Experience on Steve Read’s side for Calder Park

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Steve Read will come into Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams on October 19 as the only Top Fuel driver with previous experience on Melbourne’s Calder Park drag strip and the two times ANDRA national champion is confident that will give him the edge he needs over the competition.

Read’s last appearance at Calder Park was at the 2001 K&N Nationals where he won the event and set the quickest time of 4.96 seconds and a top speed of 472kmh, all of which proved vital in helping him go on to earn his first Top Fuel title, driving for team owner Santo Rapisarda.

Read says Calder Park holds many good memories for him as a driver. “Calder Park is where I first started racing in Australia, we came out in Top Alcohol at the 1992 Nationals and we set the national records, qualified number one and won the event plus I won another three or so Nationals there,” he said.

“I love the place, the Melbourne crowds give it a great atmosphere.” As well as the benefit of history, Read’s current form is in no slump either. He won the Santo’s Cranes Super 3 Extreme event in March at Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway and has been on a streak of consistent, quick passes.

“We have been going into recent events very confidently,” he said. “Darren (Morgan) is the only one running as consistently as we are, but we are running a little quicker than him and that is really what we try to maintain.

“We have had nine runs in a row running in the 4.70s and 4.80s so we are confident we can get down the track and as I said, we have a lot of experience with Calder.”

There will be some differences running at Calder Park in 2013 versus 2001 for Read, with the major difference being that Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams will be run over a 1000 feet (304 metre) distance. Read believes his team will be able to set a new standard for the distance in Australia, with the quickest time currently a 4.33 set by Phil Lamattina at Adelaide.

“I would be disappointed if we couldn’t run 4.0s at Calder Park,” he said. “They are going to have the tyre machine running which will lay more rubber on the track and from what I gather the guys from Fuchs South Coast Raceway who will be doing the track preparation are pretty good.

“It’s a track that will change as it gets more racing on it and more rubber, like we have seen with Adelaide.”

Read expects that finding a problem with his ignition system will allow him to better apply the power than he was able to in Adelaide.

“Unfortunately in Adelaide last year over 1000 feet we had a problem with the magneto and we kept overpowering the track because we couldn’t take power out where we needed to,” he said.

“But with that fixed I now believe we can do pretty well there and at Calder. I would like to go out for this season with a couple of wins.”

Read will be taking on a classy Top Fuel field at Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams on October 19 including reigning ANDRA champion Darren Morgan, former ANDRA champion Phil Lamattina and upstart rookie John Lamattina. Qualifying starts from 9am with racing from 5pm.

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