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Round one of the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship shook Sydney Dragway with the thunder of seven nitro-burning Top Fuel Dragsters and the more than 100 other race teams on hand who tore up the quarter mile.

All current Top Fuel teams were represented in the battle for the series opener with the local drivers joined by three-time world champion Larry Dixon driving for Rapisarda Autosport International. The American nitro pilot went down to Phil Lamattina in the B final, but clearly enjoyed his time racing down under.

“I really appreciate Santo, the boys, and the entire Rapisarda team for the effort to get me down here and for the team for preparing a good, safe race car to compete in. It was great to see the series try a different format to entertain the fans and still keep the competition real. And I’d say by the size of the crowd and how long they stayed after the event, it looked like it worked.”

Final round matchups 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 3.871sec time at over 514km/h. Olive’s teammate Phil Lamattina fared better, his 3.882sec narrowly edging out Dixon’s 3.890sec performance.

The final saw PremiAir Racing’s Peter Xiberras face off against the Hydraulink machine of Phil Read. Despite running the low elapsed time of the event, Xiberras would have 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 0.05sec.

Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship organiser, Nathan Prendergast, was rightly pleased with the first event of the 2022 series with spectators packing the grandstand and watching live around Australia 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. 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.”

It wasn’t just 11,000hp dragsters swallowing litres of nitro, with the two-wheeled speed machines from Top Bike coming to play. Robert Cassar set the standard early on but come the final round, Chris Matheson’s Nitro Voodoo beast was just too hard to beat – his 6.716sec time proving too much for Cassar’s 7.055sec.

Rob Dekert was the class of the field in Pro Stock running a string of 6.9’s on his way to a 6.967 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 5.87sec lap besting Jeremy Callaghan’s Camaro.

The Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship returns to Sydney Dragway February 11 and 12 for two huge days of drag racing action. Entries are open and spectator passes are on sale now at

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