In just two weeks, Australia’s biggest drag racing event, the Fuchs Winternationals, will kick off at Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway for four days of world class motorsport.
For the first time since the nineties, the Fuchs Winternationals is not the final event of the ANDRA championship season. With a transition to a calendar year occurring, the season continues on around the country until its conclusion at the Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway in November.
Before the action begins, let’s take a look back at what went down last year at the 2012 Fuchs Winternationals.
Top Fuel – Allan Dobson scored a win for Rapisarda Racing, book-ending their season with ANDRA gold Christmas trees in combination with Cory McClenathan’s 2011 Australian Nationals win. Dobson also top qualified with a 4.661.
Dobson’s run of 4.649 in the final defeated Andrew Cowin, who still had a slim shot at the championship if he won the event and set either low ET or top speed.
As it was, Darren Morgan claimed his second straight championship, squeaking ahead of Damien Harris who was behind by just 1.5 points at season’s close.
Dobson’s 4.649 was low ET while a 320.05mph blast by Morgan held top speed.
While the since renamed Rapisarda Autosport International again has two entries for the Fuchs Winternationals, Dobson is not one of them currently.
The current points chase is very much a two horse race between Victorians Darren Morgan and Phil Lamattina.
Top Alcohol – Steven Reed won an easy Fuchs Winternationals final with Jamie Noonan unable to return after a supercharger backfire in the semi finals.
Most of the drama occurred in that semi final round, where Adam Marchant had a chance to take the championship out of Gary Phillips’ hands. Unfortunately for Marchant he smoked the tyres at the hit and broke a blower belt, leaving him unable to chase down Noonan’s ailing dragster.
Steven Ham was top qualifier and earned low ET of the event with a 5.533 while Reed’s 255.34mph was top speed.
Gary Phillips is the 2012/13 points leader so far, followed by Steve Reed.
Top Doorslammer – In one of the most controversial races seen in the category, Top Doorslammer had a ‘non result’ between a retiring Robin Judd and Andrew Sutton following a timing system issue in the final.
John Zappia earned his fifth straight title, also getting low ET with his top qualifying pass of 5.750. Top speed went to Robin Judd at 252.57mph.
Peter Kapiris has proven the runaway star of the category so far this season, with Zappia and Bray fighting over second place, separated by just a point.
Pro Stock – When Denis Whiting top qualified with a 7.009 pass hopes were high of another six second run as occurred at the 2012 Nitro Champs but Whiting’s mark would end up as low ET of the 2012 Fuchs Winternationals. Peter Ridgeway’s 195.19mph held top speed.
Shane Tucker took his second win of the season with a 7.108 in the final but it was not enough to get past runner up Michael Ali’s points haul, the South Australian driver earning his first national championship.
Jason Grima and Wayne Daley are currently the ones duking it out at the top of the points table.
Top Bike – Chris Matheson already had his Top Bike championship well and truly wrapped up but that didn’t stop him going on to dominate the 2012 Fuchs Winternationals.
His 6.157 time at 224.43mph were the low ET and top speed of the event and gave him the win over Chris Porter’s runner up 6.933.
Matheson will be missing this year’s event as he is still recovering from a terrifying off at the 2013 Nitro Champs in Sydney, allowing Chris Porter and Graeme Morell an opportunity to sneak some more points in.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – Luke Crowley began what has since been a purple patch at the 2012 Fuchs Winternationals with a 7.500 win against Lachlan Ireland, who took out the championship in that season.
It was Phil Howard who earned low ET with a 7.336 while the big 183.60mph speed from Scott White saw him with top speed bonus points.
Crowley and Maurice Allen are currently vying for top position in the points, with two recent event wins from Allen helping to tighten the margin.
-This season marks the 46th running of the Fuchs Winternationals, an event that has been run both at Willowbank Raceway and the now defunct Surfers Paradise International Dragway.
-This season’s event has 476 pre-entered racers from every state and territory of Australia, including 75 in the professional ranks.
-The Fuchs Winternationals is the largest drag racing event held outside of the USA.
-The Fuchs Winternationals is one of three ANDRA ‘gold Christmas tree’ events, where racers can win one of the coveted trophies featuring a representation of the drag racing starting lights