Read ready for NDRC challenge

Phil Read

Former Australian Top Fuel champion Phil Read admits that they are going into race day at the Spring Nationals in Adelaide somewhat blind, without a run down the new surface.

Read had a brake calliper lock on in his one and only qualifying shot on Saturday, a situation that hasn’t happened to the veteran in almost 20 years of driving.

“Yeah, it wasn’t ideal – at first I thought it was a clutch issue as the car wouldn’t move, then it started to move and when I got back to the start line, the car stopped without me even touching the brake.”

“That’s when I knew we had an issue, the calliper had actually jammed on.

“I didn’t want to risk it [running the car] because it probably would have burned through the clutch with it locked on, which then would have knocked the blower off.

“Then on the second [exhibition only] run, in the warm up in the pits, we had an exhaust collet break and we just flat our ran out of time to fix it.

“As it turned out, that was probably a good thing because the conditions were horrendously cold and then we watched every car hardly get past the Christmas tree, they all shook.

Phil and Bruce Read

“It 100 percent puts us on the back foot for race day; we have a whole new clutch in the car this weekend which is what Bruce has been using in America and it’s going to be a crapshoot – but it’s the same for everybody.”

Phil’s brother and Crew Chief Bruce has been working as an assistant Crew Chief in the NHRA on Clay Millican’s Top Fuel Dragster, a team that won an NHRA National event last month.

Read is slated to take on number one qualifier Wayne Newby in Round 1 who was is also running a new clutch set-up in his RAI dragster this weekend.

“Nobody has data on this track – it’s not like you can just go back into the run logs and dial a tune-up in from another track, because they are all different,” Read continued.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if you see some pretty exciting peddle fests in the first round.

“I love racing Wayne, we have been mates for years and the camaraderie between all the teams is at a high right now.

“I still want to beat him though,” Read smiled.

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