Terry Sainty is looking to win his second Nitro Champs title at Sydney Dragway this weekend (Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1).
Sainty previously won the Nitro Champs when the event was held at the neighbouring Eastern Creek Raceway prior to the opening of the Sydney Dragway.
At this weekend’s Nitro Champs, Sainty will drive the Rapisarda black car, which he has driven for the team since the January Perth Top Fuel championship round. It is one of three cars entered by the Rapisarda Racing/Titan Cranes team.
Team principle, Santo Rapisarda Snr will be the crew chief on the car, while Sainty will be reunited with the regular crew members from the family-owned Sainty Engineering Top Fuel car, who will work on the Rapisarda car.
The Nitro Champs is the fourth event in two countries Sainty has raced at in the past five weeks.
Sainty and the multiple Australian championship-winning Rapisarda Racing/Titan Cranes team raced at round five of the 2010-2011 (Australian National Drag Racing Association) ANDRA Pro Series Top Fuel championship at Willowbank, Ipswich, on March 25-26.
The next weekend (April 1-3), Sainty and Team Rapisarda were in America, competing in round three of the (National Hot Rod Association) NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel championship at Las Vegas, Nevada.
Then, April 14-17 saw Sainty and Rapisarda Racing competing at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte, North Carolina.
Sainty also drove the Rapisarda car at the NHRA season-opening Winternationals at Pomona in February, qualifying in 17th place, missing the 16-car field by just 0.035-seconds.
At Las Vegas, Sainty qualified in 18th place and at Charlotte again qualified in 18th place, missing the cut by 0.027-seconds.
“It is a big effort to prepare and run three cars for this event in Australia and the course a car in the US. In fact, it has been a huge effort by Santo (Rapisarda) to fly a team from Australia to the US to race and then back to Australia,” Sainty said.
“He (Rapisarda) is a very generous man and I am extremely proud and privileged to drive his car, not only in Australia, but also in the US.
“While we have not yet managed to qualify in the US, it is only a matter of time. A win at the Nitro Champs would certainly go a long way to rewarding Santo’s efforts and patience.
“A good result, even a win at this event, will give us valuable points and move us up on the (ANDRA Pro Series) championship ladder. If we can leave Sydney in second place in the championship that would be a bonus for everybody,” Sainty said.
After the Nitro Champs, Sainty and Team Rapisarda will return to the US to race at NHRA events in Atlanta, Georgia (May 13-15), Topeka, Kansas (May 20-22) and Englishtown, New Jersey (June 2-5), before returning to Australia for the season-ending Winternationals at Willowbank (June10-13).
(Bruce Biegler Photos)