This article brought to you by:

Lamattina Top Fuel Racing secured their best result of the season with a runner-up finish at the 53rd annual Westernationals in Perth. The steady improvement in performance from the team over the season has seen Phil Lamattina now bolt to second place in the National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) for Top Fuel.

In an event that saw championship rivals strike difficulties and the PremiAir Racing team missing the weekend, it was critical that LTFR seized the opportunity to strike in the championship.

“We knew we had to capitalise first on Peter Xiberras not being there, that was a priority,” said Lamattina. “While we never want to see what happened to our competitors, it was scary, the opportunity is still there to take advantage of the situation from a points perspective.”

Qualifying was held over two days after wild windy conditions caused the abandonment of Q2 on the Saturday night as Lamattina was prepared to make his run. In the end LTFR qualified third on the back of the team’s 4.071 ET in Q1.

The first round match-up against local WA racer Kyle Putland was held in trying conditions of heat and humidity which caught out the tune up. Lamattina was leading down the strip until the FUCHS Lubricants dragster started to spin the tyres, Lamattina stayed in the power however the nitro engine expired under the load allowing Putland to sneak past at the finish line.

“That first round was just brutal,” said Lamattina. “It got out the hole really well, but I started smoking the tyres, I stayed in it probably a little bit too long, but I didn’t see him, so I thought I better just try and cross that finish line first but obviously it didn’t want to cooperate.”

With the air and track temperature more favourable in round two, crew chiefs Aaron Hambridge and Dean Rossiter were able to chase a quicker ET against championship leading rival Wayne Newby. The Rapisarda Autosport International dragster had problems on the start line and Lamattina was able to punch out a win and low ET of the round with a 3.91, critically scoring maximum ET points to advance to the A-Final against Phil Read.

The A-Final was barnstormer with the LTFR and Jim Read Racing teams locked side by side to the finishing stripe. Both drivers left on the green with almost psychic reaction times unfortunately the FUCHS Lubricants Top Fuel Dragster’s 3.95 was just out run by Read’s 3.91. It was a tough loss but a worthy side by side final for the fans.

Positively though, favourable results for LTFR have seen Lamattina jump up in the points standings for the NDRC Australian Top Fuel Championship, and with still four rounds to go the push will be on to bring home another title to LTFR and FUCHS.

“We are second in the points now, so we just have to put our head down and arse up, and keep working hard as we possibly can to try and chase Newby,” said Lamattina. “At the end of the day we have a good car, and we just need to continue to capitalise on our current form to battle for the championship.

“It was great to catch up with some FUCHS customers as well while we were there at the racetrack, show them how we operate and show them a strong result. It was also wonderful to have Gav back on the crew after tragically losing his daughter, 16 years on our team and we will get that win for him and Sheridan very soon.

“We are looking forward to The Bend knowing we have a car that is competitive.”

In addition, young Luca Lamattina emulated his father’s result finishing runner-up in Junior Dragster. Luca has not even been competing a year yet in Junior Dragster, and he has already reached his first final and sits on the championship 300 point maximum going in the Western Conference Grand Final event at Dragway At The Bend.

“Luca is just 12 years old, only been in the car for a short period of time and is honing those skills in driving like a little champion,” said a proud Phil Lamattina.

That event will also be the next round of the Australian Top Fuel Championship on Apr 6-7.

Aeroflow Performance Parts Catalogue

Drag News Magazine