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Judd reaches Blown Alcohol semi final
Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2009

Robin Judd is in equal third place after the opening 2009/2010 ANDRA Pro Series round at Willowbank Raceway, Qld, on August 8-9.

Judd, who last season was runner-up in the Top Doorslammer championship series after a season-long battle with archrival John Zappia, is 45 points behind series leader Maurice Fabietti (105pts).

 


Judd was the top qualifier with a 5.949-second at 241.89mph pass after the first qualifying session.

However, an engine failure after his burnout for the second session meant the William Buck/K & B Exclusive ’59 Studebaker only had the one qualifying run.

“I blew a manifold burst panel during the burnout, which meant we could not do the second qualifier,” Judd said.

“It was only when we got the car back to the pits that we discovered further damage, necessitating an engine change. And with not much turnaround time between (qualifying) sessions, it meant we had to miss the last qualifier.”        

At the end of the second qualifying session, Judd’s first session time kept him is second place behind Fabietti (5.900/240.19).

The third session saw Judd slip to fifth behind Zappia (5.894/238.51), Fabietti, Ben Bray (5.920/249.30) and Peter Kapiris (5.945/249.07).

“In the second and third (qualifying) sessions, a lot of the guys started running quick, which dropped from first to fifth place.

“Doorslammer is becoming so competitive, particularly with 16 cars vying for an eight-car field and with half missing the cut; no one can afford to make a mistake.

“Apart from the seventh and eighth qualifiers, all cars (in the field) were in the five-second zone at this event, previously unheard of, but now to be common place.

“I was fortunate we got a good pass in off the trailer. Even better the suspension changes worked as we thought because we didn’t have a chance to test before Willowbank,” Judd said.

In round one of eliminations, Judd (5.904/243.24) defeated Kapiris (5.967/239.91) in a race which was the fourth quickest side-by-side pass recorded in Australia.

Then in the semi final, Judd again faced his nemesis Zappia. But after overpowering the track, aborted the pass.

“I was really pleased with the 5.90-second against PK (Kapiris). There was more in the engine, but we wanted to play it safe with our spare motor. I cut a great light and apart from short shifting second the pass was flawless.

“In the semi against Zap (Zappia) I also nailed to the tree (quicker reaction time) by a few hundredths (of a second), but smoked the tyres on the hit (launch). The clutch then locked up way too early and it (the car) shook its brains out. I peddled twice trying to get it to hook up, instead broke the gear box and zinged (over revved) the motor.” 

Judd said while he was disappointed to go out in the semi final, he was happy with the way the William Buck/K & B Exclusive ’59 Studebaker performed after making some combination changes during the short break between seasons.   

“During this event John Zappia and Gary Phillips severely damaged their cars in separate race incidents. No doubt Zap will have his car repaired or the second car ready for the Nationals at WSID. Couple with the improved performances from Fabietti, Kapiris, Ben Bray and Matt Able, the door is open for a close championship point’s battle.

“Both Zap and Gary are great competitors and good for the bracket. We wish them well in repairing their cars and returning to the track.” Judd said.

“While we did not go to the final this time, we better understand our new suspension set-up and I am happy with my driving. We think we now know what we have to do to run quick more consistently. 

“I look forward to the rest of the season and climbing back up on top of the heap,” Judd said.

    

 

 

 

RJR

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