American star returns for Willowbank Top Fuel
American Tommy Johnson Jr will come back to Australia next week to pilot the Rapisarda Autosport International Top Fuel machine for the second time, this time at the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway.
Johnson visited Australia for the Nitro Champs at the beginning of May, however wasn’t able to strike a happy balance in the Rapisarda machine, experiencing a litany of dramas. The car has a happy history at Willowbank though – Larry Dixon scorched down the 400m Willowbank circuit at Easter in one of the fastest times in Top Fuel history worldwide – 4.503 seconds.
He aims to make amends for the Sydney performance and add another record to his extensive bow:
“I am very confident heading to Willowbank Raceway, and I am sure we will shoot for some big numbers and maybe even try to reset the national record for Top Fuel,” said Johnson Jr.
“Driving the same dragster which Larry had so much success in at Willowbank Raceway in March, combined with the fact the team have been to the track recently, I know we have the equipment and the data to run really well.
“After my appearance at the Nitro Champs I am certainly inspired to get a win in Queensland next weekend and hopefully re-write Larry’s record – I currently hold the European Elapsed Time record and it would be great to have my name on the record books in Australia as well.”
Johnson Jr has raced both Funny Car and Top Fuel in the USA and has spent many years racing throughout Europe and the Middle East, including 22 NHRA Final Round appearances for seven wins.
Top Fuel will see the Championship battle between Darren Morgan, Phil Lamattina and Damien Harris resume, with Morgan entering the event being the last start winner at Willowbank and winning the Nitro Champs in Sydney.
The Fuchs Winternationals is the largest drag racing event outside North America, with nearly 500 competitors entered for the four days of competition. It begins with Sportsman categories on Friday June 7 before the professional categories qualify across Saturday and Sunday, with eliminations and finals on the holiday Monday.