Roma’s Laurie Fitzgerald heads to this weekend’s grand finale of the 2014 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series – to be held on Saturday 27 September at Ironbark Raceway – as a two-time champion in the box seat to clinch a third Series title.
However, with only a small points margin covering the top racers of the Ice Slushee Super Sedan bracket in which he competes, the racing veteran says anything could happen.
“There are about five or six racers at this point that could walk away with the Series win, and even more who could claim the runner-up spot, it is extremely competitive,” said Fitzgerald.
“I think that is great, I love it being such a tight race right down to the very end. It really is the great thing about this Series that it encourages competition like it does.
“Absolutely anything can happen this weekend, so we will just have to try about best, just like everyone else will be!”
While it’s anyone’s game, Fitzgerald doesn’t expect the famous friendly and relaxed atmosphere of the JP Racing Eighth Mile Series to disappear.
“It won’t make a difference at all, it will still be a great atmosphere with cars and people from all over South East Queensland and even further away,” said Fitzgerald, who is supported on-track by Lucas Oils.
“We all love this kind of racing, and we all keep an eye on the points and give each other a good ribbing when we win a race or advance a point or two ahead, it adds to the fun.
“To be honest, I couldn’t care less about going to some of the more famous events, I love this Eighth Mile Series more than those as it is just such a great atmosphere – everyone is mates, we all help each other out, it’s just unbelievable the comradery that we have going, and this weekend will be no different.”
If things go Fitzgerald’s way this weekend, it will be the first Series title claimed by him at his home track.
“I won the Old School bracket in 2012 at Warwick and the Modified bracket in 2010 at Benaraby, but we haven’t won the big one at home just yet – hopefully I can make that happen this weekend, maybe then I can retire!” laughed Fitzgerald, who has been racing for more than 15 years.
“The Series this year hasn’t gone all that well for me, but it hasn’t gone that well for anyone else either – we have all had our ups and downs through the Series so I have been lucky to have been able to stay high up on the points ladder.
“We are hoping we can bring it home this weekend and clinch the title on the home track – hopefully we can find a home track advantage!
“We have run at Ironbark Raceway in the last few weeks and put in a lot of concentration on tuning the car up right for the finale, and we have got some great times and speeds out of the Corvette, so I am really happy with that, it will just come down to my ability on the day now!
“Anything could happen, it is so close, and I am especially worried about Gary Clarke – that guy is so ‘on the money’ at the moment it is unbelievable, and with extra points on offer courtesy of it being the finale round, there is no telling how this is going to end up.
“A huge thanks has to go to all of the workers at all of the clubs this Series visits, they are the ones on the sidelines and behind the scenes making this happen and they are wonderful people, I am very thankful to them for all they do so we can go racing in this great Series.”
As Fitzgerald and his fellow racers get ready for this weekend’s action, it isn’t just the Ice Slushee Super Sedan bracket that is too close to call. The championship chase for all six brackets alive and well, with some brackets having only one point between the top two and multiple racers in contention.
Ironbark Raceway’s Grand Finale of the 2014 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series will take place on Saturday 27 September 2014. Entries are available on the day and spectator tickets will be available for purchase at the gate at $15.00 for adults, and children aged under 15 gain free admission. Gates open at 8.00am with time trials from 11.00am to 3.00pm and racing from 4.00pm.
For more information on the 2014 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series, including information on rules, how to enter and the points system, please visit to www.willowbankraceway.com.au