Supercars team owner wins Top Fuel title

Peter Xiberras. Picture: Ross Gibb

Supercars team owner Peter Xiberras has won the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship overnight at Hidden Valley Raceway.

For the first time, both PremiAir Racing teams were in action at the same venue as part of the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

After a tough time in Race 16 of the Repco Supercars Championship for drivers Chris Pither and Garry Jacobson – who finished 22nd and 23rd respectively – Xiberras claimed the Top Fuel crown after main title rival Phil Lamattina bowed out early.

Xiberras made the event’s finale, finishing runner-up to Damien Harris in a blistering closer to Nitro Up North.

Harris clocked a 3.851s (507.49 kph) down the Hidden Valley Drag Strip to edge out Xiberras, whose final effort was just a fraction slower – a 3.884s (504.43 kph) all told.

“Winning one of these was a childhood dream come true, to back it up with a second is just really special,” said Xiberras.

“We came here 10 points ahead, and after struggling in qualifying and then having a very unfortunate red light in round one, we found ourselves 10 points down to Phil Lamattina.

“Come round two, we completely turned it around with an all-candles blazing 4.094s pass at 467.82 kph to not only take the win over Wayne Newby, but secure our spot in the A-Final.

“With Phil losing on a holeshot in his round two match-up, that meant that we had the points we needed to secure our second national Top Fuel title.

“It is a perfect example of how this sport works – everything can change in the space of just one run, so you can never, ever give up.

“You must always keep your focus, and keep throwing everything you have at it and that is what we have done.

“And that final – what a race! A side-by-side 500-plus kilometre per hour run which was near perfect on both sides of the track is just amazing to be a part of.

“Of course, we wanted to win the event, but you don’t get much closer than that and I am so proud of our efforts here this evening. Congratulations to Damien Harris – 25 thousands of a second is all that was in it at the line.

“The PremiAir Hire crew dug deep all season and gave me the car I needed to make this happen and I can’t thank them enough for all that they do – we are going to be celebrating this one for a while!”

PremiAir Racing will once again be in action today with Pither and Jacobson in Supercars.

Two qualifying sessions will set the grid for Race 17 and Race 18 tomorrow, the first of which gets underway at 08:35 local time/09:05 AEST.

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