A thrilling final in round four of the ANDRA Top Fuel championship at Perth Motorplex saw Phil Lamattina take the points lead in the championship as a new format kept the crowd on the edge of their seat.
The Victorian defeated a returning Damien Harris, 4.73 to 4.77, in a tight race where the Fuchs team used a big speed of 514kmh to edge the Best Tractor Parts outfit.
The event was the first using a new 'double header' format with individual rounds of the championship over consecutive days and Lamattina is keen to repeat his efforts on Saturday.
"It's great for the championship for us to take the points lead, the car is pretty strong so we will see what we can do tomorrow," he said. "The strategy was always to put a tune up in it that would work and go from A to B; the car is just on song.
"Thanks to Fuchs for sticking by us, they've seen the potential we've had and it is great to break the drought.
"I'd also like to mention a friend of ours who is doing it pretty tough in Bundaberg, his place got flooded and it meant the world to him for us to win today so I'm glad we could do it for him."
It was Lamattina's fourth final in a row, but his first victory since 2010.
For Harris it was an impressive return, given the 2011/12 second place finisher has not raced since June last year.
Western Australian driver Mark Sheehan top qualified with a 5.12 as the rest of the field struggled with a very hot track surface, but had to settle for a consolation final appearance as two fireballs in a row left the team with plenty of work to do overnight to be ready for the fifth round of the championship on Saturday.
Points leader Darren Morgan overpowered the track in his first round confrontation with Lamattina, leaving the K-Trans team with some work to do in the second part of the weekend.
Meanwhile Allan Dobson, driving for Rapisarda Autosport International, was unable to show his potential with the team shut down on the start line.
The qualifying shootout starts from 6pm today.