Top Fuel champion plans return

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Western Australian Top Fuel champion Martin Stamatis will be back in the seat of a Top Fuel dragster soon as progress continues on returning to the track.

Stamatis will be doing it differently this time, running his own car as opposed to the lease deal he had previously, which is taking some time as all the elements come together.

“We’ve always said we would return to drag racing. I’m starting to get a bit more time these days,” he said. “We have acquired the championship car off Jim (Read) but unfortunately just having a car doesn’t mean you can go racing. There are a lot of things involved in setting up a team like the workshop, inventory and transportation. We’re aiming to do at least a couple of rounds this season, but we’re not sure when they will be.”

Despite living in Perth himself, Stamatis is setting up the team to be based in Sydney, saying it made sense given that is where his crew chief and mechanics reside.

“Some of the senior members of the original Billview team are key players in car preparation so it seems silly to have those people live in Sydney and a car based in Perth,” he said.

“They test fired the car three weeks ago but there is inventory like cylinder heads, superchargers and cranks that need to be obtained before we go racing. We have got a fairly strong inventory but the equipment we are running is aged technology so there is that refresh of technology that needs to take place.

“Up until a month ago we hadn’t even touched the car from the last race so the boys spent a lot of time going through it and rebuilding it.

“It’s not cheap and it’s like starting again with all the ancillaries you need but we are excited. I’m really looking forward to doing some laps; I’ve missed being in the car and it doesn’t seem like two years ago we last raced.”

Stamatis expects to make a formal announcement soon on his planned schedule.

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