Round 4 - Brisbane Jamboree Report

There’s not too many automotive lifestyle events that can lay claim to a 22-year old lifespan, let alone feature world-class performance standards, industry innovation and a healthy undercurrent of still- emerging machinery from the garages of many. However each time Jamboree rolls around at Willowbank Raceway in September, a virtual snapshot is taken of how the hi-tech car culture is faring in today’s ever-changing entertainment appetite. And judging by the class of 2012, there’s still life left in the concept.

The huge crowds that packed the stands in years past have been replaced by a still-healthy, but more committed mob of diehards who travel from nearly every state of Australia, as well as New Zealand, Asia and Europe to witness the hottest Sport Compact machinery in the world. And with great weather conditions showing that summer is here, all of those who made the pilgrimage to “Metric Mecca” left at the end of the weekend knowing they have again seen the very best in the game. World Record performances, new cars on debut plus continual evolution of the regular car species went hand-in-hand with the off-track entertainment and of course the traditional scantily-clad female presence let everyone know that Jamboree’s formula still works well. The Just Car Insurance New School Saturday Show n’ Shine saw many late-model cars on display in the paddock area, whilst Sunday morning saw the Shannons Old School Sunday emerge, where the chrome bumper brigade brought out the roots of where Jamboree began.

It was great to have both insurance companies acknowledging the market, and fitting into the theme well. Madmen on motorcycles showed the masses their skills with stunt and trials madness, whilst the famous Fabre Australia stage was busy with Babes, Bikinis and Beat Boxing, courtesy of international artist MC Kitch, who helped steer the girls around too. Tonnes of Traders made sure early Christmas shopping options were aplenty, and free stuff was either stamped out on the Gas Motorsport cap press, given out from PAC in the form of neat purple sweat bands, or shot out of a cannon into the appreciative crowd. On-track is where Jamboree remains strong, with an entry list topping the 200 mark and beyond.

Qualifying sessions throughout Saturday saw each competitor hit the track three times, with the Mazfix Street Grudge bracket added for those who just wanted to run a number without actually competing. The air temperature hovered above 30 degrees for most of the weekend, with slightly more cloud cover emerging on the Sunday, and the racing surface, despite quite a few delays due to traditional Jamboree breakage held up very well, as the following race report will attest.

Factory Xtreme: Scott Porter In its first full competitive season, Factory Xtreme hit Jamboree as its final round of the year. Craig Dyson in the Top RPM team led the pack points-wise, and needed to repeat its white-hot form of 6.50’s from recent testing. However an engine vibration had the team struggling from the get-go, which opened up the competition. Rod Harvey’s Rayglass team hit the ground running, with passes of 6.58, 6.50 and 6.40 from the 2JZ Celica cementing top spot. Scott Porter’s 6.50 from the billet VQ35 Infinity held 2nd , whilst Godzilla Motorsport boss Mark Jacobsen’s 6.641 sharpened his already world-record setting RB30-powered R35 performance for 3rd, closely followed by Joe Signorelli’s shaking and peddling 6.642 from the Gas Motorsport Celica. PAC Performance had their new Mazda 6 SP with billet 20B power grab 5th position with George Rehayem driving through tons of wheelspin to a 6.71, whilst Malcolm “Hurricane” Glassett’s APC wrapped and tuned 2JZ Solara put down a 6.79 for 6th. Zoran Gajic’s Gas Bmw turned out a 6.87 to be the last six second qualifier in 7th, with Archie Kajewski’s beautiful 20B Mazda 6 returning after flipping earlier in the year with a sorting 7.11 in the last session. Tony Wedlock’s Aurion ran a best of 7.121 for 9th, Collin Willshire’s record breaking billet 4G63 Eclipse was 10th with a 7.128 and Dyson never tripped the beams to be 11th. On a side note, Porter’s 6.50 beside Jacobsen’s 6.64 in qualifying was the quickest and fastest side-by side Nissan pass in drag racing history.

Overnight, Porter was ready to pull the V6 for an engine change, but only needed to change the bearings. Top RPM were evaluating flywheel changes to end the vibration woes and Signorelli had the clutch and transmission out for repairs and changes before race day. Sunday’s round one kicked off with Dyson back in the points hunt. His 7.02 held out a troubled Hurricane’s 7.26 whilst Wedlock’s better leaving and improved 6.73/210 held out a lazy-leaving .349 light from Signorelli and a booming 6.60/221. Jacobsen then lowered the RB world record again with a stout 6.63/211 to oust Kajewski, who had problems on the line. Porter used a shaking 6.56/217 to beat Gajic’s broken 20.20, Willshire proved to be a giant-killer when he out-reacted and out-drove a wheelspinning Rehayem with a 7.06/194 to the PAC flagship’s 7.29/185. Harvey was looking to put down their first 6.30 on a solo, but after the burnout it was clear that something was wrong in the engine. The car was staged, and then quickly hauled back to the pits to reveal a dropped valve, and subsequent head change.

Round 2 saw Glassett solo for a 6.70/213, whilst Gajic’s absence saw Porter do the same, albeit a loose, shut off run. Rehayem faced Dyson and despite wheelspin, the Mazda 6 ran a 6.84/205 whilst the Celica again shut down on the line. Signorelli lined up against Willshire for what was to be an interesting encounter. Willshire showed in round 1 that if the bigger engined cars had issues, then he could streak ahead. Signorelli rarely backs the power down in any encounter, and threw no caution to the wind. When the lights dropped, both Willshire and Signorelli left with sluggish reaction times. Signorelli’s 1.028 60ft time and subsequent mild powerstand past the timers showed that he was on a mission. The half-track timers showed 4.15/173, and when 6.30/227.11mph came up on the boards the crowd erupted to its feet. Willshire’s 7.09/193 had the best view of the quickest and fastest Sport Compact pass in history, taking Harvey’s 224mph and Signorelli’s own 6.38 marks in the one pass. After many seconds of celebration, Jacobsen took out Wedlock with a 6.88 to a 13.15, whilst Harvey spun, shook and pedalled hard, but did enough with a 7.42 to handle a troubled Kajewski.

Round 3 in comparison saw a battle of attrition, with Porter’s drive job 6.99/217 edging Willshire’s 7.06/197, Wedlock’s 6.97/212 defeating a motionless Harvey, Glassett running a 6.64/213 best against Kajewski’s manifold-busting 7.29 and Jacobsen on a heavy-breathing 6.70 solo. With no Gajic or Dyson, Rehayem soloed to a 6.92 whilst all eyes were on the Signorelli solo to finish the 3 rounds of racing. Odds were on for another .30 pass to back up the record, but what all in attendance saw was another mind-bender. Leaving on a slightly slower 1.031 60ft, the power was ramped up again with another skywards lurch from the Celica’s front end at 80ft. With a 4.12/174 half track time, anticipation grew as the bullet sped through the beams. A 6.265/230.06 set the place on its head, with the world record dropped now into the 6.2 and 230mph zone. With three wins apiece from Jacobsen and Porter, it was an all-Nissan final. Porter was hoping that the VQ could last another run on the bearings, whilst Jacobsen towed the R35 around the return road, trying to clutch start the stroker RB inline six. Porter expressed interest in the event’s still-outstanding biggest burnout trophy on offer after Benny Bray’s 300ft effort, so buried the V6 to 10500rpm in the skid, much to the crowds delight after he went to around 330ft. When the lights came down, Porter rocketed down the strip to an all-time PB and lowered world-record 6.464/222 whilst Jacobsen’s 9.53 cried enough.

This secured Porter as the first ever Factory Xtreme National Champion, edging Dyson by virtue of his 3 round wins and the final win. That brings the 2012 Factory Xtreme session to a close. Big thanks to all the Factory Xtreme fans out there. We look forward to seeing you in 2013.

By Chris Diggles