Rachelle Splatt has returned to the Top Fuel ranks with her first day of testing going into the books at Sydney Dragway today.
Splatt, now carrying major sponsorship from OVO Mobile, chose a warm day to make her comeback, with the track reading 145F. Fortunately she has American crew chiefs Ron Douglas and Mike Domagala in town to assist the team coming to grips with running a Top Fuel dragster once again.
The first pass saw a very high idle after the completion of the burnout but the team was still able to send the car, Splatt shutting off on a planned 330 foot run. The car mixed cylinders early but that was probably of more help than hindrance on the melting race track.
“When we finally got the car out on the race track I was really calm and felt at home,” she said. “I felt like I had done it yesterday. The car felt really good as it took off and I didn’t really feel like getting off the accelerator.”
Splatt said she was pleased to have the help of Douglas and Domagala on board.
“It’s amazing to have those two guys work on the car. I just can’t believe how lucky I am to look at them out there and everything they are doing and the knowledge they have brought over into my team.”
They weren’t the only two valuable faces in the pit area, with Splatt’s father Ian, a drag racing legend in his own right, returning to his role in guiding Rachelle through her staging routine.
“I just could not do it without Dad. Him in front of the car, guiding me back, staging me, I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing that. He has been doing that with me since 1993 when I first got in a Top Fuel car.”
The OVO Mobile team will be back at Sydney Dragway tomorrow to continue testing and aim to have a combination they can tackle race day with.
“Tomorrow we will try and get out on the track as many times as we can. I just want to feel comfortable going into the race on Saturday where I am up against other drivers and competing.”
Check out some more pictures below of Rachelle’s return to the track.