Rapisarda Autosport International readies for U.S. Nationals return

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Rapisarda Autosport International is preparing for its latest foray into the USA, with Wayne Newby set to compete at the U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis in just over two weeks.

Santo Rapisarda Jr, who will crew chief with brother Santino, said some of the team have headed over to Indy early to prepare the car with some new equipment and get ready for testing.

“The equipment we are using has remained over here in the workshop,” Santo Jr explained. “I made a trip over in March to send home some engines, heads and other parts so we were fully equipped to run the three cars at the last couple of races back home.

“So we have come over early, purchased and assembled more blocks, cranks, heads and a whole new piston and rod combination plus anything else necessary to be 100% ready.

“Since last year NHRA has made a rule change on the manifolds and tyres so we have had to make those changes.”

With a best of 3.77 over the NHRA-mandated 1000 feet racing distance, Rapisarda would like to see the team edge lower to match the performances teams are throwing down this season.

“We see some room for improvement and to be realistic we need to run 3.75 and better to even think about being competitive enough to win races,” he said. “We will be testing two days next week to blow off the cob webs, get the crew working together and get Newbs comfortable in this car again before Q1 at the U.S. Nationals, as well as testing a few things that we hope can put us in that 3.75 or better zone.”

Currently the team is only planning to do the testing and the US Nationals before returning home, but Rapisarda said there is always the chance that father, Santo the senior, will give the nod to take another crack.

“You never know, if we run good the old man has always had a habit of telling us to go for it and do more races,” he said.

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