After opening his 2023/2024 NDRC Top Fuel Championship with a runner-up result and a ground-breaking 3.7 second pass – just 0.02 seconds shy of a new national record on the brand-new Dragway at the Bend, Wayne Newby is predicting plenty more record-breaking performances from the six 11,000hp/500kmh Top Fuelers at Sydney Dragway this Saturday for the one-day Top Fuel Xmas Showdown event (December 2).
“I think everyone has a good chance of new national records in Sydney. The track is pretty amazing, and the cars are capable of doing it – and that just isn’t our cars, that is every car,” said the Rapidsarda Autosport International driver, whose impressive performances at Dragway at The Bend came in front of a cumulative crowd of 35,000.
“Our 3.7 has been there for a while, we have just had a lot of bad luck, so hopefully that luck is starting to turn around a little bit.
“We all have a lot of data for Sydney too, while we were all flying blind at Tailem Bend. Having said that, the track there was outstanding, and we saw that with the ETs that were run.
“If the weather plays ball, I think you will see records broken for sure.”
The December 2 event will feature an action-packed line-up of not only the six Top Fuelers but also NDRC Pro Alcohol, FuelTech Pro Mod, and the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship alongside plenty of other great entertainment.
“I think the one-day format will be really good for the spectators and also for the racers,” Newby said.
“I don’t think it adds any extra pressure for the competitors – everyone is always prepared, you have to be in these Top Fuel cars, so we will be all good!”
Following the first round which featured an incredible 13 three second passes and five side-by-side ‘threes’, with six of those three second passes run at more than 500kph, Newby is second on the title ladder on 125 points. He is 32 points behind defending champ Damien Harris (157 points), while Peter Xiberras (90), Phil Lamattina (66) and Phil Read (60) round out the top five ahead of this weekend’s second round.
“Dragway at The Bend was all about a lot of preparation over the off-season where everyone in the team pitched in and organised everything while Santino (Rapisarda, Newby’s crew chief) was doing a lot of studying on the computer so we could hit the ground running from the first hit. It was a good weekend for us, we just missed it a little bit in the final,” Newby said.
“The championship is the ultimate goal, but it is still early; we will see what happens later on in the year.
“Every point counts; and it doesn’t matter who you race these days, everyone is pretty tough. So, we don’t worry about who we are running, we just try and win ourselves.
“I won’t be making any predictions, I don’t want to jinx myself, but I hope we can be in front of the title chase by the end of the weekend,” he grinned, while thanking the Rapisarda Autosport International crew, Atlantic Oil, Santo Rapisarda and Uplift Cranes for their support.
The Top Fuel Xmas Showdown will bring an action-packed day and night of racing to Sydney Dragway on Saturday December 2, featuring Top Fuel, Pro Alcohol and Pro Mod, alongside the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship as well as plenty of on and off track entertainment. For event information and to purchase tickets, go to ndrc.tv