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Article Date: 10 April 2014

When the Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes came to Willowbank Raceway in 2013, it saw two local Top Alcohol racers crowned victorious – 17 time champion Gary Phillips (Hillcrest) and category debutant Darren Fry (Greenbank).

Both are currently preparing for the second running of the Easter bonanza, which will hit Queensland’s premier drag racing facility on Good Friday (April 18) and Easter Saturday (April 19) featuring Titan Cranes Top Alcohol as well as Top Fuel.

Fry’s 2013 ‘day one’ win came on his first ever race day after completing licensing for the bracket just days earlier, while Phillips victory on Saturday’s day two of the new-for-2013 event saw yet another trophy added to a bursting display cabinet which is testament to the success of his 44 year career.

Now both racers are looking to repeat their success of 2013 as the final countdown to next week’s Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes gains momentum.

“The three round format with two rounds of racing held over two days is a really great format I think for both the racers and the crowd – it is all about giving the fans a show,” said Fry, who is supported by his business Dazza’s Steel Fabrications and Noonan Race Engineering (NRE).

“To take the win on the first day of the 2013 Easter event was such a buzz, it was the first Top Alcohol round we had ever run and to take it out as a rookie was a really cool feeling.

“It will be tricky to repeat that success this time around as we have been out of the car for a while as we have looked to build up our program ready for a full championship assault, but we will be doing everything we can to make it happen.”

Phillips is a local legend around Willowbank Raceway, well-known for his horde of ANDRA ‘Christmas Tree’ trophies (he currently has 37) and 17 national championships across the Top Alcohol (16) and Top Doorslammer (1) brackets.

“At the 2013 event we had some struggles on the first day but were able to make some changes and put together a great showing on Saturday - top qualifying and continuing that performance on each run to earn the win,” said Phillips, who is supported by Lucas Oil Products, Champion Spark Plugs, Odyssey Batteries and Speedflow.

“We have been very busy since Easter last year with events in Sydney, Willowbank, Darwin and Perth including top qualifying and event winning performances on our way to taking the Top Alcohol championship for 2013, as well as some personal bests as well.

“Heading into the 2014 Easter event my goals are the same as they are for any event – to try and win. We have a number of new parts to fit in the car and are currently deciding which ones to try, but whatever we do it will be all about racing the lane we are in, chasing the maximum performance available, and shooting for the win.

“To have the Titan Cranes Top Alcohol and Top Fuel brackets together at the same race as the feature acts will be great, these two classes are the quickest and fastest in ANDRA Championship Drag Racing and will make a great show. To see the support of Titan Cranes of the Top Alcohol bracket also is very pleasing, I would like to thank them for their support of the bracket.”

Fry and Phillips will be joined on track in the Top Alcohol bracket by fellow Queenslanders John Cannuli, Steven Ham, Debbie O’Rourke and Steven Reed as well as New South Wales’ Mark Hinchelwood and Wayne Newby and Victoria’s Wayne Price. 

The Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race, presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes, will come to Willowbank Raceway for Good Friday (April 18) and Easter Saturday (April 19) in 2014.

The second running of the event will again feature two rounds of ANDRA championship racing each for the brackets of Top Fuel and Titan Cranes Top Alcohol in the emerging ‘three-round’ format, with the Top Fuel pilots also set to once again fight it out for the added honour of the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy.

Each night from 5.00pm to 9.30pm (approximately) these national show-stoppers will be supported by a fast-paced and action-packed program of entertainment including Top Fuel Motorcycles, Top Doorslammers, Pro Street and three closely-matched categories amid a flurry of on-track light and audio-visual theatrics. For information on the race formats, please see the ‘event information’ further in this release or
click here.

Spectator tickets for the Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes are now available at www.willowbankraceway.com.au with tickets starting at just $35.00 for adults and $30.00 for students/concession card holders with ID, while children aged 13 and under gain free admission. A special pre-purchase only two-day admission pass is also on offer until 16 April 2014. For more information, click here.

Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility, located 45 minutes from Brisbane or just a short drive from Ipswich, offering a year-round program of events for the entire family. For more information including a full event calendar, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au

Featuring racing from: Top Fuel, Titan Cranes Top Alcohol, Pro Street, Fixed index categories – 8.9 seconds, 7.9 seconds and 6.9 seconds, plus demonstration racing from Top Fuel Motorcycles and Top Doorslammers

For more information, full race schedules or to purchase tickets please visit

Spectator entry -Please note: Concession = age and disability pension holders only

Good Friday – 18 April 2014
- General Admission (Adult) - $35.00
- General Admission (Student/Concession) - $30.00 – must show ID

Easter Saturday – 19 April 2014 
- General Admission (Adult) - $35.00
- General Admission (Student/Concession) - $30.00 – must show ID

Two day passes (available for pre-purchase via
www.willowbankraceway.com.au until 16 April 2014 only)
- General Admission (Adult) 2 day pass - $60.00
- General Admission (Student/Concession) 2 day pass - $50.00 – must show ID


Friday and Saturday 18 and April 2014 (All times approximate and subject to change):
- Gates open to public – 3.00pm
- On track action from 5.00pm until approximately 9.30pm each day

Race format

Top Fuel and Titan Cranes Top Alcohol
The Super 3 Extreme Drag Race concept will operate on the idea of two individual championship rounds in one event, with a winner to be crowned on both the Friday and the Saturday of the event. Racing will begin with the first pass for all cars at approximately 5.00pm followed by an elimination round for all cars later in the evening. From this round, the third and fourth quickest winners will proceed to the ‘B Final while the two quickest winners battle it out in ‘A Final’, as per the Special 3 Round Format ratified by ANDRA in 2013. Once the winner is crowned on Friday, the full field for each bracket will get ready to do it all over again on Saturday.

All other categories
All support categories will complete three qualifying passes on Friday 18 April, before Saturday 19 April sees all support brackets run a Chicago Shootout format with all competitors to race three rounds with the two best per­forming racers to make it into the final. At the completion of the bracket rounds, a count back will be made to establish the finalists.

The Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy Race
The Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy Race is open to all Top Fuel competitors at the Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race event and is in honour of Top Fuel driver Louie Rapisarda, son of Santo Rapisarda, who passed away in 1990. The special commemorative trophy will be awarded to the Top Fuel driver who at the end of Saturday’s racing has the highest accumulative points across Friday and Saturday’s proceedings. If there is a tie, the Trophy will go to the driver in the tie with the lowest elapsed time of the event. In 2013, the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy was awarded to local Top Fuel veteran Steve Read of Raceview, who also emerged victorious on both the Friday and Saturday of the event’s ANDRA championship rounds.

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