AUSSIE HARRIS REFLECTS ON HIS THIRD TOP FUEL TITLE
Damien Harris and the Rapisarda Autosport International team were awarded the prestigious Stan Sainty Cup as winners of the 2022/2023 Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship in Darwin last June. Harris celebrated his third national Top Fuel win, having previously clinched the 2005 ANDRA Pro Series Top Fuel Championship and the 2016 400 Thunder Top Fuel Championship.
"It has been just great to win the championship," Harris said, reflecting on his monumental championship. "To win the Stan Sainty Cup for the Rapisarda family is very special indeed, and it was great to be able to reward the guys for all of their efforts throughout the year. This really is about the guys on the team – I obviously don’t live in Sydney where the team is based, so I don’t do all the work they do, and it is just great to be able to reward the guys in the team and the Rapisarda family for all of their support over the last 11 years with this win."
With over 20 years of experience in drag racing, Harris expressed his passion for the sport.
"It was a very long time ago that I got started," Harris explained. "I was around 15 or 16 years old when I was first taken to the track by a family member. We went to Ravenswood and that really got my interest going. Then I got an opportunity to work on a car, and then another opportunity to drive one. After that, I was hooked, and it all grew from there. This year marks 23 years of being involved in drag racing and driving."
Looking back on the 2022/2023 season, Harris described the Nitro Up North as his favorite win of the season.
"I needed to win that first round to make it hard for everyone else, so there was a lot of pressure on that one, and we got through," Harris said.
Harris secured the season finale with impressive performances, including a victory over Kyle Putland in round two.
Harris also expressed his gratitude for the Rapisarda team, attributing his involvement in the sport to the strong relationships he has formed.
"They are a great bunch of people, and we have a great time on the road," he explained. "So, spending time with them and enjoying their company is definitely a big factor of why I love doing what we do."
With the conclusion of the season, Australian drag racing looks to the future, as the National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) is set to commence in July for sportsman competitors and October for Group One, including the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship.
"I am looking forward to what I believe should be a really great year under the new set-up," Harris added. "I am also keen to see the new Tailem Bend track coming into the mix. We are definitely looking forward to defending the championship and hopefully starting strong at the season opener in October at The Bend."