When ANDRA championship Top Fuel drag racing returns to Melbourne on October 19 for Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams it will see a first time driver making his competition debut when John Lamattina rolls on to the track.
John, brother of 2009 ANDRA Top Fuel champion Phil Lamattina, has spent recent months earning his Top Fuel licence, already clocking an impressive personal best time of 4.67 seconds at a top speed of 505kph.
The Wemen, Victoria-based carrot farming family is now feeling the excitement of fielding two state-of-the-art dragsters with a little bit of sibling rivalry thrown in for good measure.
"I'd never tell Phil to get out of the car but when we ran the two cars in Adelaide I said to him at the end of the meeting that if we ended up running a second car I'd rather run it than anyone else," John explained. "So we started the process to get the licence and then racing the last two events of this season was Phil's idea as it is something he has always wanted to do (racing alongside his brother).
"It's going to be interesting racing Phil. We're very excited and it's probably going to be a proud moment for all of us in the team, Fuchs and everybody involved.
"He (Phil) is a very, very competitive person, so there is going to be a little bit of competition. I'm guaranteeing we'll be doing our best to beat each other."
John has formerly raced in Supercharged Outlaws in a Ford Capri that cut seven second times on the drag strip but he said his first passes in a Top Fuel dragster were beyond description.
"A driver can sit there and tell you and you can only imagine in your mind the sensation or feeling but until you actually do it, it is nothing," he said. "The first time I hit the throttle I got to the other end and the car shut off and I was breathing like I had run a marathon but I was only on the throttle for point-something of a second."
Lamattina,31, will be a rookie against a field made up entirely of champions including Darren Morgan and Steve Read but he says he will be concentrating on his own game.
"I think it's just going to be exciting all round being my first time, I just want to make sure I don't get overtaken by anything and concentrate on what I am doing and staying safe," he said.
Morgan currently leads the championship with second placed Phil Lamattina gunning for a comeback in the final two events of the season.
Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams will feature not only Top Fuel but also ANDRA championship rounds of Top Bike and Pro Stock Motorcycle plus over 150 sportsman teams. It will mark the first time since 2001 that ANDRA championship racing has been held at Calder Park.