Australia Day awesomeness guaranteed at Sydney Dragway

Sydney Dragway is the place to be to celebrate Australia Day this weekend, headlined by a huge field of eight 11,000hp/500kph Top Fuel Dragsters.

Two championship rounds for eight Top Fuelers; Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pro Alcohol and FuelTech Pro Mod title fights; plus Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship racing, fireworks and more – this Friday and Saturday’s Saltwood @ Rosedale Australia Day Nationals is set to be unmissable.

The flame-throwing headliners will contest two rounds of their championship chase across the event, ensuring maximum bang for spectator buck at the January 26/27 event.

Defending champion Damien Harris currently leads the title standings on 157 points ahead of his team-mate, Wayne Newby (125 points), with Peter Xiberras (90), Phil Lamattina (66) and Phil Read (60) rounding out the top five ahead of this weekend’s event.

The field is top-notch: each member of the top five is a championship winner, and they will be joined on-track by impressive series newcomer Kyle Putland, US racing star and round one winner Larry Dixon, and 2022 event winner Shane Olive, who is making a comeback to the sport with a new team after a few months’ away.

Above: Wayne Newby. At top: Damien Harris. Both images thanks to Cackling Pipes

“Our Top Fuel teams are absolutely champing at the bit to get on-track following their season-opener, and with eight cars lining up at Sydney Dragway this weekend for two championship rounds, we are really upping the ante this Australia Day,” NDRC Co-Founder, Andy Lopez, explained.

“The title chase is close, the passion is at an all time high, and with an incredible 13 three second passes and five side-by-side ‘threes’ – including six of those three second passes at more than 500kph – at round one, it is clear our teams are operating at the absolute edge and are sure to deliver this weekend.

“There really is nothing like Top Fuel racing and it is only getting bigger and better. Don’t miss it!”

Top Doorslammer is also set to bring the drama at the Saltwood @ Rosedale Australia Day Nationals as the field backs up from a controversial last round just a fortnight earlier.

Russell Taylor (Cackling Pipes)

At that event, rookie Russell Taylor was declared the winner over veteran John Zappia, when Zappia was disqualified after crossing the line first when a crew member was found to have touched his car while it was in full stage. It was Taylor’s second win from just three events in group one, but the team had to wait until the Monday to be officially declared the winner as an appeal was heard from Zappia’s team. By virtue of his win, Taylor has now taken over the title lead on 309 points from Zappia’s 286.

Rookies Lisa Gregorini (280) and Ronnie Palumbo (268) and former champion Daniel Gregorini (261) round out the exceptionally close top five – with Lisa and Daniel also providing plenty of interest at the last round by being matched-up in the B-Final, with Lisa besting her husband for 3rd.

“D is for Doorslammer, but it is also for Drama this season, with this bracket punching out event after event of top-notch, intense racing,” Lopez said.

“With a new championship leader, plenty to be said about the last round, rookies and veterans facing off, and a number of racers also looking for redemption after a difficult last round, the Doorslammer show in Sydney this weekend is sure to be a crowd pleaser.”  

Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and FuelTech Pro Mod are all also set to entertain.

Russell Mills (Cackling Pipes)

In Pro Alcohol, New South Welshman Russell Mills has a commanding title lead after winning round one at home and then taking it to the local WA line up at round two with a strong performance start to finish in his head-turning dragster. He leads round-one runner-up and rookie Daniel Reed (118 points) and round two runner-up Craig Glassby (99 points) in the standings.

In Pro Stock, Robert Dekert (149 points) has the top spot on the points’ standings after enjoying a perfect weekend at round one, also held at Sydney Dragway – top qualifying and taking out the A-Final win over Rick Chilton (108). Chris Soldatos (70), Clint George (51) and Tony Polito (46) occupy the third, fourth and fifth rungs on the ladder.

Pro Stock Motorcycle will deliver plenty of two-wheeled thrills amongst the group one ranks, with Scott White (150 points) leading the way for the bracket after an emotional round one win, ahead of Luke Crowley (67 points), Ryan Learmonth (67), Tony Frost (61) and Lachlan Ireland (60).

In FuelTech Pro Mod, thanks to a perfect round one weekend in Sydney in October, Craig Burns has 144 points on the scoreboard over Rob Campisi (121), ahead of Joe Gauci (94), Frank Tarabay (84), Geoff Gradden (67) and Stew Walsh (62).

Also, on-track will be the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship competitors, fighting it out for valuable Eastern Conference points.

“No matter where you look on our entry list, there are amazing competitors and racing machines to be found,” Lopez said.

“From start to finish, top to bottom, our schedule at Sydney Dragway this weekend is going to be full of high stakes, fast paced and enthralling racing, and we can’t wait.”

For event information and tickets, visit ndrc.tv

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