WA locals are ready to race Aeroflow series regulars
WA’s nitro pilots are preparing for what is expected to be the biggest spectator turnout of the 2017/18 season at the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car Series event this Saturday at Perth Motorplex.
Looking to charge on to the podium for the first time will be the Northern Territory’s Matt Abel driving Fun-Da-Mental. He left his mark on the Motorplex last season in more ways than one.
“At the last Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car event we started OK with a 5.78sec. but on our second run we were sitting in full stage for a long time and a puddle of nitro on the track just in front of the right- hand rear tyre turned the car into the wall,” he said.
“The car has since had the body repaired and many updates, with a new supercharger and fuel pump as we chase more power.”
Abel and Perth-based car owner Rory Taylor completed one test pass of the upgraded combination at the recent Prestige Lock Services Goldenstates event but a dropped cylinder meant Abel struggled to keep the car in the centre of his lane.
“It felt very fast until I had to pedal the car to steer it back,” he said. “We are chasing Nitro Express and The Red Devil and will be aiming for 5.50sec at 415km/h-plus.
“We don’t do anywhere near the laps that those Aeroflow cars run, which gives them a lot of tune-up info, but Rory Taylor is an accomplished nitro tuner in his own right and I’m sure he won’t be holding back. We will be trying to run consistently fast and win the event.”
Abel’s biggest challenge may come from another local team in the form of the Beach Bomb. Driver Andrew Katavatis said he was really looking forward to getting among the competition at WA’s biggest Funny Car event.
“This event was massive last season with over 10,000 people coming to see the show so it should be even bigger this time round,” he said.
The Beach Bomb team were happy with their pace last season and have been hesitant to change anything major in a strong race car.
“There’s no big changes but we’ve made a lot of little changes to refine the car and our tune-up,” he said.
“We were pretty happy with last season’s final runs so we want to carry the momentum back into this season and keep one of the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car ‘rocket trophies’ in WA.”
As well as the nitro action, fans will also be kept entertained by the second round of the Summer Slam Series for Top Doorslammers, plus Top Comp, Super Comp, Competition Bike, Supercharged Outlaws and more.
Qualifying begins from 10am, with feature racing from 4.30pm.
Nerves ahead of family run-in
Father and daughter will go head to head at the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars this Saturday when Anthony Begley faces off against Emma Begley.
While the tale of the tape shows Anthony with the greater experience, Emma has been the one making most laps recently in her Funny Car named Groove’n as she prepares for her first runs in competition as part of the series.
“I can definitely say that there are some nerves, as we are going up against really great racers and teams,” she said. “The Groove’n team have been working like crazy to prepare the car, even working through this weekend.”
Emma explained her focus would be on making it down the strip in every round and using consistency to do the damage rather than outright performance.
“Our main goal for this event will be to get the car straight down the track. We have been having a few teething issues, therefore we hope for this event to get some consistency, as well as experience and seat time.
“And maybe if we get the chance to go up against dad, it would be nice to beat him!”
Anthony isn’t about to shy away from that challenge, and given he will be driving one of the Nitro Funny Car Series’ most well-known cars, the LA Hooker, he has the horsepower to show his daughter who is boss.
“I’m excited as always to race on my home track and really looking forward to maybe drawing Emma in a round,” he said.
“We haven’t made a lot of changes to the car so like Emma we are looking to just get some good consistent passes in.”
Photo credits: Phil Luyer