Sydney Dragway


Nitro Thunder National Records

By | 400 thunder, IHRA, Sydney Dragway | No Comments


IHRA Australia would like to thank all competitors who competed at the Gulf Western Oils Nitro Thunder event held at Sydney Dragway on the 5th and 6th of May 2017.

In what turned out to be one of the hottest contested events run in Australia, Personal Best performances were achieved throughout the whole of qualifying in ALL classes, with the trend continuing into Eliminations.

National Records were set in Modified Eliminator with both the A/MA and A/MD records being re-written. Congratulations to Chris Manks / Michael Stower in there 6 second Altered, and Simon Barlow from South Australia re-setting both the ET and MPH records in there Modified Rear Engine Dragster.

Group 2 saw some records tumble over the weekend as well. Clint George B/APA, John Kuiper C/G and Peter Puznik B/AB (Peter Puznik the first 7 second all motor No Bar pass in the country) and congratulations to Leonard Azzopardi for the first 200 MPH – No Bar motorcycle pass in the country.

Pro Categories saw Brad Lemberg destroy one of the oldest records left in a Pro Category, with John Zappia again setting new standards with a new world record.

IHRA Australia would also like to congratulate Sydney Dragway and its entire staff on the running of a successful 400 Thunder National Championship round.





Day One of Nitro Thunder Delivers in Sydney

By | 400 thunder, IHRA, Sydney Dragway | No Comments

Photo by Grant Stephens / Cackling Pipes


The Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder delivered a spectacular opening day, providing some of the most memorable runs in Sydney Dragway History.

Racers were delivered an almost brand new racing surface, manicured and prepared over the last week by the Sydney Dragway Track Crew. Although some racers had question marks as to how best attack the new surface, any reservations were soon forgotten with personal best performances being delivered by over 20 racers over the course of Day 1.

In Top Fuel, 5 cars elected to run in the first of the test sessions on offer. The major highlight was delivered in the very first run, with reigning 400 Thunder Champion Damien Harris laying down a 4.58 at over 512 kph, the quickest time seen at Sydney Dragway in several years. Along side him, American Dom Lagana raced to an early shut-off 4.83.

The hits kept coming however with Wayne Newby and Terry Sainty running a side by side 4 second pass, the 4.96 for Sainty being a just reward for many years of persistence with the home-grown combination.

US based Aussie Richie Crampton made his first run on Australian soil in a nitro fuelled car, with a planned halftrack shutoff providing very encouraging incremental numbers for the Lamattina Top Fuel pilot.

Only 4 Pro Alcohol cars attempted runs in the evening , with championship contender Wayne Price the quickest with a 5.77.

The season debut of reigning champ John Zapppia in Pro Slammer proved once again that he is regarded as the king of the category, with an impressive 5.71 pacing the field. Gulf Western Oil Team driver Victor Bray was hot on his heels with a 6.02 and the surprise packet of the day, Sam Fenech in third.

Top Bike saw only one representative run with Championship Leader Chris Matheson recording a early shut off 6.62 at a slowing 283 kph. The most spectacular event of the day belonged to Adam Layton with a massive engine detonation at ¼ track. Layton was uninjured in the incident.

Pro Stock was a surprisingly difficult proposition, with teams walking the fine line between hitting the perfect setup or not, with only Aaron Tremayne in the new Mega Bulk Fuels backed entry and

Jason Hedges the only cars to get down in a competitive time with a 6.98 and 7.09 respectively.

Pro Bike saw Brad Lemberg lay down a great run of 7.21 to sit comfortably atop the field with reigning Champion Glenn Wooster from Warrnambool in Victoria not too far behind with 7.36 in second,.

Day 2 of the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder will be without a one of the fastest days of racing on record at Sydney Dragway. The penultimate round of the 400 Thunder Series features every professional category and a full compliment of the 400 Thunder Sportsman Series categories in support.

Tickets are available at or at the gate.

For Media Enquiries, please contact Rusty Gregory, Partnerships and Media Manager for Sydney Dragway, on 0438 706 727.


Nitro Thunder Event Preview

By | 400 thunder, IHRA, Sydney Dragway | No Comments

Nitro Thunder Event Preview

The Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder will hit Sydney Dragway with a storm of horsepower to assault the senses on the 5th and 6th of May.

In Top Fuel, a titanic battle for the championship between contenders Wayne Newby and Darren Morgan will continue. They have one additional hurdle to overcome at this event however, with US based Aussie superstar Richie Crampton returning home to drive for the Lamattina Team for the first time.

Pro Alcohol finds the reigning 400 Thunder Series champ, Gary Phillips, holding a slender 29 point lead over Queenslander Steve Ham who has been one of the quickest cars in the championship this season. Victorian Wayne Price is looking to bounce back after a tough last round which saw him lose the number two position in the points.

Pro Slammer promises to be one of the most entertaining categories with a strong entry list featuring popular racers Victor and Ben Bray, the Championship leader Mark Belleri and reigning champion, Western Australia’s John Zappia, who will be making his season debut.

The insane Top Bikes will again take to the Sydney Dragway track, reaching speeds of over 350 kph on two wheels. The hunt for the first 5 second run on two wheels is alive and well, with the championship leader Chris Matheson the front runner for the honour. He has Harley Davidson rider Chris Porter only 29 points behind him in the championship chase, so any slip up could be costly.

The most successful racer of his generation, Aaron Tremayne, is in command of the Pro Stock Championship with a massive 154 point advantage over Brian Pursell. All eyes though will be on the retiring Lee Bektash, who is looking to bow out of the sport with a victory in his final race in Sydney.

Pro Bike is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested categories, with current Champion Glenn Wooster hoping to make up ground on current championship leader Brad Lemberg. Throw in a couple of previous champions in the form of Maurice Allen and Locky Ireland, and it becomes clear that Pro Bike is wide open at the Nitro Thunder.

In addition to the on track activities, the Gulf Westen Oil Nitro Thunder has plenty off track entertainment as well. Kicking off with the Sydney Dragway Tradie Hour between 3 & 4 pm on Friday 5th May, including discounted drinks and sausages on a roll, the AEG Powertools All Star Autograph Session at 11.30am on Saturday 6th May and the AEG Powertools Hour of Power, kicking off at 1pm Saturday.

With a full roster of the 400 Thunder Sportsman Series in attendance as well, championships will be defined at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder, the penultimate round of the 400 Thunder Series for 2016-17.


MORGAN ready to impress as Championship reaches climax

By | 400 thunder, IHRA, Sydney Dragway | No Comments


For Immediate Release: 1/5/17

For most racers, racing a top fuel dragster seems like an impossible dream. Winning a Top Fuel Championship is the impossible dream.

Yet for Darren Morgan, who next season will celebrate 10 years of Darren Morgan Racing in Top Fuel, the dream has become a reality.

He has won 4 Top Fuel titles previously, but the family man from Mildura in rural Victoria has an insatiable appetite for success. He is 37 points adrift of 400 Thunder Championship leader Wayne Newby heading into this weekend’s Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder, but if he has proved anything over the last decade it is that he should never be counted out of contention.

“We want to put on a great show for the fans that are coming out to see us, and take Drag Racing back to where it deserves to be in this country”, said Morgan. “The championship is kind of out of our hands at this stage, but if we go out and try to win every round then we start to put the pressure back onto the other guys in the hunt”.

Ever since rolling out a new car for the start of the 400 Thunder Top Fuel series back in , the AEG Power tools driver has had a smile on his face. The reason? The new car was responding to every change that the team were making – which makes for a very happy team owner and driver.

His crew chief, Ben Patterson, is one of the main reasons behind the success of the team. He remains a quiet achiever in modern Top Fuel racing and with a wealth of experience far beyond his years, Patterson has taken to his role with a combination of attention to detail and passion that is hard to match.

“The new car has been a pleasure to work on , it took us a while to get a handle on it but once we figured out what it needed, it really started coming to life”, Patterson said. “No two top fuel cars are the same no matter how hard you try to make them similar, and now that we know what it wants then we can start getting after it this weekend”.

Keep your eye on the AEG Power Tools teams this weekend because there is plenty of fight left in this championship calibre team.

Darren Morgan will be racing as part of the Top Fuel Category in the 400 Thunder Series at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder on 5th & 6th May 2017.

Tickets are available at or at the gate.

For Media Enquiries, please contact Rusty Gregory, Partnerships and Media Manager for Sydney Dragway, on 0438 706 727.


Ambesi ready for big show

By | 400 thunder, IHRA, Sydney Dragway | No Comments


For Immediate Release : 3/5/16

Victorian racer Cameron Ambesi is not about doing things by halves – and his arrival in the 400 Thunder Series is more proof of his passion for professionalism in his racing endeavours.

The 43 year old has jumped into the deep end with a brand-new, US built Spitzer dragster which he hopes will be able to take him to the pointy end of the Pro Alcohol category at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder, at Sydney Dragway on 5th & 6th May 2017.

When asked why he has gone down the less popular dragster route as opposed to the funny cars which seem to dominate the landscape in Pro Alcohol currently, his answer was simple: “I’m a dragster guy. I always have been and I think I always will be”.

After starting off as a crew member on a friends Super Sedan car, Ambesi decided that his first race car would be a quick one – a supercharged alcohol fuelled dragster that he campaigned in Competition Eliminator.

After several seasons competing in the tough Sportsman category, the Wandong, Vic, resident decided to take the plunge into what has fast become one of the most popular 400 Thunder Series categories.

“Our goal for this weekend is to get some seat time, and find out what racing in the 400 Thunder Series is all about. The format of racing is a bit different to eliminations but we get to make a lot more runs and that is fantastic”.

“I can’t do this without my sponsors and would like to thank KLR Garages, C & A Towing, Bundoora Auto Centre, Caroline Springs Auto Body and Dragway engineering for their assistance in getting this car on track”.

Cameron Ambesi will be racing as part of the 400 Thunder Series at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder on 5th & 6th May 2017.

Tickets are available at or at the gate.

For Media Enquiries, please contact Rusty Gregory, Partnerships and Media Manager for Sydney Dragway, on 0438 706 727.



By | 400 thunder, IHRA, Sydney Dragway | No Comments

10th November 2016

As the buzz from the East Coast Thunder continues to generate plenty of discussion, Sydney Dragway would like to thank all who contributed to make the event an unbridled success.

Despite exceptionally warm conditions for the month of November, the Sydney Dragway track surface held up extremely well to the tough conditions, racing in front of large crowds on both Friday and Saturday, thanks to several weeks of hard work by the track staff and officials.

World Class performances were seen across the board, with highlights including –crowd-ect

  • One of the tightest Top Fuel Qualifying Fields in Australian History, punctuated by Larry Dixon racing to the Number one Spot with a 4.74 in 30 + degree temperatures.
  • The unofficial record for the worlds quickest Front Engine Dragster at 5.521 by Russell Mills
  • Near Australian record setting runs by Brad Lemberg and Corey Buttigeig in Pro Bike
  • Personal best runs by many racers across the weekend
  • Sensational racing in all of the 400 Thunder Sportsman Categories

In addition to the on-track activities, the 400 Thunder Series raised the bar again by taking crowd interaction with the racers to a new level. Over 15 Drivers and Riders participated in the AEG Powertools Hour of Power Autograph Session on Friday night, allowing kids (and big kids alike) to get up close and personal with the men and women who wrestle these fire breathing beasts down the racetrack. This was the immediate pre-cursor to the AEG Powertools Hour of Power final qualifying session, which saw the racing fields set for Saturday’s elimination racing.

Sydney Dragway General Manager, Peter Beaumont, said today “The 400 Thunder Drag Racing Series is moving forward with the full support of the Pro-Series racer group. Together we are delivering a contemporary product that presents as a fully professional motorsport series. We are working directly with our teams to introduce new sponsors and programs to develop our sport. It is a great feeling to look forward to the future and not backwards whilst working on a series like 400 Thunder”.
The 400 Thunder Drag Racing Series is one part of a comprehensive business building program for Sydney Dragway. The entire venue has been reshaped and restructured to introduce new business to the venue, ensuring the long term viability and profitability to benefit the long term health of Drag Racing, and guaranteeing that Sydney Dragway remains one of the best Drag Racing venues in the world.

The series now shifts to Queensland and Willowbank Raceway for the New Years series on January 7, before moving back to Sydney Dragway two weeks later for the Santo’s Summer Thunder on January 21.

For all media enquiries please contact Rusty Gregory, Partnership and Media Manager at Sydney Dragway on 0438 706 727 or


Peter Xiberras looking for PremiAir nitro result in Sydney

By | 400 thunder, IHRA, Sydney Dragway | No Comments
Sydney’s Peter Xiberras is preparing to take the PremiAir Top Fuel dragster all the way at the Nitro Champs Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway on the 7th and 8th May.
Xiberras and his PremiAir team know they have the package to take on the country’s best as nitro returns to what many fans call ‘Australia’s best racetrack’. 
“The crowd are in for a real treat as we will be going full tilt to win the 400 Thunder in front of our home crowd here in Sydney!” explained the Top Fuel pilot.
“We have been told the track is in great condition, we cannot wait to give it a shot ourselves!” smiled the three-season veteran.
“It’s home for me but not home for the car but it’s definitely out home race I suppose.
“All we need is some good weather and good conditions for the event.
“We didn’t have a great meeting in Sydney last time we were there. That was disappointing as the two meetings before that we had some great results that included a finals appearance.
“So we have had a good hunting ground in Sydney for us a team,” Xiberras smiled.
One of the changes this weekend will be the one-day format.
Peter added, “It’s a different format and I think that from a racer’s perspective, I like to race as much as possible but the one day is a great idea from a fan’s perspective, it will mean they just need to come on the one day and enjoy the show!
“I hope that we have a bumper crowd with a good atmosphere and packed house – that’s what makes a great meeting!”
The 400 Thunder television program on Foxsports 5 will cover the Nitro Champs and live streaming will be available for fans outside of New South Wales.


Event details
Sydney Dragway
Nitro Champs, May 7th and 8th
Ferrers Road, Eastern Creek
23rd March Test N Tune 2016 - (430)

Muscat migrates south to Sydney for nitro action

By | 400 thunder, IHRA, Sydney Dragway | No Comments
 Mackay’s Damian Muscat might be one the newest additions to the Top Bike paddock but the Queenslander plans on making the trip to Sydney worthwhile, with the Nitro Phoenix crew looking for improvement at Sydney Dragway’s Nitro Champs event on the 7th and 8th May.
The nitro-powered Harley Davidson has the potential to take on the big names, with Muscat confident the team has the right equipment and people to get the job done but he also know that it won’t happen overnight.
“The bike has been purchased from Damian Cownden, who won three out of four NHRA Top Fuel Harley meetings that the team contested. It was most recently ridden by Len Darnell.”
Muscat continued, “We last raced our old Comp Bike in 2009 at the Night of Fire events at Willowbank.
“In my time away from racing and I went got a helicopter licence as my adrenaline kick!
“For me, my business got in the way of racing and we stopped, however, last year we went to Cooly Rocks and afterwards to the Winters on the Sunday. I went for a wander around the pits and smelt the nitro and that was it.
Muscat added, “In my time away from racing and I went and got myself a helicopter licence as my adrenaline kick!
“I always wanted to go and race Top Bike – it’s the premier bike category!”
“We raced the new bike at the Santos Super 3 event at Willowbank and the bike went 6.95-seconds, which were extremely happy with.
“Our team still has so much to learn in terms of riding it, so it’s more about testing than racing as we head to the Winternationals.
“It’s all about getting the bike tuned and improving my riding as well.
“The 60 foot times are there and we now need to get the passes clean.
“Damian Cownden has been brilliant with his assistance since buying the bike and Neville Smith at Pirate Racing have been a huge help as well.”
Muscat is supported Crane Logistics, Mine Spec Parts, Mackay Harley Davidson, Fuchs Oils, Sammut Harvester and Hydraulics, Nitro Lube, T&G Insurance and BB Print.
The 400 Thunder television program on Foxsports 5 will cover the Nitro Champs and live streaming will be available for fans outside of New South Wales.


Event details
Sydney Dragway
Nitro Champs, May 7th and 8th
Ferrers Road Eastern Creek

World-class racetrack to generate national records at Nitro Champs

By | 400 thunder, IHRA, Sydney Dragway | No Comments

The Sydney Dragway team has promised to deliver one of the best race surfaces ever as the track crew look to provide the best chance for the 400 Thunder racers to smash national records at the Nitro Champs on May 7 and 8.

The entries for the iconic Sydney event continue to build with the event shaping up as a massive day of pro series racing on the Saturday, followed by a full day of sportsman action on the Sunday.

Sydney Dragway’s General Manager, Peter Beaumont, was excited with the work that has gone into the track for the iconic event.

“We have been working on the track 24/7 to make it perfect for this event. We are keen to improve everything that we do and that starts with the racetrack!

“As a team, we have been taking measurements on the track performance every time we prepare it for an event which has helped us understand what has been going on, we are turning it into a science.

“Now we are now implementing what we know as the best program and techniques to achieve the maximum amount of traction to our competitors – that’s what we are here for – to deliver the best possible results for the racers and therefore, the crowd! One leads to the other for sure!”

Beaumont was quick to add “It’s not all about the measurements though, we have been asking for and acting upon the feedback from the racers as we progressed this approach.”

The recent APSA event showed the benefits from the more refined track program. Beaumont concluded, “We saw Perry Bullivant run the first six second pass on a 275 wide radial tyre in Australia with a 6.904 – and at a new World Record speed of 216.97mph (349.17kph). It didn’t end there though, Tim Cross smashed the 275 mark with a 6.809 ironically against Bullivant in round one! I’m sure the 400 Thunder racers will be very happy with their racetrack!

The 400 Thunder television program on Foxsports 5 will cover the Nitro Champs and live streaming will be available for fans outside of New South Wales.

Event details
Sydney Dragway
Nitro Champs, May 7th and 8th
Ferrers Road Eastern Creek