Read wins inaugural Australian Top Fuel Championship event

Phil Read

Phil Read has taken victory in the inaugural Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship event at Sydney Dragway.

In a seven-strong field of Top Fuel dragsters, Read (Jim Read Racing/Hydraulink) prevailed in the final over Peter Xiberras (PremiAir Racing).

Before then, final-round match-ups saw series rookie Shane Olive in the Burson Auto Parts/Lamattina machine go down to Wayne Newby in the Rapisarda Autosport International dragster with a day’s best 3.871s time at over 514km/h.

Olive’s teammate Phil Lamattina fared better, his 3.882s narrowly edging out the 3.890s performance of three-time world champion Larry Dixon.

In the final itself, Xiberras ran the low elapsed time of the event.

However, he had to settle for the bonus points and second spot in the championship chase as Read out-reacted the Queenslander by more than a tenth of a second and carried enough of that advantage to the finish line to win by just 0.05s.

Australian Top Fuel Championship organiser, Nathan Prendergast, was pleased with how the first event of the 2022 series played out for trackside spectators and viewers on 7plus.

“It’s been a long time since Australian drag racing fans have seen a nitro show like the one the teams put on this weekend,” said Prendergast.

“The battles were fast, close, and consistent, and the crowd were on the edge of their seats each time Top Fuel came to the line.

“With a focus on entertainment, not just good racing, it was fun to be able to bring a show to fans of the sport in person at the venue or watching live at home.”

In Top Bike, Robert Cassar set the standard early on but, come the final round, his 7.055s was edged by Chris Matheson’s 6.716s on his Nitro Voodoo beast.

Rob Dekert was the class of the field in Pro Stock running a string of 6.9s times on his way to a 6.967s to beat Clint George in the final round.

Pro Mod was a tough battle between the blower and turbo cars, with Zora Gajic taking the win with a 5.87s lap besting Jeremy Callaghan’s Camaro.

The Australian Top Fuel Championship continues at Sydney Dragway February 11-12.

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