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Article Date: 20 April 2014

In an emotional closure to the 2014 Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes, the Rapisarda Autosport International team of Santo Rapisarda has claimed the trophy which honours his son’s memory – the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy.

“What an amazing feeling it is for me and the team and my family to have this win, I am so thankful for all the work the boys, the crew, Allan (Dobson), Willowbank Raceway, the volunteers, everyone has put in for this event and to the spectators for coming out and watching the event, I am very excited with the weekend and what a special win it is for all of us,” said Santo Rapisarda, who received the trophy flanked by his children including sons Santino and Santo Jnr (crew chiefs for the team).

WA’s Allan Dobson claimed the trophy for the team by virtue of being the only racer to make it to both A Finals across the weekend, making the evening even sweeter for his team by crossing the line first ahead of Victoria’s John Lamattina to make a clean-sweep of the Top Fuel category for the event.

“I just want to say straight up that I am so very, very proud and pleased that Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race event has come off, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I had someone else in the cab with me this weekend, I definitely felt (Louie’s) spiritual support this weekend,” said Dobson.

“It was an awesome race, and such a beautiful thing to be able to win the trophy for Santo being that it’s for his own son and for all the love and the passion that Santo has devoted to this sport, I am so happy to have been able to help win back this trophy that is dedicated to his son.

“It is really nice too to see that Santo has been taking his boys over to America racing and they have been able to come here and express their professionalism – it is all about them.

“I am really happy with the performance this weekend, it would have been nice if we could have run into the 4.50s, I haven’t run ‘fifties’ yet and I thought I would have, so it is going to have to be the Winternationals now – I am really looking forward to coming back to the Winternats now ‘cos I just so want to run 4.50s!

“The boys want to run 4.40s as they have already hit the fifties, so if they can put the set-up in it I am going to have to see if I have enough gumption and strength to hang on to that rocket ship and take it into the 4.40s – I can tell you, even after all these decades of driving it is still a hell of an effort to it, it is truly an awesome, indescribable feeling; it is a real physical, mental and emotional journey.”

In the B Final, three-time Top Fuel champion Phil Read was unable to make it on-track due to damage sustained earlier in the elimination round where both he and 2013 Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy winner Steve ‘the Pom’ Read put on a show for the fans when forced to pedal their dragsters down the track in a mad dash for the finish line, with Read ultimately crossing the line first.

Earlier in the evening, Hillcrest racer Gary Phillips blazed through to rewrite the national Top Alcohol elapsed time record in the Titan Cranes Top Alcohol class courtesy of a 5.438 second pass in tonight’s elimination round before taking the A Final win on a solo after his opponent John Cannuli was pushed back from the start line after being unable to fire up.  

“Let’s look at it – I was number one qualifier, I got the lowest elapsed time and the top speed, I took the points lead back in the ANDRA championship, and I took two wins from two events – it doesn’t get much better than that!” said Phillips, whose final run was aborted early when he spun the tyres off the start, breaking a supercharger belt.

“I am certainly a happy little Vegemite, we went out there and didn’t try anything different for the final after running the record in the previous run, we just went out there and tried to repeat it – I can’t remember the last time I broke a belt but it picked the best time to do it rather than in the previous run!

“It has been a fantastic weekend, we didn’t hurt anything except the belt, the car is fine and it was great to get these results for Lucas Oil Products and Speedflow, thanks has to go to them and also to the crew, my wife Debbie, my son Cheyne, they all have done a great job this weekend.”

In the B Final, Brendale’s Steve Reed took victory on a solo pass after Greenbank’s Darren Fry – last year’s Friday event winner – was unable to take up his final position due to extensive damage sustained to his blower on his way to victory in the elimination round.

Also on track this evening were racers from the Pro Street, Super 6, Super 7 and Super 8 brackets, with Scott Cortina (Pro Street), Jake Donnelly (Super 6), Neil Maxwell (Super 7) and Simon Isherwood (Super 8) taking victory.

Full results from today’s action at Willowbank Raceway are
available here.

The Top Fuel and Top Alcohol racers will be back on track at Willowbank Raceway in less than seven weeks thanks to the FUCHS Winternationals (5-8 June) – where they will be part of an entry list of approximately 500 racers including fellow professional brackets Top Doorslammer, Top Fuel Motorcycle, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. Before they do however, Willowbank Raceway will play host to round two of the JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series (26 April), round three of the Street Series (3 May), round three of the QLD Drag Racing Championships (17 May) and the Winters Warm-Up (31-31 May). For more information on Willowbank Raceway’s upcoming events, please go to www.willowbankraceway.com.au

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

left to right; Santino Rapisarda, Allan Dobson, Santo Rapisarda, Santo Jnr Rapisarda, Gianna Rapisarda. Front - Corrado Rapisarda

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