Ali wants to be the greatest

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Like his name sake Muhammad, Michael Ali has a desire to be the greatest. It’s going to be a one on one drag racing dust up come the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway on June 8-11 and the championship title will be there for the taking.

The South Australia driver sits second in the national Pro Stock championship by just 1.5 points to Queensland’s own Denis Whiting. The rivalry in the category is intense with seven drivers in with a shot at the title during the four day event.

But Ali cares little who his opponent is in the 300kmh bout – it’s just unfortunate for them if he is on his game come race day, with a 7-3 win-loss ratio this season, the best of any driver. And for Ali, a final round knock out blow would be just perfect.

“If I come up against Dennis, then whatever, it’s just another car, I just go and cut a good light and drive it as fast as I can,” he said. “If I have to I will wrestle him for that title. It would be exciting to race him in the final, the first round would be just boring for everyone. Meeting your rival in the final hypes everything up and adds the pressure.”

Ali is aware the competition will be at a peak, with a record 28 entries in the field. In preparing for Australia’s largest drag racing event, he has a training plan with a day of testing scheduled for the weekend in his SA Constructions Pontiac.

“We haven’t raced in Brisbane for a couple of years so we will look to get used to the track again and for me to get my eye in as a driver,” he said. “I’ll practice hitting my shift points and get any nerves out of the way early.

“The car went fast in the last round of the championship in Sydney, if I can run 7.0sec times all day with some good reaction times we will go rounds and have a real shot at the championship.

“It’s a big field but we have the advantage of having run all season, there’s a lot of people who haven’t raced yet coming in.”

Ali set his personal best time of 7.03sec in the Sydney event and is open about the possibility of his first six second pass. Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee is an appropriate adage for Pro Stock’s finesse coupled with brutal horsepower.

“It’s up to the weather really, if it’s good like it normally is at the Fuchs Winternationals then there will be more teams in the sixes for sure,” he said. “We know the track is going to be really tight (high traction), Willowbank Raceway always has fantastic track prep.”

The Fuchs Winternationals takes place on June 8-11 at Willowbank Raceway near Ipswich, Queensland. The full ANDRA drag racing experience will be on show including all pro categories and the best sportsman racers in the nation taking part in the Rocket Allstars Racing Series.

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