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Judd makes Nitro Champs semi final
Posted: Friday, May 15, 2009

A semi final finish at the recent annual KÄRCHER Nitro Champs at Western Sydney Dragway has ensured Perth drag racer Robin Judd will be runner-up in the 2008-09 Australian Group One Top Doorslammer championship series.






After a season-long battle with archrival and fellow Perth racer John Zappia, Judd only needs to qualify for the eight-car Doorslammer field at next month’s season-ending Winternationals event at Willowbank Raceway, near Brisbane, to secure second place in the championship.

At the Nitro Champs, Judd, with a 6.201sec at 238.47mph, was in second place behind Zappia (5.991/242.28) after the first qualifying session on Friday night.

The second qualifying session, on Saturday afternoon, saw Judd record the quickest pass ever run at WSID when he stopped the clock at 5.891sec at 242.58mph (390.39km/h) to go to top spot ahead of Zappia (5.900/243.33).  

The third qualifying session saw Zappia record a 5.843sec at 245.14mph pass to move back into the number one qualifier position.

Attempting to regain top spot, Judd’s William Buck/K & B Exclusive ’59 Studebaker over-powered the track, resulting in severe tyre-shake and an aborted run.

Judd had another attempt to take top spot in the fourth and final session. However, after running a 6.131sec at 241.15mph pass, the third quickest pass for the session on a now cold and slippery track, Judd had to settle for second qualifying place behind his nemesis Zappia, who chose not to run that session.

“The second qualifier was run late Saturday afternoon. The weather was fine and cool, ideal racing conditions. We put in a good pass to take top spot with the quickest-ever pass at WSID.

“By the time the third session was run, the sun had just gone down. Zappia was able to get his pass in while there was still heat in the track. But after a delay to clean up an oil-down, the track had started to cool down and I could not get the car to stick to the track, but that’s racing.

“While we knew the track had become cold and slippery for the final session, we went out with a tune-up, which we thought would get us pass Zap. While the time was good considering I had tyre shake and had to peddle it (car), settling for second (qualifying place) again behind Zappia,” Judd said.  

Round one of eliminations saw Judd (6.909/231.71) defeat seventh qualifier Matt Able (7.275/137.43). Despite suffering tyre shake and getting out of shape, Judd managed to get his car straight and power past Abel, who also had problems, to record a win.

In the semi final, Judd (7.169/232.63) lost to Ben Bray (6.180/236.96) after again over-powering the track and suffering severe tyre and again having to peddle the William Buck/K & B Exclusive Studebaker. Judd got too far behind to overhaul Bray.  

“We only had one trouble free run the whole weekend so I am pleased we made the semis and got the points. The Sydney track had a lot of traction on the start line, which played havoc with our wheel speed. We learned a lot and now know what to do next time.

“Points-wise we are practically unbeatable for second place in the championship behind Zappia with the Winternationals to run,” Judd said.







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