Harris reacts to Nitro Max challenge

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Rapisarda Autosport International Top Fuel driver Damien Harris says he needs to work on the consistency of his reaction times coming into this weekend’s Nitro Max event at Perth Motorplex.

The Western Australian racer had a red light in the opening round of competition just over a week ago at Coates Hire West Coast Nitro and said he will need to make amends for the mistake.

“I had some bad lights (reaction times) on earlier runs and I was trying to anticipate the light,” he said. “I was so hopped up and it was just driver brain fade.

“I’m just trying to work on consistency now. I’m not so fussed on the number as such. But it seems like I’ll have a good light and then they get progressively worse as the day goes on or vice versa.”

Harris will have plenty of opportunity to test his reactions as two 400 Thunder championship rounds take place over two days at the Motorplex.

Saturday sees one shot qualifying followed by an elimination round and finals, with Sunday a repeat, offering a rare chance to ‘double up’ on gold Christmas tree tropies.

Harris said as a driver he likes traditional qualifying and eliminations, but the team has adapted their strategy to suit the different format.

“It’s one chance to qualify and it is a lot of pressure, one small mistake can cost you big time,” he said.

Harris’ crew chief Santo Rapisarda Junior has been continuing to develop the clutch program for the 10,000 horsepower nitro dragster and while it is still a work in progress, Harris feels the team is getting closer.

“The car is good, there are a few little things Junior is trying to tweak,” he said. “The tuning window is tight and he is trying to open up that window. Engine wise it was good, we didn’t have any troubles.”

Consistent 4.7s has been the team’s mantra but depending on conditions they might be able to step up.

“It will depend on the weather and the track as to whether we can run 4.6s,” Harris said. “Santino (Rapisarda, crew chief for Harris’ team mate Wayne Newby) got his car to run a 4.71 so it was close.”

Nitro Max at Perth Motorplex will feature not only nitro burning Top Fuel dragsters but also nitro Top Bikes plus the second 400 Thunder sportsman round to be held in Western Australia.

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