Morgan secures top title

IT took a day longer than expected, but the Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway finished in fine fashion yesterday.

Rain on Sunday delayed finals of the Winternationals a day but yesterday the Top Fuel championship chase came down to the wire, with just points separating reigning champion Darren Morgan and challenger Darren Harris.

However, bonus points for top speed from earlier in the weekend for Morgan enabled him to secure his second consecutive Top Fuel championship (his third overall) over Harris, despite both of them losing out to other drivers in the first round of eliminations.

Allan Dobson took out the Top Fuel final with a 4.649 second pass at over 300 MPH (480kph), ahead of runner-up Andrew Cowin.

"The championship really went down to the wire, I am thankful for the results of some of my other Top Fuel drivers," laughed Morgan.

"We are really happy to have been able to claim it.

"It is a great testament to the efforts of my team, who are all volunteers, and also for our supporters AEG Powertools, Shannons and Kennards Hire."

Dobson was also the first recipient of the memorial Mick Atholwood trophy, named in honour of the late legend of Australian drag racing.

"Mick often encouraged me when I was down," Dobson said.

"So I am so honoured to receive this trophy."

Hillcrest's Gary Phillips was able to claim his 15th Top Alcohol championship (his 16th overall) after his nearest championship rivals were unable to take advantage of his shock non-qualification for the event.

Brendale's Steven Reed took the event win in his Allstars Batteries Funny Car with a solo run in the finals when his opponent Jamie Noonan was unable to front for due to engine damage.



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