Xiberras dedicates Top Fuel triumph to Fenech
By Iwan Jones
Sunday 29th January, 2023 - 10:18am
PremiAir Racing boss Peter Xiberras dedicated his victory at the Atlantic Oils Top Fuel Slam event at Sydney Dragway to Sam Fenech.
Xiberras’ triumph in the A-Final for Round 4 of the 2022/2023 Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship was his first for the season and first for his Arundel-based squad since the 2021 Winternationals.
Following an emotional lead-up to the tribute event, Xiberras delivered a 4.337s/318.65km/h pass against Larry Dixon, despite throwing a belt, while he bested Shane Olive with a 4.612s/247.83km/h pass, losing a burst panel and another belt to boot, to seal his spot in the A-Final.
There, he blasted a 3.846s/483.66km/h pass against qualifying pacesetter Phil Read to claim victory in memory of his friend, who passed away at Willowbank Raceway on Saturday, January 7.
“It has been a while – this one was always about Sam,” Xiberras said.
“After it happened, I think everyone for the last three weeks has been on tenterhooks and talking themselves in and talking themselves out, I know I have been.
“I wanted to come here for Sam and then work out what I wanted to do, and I am just so proud that I could do it in his honour.
“He is such a loved character, and we won’t forget him. I had his brother and his son come and see me and it was such a vote of confidence that they approve of what we do still.
“Thank you very much to everyone, and to my team – I just can’t believe it, this is just fantastic.
“To Phil, to race him and his team is an absolute honour and a pleasure.”
In the other classes, ADRC Top Doorslammer Kelvin Lyle, ADRC Atlantic Oils Pro Stock driver Rob Dekert, ADRC Pro Mod competitor Jeremy Callaghan and ADRC Top Fuel Motorcycle rider Chris Matheson claimed honours.
Lyle laid down a 5.729s/409.45km/h pass to defeat Daniel Gregorini in the Top Doorslammer A-Final, while Pro Stock winner Dekert defeated Chris Soldators with a 7.011s/315.59km/h pass.
In Pro Mod, Callaghan topped Neil Murphy with a 5.944s/400.26km/h pass, while Top Fuel Motorcycle winner Matheson sealed victory with a 6.306s/344.26km/h pass over Rob Cassar.
Round 5 of the 2022/2023 Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship will take place at the Perth Motorplex on March 4-5.
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