From the past three rounds of the ANDRA Top Fuel championship, West Australian fireman Allan Dobson has emerged victorious each time, seeing him in the box seat of the Top Fuel title chase as it heads to Willowbank Raceway’s Fuchs Winternationals (5-8 June).
The Fuchs Winternationals is the largest championship drag racing event held outside of the US, and a favoured stomping ground of Dobson (pictured above, left, image courtesy dragphotos.com.au) after he won the 2012 event before returning to Willowbank Raceway in 2014 to claim victory from both championship rounds of the Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race event presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes, held at Easter.
Courtesy of his recent form and a runners-up result at the Perth Westernationals, Dobson will lead the title chase to Willowbank Raceway as he looks to put together a fourth consecutive victory for the Rapisarda Autosport International team.
“Both myself and the team have been so pleased with the recent results, and especially with being able to win the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy at Easter,” said Dobson, who claimed the memorial trophy that honours RAI team owner Santo Rapisarda’s own son by taking the most points of any Top Fuel driver over the two day, two round Easter event.
“While Sydney’s X-Champs presented a bit of a challenge we were able to find that balance again come race day, and now we come back to Willowbank Raceway 40 points in front of the title chase and ready to make a good assault to try and win the championship for the Rapisarda Autosport International team, which would be a maiden Top Fuel title for myself and crew chief Santino.”
With the recent hot streak and the biggest event of the year on the horizon, Dobson and the team are very much aware of the external pressures being in contention for the championship can bring.
“We are very much looking forward to getting to Willowbank Raceway and participating at the FUCHS Winternationals, it is such a special event on the calendar and especially at this time of my career where I am chasing the championship it really does mean everything to me,” said the Quinns Rock (WA) resident.
“When it comes to the pressures of the championship, we are of the mindset that you just have to try and turn that around and respect the pressure and the challenge and the position that we are in, and get ready to step up and do the best we can.
“It really is like tight-rope walking, it is a very fine race line that you have to walk and it will take a lot of discipline, a lot of judgement and so on, to successfully complete our mission.
“We will just keep focusing on the task ahead and on finding a good rhythm to start the event off with nice and early. At the end of the day the preparation and the planning is everything, you can only prepare as well as you can and then it is time to go racing and that is when the fun starts – the adrenalin starts and off you go.
“With our position in the championship recently when it has come time to ‘go’ I have certainly been feeling more aggressive, almost like I am standing tall in a fighting stance ready to be the first to react – I guess it really is like an old Texas shootout, we both have a revolver and whoever draws first just might get it as we all know those hundredths of a second can make all the difference.”
With a full field of eight Top Fuel racers set to take part in the FUCHS Winternationals, Dobson is not ready to discount any of his competitors.
“The competition will certainly be fierce, I really feel that it is important to acknowledge and respect the level of quality that is here amongst my racing competitors – at the end of the day, these guys are the ones that inspire you and elevate you to perform, they bring out the best in you and allow you to bring out the best in yourself,” said Dobson.
“Also deserving of acknowledgement and thanks is the two families – the Rapisarda family and the Dobson family – for allowing me this privilege of a lifetime and allowing me to keep on feeling that love and the passion for my racing and driving.
“For me the passion and love that goes into everything we do is so very important for all motorsport, not just drag racing. I was very saddened to hear this week of the passing of Sir Jack Brabham – I feel that he truly found immortality through Formula One and to do what he did in his own car and own engine and in an era where so many of his fellow drivers didn’t make it home – he truly is a motorsport guru for Australia and I really respect that.
“While he may not have been a drag racer, I think what he did was so important and needs to be respected and acknowledged especially at this time, and I certainly will be keeping him in mind as I seek to make the most out of my opportunity at the FUCHS Winternationals in a few weeks’ time.”
The Fuchs Winternationals will be held across the Queen’s Birthday long weekend (Thursday 5 June to Sunday 8 June 2014), with 430 racers from all across the country and New Zealand to compete in front of approximately 30,000 spectators across the four days.