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It has been a challenging weekend for Hydraulink Jim Read Racing at Sydney Dragway for the double header Nitro Champs, but that hasn’t stopped the team from maintaining their enduring positive outlook as they prepare for the season-ending Winternationals, coming up at Willowbank Raceway next month (June 6-9).

The three day event featured a Top Fuel test on Friday, followed by two complete championship rounds of racing – one each on Saturday and Sunday.

When all was said and done, the team walked away with a Saturday B-Final win, a Sunday C-Final win, and full hearts thanks to the outpouring of support from their local race fans at what was a packed Sydney Dragway.

On Friday, a 4.027 second pass with an early shut off saw driver Phil Read cross the line at 255mph and the team feeling positive ahead of Saturday, which opened with a round one winning 3.904 second/280.89mph firey effort against Shane Olive, with the Hydraulink Jim Read Racing Top Fuel dragster attended to with fire extinguishers in the braking area.

In Saturday’s round two things started out as a great side-by-side pass with eventual A-Final winner Peter Xiberras, however after leaving the line strong, the Black Mamba started to burn up a head gasket towards the end of the run, seeing Read cross the finish line in 4.065 seconds to Xiberras’ 3.804.

That saw the Reads through to the B-Final, with another flaming run seeing them get the win, albeit with damage, with a pass that unfortunately had no time recorded when their opponent, Phil Lamattina, instantly blew the tyres off and aborted his run.

Come Sunday, the first outing for a brand-new championship round of racing saw a broken burst panel trigger the safety system, launching the chutes and shutting down the dragster on the startline, handing the win to Xiberras. In round two, the team was on for a nice run before tossing a belt, recording a 4.667 ET.

This set up a C-Final for Read who took another victory over Lamattina when the ‘Carrot King’ red-lit on his pass, handing the victory to the Hydraulink Jim Read Racing Top Fuel Dragster and its 7.442 second pass at 90.27mph.

“It has been a bit of a character-building weekend for sure, but at least we were able to end each day on a final win for all our sponsors and supporters with the B-Final victory Saturday and the C-Final victory Sunday,” Read said.

“We can say that we have won every final we have been too this season, whether it is a A-Final, B-Final, or C-Final; so that is something!” he smiled.

“It shook on the last run today, but it didn’t break anything that time and we were able to get down the end, so that was a good way to end the day so we can start preparing for the Winternationals without any big damage to fix.

“We are really looking forward to heading to Willowbank Raceway, it is going to be huge up there and hopefully we can have the Hydraulink Jim Read Racing Top Fuel Dragster running well up there like we did back in Perth – we don’t seem to run well here at home of late for some reason, hopefully we can turn that around.

“While it has been tough for us, what an event – it was a packed house both days and the pits were always buzzing, it was really great to see everyone come out.”

Adding to the positivity for the team this weekend is the fact that family patriarch and drag racing legend, Jim Read, was awarded Sydney Dragway’s first life membership as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations during Saturday’s opening ceremonies.

“Dad obviously is a legend of this sport and to see him honoured in that way was something really special for the whole team,” Hydraulink Jim Read Racing Crew Chief, Bruce Read, said.

“While the racing for us didn’t go the way we would have liked, and it was a weekend where we were constantly working to fix damage and issues, we are committed to always looking at the positive and we are really glad we were able to end each day with a win for our fantastic sponsors and race fans.

“Thank you to everyone for coming out this weekend, it was great to see so many fans out there and we really enjoyed meeting you in the pits. Your support helps us keep going when things get tough, and hopefully we can put on a better showing at Willowbank Raceway in June to end our season on a high.”

Hydraulink Jim Read Racing is supported on track by Hydraulink, Valvoline, Snap-On, McDonalds, FXD Workwear, PremiAir Hire, Odyssey Batteries, PMP Motorsport Products, Diamond Pistons, Trend Performance Wrist Pins, Oasis Aquatics, Oasis Heat Pumps, Speed Gas, Spa Electric Pool Lighting, Pacific Pools and Comp Cams. The team also thanks Richard Smith for his assistance with photography services. To learn more about Hydraulink Jim Read Racing, visit

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