Phil Lamattina and Mark Drew have scored the first of the new silver Christmas trees when they took out Round 1 of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series at the Perth Motorplex's Nitro Max event tonight.
Lamattina drove his Fuchs dragster to a 4.651-second/324.90mph win in Top Fuel over Mark Sheehan's 4.753/261.62 – the stout final ending one of the best nitro shows seen in this country.
"Pretty stoked the car is running consistently, [crew chief] Aaron Hambridge is doing a fantastic job on the tune up," Lamattina said - the Fuchs dragster having made three passes of 4.632/324.90, 4.631/327.27 and 4.651/324.90.
"I've got to really take my hat off to Fuchs for their support for the team and always the crew, you've got to thank them. They work tirelessly and this win is for them.
"(I'm) pretty excited, we're in the championship lead and the start of the season is looking pretty good so hopefully we can back it up tomorrow."
Drew claimed the first round of the renamed Top Fuel Motorcycle championship when he downed fellow veteran Mark Ashelford in the all V-Twin final, 6.65/209 to 6.75/191, Drew expecting to back up his 6.489 qualifying run.
"The bike was really good, we ran the 6.4, but I'm still at a loss as to why we ran a 60 in the [final]. I'll have to go through all the data tomorrow and work it all out," Drew said.
"I've normally got my finger on it, when something happens I know what I've done ... when I got to the end I was pretty surprised we only ran a 60."
What Top Fuel lacked in quantity, with just five cars in attendance, it sure made up for it in quality with one of the greatest all round performances by the category.
Of the 13 scheduled runs, 11 took place with nine four-second runs between 4.63-4.89, and four speeds over 320mph.
The slowest pass of the night was still a 5.58 by a fire-balling Damien Harris in the second Rapisarda Autosports dragster, and there was no time lost to oil downs.
Lamattina set low ET and top speed (4.631/327.27) of the meet in the first round to gain the valuable bonus points and secure his final round spot.
Local hero Sheehan earned his place alongside the pre-event favourite with an outstanding 4.658/326.08 performance when he downed Martin Stamatis' 5.108 just moments later.
The win gives both Lamattina and Drew early leads in the championship - like Lamattina, Drew also claiming the bonus points for low ET, qualifying's 6.489sec and 214.79mph performances.
Nitro Max continues at the Perth Motorplex Saturday with the Top Fuel and Top Fuel Motorcycle fields reset for Round 2 of their respective championships.