8 fastlane RADCLIFFE takes th At Nitro Up North’s round one of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, local racer Dean Radcliffe broke through for his first ever race victory and his first ANDRA Xmas tree. The run to the victory wasn’t an easy one, especially when it came to making the field. “It all started with missing the first qualifier – I was running late!” mused Radcliffe, who thanks sponsors Monsta Cranes, Gecko Car Rental and Autosmart NT for their support of his program, as well as crew man Chris, his mum Fran and cousin Grant. “Then, in the second qualifier, I nearly hit the wall at about three-quarter track. “I finally got a decent pass in on my third run, with an 8.56 second pass at 156 miles per hour.” The eliminations had it all for Radcliffe, including a race against his own cousin. “In the first round I raced Kingsley Kuchel in his Nosaglia front-engined dragster. I had a reasonable reaction time and took the win – it was pretty cool having an old school v old school race like that with neither of us having any electronic devices,” Radcliffe remembered. “In the second round I had to face my cousin Grant – he won the event last year, so he was no easy opponent! “I had an awesome reaction time of 0.001s against him, but I didn’t even need to be that close – Grant’s wheelie bar failed which sent him into a huge wheelstand and gave me a easy win. “In the final, it was time to face off against Sergio Bonnetti in his hot rod, who had come to Nitro Up North all the way from South Australia. “Again, I was really happy to have another awesome reaction time, this time it was a 0.004s. “That gave me the advantage, pushing Bonnetti to a break out.” Once the win light went up, the celebrations were large for the Radcliffe crew and family. “To say I was over the moon is a massive understatement – I took my first ever win and won a ANDRA Xmas tree!