Read sets pace in Top Fuel qualifying


Phil Read in action at Round 4 of the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship. Picture: Richard Smith

Phil Read has set the benchmark in qualifying for Round 4 of the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship at Sydney Dragway.

Read blasted a 3.81s pass in Qualifying 1 to set the standard in the Top Fuel class at the Atlantic Oils Top Fuel Slam event, with Qualifying 2 cancelled due to inclement weather.

“We were very happy with that run, it was smooth and it felt slow, which means it went fast,” Read said.

“We were very happy with it, although it is unfortunate that we didn’t get the last run in, as we were looking to go quicker, we felt we could possibly go to the mid-70s.

“But due to the rules, we are still the number one qualifier as the session wasn’t completed due to the rain falling mid-way through.”

In the Top Doorslammer class, Kelvin Lyle was the class of the field in Qualifying 1 with a 5.72s pass to top the timesheets.

“It was a great first qualifying run for us, we didn’t really change anything from our passes at Willowbank Raceway, we just kept it the same,” Lyle explained.

“The track here is unbelievable. I haven’t raced here since before COVID-19 so I haven’t been on the new track surface before, but it is just great, it is so smooth and the prep was great.”

Lyle will square off against John Zappia in Qualifying 2 today, with that encounter to double as the Willowbank Raceway A-Final.

He is determined to take the victory to honour Sam Fenech, who he competed alongside at Willowbank Raceway.

“I have really set my mind this week on trying to win that A-Final,” Lyle added.

“Being in the other lane with Sam, by rights I shouldn’t be in the final, it should have been Sam or someone else, I shouldn’t have won that race, and it has been on my mind all week and I am determined to take that win.”

Pro Stock was the only class to complete both qualifying sessions, with Rob Dekert topping the timesheets with a 6.98s pass in Qualifying 2.

In the other classes, Chris Matheson was the fastest of the Top Fuel Motorcycle competitors, while Jeremy Callaghan was the fastest of the Pro Mod competitors.

The Atlantic Oils Top Fuel Slam at Sydney Dragway will resume today at 11:30 local time/AEDT.

In an Australian first, Fenech will be honoured with a Missing Man formation as part of today’s proceedings.

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