Emilio and Adamo Spinozzi have launched their 2018/19 400 Thunder season with some serious speed at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Drag Strip.
One of the highlights of the Nitro Up North event for the team was the amount of power coming from the Hemi in the Speedmaster Chevelle, which lived up to its name. A top speed of 252.52mph (406.38kph) was the second fastest clocking of the entire Pro Slammer field.
“The car looked the best it ever has in terms of power,” Emilio Spinozzi said. “I think that shows Michael is getting on top of the engine’s tune up.
“Right now we are concentrating on getting the clutch to be repeatable which will allow us to apply that power to the track earlier in the run.”
Friday night’s testing saw the team quickly get a handle on the changing track conditions. A first session pass of 6.10 seconds was the quickest of any team, while a 6.08 second run in the second test session was the third quickest in the field.
“We’re still setting this car up, but we read the track well in those early sessions,” Spinozzi said. “The track got dewy late on Friday night which affected a few teams. When it came to race day however we seemed to lose our mojo, with the car wanting to spin the tyres on the start line for our first two runs.
“For the third and final racing round we backed the tune up right off and shifted early to get through, so a 6.25 was really nothing to write home about.
“We know our power is good. We know the car is good. So we are going in search of what is affecting our consistency. This car is still virtually brand new and we are constantly learning.”
While disappointed not to see more win lights, Spinozzi enjoyed getting to race one of his childhood heroes – Victor Bray.
“Adamo and I grew up watching Victor Bray, he was a legend in the sport – still is,” he said. “To line up against Victor was an honour.”
Guests from Hitachi also enjoyed the spectacle from the corporate suite, part of a massive Darwin crowd that turned out again for Nitro Up North.
“The actual meeting was awesome, we had a great time with great people,” Spinozzi said. “The folks from Hitachi all had a great time and we had a lot of fans go through our pit area and sit in the car. We met a lot of people there, this being our first time to Darwin.
“We spent a couple of extra days exploring the town and we can’t wait to return to the Northern Territory, it was a good break from the cold weather we have had in Sydney lately.”
With a four month break until the next round of the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer series at Sydney Dragway, the Speedmaster team will again be doing many test days to find the sweet spot for their 3000 horsepower Chevelle.
“We are looking at putting some different things in place and going back out for testing, we will keep at it until we produce the results we are after,” Spinozzi said.
Spinozzi thanked team sponsors Speedmaster, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Nicsons Concrete, Torco Oils, LJ Hooker Commercial Macarthur, Soligo Concrete, Sloanebuilt Trailers, Pasta Italia, Optimum Fire, Planned Signs, Kemps Creek Mitre 10, Western Filters, Speedflow, Al’s Race Glides, Smithfield Diff and Gearbox, Race Teknix and Corfield Media Solutions for their continued support.