indicated that Spannenbergs 9.17 on a 9.12 edging Clark’s 10.41 on a 10.29 dial-in. Spannenberg is one of the racers to beat in this category, and it will be interesting to see if there is anyone in Melbourne who can match him.

All Motor: Cavanagh
Torque Calibration Services All Motor continues to see the entry list grow, as more racers choose to lose the power adders in an attempt to be different. 25 years ago, there would have been under a dozen turbocharged cars in the entry list. But now the aspirated army are a minority, but the ranks are growing.
15 cars were reduced to 9 due to the weather and breakage, But Charlie Costanzo’s wild 13BPP Datsun 1200 coupe snatched pole with a 9.93/129 in its normal spectacular fashion. Lightweight, hi-revving cars were the order of the day, especially newcomer Telly Pieratos in his street-driven QUAD ROTOR Rx3. Not only exciting to watch as it scarpered off the line, Telly’s exhaust note had the crowd wanting more each time they heard it.

The 3 round format saw Jason Stoodley in his Barra-powered TD Cortina nail a perfect win record, whilst Ben Cavanagh’s potent Swift also completed a trio of wins.
Cavanagh started by taking out Pieratos with a 12.75 on his 12.42 dial. Round 2 saw him nail the tree (and best reaction time of the event with a .002) against Matt Berry’s street beetle. In round 3 he was out reacted by Jane Smith in her 13B powered Mazda 1300 wagon, but a breaking out 14.66 on a 14.80 dial saw the win go back to Cavanagh with a safe 13.02

Stoodley faced Smith in round 1 and used a .037 light and 11.87 pass on an 11.68 dial-in to chase her down. He then faced Pieratos and cut a .087 light to Telly’s .102. A tight race saw the Cortina win by thousandths with an 11.77 on an 11.68 edging Pieratos’ 10.61 on a 10.50. Stoodley then almost ran the perfect pass against Jason Frosts beetle with a .007 light and 11.707 pass on an 11.70 dial in.

Cavanagh had nearly 2 lights head start against Stoodley in the final. and didn’t wait around with a .092 light. Stoodley however fouled away his chances with a -.109 and ran an 11.76 pass in consolation.

Extreme: Coles
Wolf Motorsport Extreme has the largest single variety factor by far. Three 4-cylinder dragsters, a 2jz Altered,  a turboed HQ Holden, Turbo LS Commodores, Twin turbo XW falcon, twin turbo AP6 Valiant, twin turbo chev Luv,  a Ford Courier and much more.

Round One saw Andrew Coles in his turbo LS VL Commodore defeat Tanya Thompson’s similarly powered VH with a 9.42 to 9.15 , whilst Mark Van der Togt’s mighty street driven XW falcon used a through-the pipes 8.65/160 run to defeat Leigh Darke’s twin-turbo Luv. Former winner Ben Diggles in his FJ20 Nissan dragster faced the new Ecotec-powered twin turbo dragster of Lee and Roxanne Thomas. Diggles prevailed in a double breakout decision with a 7.23 on a 7.40 taking out Roxy’s 8.19 on an 8.50.

Round two saw Coles cut a .060 light and use a 9.42 to put away Kyle Depiazza’s turbo v8 courier twin cab, which broke out with an 8.91 on a 9.80 dial! Diggles cut a .044 light and ran a 7.24 on a 7.19 to chase down Van der Togt's none-too-shabby .060 reaction and 8.49 on an 8.40 dial. Thompson trounced Darke when the Ute red light and Thomas soloed.

Round 3 saw only 3 cars return, and Coles faced Van der Tog. His holes hot and 9.33 on his 9.30 was enough to cover the fast-charging Falcon’s 8.58. Diggles soloed, cutting a .045 light and running a 7.35 on his 7.14.
The finals saw Coles and Diggles face off on a v8 vs 4 cylinder battle. Coles used his head start to his advantage and left with a .082 light, whilst Diggles cut his worst light in years at 1.229. The dragster set off nonetheless, but got way out of shape in pursuit, backing off to save it for another day. It was Coles’s first win in the category.

Street Compact: Donselaar
Turbosmart Street Compact sees a variety of street-based cars of all makes compete on a minimum ET cut-off of 11.00, and 33 made qualifying passes. Again the weather saw the field reduce in size, but not quality.
Nathan Wilson’s street R32 GTR nailed pole with an 11.01, and the 3-round format saw plenty of tight races. But Tim Donselaar’s Sil80 and Christine Thomson’s Xr6 Ute had done enough to make it to the finals, with both racers winning 3 from 3.

Donselaar ran a 13.27 on his 13.20 dial-in in round one against a troubled Dave Cox. He then returned for round two and snagged some luck against Aaron Sourris when his RB30 powered LJ Torana ran a breaking out 12.33 on a 12.38. Round three saw Donselaar win again when Graeme Manietta’s Suzuki Swift broke out with a 13.78 on a 14.00 dial.
Thomson on the other hand had to make her own luck. In round one she edged out Sourris with a 12.21 on a 12.16 diaL, then despatched Manietta in round 2 with a tight .046 light and 12.28 over a .097 light and 14.15 on a 14.00 dial. In round three another 12.21 pass was good enough for taking care of Nathan Wilson’s GTR, but only just.
But in the final Christine ran out of luck and left with a -.086 redlight. Another 12.21 followed, but it was no use against Donselaar’s clean green and winning 13.31 on a 13.20 dial-in. It was Donselaar’s first win at a Jamboree.

SKYS THE LIMIT: BEST WHEELSTAND: Presented by Billet Rotary
Anthony Maatouk/Pro Turbo/VL Commodore

SMOKEN: BEST BURNOUT: Presented by EMS Computers
Anthony Maatouk/Pro Turbo/VL Commodore

LIGHT OF THE NIGHT: BEST REACTION TIME: Presented by Torque Calibration Services
Ben Cavanagh/All Motor/Suzuki Swift  .002

CREW STYLE: BEST APPEARING CAR AND CREW: Presented by Performance Garage