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2021 Garrett Sydney Jamboree

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The 2021 Garrett Advancing Motion Sydney Jamboree was destined to be a big event (its 17th year of competition), and it’s safe to say it delivered on all fronts.

From an awesome turnout of competitors and spectators alike to a pile of P.B.’s, new records set, and some unfortunate dramas that saw everyone walk away safely, the 2021 Garrett Advancing Motion Sydney Jamboree literally had it all.

The build-up has been a slow burn that started at last year’s event after it was stopped with rain around 12pm. While the Show N Shine still went ahead and trophies were awarded, the Drag Racing, unfortunately, came to an end at this point. With all entrants invited to utilise their 2020 entry to then race again at the 2021 Sydney Jamboree.

The day after the 2020 Sydney Jamboree COVID-19 kicked into gear and all Drag Racing stopped. The 2020 Garrett Advancing Motion Brisbane Jamboree also had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, which was set to run in August 2020.

With everybody aching to break the COVID shackles and get back out racing on the strip for the 2021 Sydney Jamboree, there was a lot of hype around racers and teams. Still, unfortunately, circumstances worked against the event with what was a non-racing, friendly, rain-filled weather forecast – meaning the event had to be again pushed back from a March event to May.

The fact that teams had been waiting a year to race and the event being pushed back for yet another two months was a massive disappointment for many. Still, it turned out having the event in May allowed more competitors to attend, and the event as a whole was bigger than it was due to be in March!

Given that most competitors didn’t get to race at the 2020 Sydney Jamboree due to the weather and/ or COVID-19, it was a long wait, but as the old adage says “all good things come to those who wait”, proved to be true with the weather and air conditions certainly coming through with the goods for the 2021 Sydney Garrett Advancing Motion Jamboree.

The crowds of 5500 started to surge in early as the 140 Drag Racing entrants, 65 show cars, 18 Trade stands put on a very entertaining event for all. The F.B. live streaming saw 180,000 views across the day, and in the lead up to the event, the Thursday night testing with 35 cars and testing Friday with 55 cars proved a significant success.

Right from the get-go, there were some fantastic results being recorded with P.B.’s and records being set with a few memorable being Osman Osman, fastest Street Barra 7.45, Rob Marjan JunII 6.68 @ 203mph new record GTR, Rod Harvey personal best of 260mph, Rodney Rehayem AUS 13B Record 6.48 @ 194 (chutes out early), Joe Gauci ran a 5.85 @252mph on a radial R.B.re. Dom Rigoli Australian R.B. Record 6.093 @ 233mph, just to name a few!

ACM got to catch up with Rob Campese after his P.B. of 5.69, and he is confident he still has more to get out of his Hemi powered, Garrett Turbo’d Mustang. Rob shared, “It had been a big week in the lead up to the Sydney Garrett Jamboree. We had a few issues which saw us having to borrow an oil pump and then some slicks as ours were out of date and we couldn’t purchase our own in the short time frame. After getting all of that sorted, we got the Mustang of the trailer and ran a 5.70 sec which we were thrilled with, and then on our next run, we did a P.B. of 5.69. So, we are all very excited as the run felt slow, and there is more left to get out of this car.”

Rob continued, “The Mustang is running a Hemi with 514 cubes with two Garrett 98mm turbos which run 51 pounds of boost at the moment, so there is still plenty of room to go on it and chase even faster times. Our Garretts are extremely reliable, and we know we can go all day long with them.”

Another major highlight of the day was Rodney Rehayem AUS 13B Record 6.48 @ 194 (chutes out early) in his RX8. It was a proud moment for the Pac Performance team, who have been working hard towards that goal for some time. Rodney did a superb job at handling the RX8, and there will be a lot of eyes on just what is possible in the future for the Pac Performance RX8. Quoting Rodney from his FB post after the Sydney event and his new Aust record, he shared many thanks to his supporters, family and equipment suppliers and, by showing exceptional mental strength and resilience, went on to say: “After my back-breaking accident over six years ago, I was adamant that I wouldn’t race again. Knowing that we had unfinished business, they purchased the car back and insisted that I get back in the hot seat and kick-off where we left. The rest is now history!”

Another Rehayem used to break Australian and World records are Mario Rehayem in his Pepper Money Starlet. The Starlet wasn’t entirely running as per usual (as it is usually one of the most consistent engines and performers on the track), but when Starlet ruptured an oil line at roughly the 1000 ft mark and the oil got onto the back tyres, things got out of shape very quickly. The Starlet suddenly pulled right into the barrier, then back hard to the right wall at full speed. It was a dramatic event to witness, which saw the Starlet on its roof sliding down the track at speed.

Luckily, Mario was able to walk away from the crash with a few bruises. ACM spoke with Mario after the event, where he shared a little about the crash and his new car, which he has been building for some time now. Mario shared, “Thank God, I am fine. I walked away from the accident with literally a bruise on my right leg and both my shoulders. The car and the safety equipment did their job, and I have no doubt the man upstairs was looking out for me. The Starlet is repairable, but due to the fact I was going to retire the car this year, I would confidently say the infamous Pepper Money Starlet has retired early.”

Mario continued, “We haven’t had a chance to inspect the car fully yet, but there is no doubt that we ruptured an oil line roughly at the 1000ft mark, and oil got onto the back tyres. I clearly remember the car starting to slide out, and it was a surreal experience. It felt like moments of the crash happened in a blink of an eye, and for the most part, it was in slow motion. The most awkward part of the entire experience was when the car stopped, and I was upside down as the car landed on its roof. A racer’s instant reaction is to quickly ensure you can get out of the car because you know you have flammable fluid and nitrous on board. Being a big guy in a small car, the task of getting out quickly was a challenging one. Thankfully, I was able to release myself with the quick release harness, and I dropped like a bag of potatoes onto the roof. I couldn’t get in a position to take my helmet off as I was trying to get out of the car. Thankfully the rescue guys rocked up, and they quickly cut the strap of the he met and, when that happened, I completely relaxed and crawled out of the car. I must admit when I saw the car, I was devastated, but cars are replaceable. The team at Pac Performance are on the final stretch of building a new car for me, which will race in the factory extreme class. It’s a Stroupe chassis – Mazda 3 with a Billet by Pac, triple rotor set up with three of the largest Garrett Advancing Motion Turbo’s and an Al’s race glides transmission. So, until this build is complete, and I get the approval from the kids and Mrs, I’ll be off the track.” Mario is one of the much-loved gentleman of the track, so it was a blessing to see him walk away from the accident.

Another amazing moment that happened right in front of my camera was Paul Cibotto’s gravity defying wheel stand, (check out the inset on the bottom of our front cover), which saw not on the front two wheels but at one stage all four wheels lift off the track in one of the most mind-bending moments I have witnesses at the strip. Once we saw that Paul was OK after the wheelie ended badly with too much power being transferred to the new surface, all us photographers track side were checking out each other’s images in a frenzy to see who got the best picture. Paul was all OK and he is now working on the car in readiness for the Brisbane event.

There is no denying the success, excitement and drama of the 2021 Sydney Garrett Advancing Motion Jamboree, and with the Brisbane event locked and loaded for August 21 and 22, 2021, it is set to be even bigger, with entries already flowing in for the two-day event. With three days of testing in the lead-up, Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, qualifying Saturday, and racing Sunday. There’s basically a week of Jamboree including Drag racing, Show N Shine, Sound Off, Kids Rides, Traders, Hotwheels Gymkhana, Babe & Bikini comps!

See you there!

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