Allan Dobson will be looking to win his second Winternationals title at Willowbank Raceway, Ipswich, this weekend (Thursday-Sunday, June 10-13), 17 years after he won at the marquee event.
Perth-based Dobson won Top Alcohol in a Funny Car at the 1993 event and has come close to winning the Castrol EDGE Winternationals in recent years.
Since joining the Sydney-based prominent Rapisarda Racing two-car Top Fuel team in January 2007, Dobson has reached the semi final at the 2007 and 2008 Winternationals and was runner-up at last year’s event.
“You could say we have been sneaking up on the Winternationals. I reached the semi finals in 2007 and 2008 and was runner-up in 2009. So if the trend continues, I should win this year. I have won a Winternationals, Top Alcohol in a Funny Car in 1993,” Dobson said.
Despite a lean season by his standards – Dobson has raced in six finals with the Rapisarda team, but lost in round one at all events this season – Dobson believes he is due for an event win.
“There have been five different winners from five (ANDRA Pro Series Top Fuel championship) events so far this season. (Rapisarda team-mate) Mark (Mariani) won the last (Nitro Champs) event, I think one of us can win the Winternationals and with a bit of luck, I think I can be the sixth winning this season.”
Dobson also believes the hard work the Rapisarda team and he have done sorting out the car he is driving, one of two Rapisarda purchased from US-based David Baca Motorsport last year, is starting to pay dividends.
“We are now starting to make inroads with the car since it arrived in Australia. The last time we raced at Willowbank (in April); I ran a 4.931-second at 306.60mph (493.31km/h), narrowly losing in round one (eliminations). Then at the Nitro Champs, I ran a 4.850sec to Mark’s (Mariani) 4.820sec.
“With these new cars, this season was always going to be a learning curve. Our basic goal is to have continuous improvement (with the car) and to keep making forward progress.
“This season has certainly been a bit of a downer for me. I have not clocked up a lot of (championship) points, but I am looking forward to doing well at Willowbank and winning the Winternationals would definitely give us a good base for a full-on assault for next season's championship with these new cars,” Dobson said.
Allan Dobson quick facts
- Quickest-ever pass: 4.605sec at Sydney Dragway, February 16, 2007.
- Fastest pass: 317.49mph (510.84km/h) at Sydney Dragway, May 4, 2007
- Has recorded 35 four-second Top Fuel passes.
- Has recorded eight 300mph Top Fuel passes.
- The 19th member of the Australian four-second club: 4.780sec at Willowbank, January 5, 2007.
- The ninth member of the Australian 300mph club: 303.03mph, Willowbank, January 5, 2007.
- Events won:
2009 Spring Top Fuel
2007 East Coast Nationals (Top Fuel)
2007 Nitro Champs (Top Fuel)
1993 Winternationals (Top Alcohol)
2008 Winternationals (Top Fuel)
2008 Nitro Champs (Top Fuel)
2007 Willowbank (Jan) Top Fuel round