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In a strong return to form, Phil Lamattina piloted the FUCHS Lubricants Top Fuel Dragster to a B-Final win at the Saltwood @ Rosedale Australia Day Nationals at Sydney Dragway and recorded the quickest elapsed time of the event with a 3.818.

The event was a NDRC Australian Top Fuel Championship round double header with Lamattina claiming the B-Final win at the first round of the event. The second NDRC round was due to be held the next day, unfortunately persistent wet weather saw the eventual cancellation of racing and the NDRC championship round is due to be rescheduled later in the season. The call was a huge disappointment to Lamattina and LTFR who were feeling a great synergy as the event was progressing.

“We genuinely thought going into the championship round on the Saturday LTFR had the car to stand on top of the podium,” said Lamattina. “Sydney Dragway is celebrating their 20-year anniversary at this event, and LTFR has recently surpassed 20 years with FUCHS Lubricants, it would have made a fairytale result. The team were really pumped after our performances on day one, so now we will have to continue our momentum at the next event in Perth.”

With the event format set down as two championship rounds in two days meant there would be no qualifying, and the pressure would be on going straight into racing against fierce rival, PremiAir Racing’s Peter Xiberras in round one. Track and air conditions were brutal with the temperature gauge nudging 40C, but both teams delivered a solid race until the FUCHS Dragster smoked the tyres and broke a blower belt late in the race allowing Xiberras to sneak past at the finish line. It was unfortunate luck with Lamattina out in front until that point in the race.

“I was in front of Pete and didn’t actually see him, then I turned the tyres and pedalled it, I thought it hooked back up, but the blower belt departed, and he just sailed past right at the very end.” said Lamattina.

Conditions had improved for round two race against former team driver Shane Olive, Lamattina was again quickest on the tree in reaction time and rocketed away to a 4.818/314.83MPH win, one of the team’s quickest passes ever with the run also holding up as quickest overall of the event.

“We’ve been testing and working so damn hard, and this run was the pay off, I am so proud of the whole team, I am just the lucky bugger who gets to drive it,” said Lamattina.

As results fell, Lamattina would again race the PremiAir team again in the B-Final. It was the race of the event with the two nemeses locked together side by side down the quarter mile, the holeshot to Lamattina set the win up with the FUCHS Lubricants Top Fuel Dragster extending the advantage at the stripe running 3.821 to 3.855 for the hard-fought win.

“We have been chasing him for a fair few race meetings – there is friendly banter and there are also words that hurt, and it is good to finally get a win on him,” said Lamattina.

“We weren’t fast enough last time out at The Bend, we have tested and credit to goes Crew Chiefs Aaron Hambridge, Dean Rossiter, all the crew and the support from FUCHS in turning our performances around in a short time.”

LTFR were racing with heavy hearts in remembrance of Sheridan Coulthard, daughter of long-time crew mate Gav who sadly passed away two weeks prior.

“This event though is all about Sheridan Coulthard, Gav, and the entire Coulthard family at such a tragic time, they are all part of our LTFR family, our hearts are broken, and I hope we have done them proud.”

The next schedule round of the NDRC Australian Top Fuel Championship will be the Westernationals at the Perth Motorplex, March 2-3.

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