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A recent 10th historical round within the history for the fast emerging Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship did include some additional star power, with America’s Larry Dixon (from Indianapolis Indiana) returning to once again pilot one of the RAI Top Fuel Dragsters.

For Dixon, who’s reputation within major league drag racing is long-lasting and championship extensive, this driving appearance (during Sydney Dragway’s Atlantic Oil Top Fuel Slam event Jan 27-28) was just his latest venture to Australia and something that is now bordering almost on an annual basis.

“If I remember correctly — I’ve now made about a dozen trips to Australia with the first time coming in 2013,” Larry reflected.  “It’s something I really look forward to when the opportunity presents itself.   I have always driven here for the Rapisarda Autosport team and it’s been a lot of fun watching them evolve over the years.  Their racing operation has grown immensely – from one car originally to three cars now.  Their equipment has stepped up dramatically too.  I have no reservation saying that any one of their cars (as well as all other teams here in ATFC) would be fully capable of qualifying and going rounds within the NHRA.”

Larry Dixon racing at Grand Bend Motorplex in Ontario in 2017

Dixon is taking away some serious positives about the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship series – citing both the format as well as the competition.

“Obviously due to the limited number of cars currently here the series had to get creative – which they certainly did,” Larry continued.  “They have worked hard to optimise things and have brought a different way to the table for Top Fuel racing.  I like the way the points are awarded based on both win lights and performance.  Having those A-B-C finals is a great idea – every round means something for the competitors.   That involvement gives the fans a great show – because every team car is “all in” for every run down the track.” 

“It was an extra honour to be able to enter at their milestone 10th ever event,” Larry added.  “I was here for their first ever race (2022) and I can tell from talking to the other competitors there really is some renewed excitement for the Top Fuel class here.  So I think the future is very bright because their format works well for no matter how many cars are entered, be it 4 – 8 or maybe even someday 16.”

“The  ATFC also does a remarkable job between rounds or during down time, things like putting in-pit interviews on the big screen and lots of opportunity for fan interaction.  Today’s modern day drag racing fans need to be entertained – and they have a great formula with that in mind.”

The 3 time NHRA Champion has had his fair share of iconic moments – some infamous.

For Larry Dixon the trips to Australia have also established him further as a well-spoken Ambassador for the sport of drag racing – with world wide recognition.  Over the years his racing presence within the USA and also within Canada have been formidable.   That vast experience has led him to a common denominator of sorts attesting his world view.

“Racing in Top Fuel in three different countries is something most people cannot say,” he beamed.  “But that has brought me to one big positive about the sport of drag racing.  While there are different political views everywhere — as soon as you hear and smell nitro – everyone is the same.”

Story by DNM Correspondent Bruce Biegler

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Drag News Magazine
Video by Zotti Motorsports Media

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