After being initiated into the Jambo experience earlier this year in Sydney, I was more than looking forward to the two-day event in Brissie, at Willowbank Raceway and boy, did it live up to my expectations.
It was nothing but blue skies for days and fierce competitions as records were broken when the heat dropped. Conditions became absolutely perfect on both the Saturday and Sunday evenings of the event.
Jamboree has built up such an excellent reputation over the years, attracting top competitors from around Australia and abroad. The action didn’t stop over the weekend with great entertainment both on and off the track.
A highlight of the weekend was Pac Performance racer Rodney Rehayemreclaiming his title as the fastest 13B Rotary ET in Australia running a 6.49 at 210mph, in a run that had the crowd and crew jumping for joy, in what was a perfect run.
Apart from the racing and amazing vehicles competing over the weekend, the thing that stood out to me was the unique people and stories that were unfolding around me at this event. At the end of the weekend, there is always going to be a mixed bag of winners and losers, but it was th e undeniable passion for the sport from all competitors and the fascinating personalities that made this event enjoyable. It was a fantastic event to watch and to have the pleasure to be able to get up close and personal with the teams and have a chat with the hardworking mechanics, drivers and crew.
Mark Jacobson from team Godzilla Motorsport was one such cool story and was busy changing sparkplugs when I wandered into his pit area. It was great to learn that the team Godzilla is back racing after having a four-year break. Everyone was in full swing and enjoying the trials and tribulations of getting back into race mode. With a mixture of challenges including a few shifting issues and spark plug problems, Mark shared: “It’s amazing to be back racing as friends and enjoying the environment and getting to make some six-second passes again.”
Even though Mark Fozart from Fozarti racing was red-lit and didn’t qualify for the racing on Sunday, his excitement to get back in the driver’s seat, after a long build with his RX4 coupe, was contagious.
Not having the use of his legs and being in a wheelchair isn’t going to slow Mark down at all and his hand controls to operate the vehicle are nothing short of amazing. With multiple levers and buttons that are pushed and pulled in a particular arrangement, Mark shared that it’s pure muscle memory that allows him to control, changing gears, accelerator, braking, line lock, trans lock and parachute in a very short 8-sec window. Skills that a helicopter pilot would be amazed at will see Mark and his new machine destined for some serious passes and times. Running a 20B single turbo running on methanol, the 20B is pushing around 700-800HP.
I’m looking forward to seeing Mark compete again soon.
George from PAC Performance racing was “all smiles” with Rodney and team PAC having a very successful weekend. George, Rocky and Rodney own and have been running PAC Performance for nearly 30 years. George shared: “We built probably eight street radial style cars for every two race cars. We’ve got a talented group of 14 of us up here this weekend at Willowbank, and we try and keep the streetcars in Sydney as there is a lot of costs to bring cars interstate with the team, but we love these big events, and we love to compete. Both Rodney and I are Australian record holders, and even though Rodney was just beaten, later today in our next few runs, we are confident he will take that record back.” And he did.
When I asked George what was the secret to getting everything to come together perfectly to get a result like an Australian record he said: “Making the horsepower now with the Garrett turbo is pretty easy to make, but you have to harness that horsepower and get it all the way to the ground over the entire duration of the run. So it’s essential to understand that there’s not just one thing, but a whole series of things that need to come together perfectly to allow the driver to let it all out, and then you always have the situation where the car may perform perfectly, but the driver may not have a good day. So for everything to come together perfectly is when all the stars align.”
The PAC Performance team are a great bunch of guys, and it was great to see the friendly banter and rivalry between them and the Bray Racing team with George and Ben putting on a good show for the crowd and enjoying the competition which saw the PAC Performance team come out on top this time around.
Street Compact: Freire
Jason Freire ran a 10.749 at 123.66mph in the Cressida to take the win against Nathan Wilson.
All Motor: Jack
Nick Jack, in his NA 13b Mazda wagon, chased down Troy Ford in the old school VW to take the win at 10.64 at 123mph with a reaction time of .021 to a 12.005 at 112mph.
Modified Compact: Butler
Steven Farrelly was trying to chase down Robbie Butler in the Modified Compact final. Farrelly was unable to catch Butler who took the win with an 8.99 at 153mph in his Corolla. It had been 30 years in between wins for Butler, with a huge victory.
The PAC Performance Team
Are A Great Bunch Of Guys, And It Was Great To See The Friendly Banter And Rivalry Between Them And The Bray Racing Team.
Tanya Thompson and James Horan took to the J315 finals like David vs Goliath, with an early shut off from Horan the luck went Thompsons way with an 8.11 win at 168mph. Horan had been consistent all weekend as top qualifier and the lowest ET of 7.329, but the luck didn’t go his way in the final.
Andrew Coles from Spot On Performance beat Adrian Smith at the lights to secure the win at 7.826 at 180mph. Coles dedicated the win to fellow racer from the Spot On Performance stables Anthony Briggs after his massive crash on the Saturday of the event leaving him in hospital.
Street 289: McDade
Jono McDade ran an 8.486 at 161mph in the Nissan S14 securing the win from Andrew Robinson in his RMS powered Mazda 808.
Fabian Romanin took home the Darryl Marsh memorial trophy with a 7.936 at 173.41 in the twin-turbo small-block Mazda Capella against Rodney Williams in the one of a kind Supercharged Barra powered altered. It was supercharged versus twin-turbocharged weapons in the final, Williams in his new car powered to the finish line but the Capella had the top end charge handing Fabian the win.
Modified 10.5: Herbert
Long-time Jamboree competitor and icon Shane Chrichton didn’t have luck on his side in the finals, bumping in to stage a little too far and handing the win over to newcomer Karl Herbert, who still ran an 8.489 at 163mph in RX3.
Pro Compact: Bettes
Kelly Bettes took out Simon Ioannou in his rotary powered RX8 with a 7.333 at 161mph in the toughest Pro Compact field in Australian history.Rodney Rehayem had the lowest ET and top speed and was also moved to the top of fastest 13B rotaries in Australia. After a considerable back and forth battle between Pac Performance and Steven Barnett.
Pro Turbo: Bell
Tom Bell took the win after Jason Payne blew the back tires off on the start line and headed towards the wall. Bell secured a 7.04 at 198mph as the 2JZ Gemini blazed the Willowbank strip for the win.
Factory Xtreme: Hagenson
Nathan Hagenson with an impressive 6.294 at 223.69mph, took out top qualifier Joe Signorelli in the 2JZ Toyota. It wasn’t all bad for Signorelli who claimed the world record for an automatic import in the second last round of racing.