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Article Date: 6 June 2014

Blue skies and exciting on-track action have marked day two of the 2014 FUCHS Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway today, with Australia’s largest drag racing event now well and truly underway at Queensland’s premier drag racing facility.

Today hosted the first of three qualifying rounds for Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Top Fuel Motorcycle and Pro Stock Motorcycle, two of three qualifying sessions for the Top Doorslammer and Pro Stock classes who are each enjoying a 16 car race field for the event, and continued qualifying for a range of racers for the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue for all brackets tomorrow, with Pro Stock and Top Doorslammer also to enjoy their first round of racing tomorrow afternoon – for full event schedules and event information,
please click here.

At the end of Friday’s group one qualifying sessions, Phil Lamattina (Top Fuel), John Zappia (Top Doorslammer), Gary Phillips (Top Alcohol), Mark Drew (Top Fuel Motorcycle), Emilio Spinozzi (Pro Stock) and Maurice Allen (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were on the top of the time sheets.

Lamattina found himself on the top thanks to a 4.609 second pass at 327.98 miles per hour (approx. 527.83km/h) in Top Fuel.

“Excitement is a bit of an understatement. It's no secret that we’ve been struggling. The test session really paid off, things are really starting to turn around for us and (crew chief) Aaron Hambridge started working the issues out. It just goes to prove that we were ready for it because the track here is always killer and that was really good just to get the monkey off our back,” said Lamattina.

“It was good to run with (brother) John (Lamattina) side by side in the two FUCHS cars in qualifying, but we don’t want to be doing that in eliminations.”

In Top Doorslammer, defending champion John Zappia is currently in the top spot with a 5.766 second pass at 252.10 miles per hour (approx. 405.72 km/h) with one more qualifying session to run tomorrow ahead of the class’ first round of racing. In his top qualifying run, the West Australian ‘shallow staged’ the car by rolling into stage, which he feels affected his result.

 “We feel without a shallow stage we should have been good for a 5.73-5.74 seconds, I’m not sure what difference that makes up in ET but it was definitely the best run I’ve ever had,” said Zappia.

“The g-force pushed my head back and I could hardly see and it wasn’t until I got second gear that I could see properly. The run before I ran the same time but it didn’t accelerate like it did in first gear. We hopped it up for the second run, the track got a bit better and it left harder but we lost the gain by rolling forward so if we can get a shallow stage in tomorrow hopefully that will show in the data what we think happened.

“We are pretty happy the FUCHS Striker Monaro is flying and we have just got to find how we can get that top speed back off (Peter) Kapiris. We’ve never won a FUCHS Winternationals, we’ve won (under the previous sponsor) but we desperately want to win a FUCHS Winternationals. This is the third one that FUCHS have been involved in so we are hoping it can be a case of third time lucky.”

In Top Alcohol, Hillcrest’s Gary Phillips is currently top qualified after punching out a 5.457 second pass at a personal best 265.33 miles per hour (approx. 427km/h).

“It shook and I had to short-shift it, so it wasn’t as fast as the pass we ran on the Winters Warm-Up but it was still the fastest mile per hour it has ever run, and only 0.05 mph off the national speed record for the class,” said Phillips.

“It was good to get that first run done and get into the field. The car is really good, we will check it over tonight but everything looks perfect and the data looks strong. Everything is shaping up as it is supposed to.

“Our ultimate goal is Frank Manzo’s world record 5.411 second pass, so now that we are in the field at the moment we will go out there tomorrow and have a play and try some stuff. If it works that is great, if not we can come back to this set-up for race day.”

In Pro Stock, Emilio Spinozzi and Aaron Tremayne wowed the crowd with each driver setting a 6.975 second pass during their first qualifying session – under the current national elapsed time record for the class, with Spinozzi just edging out Tremayne for the top spot.

“That was just an unbelievable pass, it was the fastest Pro Stock pass in Australia,” said Spinozzi.

“When I got to the end of the quarter-mile and my brother said to me that we had run a 6.975 second pass, I was so excited I couldn’t even listen to what he was saying.”

In Top Fuel Motorcycle, Western Australia’s Mark Drew is sitting on the top of the time sheets courtesy of a 6.378 second pass at 228.96 miles per hour (approx. 368.48km/h) – the quickest (ET) and fastest (mph) pass by a Top Fuel Harley bike in Australia.

“To run the quickest and fastest Top Fuel Harley pass in Australia this afternoon was a great way to start off our Winternationals campaign, and I think we can even run quicker tomorrow – maybe even low ‘thirties’,” said Drew.

“Thanks has to go to my crew and the track staff and my supporters K-Trans and Perth Harley-Davidson,  we are very happy with the results so far – we put a tune-up in it that suited the conditions and I was quietly confident that it would perform as it did, so things are going great so far."

In Pro Stock Motorcycle Victoria’s Maurice Allen is leading the field with a 7.352 seconds at 180.67 miles per hour (approx. 290.76km/h).

“We are off to a great start, day one at the Winternationals is always a big day so to go out on-track and come out on top of the heap is always nice,” said Allen.

“The Team Milwaukee crew is doing a really good job this weekend, working very hard in the warm conditions and I am really appreciative of their efforts. The track conditions were really good and while the atmospheric conditions were a little warm for our bikes we were able to get a good result and are looking forward to tomorrow where I think we can improve on today’s efforts.”

Also on track today were a range of sportsman brackets for the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Series, including Knijff Earthmoving Modified racer Danny Tuelstrup from Mackay in Queensland who experienced a wild ride in his dragster from which he thankfully emerged completely unhurt. Also taking a walk on the wild side was Top Doorslammer’s Ben Bray in his Sidchrome Monaro, taking up both lanes during the first qualifying session for the bracket. Footage of both runs is available for media use at

For full results from today's action please click here.

The FUCHS Winternationals is the largest championship drag racing event held outside of the US, with the action continuing Saturday from 8.00am (group one on-track from 1.00pm) ahead of race day on Sunday. For full event info including event schedules,
click here.

For spectators, tickets are available at the gate with Student and Concession Card (age and disability pension only) holders with photo ID gaining discounts, while children aged 13 and under gain free entry. For full information, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au or click here.

Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility, located 45 minutes from Brisbane or just a short drive from Ipswich, offering a year-round program of events for the entire family. For more information including a full event calendar, please visit

Feature racing:
Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock, Top Fuel Motorcycle, Pro Stock Motorcycle
Other racing includes: Competition, Super Stock, Super Compact, Competition Bike, Donnelly Blasting Servies Supercharged Outlaws, Knijff Earthmoving Modified, Powercruise Super Sedan, Prime Signs/Speed Elec Super Street, Modified Bike, Junior Dragster, Super Gas and Factory Xtreme.


Please go to
http://www.willowbankraceway.com.au/events/detail.aspx?EventGroupID=89 for the latest event scheduling information.

- Student/Concession (MUST SHOW PHOTO ID). Concession prices are for age and disability pension only.

Saturday 7 June 2014:
- Adult - $50.00
- Student/Concession – must show ID - $35.00

Sunday 8 June 2014:
- Adult - $50.00
- Student/Concession – must show ID - $35.00

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