Queensland's own Steve Reed comes into Santo's Super Thunder on something of a hot streak, having won the last three events in the 400 Thunder Pro Alcohol Championship.
With victories at Nitro Thunder in May, East Coast Thunder in November and Santo's Summer Thunder in January, Reed currently has the Funny Car to beat.
“I'm not sure I expect that continue given the tough competition,” Reed laughed. “That said it is probably the first time we have done that in our racing.”
Reed explained that the team recently made some gains in their fuel system, helping to produce 5.4 second times and making them one of the performance front runners in the field.
“We have always been conservative with this car, we can't afford to blow stuff up,” he said. “We found a direction in the fuel system where I was being very conservative as it turned out, so we were able to change some bits and pieces. When the car went 5.45 in May last year that gave us a bit of heart that we were on the right track.
“The new body we have been running on the car has also been very good and it seems to go down the track real nice.”
Reed has plenty of experience on the high quality Willowbank Raceway track surface, but he downplayed any hometrack advantage against a field that so far includes quick Victorian Funny Car racers Wayne Price and Rob Ambruosi, Greg Clayton's light weight Altered and Sydney's Russell Mills, making his Queensland debut in the unique 'Funster'.
“I think every racer is on point at Willowbank Raceway. Everyone else runs there a lot as well and the track surface is always fantastic. All the venues have good surfaces now but at Willowbank it always seems to be next level.”
Santo's Super Thunder will include spectacular 400 Thunder action from Top Fuel, Pro Alcohol and nitro Top Bikes, all racing under the 'all run format' that has proved a success with fans and racers.
Reed loves the format and likes the idea of mixing up each event.
“As racers we love it because every run means something, every run counts,” he said. “Under the traditional format, you might have to do three qualifiers and then three elimination runs if you are lucky but here you have your three race rounds and you have to make them all good.
“Fans love the format because they get to see everybody on track. There's no one sitting in the pits after getting eliminated or not qualifying for the field.
“We will probably plan to run a half pass during the afternoon test session and then go for broke in the race rounds to see if we can make it four victories in a row.”
Santo's Super Thunder takes place on Good Friday, March 30 at Willowbank Raceway, featuring not just the 400 Thunder professional classes but also round five of the 400 Thunder Sportsman Series. For more information keep an eye on www.willowbankraceway.com.au.