Rapisarda Autosport International will make their highly anticipated return to the NHRA series at the 63rd annual U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway on August 30-Sept 4.
Wayne Newby will drive at the meeting with tuning duties shared between Santino Rapisarda and Santo Rapisarda Jnr.
“We’re excited to be returning to America,”said team owner Santo Rapisarda. “The U.S. Nationals is the biggest and most important event on the NHRA calendar. Last season we narrowly missed the cut and this time we want to go one better. The team has come on leaps and bounds over the last year and I’m quietly confident we can do well. Being the Nationals there will be more cars than there are qualifying spots and the first order of business will be to make the field.”
RAI are hopeful of building on their on their superb 2016-17 season where they dominated the Australian 400 Thunder Series winning back-to-back titles and became the first team to smash the last frontier in Australian Top Fuel – the 4.50 sec barrier. On the opening night of qualifying for the 50th Winternationals in June Damien Harris made history with a majestic lap of 4.43/540 km/h. Next day team-mate Wayne Newby raced to a 4.48/520km/h.
“We would have liked to come over earlier and run a couple of rounds but the family have been busy with work commitments,” said Rapisarda. “The plan is to go over a week before the meeting, get the car and trailer organisedand then do some testing.
“At this stage we are planning on running only at Indy. However, that could change depending on how we go.”