Stamatis back for Sydney

This article brought to you by:

IMG 7022

Former national Top Fuel champion Martin Stamatis will make a return to racing at the Nitro Champs event in May at Sydney Dragway.

The West Australian driver had been out of the seat of his nitro methane-fuelled dragster for about two years due to some minor health issues, but recently made a pair of test passes to get both himself and his new team back into the groove.

Stamatis was the Australian champion back in 2010 and recorded some of the quickest drag racing passes in the country.

“I decided that now was as good a time as any to get back into it,” he said. “The Nitro Champs was my debut meeting in 2006.”

Stamatis said returning to the cockpit of the dragster, which accelerates to over 500kmh in just 4.5 seconds and produces 10,000 horsepower, was a sobering experience.

“It was surreal being back in the car,” he said. “The first pass was meant to be to quarter track, but it spun the tyres about 50 metres from the start line and I didn’t catch it.

“The second pass was a little bit ugly too because it dropped cylinders, but as I said to my crew chief Rob Cavagnino we just need to do things in order and get that feeling back in my my mind.”

Top Fuel drag racing requires a small army of people just to get one car to the track and Stamatis said while he has a mix of experienced crew members and fresh people, it will take time for the team to gel.

Stamatis simply wants to get reacquainted with racing after his break and for him the Nitro Champs is an opportunity to blow out the cobwebs before a more comprehensive race campaign next season. That said, his crew chief believes the team has winning potential even in test mode.

“I say we are still in test mode and Rob says we are in race mode,” laughed Stamatis. “We want to make a show happen for drag racing and start doing our own thing again.

“We were looking forward to maybe doing some more testing before the event, but it is not going to work out as I have business commitments. But Sydney Dragway have added a test session on the day of the event so by the time the first round comes along we should be okay.”

With all the infrastructure starting to come into place, Stamatis is looking forward to being back in the fray of Top Fuel drag racing.

“We have a team, we have a pit crew, we have a state-of-the-art trailer and transporter and it is just a case of dusting off the car and getting back out,” he said.

“The new season is looking good for me. I would say we will do the Nitro Champs and then do some more testing. Then whenever the new season starts we will hit that.”


Aeroflow Performance Parts Catalogue

Drag News Magazine