Rapisarda Autosport International make the cut at U.S Nationals

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Wayne Newby has qualified 15th and will face off against Leah Pritchett, one of the brightest emerging talents on the NHRA tour, in the opening round of the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals on Tuesday morning, Australian time.

RAI star Wayne Newby drifted to 14th spot at the end of day two of qualifying after initally being ranked 10th after Q1.

Their second qualifying run was a 3.79/317.79 mph. A quicker time was thwarted by brake issues, a carry over from the previous day. “It was a clean run and we didn’t damage any parts,” said team owner Santo Rapisarda. “The time wasn’t too bad considering the car is being held back with brake problems – looking at the data I think we could have run a 3.75.”

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Their second run of the day ended when they smoked the tyres on the hit.

“It was disappointing but we will regroup. Tomorrow is going to be a lot hotter. We plan to concentrate on getting down the track a little bit quicker and secure a spot in the field for race day on Monday,” said Rapisarda. 

However the final day of qualifying was twarted with mechanical glitches leaving the team in 15th by the end of qualifying.

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“We made two runs down the track today,” said co-tuner Santino Rapisarda. “We weren’t really that happy E.T wise – however the team did get a lot of information.”

“We lacked power on our first pass and dropped a cylinder around 2 seconds. Then we had had an ignition glitch on the second run – I’m confident heading into race day we will have the power we need to go well in E1.”

“This is the Indy Nationals and it doesn’t get any bigger,” said fellow co-tuner Santo Rapisarda Jr as they prepare to take on the dominating Pritchett.

“Leah is a good friend of the Rapisarda team but that counts for nothing when the lights go green. We are excited to have qualified for the Nationals, you get to run with the best racers on the NHRA and the plan is to do what we do best – give ’em hell.”

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