Judd looking for back-to-back Australian Nationals’ titles

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Robin Judd is looking to kick-start his quest to win the 2010-2011 (Australian National Drag Racing Association) ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer championship series by winning back-to-back Fuchs Australian Nationals titles at Sydney Dragway (SD), September 10-12.

A fresh look for the Studebaker
Perth-based Judd won last year’s 44th annual Australian Nationals, then after a season-long battle with arch-rival, John Zappia, was runner up in the seven-race Top Doorslammer championship series by just 19 points, the narrowest margin in the championship series history.

Judd will also unveil a new livery scheme on his ’59 Studebaker at the Nationals, to coincide with logo change by his primary sponsor William Buck.

One of only two Top Doorslammer drivers to compete in all 11 Australian Nationals since the class became a Group One championship category, Judd has finished in the top 10 in each of the 11 Top Doorslammer championship series run to date, including runner-up three times.

Judd knows if he reaches the Nationals final and wins the event, he will leave Sydney leading the championship series, just as he did last year.

However, in a sport where fractions of a second can be the difference between winning and losing, Judd also knows in order to win the championship series he needs to improve on last

Judd and Zappia both won two events last season. Judd was runner-up in two events and Zappia three, however, Zappia picked up elapse time (ET) bonus points at six events, while Judd had the quickest car at just one event.

“Over the past two years the momentum and enthusiasm has lifted dramatically in the William Buck team. We have improved on our consistency, but there were times when we struggled to get a handle on the first part of the track, which cost us a couple of races. Avoiding problems in low gear is the improvement we will be looking for the season,” Judd said.

“I’m looking for a five percent performance improvement and a 10 percent increase in consistency.

Last season we ran 21 five-second passes, which is an average of 3.5 per event. Our quickest pass was 5.828 seconds. This season we will have to run five to six five-second passes per event to be assured of being in the final with a lot of those in the 5.80sec zone, maybe even dipping into a 5.79sec if needed.”

“A lot of people don’t realise just how difficult it is to improve from say 5.85sec to a 5.80-second pass. It is a big mountain to climb in our bracket as we are governed by strict rules with the cars pushed to their absolute limit. We want to run quicker and be the first into the 5.70sec zone, like we were the first in the 5.80’s. But the consistency is the thing”

“If we can improve our performance level by between two to five percent and consistency by a little more, we should be right in the (championship) mix. Of course we also have to win events, at least three, starting with the Nationals plus take home our share of bonus (ET) points.

” During the off-season the William Buck Studebaker has undergone a makeover. “We have done some work on the body, repainted it traditional white and added a new livery. We have also made improvements within the cockpit, including an updated radio for better communications and the addition of a helmet fresh air system.

“We hope to win the Nationals and that it will be the springboard for us in the Top Doorslammer championship series. After Sydney we head back to the Perth Motorplex for the start of the WA
season and then the next TD round in early December,” Judd said.

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