Reigning ANDRA Top Fuel Champion, Phil Lamattina has launched his season with a pair of second places at the Perth Motorplex, whilst brother John has secured fourth place in the championship standings following some consistent performances in the second Fuchs Top Fuel dragster at the Nitro Max event.
The qualifying sessions for both days proved to be some of the best and tightest on record, with all six cars tightly locked together in terms of performance in the four-second bracket.
On day one it was Sydney-sider Wayne Newby in the top spot, followed by the Fuchs dragster of Phil Lamattina heading the field on the following night of racing.
“What a qualifying session!” exclaimed Lamattina. “To have it that tight in Top Fuel racing is something else, it’s great to see everyone stepping up their game.
“Having the two cars will help us get these cars humming but this event shows we will not have it all our own way. It’s going to be on for the championship”
Phil made the final on both nights but was unable to get the win light against WA native, Damien Harris who took two round wins from as many nights.
Harris leaves Perth with the points lead, though with Phil Lamattina earning the several of the bonus points highest terminal speed over the event, the gap between the two is minimal.
The ANDRA Top Fuel Championship now moves on to the Santo's Super 3 Extreme Drag Race at Willowbank Raceway on Easter Saturday for the Louie Rapisarda Memorial Trophy.
Phil concluded, “To leave with second for me and forth for John in the standings is a good result but we’d obviously like to take the win in Queensland for the Louie Rapisarda Memorial Trophy.”
“Leading into this event, unfortunately we had a memorial of our own, we lost our good friend and team chef, Adrian Broom. We would have loved to have honoured Adrian with a Christmas Tree Trophy and a win but in the end I’m sure he saw us wearing our ‘Broomy black aprons’ and smiled down on us.”
The 2014 Fuchs Winternationals didn’t end in victory for either of the LTFR top fuel dragsters but the two-car team ended the event with some astounding performances and gained valuable points in the ANDRA Championship chase.
Team driver, Phil Lamattina explained “Look, we don’t like to lose but if you have to go out before the final, the way we did it is about as good as it gets.
“We have been testing a new clutch set-up in the car and we have just started to creep up on the tune-up. We ran a 4.56-second pass at 327mph and I can guarantee, it will go even quicker and faster.”
Phil Lamattina lost a close semi final to Rapisarda Autosport International’s Damien Harris.
“The semi against Damien Harris was a great race, we smoked the tyres early in the pass and I had to get off the throttle and then back into it again and we still ran 327mph! We were catching Damien but it wasn’t enough, they made a great pass and deserved the win, well done to their guys, they did a great job.”
Lamattina added, “We gained some points on Allan Dobson and we got the bonus points for the quickest run and the fastest top speed of the event.
“Having the wider Fuchs team here as the event sponsor capped off a great weekend for our team and it was great to see our Fuchs teammate, John Zappia get the win in Top Doorslammer.”
The other John in the pit area, John Lamattina, again proved to be a force in ANDRA Top Fuel.
“We didn’t quite have the speed that Phil had this weekend but we qualified well for fourth position and had a great first round race with Damien Harris, who also took Phil out in the end.”
“The crowd was huge and I think we put on a good show for them,” concluded the younger Lamattina brother.
The ANDRA Top Fuel Championship chase now heads to South Australia after a small break.
For Australia’s most prominent Top Fuel family, the Easter break is about spending time together but rather than a traditional Sunday lunch, John and Phil Lamattina will be beating up on each other as they pilot their 8000hp-plus Top Fuel cars at Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes at Willowbank Raceway.
The two brothers will square off against the very best nitro dragsters in the country, with older brother Phil currently sitting atop the ANDRA Championship points list. The event is also the first time that two brothers have faced each other in the same Top Fuel field at iconic Queensland.
Phil explains, “John has raced there before in our old (Supercharged) Outlaws car, so he knows the racetrack. He also knows this (Top Fuel) car pretty well, having both driven it, as well as worked on it.”
“As a team, we haven’t been to Willowbank since the Winternationals but the track guys do such a good job there, we are confident that we can go quickly from the first pass.”
Younger brother John added “It will be good to be back in the car again, I didn’t race at Perth so we did some testing in Sydney for me to keep my eye in.”
“To have the two Fuchs cars in the field is a massive achievement for our family, our team and our sponsors, we will put on the very best show we can for the Queensland race fans.”
The Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes utilises ANDRA’s three round format, which means more on-track time from the national championship brackets, meaning more runs by more cars more often.
Phil adds “The three round also makes it more likely that John and I will have a pass or two racing against each other and that’s pretty cool. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Easter, we’ll share some food, a racetrack and around 16,000 horsepower!”
SANTO’S SUPER 3 EXTREME DRAG RACE, PRESENTED BY UPLIFT CRANES AND TITAN CRANES – 18 and 19 April, 2014
The Fuchs Lamattina Top Fuel Racing dragster has made Perth its own in recent times and the team is looking to replicate their round one success for the 43rd Westernationals at Perth Motorplex.
Held over the Labour Day long weekend, Top Fuel will take centre stage on both Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd March.
The event also sees arguably the two strongest ANDRA Championship brackets, Top Fuel and Top Doorslammer, at the same event.
LTFR’s number one driver, Phil Lamattina added “To have six Top Fuel cars and 20 Top Doorslammers in one place is going to be pretty cool.
“We also have one of my old sparring partners, Darren Morgan back for this round, which is great. It means that not only do we have six cars, we have six really fast cars.”
The Westernationals features the three round racing format, which means that all the cars race the first two rounds followed by an A and B Final (four quickest winners from second round) to decide the winners.
“The format is one of the great parts of the event, the crowd can come on either night and see a great show.
“If the conditions are right, we hope to put on an even more spectacular show and better our 4.631 pass at 526.6kph that we recorded during the January event.
“We have some great data for the Motorplex and we’ll need it with such a strong field. Our crew, lead by Aaron (Hambridge), is continuing to get better and better and I can’t wait to line up in the staging lanes – it’s going to be a huge event,” laughed Lamattina.
Former ANDRA Top Fuel Champion, Phil Lamattina, has vowed 2014 will be the year he reclaims the Top Fuel title as the FUCHS-powered team prepare for the season-opening Nitro Max at Perth Motorplex the January 10-11.
“We want it bad, that’s for sure!” exclaimed the Wemen-based carrot farmer.
“The team has left no stone unturned for this season, we have one goal – ANDRA Gold!
“I will be racing a new chassis that should be both quicker and more comfortable. Over the last two seasons we have been the fastest car in the field most of the time but we haven’t been able to win the races that we needed to win. This year we are looking to be both fast and consistent,” added Lamattina.
FUCHS Lubricants Australasia has again joined the team for a record tenth consecutive year.
“We have great continuity - same driver, same crew, same sponsors – we need to make sure we go one better,” concluded Lamattina, referring to his runner up position in last year’s title race.
Aaron Hambridge, LTFR Crew Chief, is also confident of some great results this season.
“Last year we won both rounds in Perth, so we would love to the same to start of this season. However, it’s not going to be easy, it is a relatively small field but the quality of the cars is higher than ever.
“We have some great data and we are going to use everything to try and achieve the very best we can at the (Perth) Motorplex,” Hambridge concluded.
Arguably the biggest name in Australian Top Fuel racing has partnered with Australia’s biggest name in hand tools, with the Victorian-based Lamattina Top Fuel Racing cars now sporting Sidchrome signage for the remainder of the 2013 season as well as 2014.
The partnership will see the crew for both LTFR cars using Sidchrome tools as the Top Fuel team continues to expand its operation.
Team driver, Phil Lamattina was excited to confirm the announcement. “We are so happy to have Sidchrome on-board, they are a great brand and make great products. The boys are looking forward to getting their hands on the new gear, that’s for sure!” smiled the former ANDRA champion.
“As many people would know, with Top Fuel, the engine is rebuilt after every pass and almost everything else is removed, inspected and adjusted, so the tools get a workout.”
Lamattina concluded “I have to thank Team Bray for helping out as well, it shows what drag racing is all about, helping each other for the greater good, Victor and his team have been fantastic.”
This coming weekend will see Sidchrome joining Fuchs Lubricants, Elders Insurance, Monster Energy and Gridstar not only on the side of the both LTFR race cars, but also in the Fuchs Nitro Lounge with 85 corporate guests coming along for the ride. The event also sees LTFR’s new car and driver combination making its debut with John Lamattina at the wheel of the new machine. Whilst some nerves might be understandable, John is relaxed about his inaugural ANDRA event.
“It’s the sport’s return to Calder Park, we have new sponsors on the cars, we have our biggest merchandise sale ever being launched and 85 guests in the corporate areas, what an event to make your debut,” laughed John.
“We have two amazing looking race cars, thanks to the guys at YBI Creative, all we have to do now is make sure they go as good as they look, concluded younger brother John.
Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams on Saturday, October 19 sees qualifying from 9am with racing from 5pm. Spectator gates open at 8.30am and general admission is $35 for adults.
Fuchs Lubricants has thrown their support behind a second Top Fuel car for the Lamattina Top Fuel Racing operation, with John Lamattina set to drive the team’s new car at the Calder Park round as well as the season concluding Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway.
The second car is going to feature some new chassis technology and will wear a new livery to compliment the ‘chrome bullet’ driven by older brother Phil.
Fuchs Lubricants Australasia’s Managing Director Wayne Hoiles was please to make the announcement.
“Our brand position is ‘Lubricants. Technology. People.’ and with LTFR we have an opportunity to test our lubricants in one of the most extreme environments possible, implement the latest technology and in the LTFR team, we know we have the right people – it’s a great match.”
John Lamattina, who has some final licensing to complete prior to Calder, has proved a natural in the Top Fuel car having previously campaigned a Supercharged Outlaws sedan.
John added “I’d like to thank the entire Fuchs team on their support for us and for entrusting me to represent their brand and their products.”
Brother Phil was quick to add “He was a natural in the car and I can’t wait to get two Fuchs cars driven by two Lamattina brothers on the start line. It’s been in the back of our mind for a long time and at Calder Park, in our home state, that dream will become a reality.”
“This also gives Fuchs double the exposure at the Calder Park event and doubles our chances of taking the win. We will also have a few more announcements to make, so stay tuned,” smiled the former national champion.
The LTFR Top Fuel dragster had a mixed weekend at the Sydney Nitro Champs but a semi final appearance and more data, sees the team confident about their chances as the ANDRA Series heads to it’s biggest event of the season, the Fuchs Winternationals.
After changing some of the clutch systems in the dragster during the week, qualifying was about finding the ideal tune-up resulting in a fifth place on the qualification list.
“It wasn’t the best qualifying performance but we are pretty happy with what we have learned over the weekend, it’s all about getting the car settled down, we are making more power than ever before but that brings some challenges,” explained team driver Phil Lamattina.
Round one saw the Fuchs-powered dragster make the semis after getting past long-time rival Phil Read with a 4.97-second pass defeating Read’s 5.43-second run.
“After round one, we put in a similar tune-up for round two but we just got outrun, as simple as that.
“It’s hard to know what call to make and we probably could have been more aggressive to be honest, but it is better to make sure you get down the track, so that’s what we did.
“The hard part is that we know that we can win race meetings and that’s what we plan to do. Anything less than a ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree is not good enough,” concluded the Wemen-based racer.
The Lamattina pit was buzzing all weekend with Elders Insurance staff throughout the weekend, a sponsor of the team for the first year.
Angelo Lamattina commented “It was a great weekend on the corporate side of things and that will get even bigger at the Winternationals and hopefully we can give them the result that Fuchs and Elders Insurance deserve.”
ANDRA Top Fuel points leader Phil Lamattina has launched a new website as a part of the team’s communication with its fans, both in Australia and overseas.
The Fuchs-backed drag racing team’s new online portal features a social network interface to help keep fans up-to-date with the latest team news.
“We’re pretty happy with the job that the YBI guys have done with the site,” smiled the Wemen local.
“Our social network numbers keep climbing and some of our updates have been read by more than 100,000 fans.
“The new site is a great way to keep those drag racing fans up to date if they aren’t lucky enough to be at the track. It’s also an interface for our sponsors to enhance their involvement with the team.”
The website launch has coincided with another new development, the Santo’s Cranes Super 3 Extreme Drag Race event to held at Willowbank Raceway.
“I love the three round format,” exclaimed Lamattina, who recently won both rounds held at the Perth Motorplex.
“Willowbank Raceway will have a great vibe and the team are ready to turn up the wick on the ‘Chrome Bullet’.
“It’ll be great to have Larry Dixon in the field but for us, he’s just another name we have to beat and that’s exactly what we will be trying to do. The competition is a great opportunity for the Australia teams to step up to the plate and race against the very best there is.”
John Lamattina, younger brother of established top fuel star Phil Lamattina, is all set to join the elite group of licenced top fuel pilots after an amazing first day of licencing at Sydney Dragway.
The younger Lamattina brother recorded a stout .846 60-foot time before he shut off the dragster as per ANDRA licencing regulations. The time is comparable with some of the best measured in the current ANDRA Championship season.
“I’m just happy to be learning the ropes and getting a feel for the car,” commented John.
“It’s great having Phil here to help me through the process, he’s been there and done it.”
“We have another day to go but I feel better with every pass and I am looking forward to completing the licencing process,” concluded John.
Older brother Phil added, “We have to thank all the ANDRA and Sydney Dragway track officials, they have been outstanding. The car is only a few kilometres from the racetrack here and we really feel like this is LTFR’s home track.”
On the final pass for the day John recorded a 330-foot time of 2.23-seconds on the mandated half-track pass, a very strong result.
Phil concluded, “We have a great team, the car is working well, we have some great sponsors and Fuchs and Elders Insurance and we are hungry for success.”
Former Australian top fuel champion, Phil Lamattina, has had an amazing return to form at the Perth Motorplex, winning both rounds held at the Western Australia venue over February 1 and 2.
Lamattina’s win in the final of the Friday round was one of the standout races of the ANDRA Championship season. The Fuchs-powered dragster used a reaction time advantage to help edge ahead of Damien Harris with the carrot king’s 4.73-second pass getting the win light over Harris’ 4.77 pass.
With the team’s first win this season coming after three consecutive finals appearances, Lamattina also took the points lead in the ANDRA Championship chase.
“I like the new three round format,” laughed Lamattina.
The two-day meeting saw the debut of the new ‘double header’ format with one individual round per day and a multi-race format rather than traditional eliminations.
“What a great race for the final, how good was that? I have to thank Aaron for the tune-up, it was right on the money, we knew Tim Adams and Damien would be right there with us and we were right.”
“The car felt like it was on a nice, smooth pass, so I knew we would have a good terminal speed — 514kph — we’ll take that!”
Lamattina was obviously relieved to turn the finals appearance into victory.
“We have made finals, that hasn’t been a problem. The problem has been getting the win and that’s probably a credit to guys like Darren Morgan and Mark Sheehan. Those guys are quality operators and it’s not easy, that’s of sure.”
The Saturday round also saw Lamattina take another win.
The final round again saw Lamattina face off against West Aussie, Damien Harris.
The second final was not as tight as the previous round however, with Lamattina cruising to a 5.49-second pass after Harris smoked the tyres in the Best Tractor Parts machine.
The second win in as many days means Lamattina now heads the point championship on 418 ahead of second place Darren Morgan with 375.
“There has been chatter about Top Fuel needing more cars and I agree with that for sure. However, this category is producing amazing racing and is as tough as it ever has been. Getting wins is hard work and we are just so happy to deliver this result for all our supporters.”
The next round of the ANDRA top fuel championship will be held at Willowbank Raceway on March 29-30 for the Santo’s Cranes Super 3 Extreme Drag Race.
Lamattina Top Fuel Racing (LTFR) has added another sponsor to the ranks, with clothing brand ‘60foot’ joining the team for the final round of the ‘western swing’ held at the Perth Motorplex, February 1 and 2.
The Australian-based clothing brand has strong links to drag racing with its merchandise range and supporting the fastest cars in the sport was a natural fit.
LTFR driver and team boss, Phil Lamattina was pleased to confirm the partnership.
“We are really happy to have 60foot on-board with the team.
“60foot is a young brand and it’s great to see them support drag racing at all levels.
“Let’s not forget that 60foot gives away prizes at each Aeroflow Drag Racing Series round to the junior dragster driver with the best reaction time and closest to dial in “package” during eliminations.
“We have been talking to the team at 60foot for a while and at the last round of testing the car went as quick as it has ever gone to the 60-foot markers, let’s hope it’s on omen” smiled the former category champion.
60foot will also be running a Facebook promotion for the Perth round.
To enter you must simply post the best pictures you have of the LTFR Top Fuel car featuring 60foot signage on the 60foot Facebook page – full details are available at https://www.facebook.com/60foot.
“It’s not going to be as easy as it sounds, we are looking to go quick and fast in Perth, so have the cameras ready, we are going to make getting a picture as hard as possible,” laughed Lamattina.
FUCHS Top Fuel dragster pilot Phil Lamattina has made his third finals appearance in row after the first three rounds of the current ANDRA Championship season.
After qualifying in the number three position, Lamattina and Crew Chief Aaron Hambridge made some dramatic changes to the tune-up for the first round of eliminations.
Lamattina explained, “We found the conditions tricky early but once we got our head around what was required, we knew we could go quick and fast.”
“The racetrack got better and better as the race meeting went on and to be honest, it was as good as anything we have ever raced on.”
The first round of eliminations saw Lamattina face off against good friend and West Australian local, Allan Dobson.
Tuner, Aaron Hambridge explains, “We knew that we could put down a decent number, so we added a bit more to the tune-up.
“The way we tune our car is probably a bit different, our car is making an enormous amount of power and we have to be very careful not to overstep the mark.
“The 4.66-second pass is what we thought it would achieve and the terminal speed was important too because it means we get the bonus points again for being the quickest and the fastest car, and that will all help Phil in the championship chase,” concluded Hambridge.
Mark Sheehan put a stop to Darren Morgan’s winning streak in their first round match-up, which meant a finals show down between Sheehan and Lamattina.
The final was a dramatic nitro pedal-fest, with both drivers on and off the throttle as they attempted to get 8000 horsepower to hook-up.
Lamattina was not too disappointed despite losing to Sheehan by just .07 of a second at the finish line.
“It was a great race,” smiled Lamattina.
“Congratulations to Mark Sheehan on his second win in a row at Perth.”
“The truth is that we actually underestimated the racetrack, we threw a bit more into the car but the track we so good, we actually should have gone a bit harder with the tune-up.”
“In any case, this was a great event for the team, we have always had an issue modulating the throttle on our car but Aaron and the crew have made some important changes to the fuel system and as you can see, the car survived perfectly after that final with an absolute pedal-fest!”
“We had FUCHS and Elders Insurance with us in the corporate area for the weekend and everyone had a great time, it was a top event and we can’t wait for the next one.”
Lamattina has narrowed Darren Morgan’s championship lead, with just nine points separating the two, thanks to the runner up and bonus points for low ET and top speed following a 4.66/522.86kmh pass in the first round.
The next round for Top Fuel will again be in Perth on February 1 and 2.