Lamattina: New car, new organisation and new goals

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Reigning ANDRA Top Fuel Champion, Phil Lamattina has tested his new, latest-specification Fuchs Top Fuel dragster and the verdict is not an encouraging one for his championship rivals – “This is the best race car I have ever driven!”

The new car features the latest, cutting-edge chassis construction techniques as well as full-carbon fibre constructed body panels. The car is the handy-work of famed chassis shop, McKinney Corporation based out of Lafayette, Indiana and on that side of the new car is a new logo.

The Fuchs Winternationals will see charity organisation, beyondblue, join the team’s list of corporate partners for the very first time.

An organisation focused on mental health, beyondblue’s charter is to work to reduce the impact of anxiety, depression and suicide in the community by raising awareness and understanding, empowering people to seek help, and supporting recovery, management and resilience. 

Team driver Phil Lamattina explained, “We recently lost someone very close to us, someone we regarded as a part of our family. Our association with beyondblue might help someone else to not have to go through what we have experienced, which has been tough. More than winning anything on the race track, that is probably the most important contribution we could possibly make.”

The team will be offering Fuchs seat cushions from their pit area with a gold coin donation going directly to beyondblue.

“You can be comfortable and make a difference, we hope the Willowbank race fans will support the initiative, it really is worthwhile. To be partnering with Fuchs on this is outstanding and shows not only what Fuchs contributes to our sport but also, to the wider community,” explained Lamattina.

Having tested the new car at last weekend’s Winternationals Warm-up, Lamattina was extremely pleased with the performance.

“We tried a few things and the incremental times were very, very good.

“This car is easily the best chassis that we have ever had. We made some changes during the course of the day and it responded, we made some improvements and again, the car did what we thought it would do. We already have a great base setting, so now we can start to hop it up!”

Whilst ergonomics are not generally one of the defining points for a Top Fuel machine, Lamattina was very comfortable as well as fast.

“It sounds like a simple thing but with the new car, it’s easy to see out of and it’s also easy to drive. From the moment I jumped into it, I felt at home and that will help every other thing that we do.”

The new chassis sees younger brother, John take the reigns of the machine that took last year’s championship as the LTFR team take a two-car fight to the four-car Rapisarda squad.

“It’s great to have the US guys here like ‘Cory Mac’ (Cory McClenathan) and Lee Beard, it’s makes it an even greater event.

“We have a great weekend ahead of us and when you look at the entry list, it really is a big, bad Top Fuel field and we can’t wait to get it underway!

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