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Emilio and Adamo Spinozzi are excited for the 2018/19 400 Thunder Pro Slammer season after a positive weekend at Queensland's Willowbank Raceway as part of the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals.

The Sydney-based brothers took the Speedmaster team north to continue their learning efforts ahead of a full series campaign next season. While a best of 6.12 seconds missed the bump spot for the eight car field (which was set at a record low 5.80 seconds), Emilio said the team enjoyed the event regardless.

“The Winternationals is massive as an event and it is fun to be a part of regardless of the outcome,” he explained. “We worked hard to try and qualify and we didn't succeed, and it was a similar story for teams with 20 times the experience we have.”

The Speedmaster Chevelle was one of just a handful of cars to make a run on the Friday of the event before rain postponed the first qualifying session. That meant a bonus run for Spinozzi come Saturday as the team took part in three more qualifying sessions.

“We got lucky because for us that situation was perfect, it was another run to test and learn with,” he said. “That made the event really worthwhile for us. We gave it our best shot on every run and we came away with some more track data.

“We also had three days of Hitachi's Brisbane branch coming through our pit area and experiencing drag racing; it was great to meet all of those people.”

Crew chief Michael Marriott said the Winternationals revealed some directions the team needed to be looking in, with a change of approach required to engine power.

“You need all your power there,” he said. “That is a mistake we have made, we have not had enough power soon enough in the run, and we creep up on everything.

“We have changed the fuel system dramatically, and we are understanding how to tune the engine and what its limitations are without hurting it. We feel like we are just getting closer now and without the engine being close to right, nothing else works.”

Marriott passed on his thanks to the MacLean Motorsport team who lent some much needed components to the Speedmaster crew.

“The generosity of Scott MacLean and Darren Mayer was very kind. We knew these components were going to work for us and that made a big change for us.

“It let us concentrate on some different stuff and we feel like it will be very worth it in the bigger scheme of our set up. Although the performances don't show it we are becoming more confident.”

The team is now preparing do so some more testing at Sydney Dragway before sending the transporter to Darwin for Nitro Up North in July, the opening round of the 400 Thunder season.

“We learned a lot at the Winters but we didn't get as far as we thought we would in performance,” Spinozzi said. “But we were able to lock away some stuff we learned and heading to Darwin we are that much closer to where we need to be.”

Spinozzi thanked team sponsors Speedmaster, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Nicsons Concrete, Torco Oils, LJ Hooker Commercial Campbelltown, Soligo Concrete, Sloanebuilt Trailers, Pasta Italia, Optimum Fire, Planned Signs, Kemps Creek Mitre 10, Western Filters, Speedflow, Al’s Race Glides, Smithfield Diff and Gearbox, Race Teknix and Corfield Media Solutions for their continued support.

- Media release courtesy Spinozzi Racing.