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Date: 05/1/15

Calder Park Raceway - October 24

As the many thousands of Victorian Drag Racing fans left Calder Park Saturday evening, many knew that what they had just witnessed was history in the making.  For many it was their first Jamboree, and for others, it was another one worth making the trek for, as Sport Compact’s greatest show debut in Melbourne showed why there’s plenty more where that came from!

Calder Park is a vast motorsport venue, with an esteemed and diverse history spanning over 4 decades. Recent drag strip resurfacing works saw the track reopen only a month or so ago, much to the delight of Melbourne’s drag racing community and the relief of Jamboree promoters Ray Box and Collin Willshire. The expansive grounds of Calder were put to good use, with the drift demonstrations held in the Thunderdome, main stage and traders in the traditional pit alley area and the Just Car Insurance show n shine camped right in the middle of the main traffic area, where the entire mix of metric machinery collides as the event powers throughout its schedule. In a sea of bodies, angry drag machines from all over Australia idled or towed to Calder’s famed staging area. From many reports, the sheer number of eager fans in the pit area throughout the day was amazing, and the largest in recent memory. The weather was warm, even by northern standards, and the track was great considering the heat cycle it received throughout the day.

Drag Racing entries were over the 100 mark, and supplemented by a quality dyo category allowing non-sport compact vehicles to compete on the new Calder surface. Some teams used the Friday test n tune to acquaint themselves with the track before battling on Saturday with a mixture of pleasure and pain. The PAC team took the Factory Extreme Mazda 6 to the line for an off-trailer 6.38, and then returned for an all-time PB for the team 6.26! George Rehayem claimed that the car had never felt so smooth, and the 6.26 grabbing the 10th quickest import pass in the world, whilst the world’s fastest 4-cylinder,  Jett Racing’s Eclipse, driven by Kelly Bettes had an opposite experience, suffering a disastrous transmission failure during a test run, requiring a complete drivetrain change overnight, including borrowing a transmission from Andrew Dyson, and flying in a suitable bellhousing from Brisbane.

Melbourne fans didn’t know what hit them come Saturday morning as the staging lanes filled with a mix of both familiar and new vehicles, as many interstate entries complimented a healthy local contingent.  

Combined categories were the order of the day with Pro Turbo and Pro Compact pairing up, All Motor and Street Compact doing the same whilst Factory Extreme,  Modified Compact, Modified 10.5 and Street 289 running standalone fields.

Factory Extreme: Rehayem
Precision Turbo Factory Extreme saw 4 entries make the trip to Melbourne, with Sydney’s George Rehayem and Nathan Hagenson taking on Queenslanders Kelly Bettes and Mark Jacobsen. But with the Jett Eclipse shut down with a leaking trans housing and the Godzilla R35 experiencing engine bearing issues brought on by tyre shake, the Gas Racing 2JZ powered Camry of Hagenson and the PAC Mazda 6 continued to turn up each round and make representative passes for  the crowd..not to mention the big burnouts ! And with plenty of 6-second runs between them, they put on a great 2-car show for the eager Melbourne crowd. And come finals time, both cars lined up against each other to finish the night. With the sunlight fading, fans were treated to the amazing flame show that the PAC flagship emits before staging. On the hit it was PAC all the way, running a 6.611 against Hagenson’s 7.046

Pro Turbo/Compact: Tung
Pro Turbo, sponsored by Mckern and Associates, and Pro Compact, sponsored by MTQ engine systems combined for a very entertaining and equal mix of cars, especially when Steve Barnett in his 13b-powered rx3 nailed the top spot with a 7.04. This was the second quickest 13b pass in Australia, missing out by a few hundredths of being number one. Fans were treated to a variety of weaponry, including Sydney Siders Po Tung with the Gas Racing Supra, Anthony Maatouks’ VL GOD and Alex Cirtoski’s R33. Ballarat rookie Sam Preece made his first quarter mile passes in his full-chassis Commodore with Barra 6 power, running into the sevens on his very first pass. As each round progressed, Preece continued to improve, running the quickest Barra pass in Australia with a 7.49/182. But it was an all-Sydney six-cylinder final between Tung and Maatouk, with both cars running low 7’s all day. After a large, smoky burnout Maatouk left on Tung, but the 2JZ power saw the Supra edge the VL GOD within inches of the line, winning with a 7.049 to Maatouk’s 7.212

Modified 10.5: Haramis
Raceworks Modified 10.5 was populated with a tough 8-car field of VL commodores, and top qualifier was Sydney’s George Haramis with a wheelstanding 7.511

The heads-up nature saw many tight duels throughout the day, and Haramis ran quick enough to make the final, taking on Cameron Powell, and taking out the event with a 7.687 @ 177.09 mph.

Street 289: Sakina Street 289 saw cars from Victoria, NSW, ACT, WA and SA in a 10-car field do battle, with Moustafa Sakina top-qualifying his South Coast Rotaries 13b Rx7 with a 8.397
Sakina continued to improve and made it to the final, defeating Tony Gee in the final.

Modified Compact: Ruggier
Haltech Modified Compact saw a diverse 8-car field made up of NSW, ACT, QLD and Victorian racers, but it was clear from the start that the “Rotogeek”, Daniel Ruggier’s Rx3, was going to be the one to beat. Queensland Manx buggy driver David Richardson manually shifted his way to the final against Ruggier, who used a .007 light to send the buggy home. Richardson has made the final on 3 occasions in Jamboree history, with 3 runners up to his name.

All Motor/Street Compact: Thomas

Torque Calibration Services All Motor and Turbosmart Street Compact combined in Melbourne to make up a 13-car field. The combination worked well, with many close races throughout the day. The final was drama-filled, with Mazda RX8 driver Sami Baroudi unable to stage against the rx2 driven by Mark Thomas, who had an ignition issue straight off the line and lost fire.

Outlaw Extreme: Cibotto

Paul Cibotto in his Ford Mustang progressed to the final against Lucas Ellingham in his Falcon ute to take the win.

DYO 2: O’Hehir

A small field of 6 made up the DYO 2 class with Garth O’Hehir in the Camero winning in the final against Anton Krajina’s HJ Holden.

Wolf Motorsport DYO 1/Extreme: Bresciano
A strong field of 32 made up the combined Extreme & DYO 1 class. Come the final Joe Bresciano took the win with Michael Braggs in the dragster having problems on the line.

With another Melbourne Jamboree planned for 2016, combined with the March 19 2016 Sydney Jamboree and the August 27 Brisbane Jamboree already scheduled, all eyes will be on Calder next year to see what 12 months of enthusiasm and motivation will bring.

Light of the Night: .002 – Joe Bresciano
Sky’s The Limit: Moustafa Sakina
Smoken: Anthony Maatouk
Crew Style: Birrong Automotive.