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TOP FUEL CHASE TO FIRE UP AT WILLOWBANK

Article Date: 9 April 2010

Next weekend’s ENZED Australian Top Fuel Championships will see 56,000 horsepower on-show as seven 8000hp flame-throwing Top Fuel dragsters take to the Willowbank Raceway quarter-mile over April 17 and 18.

The ENZED Australian Top Fuel Championships will host over 260 racers across the Saturday-Sunday event, with the Top Fuelers joined by 17 Pro Stockers, nine Pro Stock Bikes, seven Pro FX steerers and over 200 sportsman racers.

While all of the Top Fuelers are sure to provide plenty of action for the fans, the trio at the top of the point scores heading into the pointy-end of the championship chase – defending champion Phil Lamattina, three-time champion Phil Read and Read’s team-mate Martin Stamatis should provide plenty of thrills.

Reigning champion Lamattina said he was excited at the way the 2009/2010 season was shaping up.

“The way the points are at the moment, to be leading at this stage, is very exciting,” said Lamattina.

“We are a little bit more in the box seat also, as we are in the exact same position in the championship that we were at this time last year – leading with three rounds to go – and now we know what we need to do aboard the Fuchs Top Fuel dragster to win.

“With two of the three remaining rounds being held at Willowbank Raceway where we have traditionally been quite successful – I think the pressure is on the other guys to step up and take it up to us.

“It was disappointing to not be able to get the runs in Sydney in February and get some more points, and over the years after watching the April events at Willowbank I am really excited about us getting on track with the Fuchs Top Fuel dragster – I think the conditions will be perfect for us to crank it up and put on a really great show for the fans, and for ENZED the sponsors of the event – it is great to have them on board after their support of the New Year Series last year.”

Stamatis, team-mate of three-time Top Fuel champion Phil Read, broke through for a win in Perth in December and with solid performances across the season is currently just 15 points behind the Victorian in second place.

“We are looking forward to heading to Willowbank Raceway after Sydney’s rain-out, it has been months since we have laid down a run in anger and with Willowbank always immaculately prepared and ready for these Top Fuelers we can’t wait to get out there,” said Stamatis.

“As a team we are focusing on winning races rather than winning the championship, and to that matter the championship may just take care of itself.

“We are happy with the cars performance and with some minor adjustments I can’t see why we can’t run some big numbers up at Willowbank and get the most out of the nitro we pour into it!

“At 15 points shy of Phil Lamattina the championship is a tussle, and it seems that everyone has forgotten about Phil Read who is only 55 points behind me and quietly sneaking up behind from third position – I think I will need to watch my back as well as my front!

“The Lamattina boys, the carrot boys as we call them, are always good value, they run hard and Phil has a great win rate from the final - I just hope we can keep the championship going to the last race of the season at Willowbank Raceway and have it come down to the wire, with me in the final of course!”

At only 70 points adrift of the points leader with three rounds to go and 100 points on offer for a round win, Read certainly can’t be discounted from the fight.

“For my sponsors Auto One, Valvoline, Detroit MTU, Champion spark plugs, McDonalds, Wynn’s and Snap On I hope to make it four championships this year,” said Read.

“With recent testing of my Auto One race car we are very pleased and happy of a consistent fast race car heading into this event as we have been able to cure a lot of issues we have been battling this season with the fuel system and clutch area of the car.

“While we are sitting third we are only 70 points behind and in my first championship win we were over 100 points behind with three events to go, so anything is possible.

“Yes it is a long shot, but with myself and Martin in the other Jim Read Racing car we will be giving it our best shot.

“As I have always said we race to win so that is our goal for the ENZED Top Fuel Champs at Willowbank.

“I think that Top Fuel is very hotly contested this year with every driver having the chance of winning. So my expectations for the event are for very quick times and some very tight racing – a great show for the fans is pretty much guaranteed!”

There will be over 260 racers lining up at the Ipswich quarter mile for the ENZED Top Fuel Championships, with seven Top Fuelers, 17 Pro Stockers, 9 Pro Stock Bikes, seven Pro FX and over 200 sportsman racers all set to take part in the two-day event.

The weekend’s action will kick off with qualifying on Saturday April 17 from 12noon, with the feature categories first taking to the track from 5pm. Race Day Sunday kicks off at 9am, with feature racing from 11am and all finals from 4.00pm.

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