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The Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway got off to a great start for the Hydraulink Jim Read Racing team during Friday’s Top Fuel testing, but from there, lady luck well and truly shunned the team at what was the final round of the 2023/2024 Top Fuel Championship.

“Friday’s planned half track test pass was on an absolute ripper, an absolute tear,” Hydraulink Jim Read Racing driver, Phil Read, explains.

“As we were coming up to half track it was feeling so good, it was really hard to take the foot off the pedal!

“That saw us pumped up full of confidence heading into the weekend, but unfortunately that is where our luck ended for our Winternats weekend.

“While things certainly didn’t go our way, we have to say it was great to be back at Willowbank Raceway and to be a part of this great event which was well and truly appreciated by a huge crowd. We really appreciated everyone’s support.”

Hydraulink Jim Read Racing Crew Chief, Bruce Read, was understandably feeling despondent following the weekend which cannot be described as anything but character building for the entire team.

“The first half run on Friday where we did the planned shut off was fantastic and all the increments were good, everything looked great,” Bruce said.

“Then we had an electrical issue in qualifying, which we got around. And then in the first round of racing this morning against Damien Harris, we had a $100 air timer log blow the back out, which dumped all of the air from the system so the car had no clutch and there was no load on the engine, so the conrods said no more.

“As far as the second run today, I haven’t had time to analyse what happened but something mechanical went away and resulted in that huge fireball everyone saw.

“Every run really put an exclamation point on our horrible things were going, and that one really did, along with an underline!

“Thankfully Phil is okay, but we weren’t able to come back out for the third run as the drive shaft and the couple won’t line up, which means the chassis has been tweaked.

“Sometimes you have those weekends where everything goes wrong and that was certainly the case today.

“It is especially disappointing given how well things started out – we headed to race one full of confidence and I know the Rapisardas were worried about us as they knew how good we ran the day before, but it just didn’t come together.

“I have to say thank you to all the fans for coming by and wishing us well this weekend – the crowd here this weekend has just been phenomenal, and how good is it to see Willowbank Raceway back online. And thank you to all our sponsors for standing by us.”

Hydraulink Jim Read Racing is supported on track by Hydraulink, Valvoline, Snap-On, McDonalds, FXD Workwear, Comp Cams, PremiAir Hire, Odyssey Batteries, PMP Motorsport Products, Oasis Aquatics, Oasis Heat Pumps, Speed Gas, Spa Electric Pool Lighting, Pacific Pools and Sander Engineering. The team also thanks Richard Smith for his assistance with photography services. To learn more about Hydraulink Jim Read Racing, visit https://www.facebook.com/JimReadRacing

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