ANDRA Fastlane ANDRA_FASTLANE24 - Page 32

32 fastlane NITROUPNORTH SETS COMPETITIVE SPIRIT ALIGHT An enthusiastic crowd soaked up two days of Nitro Up North racing at the Hidden Valley Drag Strip in July (13-14), with the popular event officially opening the 18/19 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series. Day one was all about who would take out the top qualifying honours. By the end of an epic day and night of racing action in Darwin, it was Jake Berias (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Leith Darrach (Modified Bike), Gavin Pocock (Super Street), Ashley Smith (Super Sedan), Chris Farrell (Modified), Adam Murrihy (Supercharged Outlaws) and Darren Saliba (Top Sportsman) who laid claim to the fastest qualifying times for their respective brackets. In recognition of their Top Qualifying efforts, each of the racers were presented a Top Qualifiers Medallion thanks to TileCo- TheShowerPeople as well as a 25 percent off RRP voucher for any KC Tools outlet, and a Summit Racing Equipment pack. Come Saturday, it was time for the racing to get serious. When all was said and done, it was Jake Berias (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Mark Tattingham (Modified Bike), Theo Karamanidis (Super Street), Peter Tzokas (Super Sedan), Jess Voigt (Modified), Mark Hunt (Supercharged Outlaws) and Jason Arbery (Top Sportsman) who would hoist their ANDRA Christmas Trees to great applause. McGregor (Rosbery, NT) and his Holden Rodeo booked their spot in the final round by taking on and defeating last year’s event winner Tim Bryan in the semi-final with that win coming hot on the heels of victory over Sarah-Mae Bates in round one. Also celebrated at the presentations were runners-up Aiden Abel (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Heath Costello (Modified Bike), Craig McGregor (Super Street), Dave Todd (Super Sedan), Glenn Bull (Modified), Paul Stephen (Supercharged Outlaws) and Rick Smith (Top Sportsman). To find out what Karamanidis had to say about it all, click here. To the delight of the spectators, NT locals were well represented in taking the qualifying, runner-up and outright victory honours, with Pocock, Darrach, Smith, Murrihy, Karamanidis, McGregor, Tattingham, Costello and Abel all calling the Territory home. In the Super Street bracket, a maiden ANDRA Christmas Tree win came on a poignant day for Beat the Heat NT racer, Theo Karamanidis. He found himself in the final aboard his Holden VY Commodore after taking a bye in the semi-final following on from victories against Justin Neck (round two) and Top Qualifier Gavin Pocock (round one). Runner-up For Arbery, the Nitro Up North results represented back-to-back success at the event and a perfect start to his Top Sportsman title defence. The 2017 John Storm Memorial Winner from South Australia took on Victoria’s Smith in the final after dispatching Eddy Tassone (semi) and Vlado Turic (round one) earlier in the night. Smith meanwhile had faced off against Top Qualifier Darren Saliba (semi) and Daniel Johnston on his way to the final match-up. “It couldn’t get any better, I am really happy with the results. To come up (to Darwin) last year and win was huge for us and I didn’t think in my wildest dreams that we could back it up this year and we have,” Arbery said while thanking sponsors Komatsu Forrest, Henley Chassis and Trident Tyre Centre. “I am extremely proud of the boys, a lot of