AUSSIE TOP FUEL GOES ALL-IN FOR 1000-FT DRAG RACING
Three years ago, Australia's premiere Top Fuel dragster team owner Santo Rapisarda clamored for his native homeland to adopt nitro racing to 1,000 feet, even going as far as to threaten the parking of his five teams.
His peers didn't see the logic and decided to shelve the project.
A month ago, Rapisardo made his point clear again with little room for debate, saying in as many words that the series could race to 1,320 feet but it would do so without his team.
Citing terms of safety, the 400 Thunder Series announced today their Top Fuel cars will now race to 1,000-feet, starting at the AC Delco East Coast Thunder event to be held at Sydney Dragway in early November.
Australian Professional Drag Racing (APDR) Chairman Tony Wedlock confirmed the series has considered 1,000-foot nitro racing for some time now.
“Top Fuel drag racing in Australia has been outstanding over the past 400 Thunder season; however, the performances have heightened safety concerns for both tracks and competitors," Wedlock said. "We have been working with our principle sanctioning organization IHRA in reviewing the safety aspects relating to Top Fuel”.
NHRA was the first to adopt the shortened course following the death of Funny Car racer Scott Kalitta in Englishtown during the 2008 season. The world motorsport body the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) adopted the 1000 ft standard Top Fuel distance in 2012 for all FIA World Championships.
This change relates only to Top Fuel racing with all other classes still to compete over the traditional 1,320 feet (one-quarter mile).