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The Santos Summer meeting has received a major boost with NHRA star Ashley Sanford to race alongside her Rapisarda Autosport International team-mates Damien Harris and Wayne Newby.

Sanford will also race at Willowbank Raceway on January 6.

“It's a long way to travel to Australia to race only at the Willowbank meeting,”said Sanford. “So when Santo decided to run a third car in Sydney I jumped at the chance. I raced in Sydney last year and had a great time.

"In terms of competing in Top Fuel, I’m still at the rookie stage of my career, and the more laps I can get under my belt the better. Summer in Australia and getting to drive a Top Fuel car - life doesn’t get much better. I’m living the dream.”

Respecting the commitment made to Sanford by Santo Rapisarda, the popular American is not here for a Summer holiday, rather will be on the tools in preparation for a busy few weeks of racing. 

“After Willowbank i’m going to the RAI workshop in Sydney and will be working with Santo Jnr, Santino and the crew servicing and prepping the cars. I want to help out in anyway I can and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. The more I learn about how a fuel car functions hopefullywill translate into making me a better driver.”

“Sydney will be my fourth meeting with Rapisarda Autosport International and I really want to do well and repay the faith Santo and the Rapisarda family have shown in allowing me to drive for the team.”

“Sydney is Santo’s hometown and he sponsors the event as well. So for Damien, Wayne and myself it’s important that all three Rapisarda Autosport International cars put on a good show. An all Rapisarda final on the day would be a great outcome, and to I would love to be the one to hand Santo the winners trophy,” said Sanford.