Son of John Noonan, Jamie continues the family legacy at the 2011 Castrol EDGE Winternationals.
Mention the name ‘Noonan’ around the Top Alcohol drag racing fraternity, and you will most likely receive a warm smile from those that have been around the category for a few years.
With a string of ‘firsts’ in the category across Australia, John Noonan spent most of his racing career setting the benchmark in his lightning fast “Top Gun” dragster.
“We won the Top Alcohol Winternationals title in 1997, Jamie was a 20 year old with some big dreams back then, it’s great to see that some 14 years later, Jamie will make his debut at the same race meeting” says John Noonan. “We set so many track records across the country, first non-US build car to run a five second pass outside USA, first into the 240mph bracket in 1997.” stated John Noonan.
At this years’ 2011 Castrol Edge Winternationals though, it will be son, Jamie with his focus firmly on continuing the Noonan legacy. At 34 years of age Jamie could be considered a late starter in his racing career, but what many people don’t know is that he has already spent over 20 years deeply rooted in drag racing with his father, and in top level motorsport across the country.
“As sure as the sun comes up tomorrow I knew Jamie would ‘have to do what he has to do’. My career was spectacular enough with the following I had, but frustrated by just never getting to that illustrious pinnacle of ‘National Champion’. Jamie was ‘lost’ when I finally hung up the helmet, but vowed to one day continue the fight and reach the top that I tried so hard to achieve here, claimed John.
“I first started turning spanners on my father’s car when I was 12 yrs old, and by 15 I was rebuilding his 3000hp engines”, stated Jamie. “Drag racing was a way of life for me growing up, and while the last 12 years I have been mainly dedicated to V8 Supercars, with great success, drag racing is the catalyst for everything I do, and where my passion for engineering and engine building began”, says Noonan.
That passion and knowledge culminated in three V8 Supercar Championships with Stone Brothers Racing, and in the last 4 years the realisation of another dream, to build and run a very successful engineering business in Noonan Race Engineering (NRE). NRE have been responsible for the build, research and development of Brad Jones Racings’ engine programme since the start of 2010, and the development of the NRE X1 Billet Cylinder Head. “Since starting NRE, we have been very lucky to bring together a tight knit staff who are all passionate about what we do here – that’s so important”, says Jamie
“We are seeing good results with BJR in V8 Supercars, who are a fantastic group to work with, and with our cylinder heads being NHRA/FIA legally approved, are now sold throughout Australia, USA, and Europe with our distributors. We are definitely getting the job done overseas against the best in the business with our heads on the 2010 World ADRL (American Drag Racing League) Championship winning car, which also recently reset his own world E.T record,” boasted Noonan.
“The Winters will be a big learning curve for me from a driving standpoint, but having worked closely over recent years with current dual defending Winternationals champion Aaron Hambridge, who drove my car most of last year, I think we will have the car where it needs to be. It will be up to me to get it down the track the best I can,” says Noonan.
Making a racing debut at the Winternationals – the largest drag race meeting in the country, is a steep mountain to climb, but “that’s just how we roll at NRE”, says Noonan. “We do what others fear to try”.
Catch the NRE X1 Top Alcohol Dragster in action at the 2011 Castrol Edge Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway June 10th to 13th 2011.