Phil Read makes emotion charged Nitro Champs final

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Three times Aussie Top Fuel Champion Phil Read made it into another consecutive final.

Driving the Auto one, Wynn’s, Valvoline, McDonald’s, MTU Detroit Diesel Top Fuel dragster after eliminating his way through one of the toughest fields of Top Fuel ever witnessed in the country at last weekend’s Nitro Champs held at Sydney Raceway. Team mate Martin Stamatis also made the Semi-finals.

After qualifying second with a 4.73 for Phil Read, and a 4.97 for Stamatis in third position, the JRR team was very happy going into eliminations with two 4-second cars.

In the first round of eliminations, the race of the season built up as current Championship leader Stamatis matched up to race second place contender just 5 points behind him in Phil Lamattina, while for Phil Read, he paired up against Rob Shepherd.

As the tension built, the crowd witnessed not only arguably the best race of the season, but also the best Top Fuel round with several very close races.

Round One saw Stamatis v Lamattina, and after both pulling .11 reaction times, the race was on to the finish line where Stamatis took the win. Stamatis’winning time a 4.717 to a 4.722. The win margin was just 4/1000ths of a second!

In the other race, Phil Read set the quickest ET for the event blasting out an awesome 4.658 at over 311 mph (500+ kmh). Read also reacted with a .11 reaction time while he eliminated Shepherd’s chasing 5.18.

The match up for the Semi-finals was another classic drag race for the JRR team where Read indefinitely met his team-mate in Stamatis.
Both drivers leaving the start-line with a .10 reaction time for Read, and .11 for Stamatis, but it was all over early for Stamatis when he smoked the tyres handing Read the win with his again super quick and consistent 4.694 at 315.93 mph (508 kmh)

In the Final, Read met up with Santo Rapisarda Racing driver Mark Mariani who had run 4.82 and 4.80 to make his way into the Finals, and it was Read who was lightning quick on the start line leaving first with a .057 reaction time compared to Mariani’s also quick .084, and it was a great drag race to the finish line as both cars caught fire, Mariani just getting there with a 4.97 against Read’s chasing 5.05.

This was Marks first ever win in Top Fuel and in a funny way Phil stated ‘I was glad to share it with him as our families have raced together for many years’.

It was an emotional and a great win for Mark Mariani and the Rapisarda Racing family Team, and we would like to congratulate them all on their win.

After a great weekend of racing, Stamatis commented: “We are happy with the way our Billview, Snap on, Wynn’s car is running and to make the Semi-finals was a great result for all of the hard work, long hours and late nights that our teams put in. Jim Read Racing Crew Chiefs Rob Cavagnino, Bruce Read and all the crew put a lot of effort into giving Phil and I quick and consistent race cars, so we are looking forward to the season ending Winternationals in June were Jim Read Racing will be dueling for a one-two finish in the Top Fuel Australian Championship points for 2009-2010.”

Event details for the upcoming Winternationals to be held at Willowbank Raceway Winternationals over the weekend of 10th- 13th June 2010 can be found at:

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