Noonan to make his presence felt with V8 Nights

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Top Alcohol competitor Jamie Noonan is no stranger to V8 Supercars, winning multiple titles with Stone Brothers Racing as part of the mechanical brains trust behind Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall’s championship titles, and more recently as the power behind Brad Jones Racing, but while his exploits behind the scenes are without question, it’s his ability behind the wheel that is gaining the most attention.

This weekend Noonan will line up at Willowbank Raceway, just down the road from his usual haunt of Queensland Raceway to compete at the annual Fuchs Winternationals, arguably the biggest event on the drag racing calendar.

“We made our debut at the Winternationals last year,” Noonan said. “And we went pretty well.”

By pretty well, the modest 31-year old actually top qualified in his maiden event, in one of the toughest categories in the country.

“Everything went according to plan, and the car performed faultlessly, form we’re hoping to take into this year’s running,” he said.

Noonan is no stranger to the sport, having travelled the country as a child with his father John who campaigned one of the most successful Top Alcohol teams in the country during the 80s and 90s, planting a seed that would continue to grow and influence Jamie’s career.

“I’d been around the sport my whole life, and for me there was only once choice when it came to a career,” he said. “At the time there weren’t any full-time roles going as a drag racing mechanic, so I looked to V8 Supercars, and kicked off with Stone Brothers.”

Jamie formed an integral part of the all-conquering Stone Brothers team during the Ambrose-Ingall era, before electing to open his own shop to develop amongst other things, product for the drag racing industry. But he wasn’t finished with V8 Supercars, far from it.

“A number of teams approached us about doing something, but in the end I found that I had great rapport with Brad Jones Racing, and I liked the way they ran the business as a family, so I agreed to assist with their engine development, but at the same time I was aware that for us as a business, our market was drag racing. V8 Supercars essentially run one restricted engine with tight tolerances and almost bulletproof parts, whereas drag racing campaigns a variety of different engine types, from Pro Stock to Top Fuel and everything in between.”

Moving into Top Alcohol was as much a business decision as a personal one and it is a part of his life Noonan plans to expand.

“The decision to run the Top Alcohol Dragster was made essentially to provide us a test bed for all the development we do and the products we market, including the X1 heads which are making a name for themselves around the world,” he said. “With our commitment to our clients though, we have only run at Willowbank because we haven’t had the time to make other events, but the plan for 2013 is to campaign the full national program.”

For Willowbank though Noonan’s presence will not just be evident on track, with the Top Alcohol ‘rookie’ also making a statement with a new livery.

“V8 Nights have joined us for Willowbank this year, and as a result we have a stunning new blue and black livery which is bound to take the fans by surprise, it really stands out,” he said. “I’m very excited to have Dave Viola and his team on board, they have a great product, and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

The Fuchs Winternationals takes place on June 8-11 at Willowbank Raceway near Ipswich, Queensland. The full ANDRA drag racing experience will be on show including all pro categories and the best sportsman racers in the nation taking part in the Rocket Allstars Racing Series


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