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TFM POINTS LEADER READY TO BRING THE POWER IN PERTH

After being the runner-up at the Atlantic Oils Top Fuel Slam, a strong showing at the upcoming Westernationals at the Perth Motorplex (March 4/5) could go a long way to helping Rob Cassar clinch his first ADRC Top Fuel Motorcycle championship.

Cassar has contested every ADRC Top Fuel Motorcycle event so far this season, including when he won the season-opener at the Hidden Valley Drag Strip in June. He heads to Perth with 220 points and a strong lead over Mark Drew (139), Greg Durack (99), Chris Matheson (96) and Benny Stevens (96).


For the Victorian and all of his fellow racers, the last round – the Atlantic Oils Top Fuel Slam at Sydney Dragway – was an emotional outing.


“The event was both nerve wracking and emotional for me,” Cassar said.


“First, I was nervous after blowing up two engines in Perth in November. I thought I had worked out what caused it, but I wasn’t entirely sure, so I was relieved when the bike ran a 7.41 on the first pass.


“I was also very happy with the 7.07 on race day in the heat. I still had some issues with the engine that I took – it seems I had a bent valve which meant that the engine wasn’t running at full power – but I was pleased at the numbers that I managed to run across the five passes, although I did find it frustrating that the bike wouldn’t come up on the revs for the burnout as I like to have a smokey burnout for the crowd. This should be sorted for Perth.

“The meeting was also emotional given the circumstances for which we had come together to race. I had the opportunity to speak with Sam (Fenech) on a number of occasions over time and was sad for his loss for the entire drag racing community and his family.


“I thought that event and the tribute to Sam was exceptional, and I am grateful to those that were involved in organising it. The engagement and support of the crowd was nothing less than amazing.”


After racing in Sydney with just one engine due to his troubles in Perth, Cassar is hopeful he will have two engines for his upcoming trip back West.


“I am grateful to my friends and associates in the background (Igor, Simon and Graeme) who are working hard to help me get my spare engine back together so that we can go to Perth with two motors. Sydney was definitely a risk with just one!” he said.


The Perth event will be an important one for Cassar as he looks to lock down the 2022/2023 ADRC Top Fuel Motorcycle championship.


“You can never underestimate the competition. Matho (Chris Matheson) might contest the rest of the season which could give me a tickle and of course there are the Perth guys who are always competitive,” Cassar said.


“I do plan to go to all remaining meetings, so fingers crossed we can pull it all together and take the title. It will be all about just taking it slow and steady, with minimal errors.


“Taking out the title is something I didn’t think I would ever have the opportunity to do, so to have this chance is very special. I was over the moon when I won the Competition Bike championship in 2019 but this would be the cherry on top – a championship in Top Fuel Motorcycle would definitely be the pinnacle for me.

“As we look to chase the title down over the remaining three rounds, I want to take a moment to thank my regular sponsors Ballistic Performance Parts, Denso Autoparts Australia, Powerplus Race Fuels, Lucas Oil Australia, Shinko Tyres and Nolan Xlite Helmets as well as the sponsors who have come onboard for particular events including Andrews Automotive, Forcewear, Cabworx Kitchens, Kevex Industries and ABS Moorabbin. They have all assisted us in getting the distance that we have this season.


“I would also like to thank all who have given us a hand this season, my regular crew and wife Katie, the Sydney Crew (Paul, Jake and Eric Sobolewski), the Perth Crew (Peter Kleimsit and Dave Parto) and the Darwin Crew (Kevin and Dale Gummow). Of course I would also like to thank the fans who come out to the track and create the great atmosphere that we race within.”

The next round of the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship and the Australian Drag Racing Championship (ADRC) will be held at the Perth Motorplex’s Westernationals event, across March 4 and 5. For event information, visit www.topfuelchampionship.com.au or www.motorplex.com.au

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