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Judd down, but not out 
Posted: Monday, March 3, 2009

A controversial first round loss at the recent 38th annual Westernationals at Perth Motorplex, Kwinana Beach, was a bitter blow to Perth-based Robin Judd’s chances of winning the 2008/09 Australian Top Doorslammer championship series.

 

 

 

 

Judd, Australia’s quickest-ever Top Doorslammer drag racer went into the Perth event in second place in the championship series, 30 points behind fellow Perth racer John Zappia. While Judd is still in second spot, he has slipped 128pts behind Zappia, who won the event.

After the first qualifying session, Judd (6.634sec at 233.16mph) was in seventh place.

While he (6.443/233.76) went quicker in the second session, Judd slipped to eighth spot in the eight-car field.

In the third and final session, Judd reeled off a 6.036sec at 241.28mph pass to qualify fourth behind top qualifier Zappia (5.946/242.58).     

In round one of eliminations, Judd (6.208/240.64) lost to Dennis Brijeski (6.229/233.16) after the time clocks showed both drivers pulled a red light.

However, while a red light appeared in Judd’s lane and a green light in Brijeski’s lane, deeming Judd had red lit first, Judd says he has video footage showing Brijeski had in fact left the start line first.

“We want an explanation as to how this happened. We have video footage, which shows Deno (Dennis Brijeski) leaving the line first yet I got the red light. The time card shows we both red lit, but my foul occurs before his. I queried the meeting director (Ray Treasure) who couldn’t give me an answer, except to say, ‘something’ triggered the guard beam before I launched.

“He said that he would look into the anomaly, but nothing could be done and that the run would stand,” Judd said.

While Brijeski (6.187/234.37) lost to Zappia (5.935/242.58) in the semi final, Judd ran a 5.948sec at 242.58mph non-elimination pass just after the semi finals were run.

“We had some silly things go wrong in the first two qualifiers, which put us on the back foot. Zap (Zappia) ran 5.93sec in his semi and I ran a 5.94sec exhibition pass just after that so with a better light (reaction time), I may have been able to knock him out and the points scenario would have been very different, but there is no point thinking what might have been,” a disappointed Judd said after the pass.

Judd now faces an uphill battle to overhaul Zappia due to the ANDRA championship series rounds in Perth earning racers 50 percent bonus points and there are only three East Coast championship series rounds left to run.

“It will extremely hard to win the championship from here, but we are going to try and see if we can run Zap down over the last three (championship series) events.

“We still have a mathematical chance of winning the championship, but we will have to make the final of every round plus Zap will need a bad result in one or two of those rounds.”

The Judd team had installed a new motor in the William Buck/K & B Exclusive ’59 Studebaker in January and had planned to go to the Westernationals with a fully sorted tune-up, but with both the Sydney Summernationals in mid-February and a test day at Kwinana three days before the Perth event rained-out, they did not get the opportunity to test. 

The team will now use the next Kwinana event to test before heading east for the remaining championship rounds. 

“Our preparation for the Perth event was disrupted. We lost valuable track time due to rain, so we will now test by running Top Comp at the March 21 (Kwinana) event to get a good handle on the new motor before going to the Tin Tops at Willowbank (Qld) in April. We have not given up on winning the championship, but we know it is going to be hard. We are determined to fight it out to the last round,” Judd said. 

    

 

 

 

RJR

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