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Article Date: 15 December 2010

High-octane racing is what it will all be about at Willowbank Raceway this New Years, with round one of the New Year Series set to kick off on January 2 and 3.

ANDRA Pro Series category Top Alcohol will head to Queensland’s premier drag racing facility to join Top Fuel on the Ipswich quarter-mile for round one (Jan 2/3) of the two-round series, which will continue on January 14 and 15.

So far, the Top Alcohol championship has crowned two winners, with Aaron Hambridge and Wayne Newby facing off against each other in both finals of the two rounds, taking a win apiece.

Hambridge took the round one win in September in a continuance of the form that saw him claim his second consecutive Castrol EDGE Winternationals title at Willowbank Raceway in June, and also secured the bonus points for top speed for the meeting.

“Thanks to the hard work of our crew, who are the backbone of TeamAPM and the Jamie Noonan (NRE) Dragster, we are on top of the points standings heading to Willowbank” said Hambridge.

“We always enjoy racing at Willowbank, the staff put on a great meting and for us it is the track with our most success, including wins at the Winternationals.

“After finishing runner-up in the title chase last season, we really want to clinch that championship title this season so we are going to be doing everything we can to lock that away.

“A championship win would mean so much to us and the team, and hopefully would go a long way to securing a major sponsor for our car so we can continue on into next season at the highest level.

“While we are at it, we are shooting for the magic ‘5.40’ second pass, but for now at Willowbank we will be focusing on keeping the consistency of running in the 5.50s and we will just see what happens from there!”

Newby and his JBS Tools Dragster are just three points behind Hambridge and with a strong success rate at Queensland’s premier drag strip, the Smithfield Fitter and Turner is feeling confident heading to the New Year Series.

“We have been on a bit of a roll, we have found something in the car and its just working, it is all clicking and coming together finally,” said Newby.

“We are working well as a team, there are a lot of late hours and work but it seems to be paying off well, and we have been to the last five finals.

“Heading to Willowbank Raceway, I have had more success there than anywhere and with the business (Newby Engineering) back in Sydney, its like a bit of a holiday each time we come here which is nice.

“The facilities are excellent and I always look forward to heading to Ipswich….with our success there in the past, hopefully in January we can keep that up and keep Aaron out, we are only three points behind him at the moment, but at the same time there are a lot of other good cars nibbling at our feet too!

“It is very competitive at the moment, it has always been a competitive class but these days it doesn’t matter who you race, you have a battle on your hands.”

Hambridge’s bonus points from round one see him sitting on top of the points table by three points from Newby heading to Willowbank Raceway. In third is 14 time and reigning Top Alcohol champion Gary Phillips of Hillcrest.

Phillips was a shock first round elimination at the Nationals, with a semi-final appearance at October’s round two in Sydney enabling him to climb to third in the points to position himself for a championship assault.

The two-round New Year Series at Willowbank Raceway will take place on January 2/3 (Round One) and January 14/15 (Round Two), 2011.

ANDRA Pro Series brackets Top Fuel and Top Alcohol will take to the Ipswich quarter-mile over January 2 and 3, before Top Doorslammer and Pro Stock are joined by the fire-throwing Nitro Funny Cars on January 14 and 15.

For more information and tickets, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au

Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility and hosts four major drag racing events each year - the two-round New Year Series in January, the Australian Top Fuel Championships in March and the Castrol EDGE Winternationals in June. The Queen’s Birthday event is the largest drag racing event outside of the US and is the season finale for the ANDRA Pro Series calendar.

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