Action from last weekend’s 400 Thunder Sportsman series at Willowbank Raceway.
Action from last weekend’s 400 Thunder Sportsman series at Willowbank Raceway. Dave Reid

Italian flavour, roll racing, dirt karts and track records

THE FIAT Nationals added a touch of Italian flavour to Queensland Raceway last weekend.

It was fantastic to hear the Italian music over the P.A system and to see some of Italia’s finest machinery on display.

FIAT drivers have a passion for their cars and on Sunday they headed over the road to Willowbank Raceway for the FIAT of Italy Cup.

Glenn Smith, from NSW, took his fifth consecutive win. What an amazing run of victories making him the most successful in the 53 year history of the cup.

Saturday night roll racing came of age last weekend. It was booked out with 120 competitors, with a huge range of high powered turbos to an old dyna truck giving it a run.

It’s so much fun to see the guys lining up against each other.

It was a great atmosphere with the DJ playing some tunes and many cars with bonnets up showing of their pride and joys.

Also last Saturday night, the dirt karters finally got to complete an entire night of racing without any weather interruptions.

It was a slightly smaller turnout than usual with school holidays on.

Group 1 driver Ashley Rasmussen showed he has great determination. With his kart struggling to finish, he managed to somehow get it over the line.

Dayle Formosa, also in group 1, got his first podium finish – a second place is reward for his hard work.

It was an awesome night of racing with the return of kart V8, out for its first run in ages with the driver Peter Herriman putting on a great show for the spectators.

The next round will be on May 7.

At Willowbank Raceway on Saturday night, the 400 Thunder Sportsman Series took place, featuring the nation’s best sportsman racers.

What a night with seven Willowbank track records set.

Jai Schluter, Mick Mundey and Peter Everett reset the ET and speed marks for records they already held.

Matt Walker produced a speed record with his Altered Bike.

I have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for Volkswagen Kombi vans, and boy were there a lot of those at the VW themed test ‘n’ tune last Wednesday.

Anyone with a VW got to race for free and there was a bit of everything – from bugs to delivery vans.

I can’t wait for the next themed Test ‘n’ Tune. If the rumours are true, it will be on May 6, with another popular Diesel Assault night, and my favuorite Lights Out Grudge Racing on May 7.

I have spent the most of this week building a rocker cover racing car with my son to take to the Queensland Autospectacular on Sunday, April 17.

The four-lane aluminum track with electronic timing will be set up ready to go and I’m aiming for that championship.

In between runs we will definitely be checking out all the impressive vehicles on display, watching some drag racing and seeing what bargains we can pick up in the swap meet.

This weekend at Queensland Raceway is a double header sprint with the Ipswich Street Sprints on Saturday and the Ipswich Open Sprints on Sunday.

The street Sprints are great for guys with road registered cars but the open sprints are a little more serious.

When you see a Suzuki Swift you may think that’s not that going to win. However, Ben Cavanagh Swift has topped the time sheets on many occasions beating home GTR’s.

All I will say is that must be a big turbo he has hidden under the bonnet.

KEY EVENTS

Saturday: Ipswich Street Sprints, Queensland Raceway; Test ‘n’ Tune, Willowbank Raceway.

Sunday: Ipswich Open Sprints, Queensland Raceway.

Wednesday: Test ‘n’ Tune, Willowbank Raceway.

Next Saturday: Saturday Night Roll Racing, Queensland Raceway.

Next Sunday: FX Club Motorcycle series, Queensland Raceway; Queensland Autospectacular, Queensland Raceway.