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Date: 30/9/09

The 2009 Fast Fours & Rotaries Jamboree  opened to some spectacular Queensland weather, and with roughly 290 racers and thousands of fans, there was plenty of action both on and off the race track.

The event which was the pioneer of the Sport Compact drag racing scene in Australia is now in its nineteenth year, and is well and truly established as the premier meeting of its type in the country. After various international guests throughout the years, this year saw Titan Motorsports make the long journey from the USA for an eagerly anticipated appearance in their legendary 2JZ-turbocharged Scion.

It wasn’t all about the racing though, the Show n Shine saw plenty of highly polished and beautifully detailed vehicles gleaming in the Queensland sun, The Northfield Sound Off area was filled with tens of thousands of dollars worth of stereo systems, with plenty of LCDs showing off the latest videos. The large trade display area saw plenty of vendors happy to answer questions and show off their wares, and we can’t forget the ever-popular main stage, featuring the Strawberry Minx dance team as well as the crowd favourites, Northfield Moorooka Jamboree Babe and Bikini competition.

McKern & Assoc. Pro Turbo, the premier class has been going from strength to strength over the years, and with a slew of new cars, and some amazing performances it definitely turned on a show for all the fans in the grandstands. Qualifying highlights included Team Titan who managed to impress late in the session on Saturday with an astonishing 6.557 at 213.70mph pass. Pac Performance were back in their rapidly repaired Mazda 6 following a small engine bay fire in testing two weeks prior. The repairs were good though and the hard work paid off with an easy 6.99 at 201mph in qualifying, although Rocky Rehayem ran deep and ended up just nosing into the sand trap with a couple of popped front tyres due to a sticky throttle. Craig Dyson, following the sale of his Dyson Rotary workshop, also made a welcome return to the Pro Turbo class, although switching powerplants and performing well with a 7.019 at 198.38mph pass. Aaron Gregory crossed the entire country during his journey from Perth and was happy when his In Tune Performance Holden Monaro, with a 2JZ on board clocked 7.516 at 182.11mph placing him ninth in final qualifying. Joseph Mansour in the ex Kristian Margrin RX7 is a new comer to Pro Turbo and managed a best of 7.887 at 183.12. There were distant travellers everywhere as Rod Harvey made another Jamboree appearance all the way from New Zealand with his Rayglass Toyota Celica checking in with a 7.137 at a relatively big 209.36mph. Former ANDRA Pro Stock champion Tony Wedlock also had the TRD Aurion back on the move, recording a very nice 6.733 at 210.64mph for third qualifying position. Top of the qualifying sheets was reserved for “Smokin’” Joe Signorelli who had his GAS Motorsports Celica just in front of the Titan’s with a 6.529 at 214.55mph. One of the highlights in qualifying was Ivan Skaramuca who had the wheels up for most of the track in his Pac Performance-prepped RX-3 recording a crazy 7.081 at 193.13mph! It wasn’t that long ago that we saw the old “PACMAN” RX-3 dip into the seven-second zone, and now there’s an RX-3 edging closer to the six-second zone! One of the more unusual vehicles in Pro Turbo was the 20B powered Toyota Hilux, with Mazfix’s Archie Kajewski and long-time customer and friend Craig Melbourne teaming up to record a 7.887 at 183.12mph with Archie behind the wheel on one of the vehicles first full track passes.

After some great performances on Saturday, Sunday was the business end of racing, the Chicago Shootout format gave the crowd plenty of chances to see their favourite stars. First round saw Titan Motorsport’s Gary White clock a 6.807 at a slowing 177.81mph to defeat Nick Tsoltoudis’ RX-3. Ivan Skaramuca had a wild wheelstanding ride in his RX-3 with a 7.688 to defeat Afif Mikael’s 7.922. Malcolm Glassett ran a personal best in the Hurricane Toyota, with a smashing 6.565 at 216.51mph pass to defeat Sadek “The Godfather” Sadek’s 8.933. Tony Wedlock despatched Robert Stanbury with a 7.140 vs 7.670. Rocky Rehayem improved with a clean 6.825 at 201.04mph, defeating Nathan Farrugia. Aaron Gregory scored the upset of the round with his 7.258 at 186.46mph defeating Rod Harvey’s 7.825 at a quickly closing 197.91mph. Joseph Mansour on a bye had problems with an 8.359 at 167.88. Joe Signorelli took the solo and showed what the 2JZ was capable of with run that saw the crowd leap to their feet and cheer, looking at the 6.487 at 213.74 on the shiny new Willowbank scoreboards.

Round Two continued with more upsets, Aaron Gregory showing consistency pays off with a 7.375 at 186.12mph defeating Joe Signorelli who backed off wisely after some serious shake. Rod Harvey 7.988 was too good for Afif Mikael, Tony Wedlock’s 6.875 at 210.60 also moved past Nick Tsoltoudis. Rocky Rehayem and Robert Stanbury lined up for a battle of the old and the new, with the new Mazda 6 lined up against the ex-PACMAN RX-3, new triumphed with a 6.914 at 201.16mph over 7.609 at 182.97mph. Ivan Skaramuca again stunned the crowd with a 7.115 at 190.78 mph in the RX-3 vs RX-3 battle against Sadek Sadek. Craig Dyson was obviously quickly getting comfortable in his new piston-powered home and ran a PB 6.740 at 205.29mph to defeat Nathan Farrugia with ease. Archie Kajewski also improved with a 7.458 at 190.06mph on a solo, and the Titan boys who had battled valiantly to do a head swap did not record a time.

Round Three saw Craig Dyson defeat Sadek Sadek, Aaron Gregory again scored an upset when his 7.356 at 185.38mph pass defeated Ivan Skaramuca who had problems. A classic Jamboree rivalry returned when Mazfix’s Archie Kajewski lined up against Pac Performance’s Rocky Rehayem, with Archie taking the win with a7.551 at 188.73mph after the Mazda 6 had massive shake and drifted toward the centreline. Rod Harvey’s solo 6.965 at a whopping 220.73mph showed they were heading back in the right direction and Nathan Farrugia recorded an uncontested 7.925 at 183.89mph in his stunning blue RX-7. Tony Wedlock on a bye had the misfortune of leaving before the tree was activated and hence no time was recorded. Joe Signorelli also performed will with a 6.750 at 214.04mph.

After all the wins and numbers were tallied it was a David and Goliath, East vs West battle in the final.  Joe Signorelli and Aaron Gregory lined up and again Aaron scored the upset win, with his 7.372 at 187.21mph crossing the finish line ahead of a slowing 9.753 at 86mph from the GAS Celica after problems mid-run. Overall the McKern & Assoc. Pro Turbo class was a stunning success with plenty of variety, some great passes, and some good action for the fans.

HKS by Performance Wholesale Pro Compact was dominated by none other than Anthony Rodrigues from Maztech in Melbourne. Despite not having a regular home track at the moment the Mazda 13B powered Ford Cougar was flying, clearly leading the field with a 7.147 at 187.63mph in qualifying to top the qualifying sheet. In second position was local racer Collin Willshire, who has been stepping up the performance in his Mitsubishi powered Datsun 1200 Ute, clocking a strong 7.629 at 177.70mph. Vince Rigoli, another Datsun 1200 Ute racer, had his Fiat engine running strong with a 7.822 at 175.81mph. Jim Magliveras had his purple Pac-Prepped 13B on song, powering the Corolla to a 7.866 at 173.12mph. Ben Bray filled out the trio of Datsun utes in the field, recording an 8.240 at 163.61mph pass to put him in fifth position. It was also great to see Anthony Daquino back in his deep blue, flame throwing 13B powered RX-3 clocking a respectable 8.266 at 155.99mph.

Round One of Eliminations saw the two Datto utes line up, with Ben Bray 8.425 at 161.30mph defeating Collin Willshire who broke. George Marcevski scored an upset when his slowing 11.782 defeated Anthony Rodrigues who had problems in the Maztech Cougar. Jim Magliveras scored an easy win over Vince Rigoli, 7.868 vs 8.607. Round two saw Anthony Rodrigues return to form with a 7.210 at 190.70mph in the heat of the day just too good for Ben Bray’s 8.245 at 164.89mph. Vince Rigoli defeated George Marcevski 7.841 at 175.00mph over George’s slowing 12.07 and Jim Magliveras had the Corolla on song for a 7.797 at 163.81mph uncontested as Willshire was out. Round Three saw Ben Bray defeat Vince Rigoli. Jim Magliveras edged out good mate George Marcevski in the battle of the towies 7.693 vs 8.049 and Rodrigues had a solo, although that didn’t matter as he was in a league of his own with a 7.173 at 190.48mph pass. The final saw Anthony Rodrigues line up against Jim Magliveras, with Rodrigues pulling away with his 7.133 at 191.54mph too good for Magliveras 7.729 at 173.76mph, Rodrigues taking the win following a string of strong runs throughout the weekend.

Haltech Modified Compact
was massively strong with 36 entrants, headed by Mark Jacobsen in his Godzilla Motorsport GTR Skyline which blitzed into the sevens with a 7.877 at 179.02mph pass. Nick Zervos had his APC Racing 4WD Mitsubishi Lancer go oh-so-close with an 8.049 at 176.03mph run. Vince Rigoli was doing double duties with his turbocharged V6 Holden powered Datsun Ute clocking an 8.062 at 168.14mph run, while Jamil Jaafar was the first of the rotaries with an 8.472 at 161.36mph.

Eliminations were dominated by Mark Jacobsen who battled well throughout the event and eventually lined up against  Jamie Ruggier’s Mazda RX-3, Jacobsen’s consistency paying off with a win over the rotary.

Gas Motorsport Street 289
, and its earlier incarnations, has long been one of the most popular classes at the Fast Fours& Rotaries Jamboree, with bulk horsepower trying to put the power down through a small 28x9-inch slick there’s bound to be some excitement! Dib Taouil was back with his TCR racing RX-7, the 20B + auto combination working very well to record a 7.918 at 173.09mph. Chris Fakinos has been around the rotary game in Sydney for many years had his stunning R100 was next with an 8.553 at 162.76mph. Local Ben Hunt from Rotary Motorsport had made plenty of modifications to his powerplant before the meeting, and his RX-7 recorded a nice 8.578 at 160.90mph. Frank “MR HELI” Cannistra had the Project Zoom Racer RX-3 running nicely with a 8.678 at 149.30mph run. Paul Jansink also made a welcome return to the track in his 20B powered RX-4 with an easy 8.848 at 149.13mph run. Damien Folley was the first of the pistons, and using only an 1800c Isuzu engine went 8.935 at 148.20 in his tough orange Gemini.

After four rounds of racing Street 289 was down to the semi-finals, with Damien Folley in his Gemini lining up against regular racer Rodney Spannenberg in his 7SINS RX-7. Spannenberg cut the better light and was ahead until his 9.782 at 137.68mph was too quick on his 9.80 dial in, handing the win to Folley. Peter Kiprios scored a solo and took it easy to advance into the finals. The final saw Damien Folley and Peter Kiprios line up, Folley’s Isuzu G180 against Kiprios’ Toyota 18RG, certainly not the powerplants one might have expected in the final, and in the end the veteran Kiprios was victorious with his 9.927 at 136.46mph too much for a slowing Folley.

Speedelec Prime Signs Outlaw 10.5
is a new class and catered to a few racers who moved up and out of Street 28x9. Jason “Botha” Both led the qualifying sheets with a strong 7.912 at 165.46mph in his 20B RX-3. Sport Compact legend Wayne Dyson had his venerable RX-3 running smoothly as always with an 8.016 at 171.53mph pass for second position. The Gold Coast’s quickest accountant Damien McKern, had the flames belching from his “GRUMP2” RX-2 and clicked off a nice 8.332 at 168.72mph run. Mouhamed Ibrahim from Queen St had the Gemini back on track, this time sporting an RB30 setup and recorded an easy 8.482 at 146.00mph pass. One of the most impressive cars was Scott Hoffman’s “OKE20”, built in the shed at home and running only on street radial tyres the little ‘rolla recorded a crazy 8.570 at 156.92mph pass!

Eliminations saw some good runs, with Wayne Dyson record a stunning 7.892 at 173.38mph in his RX-3, to setup a final between the two friendly rivals, Wayne Dyson and Damien McKern. Damien knew he had to cut a good light to have a chance for the win, but he left a cherry on the tree handing the win to Wayne Dyson who showed that he would have been hard to beat anyway recording a 7.964 at 172..

The Ground Corp Extreme class is a mix of probably the widest variety of racers, twin turbo V8s, Altereds, and Dragsters all mixing it up in the DYO class. Ivan Tesic had the matte black Mr Mad Torana back in and clocked an easy 7.202 at 197.59mph pass. Glenn Anderson has been going from strength to strength in his 13B twin-turboed altered and clocked a nice 7.334 at 169.70mph. Sezer Aktas was the pilot of the Dyson Rotary dragster, with the 13B clocking an 8.161 at 159.17mph run. Vittorio Arcuri had his tough little Mazda 1300 into the eights with an 8.972 at 150.00mph pass. We have to make mention of Peter Duffy, who holds an amazing record, having now competed in all nineteen Jamboree events held! His wheelstanding Fiat-powered Dragster recorded a comfortable 9.783 at 135.31mph. Vince Santoro was driving the unusual XW GT Falcon, the procharger equipped 427 sounding sweet and clocking an easy 9.950 at 143.70mph. Ron Newton has been racing infrequently recently, but it was good to see him on track in his LS1 powered Ford Roadster with a 9.958 at 130.59mph pass. Megan Anderson had a few dramas getting off the line in her dragster but clocked a 14.458 at a big 131.95mph pass to round out the field.

Extreme saw perhaps one of the biggest burndowns ever seen at a Jamboree, with Peter Duffy and Glenn Anderson lining up late in proceedings with a six-minute plus staging duel. Willowbank starter Royce was begging both racers who refused to move into stage. When they eventually bumped in Duffy pulled off the wheelstand of the meet, with all four wheels off the ground! It is probably worth mentioning that the matchup was a friendly grudge run and the guys were assisting the other teams with a bit of extra turnaround time in the program, so there was no ill-intent. Back to the racing and it was Ron Newton who smoothly cruised to the final against Vince Santoro’s XW GT. Ron was too good and his 9.850 on a 9.80 dial easily defeated Santoro’s 12.14 on a 9.90.

Speed FM All Motor
qualifying was dominated by Sam Raunio, in his naturally aspirated 20B RX-7 with a 10.972 at 123.10mph. It was great to see long time Jamboree competitor Peter Page in his VW in second position with a nice 11.504 at 114.65mph pass. Glenn Alcorn showed the huge diversity of the All Motor field with his FWD Honda Civic clocking an 11.703 at 118.25mph pass.

Eliminations in All Motor progressed quickly with a couple of upsets as the Alcorns were both defeated by round two. The final saw Sam Raunio’s loud RX-7 line up against the FWD Honda Civic of Kurt Scott, with Kurt taking the win when Raunio broke out with a 10.688 at 125.53 on a 10.80 dial in. Kurt’s 15.573 on 15.50 showed he was on the money anyway.

DEI Thermal Products Street Compact
was by far the largest field with close to 90 entrants in qualifying. The field was headed by Varun Sharma who clocked a 10.076 at a massive 151.51mph in his GTR Skyline, second position was held by Chris Davey who has his unusual 1JZ-powered Corona up for sale at the moment, but brought it out to record an easy 10.726 at 128.54mph. The rest of the field was littered with all sorts of racers in everything from Mazda RX-4s, Honda Civics, Ford Escorts, Datsun 1600s, Mitsubishi Starions, and plenty of the popular Nissan Skylines. Battling your way through such a big field is an achievement in itself and the semi-finals included a couple of names that are often at the pointy end, with Chris Hackett and Steve Hackett lining up against each other, ensuring there would be a Hackett in the finals. The younger Chris was too good for Steve, who red lit handing an easy win to Chris. Troy Spedding defeated John Le in the semis when Le also red lit handing the easy win to Spedding. Hackett had it all for the taking in the final significantly ahead crossing the finish line but despite being on the brakes his 13.340 at only 98.70mph was just too quick for his 13.40 dial in, handing the win back to Spedding.

Charron Mearns Accountants Outlaw Sports Bike
was headed by Leonard Azzopardi on his Silver ‘Busa, with a 7.512 at a massive 195.50mph pass! The sort of numbers more reminiscent of a Top Fuel Bike field! Jamie Bezzina also performed well with an 8.033 at 180.62mph and local Alex Buxton clocked an impressive 8.536 at 171.73mph. The Chicago shootout in the heads up class gave us what we expected in the finals, with Leonard Azzopardi too quick clocking 7.614 at 187.63mph against Jamie Bezzina’s 8.322 at 160.94mph pass, after both cut identical 0.175 lights.

Sports Bike was well supported with 20 racers entering, in a class dominated by Modified Bike regulars there were still plenty having fun with some big smokey burnouts for the crowd. The top four positions were held down by Sam Taylor, Alex Tukavkin, Peter Everett, and Jason Hammelswang. The final saw current Modified Bike Champion, Jason Hammelswang, line up against Malcolm Brooks. Hammelswang was slightly off his dial in though, and Brooks raced well with a 9.955 on his 9.85 dial in for the win. The Torque Calibration Services Light of the Night award also went to Sports Bike race Peter Everett.

It was great to see a good crowd at the Jamboree, with Ray Box and the Sport Compact Group team putting in countless hours of promotion leading up to the event. Despite his fall and injuries at the Blown Alcohol meeting a couple of weeks prior, Ray soldiered on throughout the event making sure everything was running smoothly. There were a few issues with extended scrutineering queues early on Saturday morning, with a few racers waiting more than two hours in the heat and consequently missing their scheduled qualifying slot. Willowbank Raceway passes on their apologies for the delays cased by staffing issues. Fortunately, there was a sensible reshuffling of the qualifying program an extra qualifying slot was added at the end of the Saturday night program for those racers that missed out in the morning. Classifying and scrutineering many cars who race infrequently is obviously not an easy task. The continuing development of the McKern & Assoc. Pro Turbo class and the performances from them show that the Sport Compact scene is evolving well, and with over 280 entrants over the weekend there was plenty of great action on the track, as well as the extra entertainment off the track to keep the crowd happy. Next year sees the 20th running of the Jamboree, no longer a teenager!

The next Sport Compact Group event will be Compak Attak in Sydney at Western Sydney International Dragway on Sunday March 21, 2010 so mark your calendars now.

Meeting report by Angus MacMaster of