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For most drag racers it’s usually a mad thrash to get ready for a major event. It can be stressful with long days and nights, however in the case of Bruce Read, less than one week out, the Jim Read Racing crew chief was sitting on his lounge relaxing and watching AFL on the TV.

Back in the shed the Jim Read Racing “Black Mamba” is armed, loaded and ready to strike at Sydney Dragway for the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder on May 4 & 5th.

“We didn’t really do any damage at Willowbank considering we just did four burnouts (grin),” said Read. So for us, it was just our regular service and maintenance.

In wrapping up the Santo’s Super Thunder event Read expressed his disappointment in the car's performance and shouldered the blame 100 percent.

“I just completely missed the mark on every run,” said Read. About the only run we had a hope with was when the blower belt broke for no reason.

“On the first pass it shook. The second run it went too far the other way and blew the tyres off, and on the third against Kelly Bettes, we had her covered by the 60-foot mark, but there was still 940 feet left to go. As for the last run I don’t really have any explanation.

“There were no mechanical issues; no faults of driver or crew, just a crew chief who stuffed up (laughing). I mean if my brother or anyone else in the crew did something wrong I’d point the finger, but the reality was it was me in the spotlight.

“We don’t have any shortage of power but our application from the clutch to the race track was wildly optimistic that weekend. I’d love to hide behind the fact that we are still dealing with this tune-up, but we still did two good runs the last time in Sydney.

“We’ve been running the new tune up and a whole new combination since last November, learning things as we go. The January event in Sydney certainly gave us a boost and probably lulled me into a false sense of security that I was a bit smarter than I was.

“Anyway here we are ready to go and hoping our luck continues at our home track. I’ve done some homework and research on how to tame this beast. The tune-up in this car is a lot more powerful than previously. So we are just going to calm it down a bit for Sydney and hopefully go from A to B and not make idiots of ourselves”, said Read.

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Jim Read Racing will be running at both test sessions on Friday looking for a baseline to step up on Saturday.

“We hope to rebound and do our sponsors and fans proud. Of course it would be great to be the spoiler especially with seven other quality cars in the pits. Lamattina is counting on us to take out Rapisarda, and visa versa while in the background we have Peter Xiberras who could easily drive around all of us. Its certainly shaping up to be a great event.

“Our approach this year has always been to run the car win, lose or draw. Any win is a bonus for Jim Read Racing so it’s about getting down the track and doing our supporters and sponsors proud.

Jim Read Racing wishes to thank the following sponsors - McDonalds, Kalitta Motorsports, Valvoline, Jim Read, Premier Hire, Odyssey Batteries, North Vic Engines, Pacific Pools, Snap-On and Premium Motorsport Products in the USA.

Images by John Bosher