A mere two points separate Rapisarda Autosport International teammates Damien Harris and Wayne Newby leading into round three of the Australian Top Fuel Championship at the Perth Motorplex on March 2, 3.
Reigning champion Harris holds the advantage after winning the opening round of the series against Newby and pocketing a swag of bonus points. The result was reversed at the Australia Day meeting in January when Newby defeated Harris in the final.

“The win in Sydney win was the breakthrough we had been chasing,” according to Newby. “Our first win in four years was a real boost to the confidence and morale of the team. At the opening round, we ran low E.T. of the meet with a 3.76, the fastest I have ever gone in Australia. Then, in Sydney, we got the win and claimed the top speed of the event at 322 mph. Santino [Rapisarda} and his crew have given me an awesome car to drive. I’m quietly confident that we can take home the win at the Motorplex this weekend.” 

Hometown hero Damien Harris has ruled the roost at the Plex since the TFA series began in 2022, with two wins and a third from three starts. 

“The Motorplex has been a happy hunting ground for our team over the years,” Harris said. “We were in contention to win in Sydney until we broke a crank. A win this weekend would give our chances of winning back-to-back championships a real boost.”
The absence of two-time champ Peter Xiberras has reduced the entry list to five. 

“We are currently third in the championship, and there are still four rounds left to run after the Westernats, so while it is a shame we won’t make it to Perth for March 2 and 3, it is certainly not out of the question to peg the field back at the remaining events,” Xiberras said.

Team owner-driver Phil Lamattina, fourth in points, is chasing his first win since May 2022. Lamattina is on the cusp of breaking the drought after he won the B-Final at Sydney against Xiberras and also claimed E.T. honors with a 3.81.
Also chasing an overdue victory this weekend is veteran Phil Read. The two-time champion last tasted victory when he defeated Peter Xiberras in the final of the 2023 Westernats.




Local racer Kyle Putland has shown the potential to match it with his more experienced rivals this season but has been let down by a series of mechanical and electrical issues. 

With only five entries, qualifying will be critical. Under the all-run format, the top qualifier will be handed a solo in round one and is guaranteed to pocket win points.

The meeting will also include round four of the Australian Door Slammer championship. 

There are nine local entries with Fabietti Racing, the sole East Coast team.

Rookie Russell Taylor holds a slender 20-point advantage over evergreen John Zappia. The two protagonists have faced off in the last two finals, with honors going to Taylor on both occasions. Lisa Gregorini, attempting to become the first woman to win an Australian Doorslammer title, is six points behind Zappia and 12 points in front of rookie standout Ronnie Palumbo from Fabietti Racing.