A combined 56,000 nitro horsepower will come to bear on Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway this Friday and Saturday with the running of Santo’s Super 3 Extreme presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes.
Seven of Australia’s quickest Top Fuel dragsters and their pilots are set to do battle in two separate ANDRA championship rounds over two nights. Not only will racers vie for championship points but also for the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy.
It will be the third event for 32 year old John Lamattina, the youngest brother of the Lamattina Top Fuel Racing team.
Like many younger brothers, Lamattina gets the hand me downs. At least that is the joke going around his race team after older brother Phil took the wheel of the dragster John piloted last season, with Phil’s rail passed to John.
“Phil calls it the hand me down and I didn’t at first but now I am starting to,” John laughed. “But we tested it at Sydney Dragway a few weeks ago with a new front end like what is on the other car and it is ready to go.”
John, who enjoys hunting around the family’s carrot farm when the family isn’t away racing, said he wasn’t the type to set goals or targets and that Top Fuel racing was just something he likes to do when the team has the opportunity to field two cars.
“If I was racing full time I’d say I want to win a championship, but not doing all the rounds means the championship is out of reach,” he said. “But I’d like to perform well side by side against Phil – he’s the measuring stick.
“I don’t single any one racer out as someone I’d like to beat, you need to respect everybody.”
The brothers have been sharing tips on how to tackle Willowbank Raceway though, unique in respect to its downhill braking area.
“I asked Phil about Brisbane because there has always been different opinions on what it is like there,” he said. “The timing boards are not actually on the finish line and you can’t see the run off (braking area) from the track. He gave me an insight on that so that it is not a surprise when it happens.”
Lamattina will take on the strongest field yet this season that includes not just older brother and points leader Phil, but last year’s event winner Steve Read, three times former Australian champion Phil Read, Damien Harris, Allan Dobson and newcomer Peter Xiberras.
It will be full throttle nitro competition not to be missed.
Racing runs from 5.00pm to 9.30pm each night and will be supported by championship Top Alcohol racing and a program of entertainment including Top Fuel Motorcycles, Top Doorslammers and Pro Street amid a flurry of on-track light and audio-visual theatrics.
Tickets are available at www.willowbankraceway.com.au or at the gate.