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PETER XIBERRAS’ CAMPAIGN TO WIN THIRD OZ TOP FUEL CROWN BEGINS AT ALICE SPRINGS INLAND DRAGWAY

Team Owner driver Peter Xiberras will be chasing his third consecutive Top Fuel title when the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship 2022-23 season begins at Alice Springs Inland Dragway, September 1-2.

While a championship is a long-term goal, Xiberras will focus on a win at Alice Springs to kick-start his campaign and erase the memory of being the first winner in recent times to have won a TF championship without winning a round of the series.


"Last season, we took out our second Top Fuel title, and remarkably, we did it without winning an event – it all came down to our consistency," said Xiberras. "We finished runner-up five times and a fourth once and this season we want to not only defend our title, but we also want to claim some event trophies along the way.


We have been unable to do any off-season testing due to rain disrupting our plans, but as always, the crew's preparation has been meticulous and I am confident we can have a very strong showing in Alice Springs this week."


Fellow owner-driver Phil Lamattina, who has finished runner-up to Xiberras over the last two seasons, will be chasing his first crown since 2014.


Lamattina’s teammate, Shane Olive, was the surprise packet of last season, racking up a series of solid performances in his rookie year, including a win over Xiberras in round five.

The LTFR duo will have a slight advantage over their rivals as the only team to have raced at the track when Kelly Bettes drove for the team in a series of exhibition runs in 2017.

Rapisarda Autosport International will field an unchanged driver line-up with Damien Harris and Wayne Newby.

Western Australian-based Harris missed the opening round of last season due to interstate border closures caused by Covid-19, then took wins at his home track in Perth and Hidden Valley, Darwin.


Two-time champ Newby will be looking to improve on his last season, which was blighted by a series of mechanical woes and bad luck.


“Our goal is simple," according to Santo Rapisarda Jnr. - son of team owner Santo Rapisarda. “To win the championship, whether that's with Damien or Wayne. Last year we started on the back foot, having sat out racing for 18 months. After a slow start, we finished the season on a real high. Damien won the season's final round to finish third in the championship, and Wayne set top speed and finished fourth place overall.”


Second-generation racer Phil Read began last season with an emphatic win in the opening round, only to slip down the charts and finish fifth overall.


The meeting will run under the all-in format with two rounds of qualifying on day one, followed by three rounds of racing.

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