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Article Date: 26 May 2016

In its 49th year bringing eager racers from all around Australia and New Zealand to Queensland's Willowbank Raceway, the City of Ipswich Winternationals has every right to regard itself as the jewel in the crown of Australian drag racing, and one of the pinnacle events on the Australian motorsport calendar.

This year however in the shadow of its milestone 50th event in 2017, celebrates the graduation of the event to a truly international scale, with Willowbank Raceway today announcing the impending arrival of verifiable Top Fuel Drag Racing royalty Larry Dixon, who will pilot a vehicle under reigning 2015 Championship-winning team Rapisarda Autosport International, at the largest championship drag racing event held outside of North America.

The 2016 event marks just three years since Dixon, a 21-year veteran of the sport and well-decorated on the US circuit, last raced in Australia. It was back then that he solidified good relations with the Rapisarda outfit, pedalling their car then to a record-breaking 4.503sec at 322.18mph.

"I don't want to go any slower this time, I want to go quicker!" jests Larry Dixon, thinly veiling a fierce competitive streak that's sure to put on a show at the 2016 City of Ipswich Winternationals.

"The Rapisarda car I'm driving has got some new equipment that is making more horsepower. If the weather is fine and the Horsepower Gods play nice we might have a chance at resetting that record," Dixon adds in a far more serious tone.
Dixon has clearly been doing his research. Locally, the Rapisarda outfit holds records for both speed and ET and with the Willowbank track widely-recognised as one of the finest drag racing surfaces anywhere in the world, the team will be given every chance to put that extra horsepower to good use in front of the 40,000-strong crowd packing the grandstands over the four days.

The Rapisarda/Dixon collaboration stretches back over five years and is based on much more than Santo Rapisarda Jr. throwing Dixon the keys to a 10,000hp hire car every time he comes to town.

"He's a really great person and does a lot for the sport, not only in Australia but in the United States as well. I feel proud to be driving one of his many race cars," admits Dixon humbly.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing the friends I made down there last time and of course all the fans. I'm excited to get back on to the track and looking forward to a really great event," says Dixon in closing.

Dixon and his team land in Australia just out from the City of Ipswich Winternationals and join a burgeoning field of Australian Top Fuel confirmed for the event. The ground-shaking, nitro-burning action kicks off at Willowbank Raceway on 9th June, 2016 and wraps up on Sunday 12th June, 2016.

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