Aussie doorslammer at Willowbank

Willowbank Raceway, QLD Nightfire Championships APRIL 15, 2000 With the points so tight going into the round, position in the field was more important than ever. Qualifying was crucial but Judd's day began badly when extreme tyre shake in the...

Willowbank Raceway, QLD Nightfire Championships APRIL 15, 2000

With the points so tight going into the round, position in the field was more important than ever. Qualifying was crucial but Judd's day began badly when extreme tyre shake in the first qualifier threw a door off the Western Australian's Studebaker.

After a number of oildowns, all the T/D teams were left with only one more session. On another "do or die" effort Judd gave a sign of things to come with a stunning 6.36 for top spot.

Round One opened with Judd facing the Ford Customline of Brisbane's Andrew Searle. Searle had left off a fuel line and broke on the burnout, but with lane choice in the next round up for grabs Judd elected to make a hard pass anyway. It was a blinder - the readout showed a 6.24, at 218 miles per hour (349 kph), the quickest ever Top Doorslammer pass in Australia. Judd said "It just goes to show you don't need big horsepower to run quick. We have a single magneto and relatively low blower overdrive based on what we're allowed. At this rate we'd have to be competitive in an IHRA pro-mod field".

Points leader Dave Koops went out in the first round leaving the door open for Judd and Bray. Judd and Kapiris each had lane choice for the semi final pairings. Kapiris faced Bray and left first, opening that gap as he reached half track. The Castrol Chevy produced it's customary top end charge, but Kapiris' 6.36 had Bray's 6.39 covered where it counts. With Bray now out Judd had to go into the final to advance in the points. With the new record time of 6.24 he was assured of the bonus points for quickest ET of the meet.

Whichever way the second pairing went, it would be an all Studebaker race from here. Stevens got the hole shot, but his 6.48 was never going to be a match for Judd's early shut off 6.29. This time was enough to back up a new ANDRA National Elapsed Time Record and made the "Moonshine Bandit" the third fastest methanol powered sedan in the world.

Kapiris had his work cut out in the last run of the night, which turned out to be more of a repeat of the Australian Nationals final than anyone expected. This time, after getting the hole shot Kapiris moved over the centreline on the way to a losing 6.70, obviously distracted seeing Judd's sleek white Studebaker disappear into the distance on yet a another 6.24. It was Judd's first Top Doorslammer win and a day the team will never forget. Judd commented " Top qualifier, three .20's and the National Record - how much better does it get? The only thing left is the championship - rest assured we will be going all out to try and win it!"

The points standings show how strongly the class has develped since it's inception. Robin Judd's win put him just 13 points behind Bray and 15 points behind Koop. The championship will be a fight to the finish in every sense of the word. Round 8 (final) of the 1999/2000 Australian Top Doorslammer Championship will be an exciting part of the 2000 Konica Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway on June 9 - 11.

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