At last year’s Westernationals at the Perth Motorplex, local Top Doorslammer racer Steve Aldridge went all the way to the finals in his Crown Security Plymouth Cuda.
This weekend he will have the chance to try and go one better to claim his first ever Gold ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy, with the 2022 MacTrack Westernationals to be held this Saturday and Sunday (March 5-6).
The event will host the latest round of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series (SRESS), as well as the Australian Drag Racing Championship (ADRC), and the Motorplex’s Nitro Slam series, with more than 180 racers set to take part.
“Last year’s Westernationals was a really good event, it was provably one of the best events we have had to be honest. We have won events before of course, but it was just a really positive event for us and the car performed so well in terms of consistency, so we were very pleased with how it performed,” Aldridge said.
“Since then, we have missed a few events because we decided to re-body the car. It was exciting to be back in action at the 2021 Goldenstates and we can’t wait to get into it this weekend for the Westernationals.
“Honestly it feels like we haven’t raced for a long time, so we can’t wait for the Westerns and then also the ANDRA Grand Final event that has just been announced for April which will be another great two-day event.
“Having 10 Top Doorslammers entered for this weekend is just fantastic too – it has been a long time since I saw a field that strong, and it is going to be brilliant to be part of such a great line-up. We can’t wait to see everyone this weekend.”
With consistency being a key focus for the Crown Security Motorsport team, Aldridge says no major changes have been enacted on his Plymouth.
“Aside from the new body going on, we haven’t made any big changes in the last five years because nothing has been wrong with it, so we just leave it alone,” he explained.
“The trouble is, as soon as you change something, it completely affects everything else, so we try and leave it alone if it is working how we want it.
“There are more and more racers going to automatics and converter cars, but we still have the old clutch, and it works for us, so we leave it well alone!” he smiled.
“The car is performing really well, and it is just a matter of getting it from A to B – although it is nowhere near as easy as it sounds!
“At the end of the day, we are out there having fun – this is all way too much effort to not be enjoying it.”
As a two-day event with a focus on evening racing, the Westernationals format is one that appeals to Aldridge as he looks to secure his first ever Gold ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy.
“We really like the two-day events and getting to race outside of the heat of the day. It means we can come out hard in the beginning in nice conditions and try and get it on top,” he said.
“If we can take out the win, it would just be unbelievable. To get a gold ANDRA Christmas Tree is obviously everyone’s goal and if you haven’t got one, they really are the pinnacle. Chances to secure one don’t come around very often, and it would be a great reward for all of the work the team puts in if we can claim one this weekend.
“This is our eleventh season in total, and our fifth with this particular car, and we have never won a ANDRA Christmas Tree trophy.
“We have a lot of consistency on our side, we have had the same crew chief – Andrew who does a fantastic job – for the last six years, and I am confident we will get it done eventually.
“I would like to thank Andrew for all his hard work, as well as my crew for all of their effort and time away from their families, I am very grateful for their support.
“I would also like to thank all of the track staff; they are mostly volunteers and we are very appreciative of all of their time and dedication and Ray does a great job at the track.
“I also want to shout out to the other racers; we all help each other out and it is a nice family at the track.”
The 2022 MacTrack Westernationals will be held at the Perth Motorplex across March 5-6. For more information, visit www.motorplex.com.au