Phil Lamattina pulled off the double win at Perth Motorplex last night, taking out the fifth round of the ANDRA Top Fuel championship in addition to his round four win on Friday night.
Running the new format for the first time, where two championship rounds are held over two consecutive days, Lamattina proved unstoppable across the weekend. He took victory with a slowing 5.49 over a tyre smoking Damien Harris, who also made the final for the second time in a weekend.
The win extended Lamattina's championship lead over second placed Darren Morgan to 40 points.
"It is a lead but it's only a marginal one, we only have to slip up and Darren could be right on our tail again," Lamattina said.
"We need to be consistent and stay that little bit ahead all the time. The other competitors have nothing to lose and that is a very dangerous situation because they are willing to take risks when we might be on the conservative side. We can't be too conservative, when the opportunity arises we need to still lean on it."
For Harris the event was a great send off for his current team and dragster, with the Best Tractor Parts driver moving under the Rapisarda Autosport International banner as of the next championship round.
There was plenty of drama across the day as the limits of the 8000 horsepower nitro motors were pushed.
Morgan top qualified with a 5.16, but he would have to settle only for a consolation final appearance when his K-Trans dragster lost power on his pass in the elimination round.
Lamattina's elimination round win came with a 4.85 over Mark Sheehan, who had one of the more bizarre incidents of the season when he had a fire occur right as his dragster was started. Fortunately the Perth Motorplex safety crew were right on the scene, but it meant Sheehan was unable to front for his pass.
Harris used a 5.12 to defeat Allan Dobson in the elimination round. Dobson experienced two engine fires during the day (pictured below) as the team, who have confessed they are chasing national record times, not only found the edge but stepped over it.
The next round of the championship chase is at Willowbank Raceway on March 29-30 for the Santo's Cranes Super 3 Extreme Drag Race.
Top Fuel point standings after rounds 4 & 5
- Phil Lamattina 418
- Darren Morgan 375
- Mark Sheehan 196
- Allan Dobson 170
- Steve Read 149
- Damien Harris 112
- Luke Shepherd 87
- Martin Stamatis 63
- Terry Sainty 44