Former Top Fuel champion Martin Stamatis will return to action for the opening round of the 2014 ANDRA Drag Racing Series at the Perth Motorplex this weekend.
The 2010 ANDRA Top Fuel champ suffered concussion during a qualifying session at the Australian Nationals at Sydney last November adding to the illness had suffered prior to the event.
Team-mate Phil Read filled in for the remainder of that event.
“It was awful, my head was just throbbing,” Stamatis said.
“But we had a premonition I wouldn’t be right to drive anyway so we had told Phil to bring his driving gear to the track.
“He did a great job in a car he wasn’t familiar with.”
The team has been out testing recently, going through final checks to the 500km/h nitro-fuelled dragster before competition commences.
“We tested the car to half-track and got some good data despite really hot conditions,” Stamatis said.
“We noticed the engine was scuffing a few pistons at the Nationals in November so (crew chief) Rob Cavagnino had a brand new fuel pump on there and with that comes a new fuel curve he had to try and match up to our combination.”
The opening event in Perth will be a double-header with two separate championship rounds over two nights from January 10-11.
Stamatis is looking forward to the format for the event which will see cars on track as much as possible over the two nights.
“I’m getting to the stage where I am not a big fan of spending a whole day qualifying then a whole day racing and limiting the show on race day,” he said.
“I think it is wise in tough times to try and put the best possible show you can, getting all the cars out for all the rounds.”
Stamatis will also be back for the Westernationals in March which plays host to Top Fuel for the first time in the over four decades the event has been running.
Stamatis will be taking on a tough field including Phil Lamattina, Damien Harris, Mark Sheehan and Allan Dobson.
In addition to Top Fuel dragsters, the event also includes the opening round of the Top Fuel Motorcycle series and the second round of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.