Australia’s best sportsman racers will be lining up at Sydney Dragway this Saturday alongside 11,000hp/500kmh Top Fuelers and the elite NDRC Pro Alcohol and FuelTech Pro Mod racers for a one-day spectacular, doing battle for not only event bragging rights and prestigious NDRC Christmas Tree trophies, but also valuable points in the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship.
One of the more than 110 sportsman racers lining up at Sydney Dragway on December 2 will be 23-year-old Monique Ambruosi.
While Ambruosi is a fresh face in the national drag racing scene, she is anything but a drag racing ‘newbie’, having been around the sport from a very young age.
“My love for the sport and industry began at a very young age – my dad, Robert Ambruosi, has been racing since before I was born so I grew up around the track and around fast and loud cars,” said Ambruosi, who is pleased to represent FuelTech USA, SS Custom Engineering, SP Tools and VP Racing Fuels on-track.
“I spent a lot of my childhood at the track either with my dad’s alcohol funny car or his customers’ cars, and as a kid I used to go out in the workshop and help my dad pull apart customer’s engines.
“That enjoyment quickly turned into a deep passion for high performance engines and race cars and at the age of 13 my dad purchased a junior dragster which I raced until the age of nearly 17, coming second in a Junior Dragster championship.
“It was a great learning opportunity as it taught me the fundamentals of the sport and added fuel to my fire for the industry, especially at such a young age.”
Now the metal fabricator/welder is making her mark in the senior ranks and will be on-track at the Top Fuel Xmas Showdown in Modified.
“The Sydney Nationals was my second event in Modified and my first where I was able to be competitive, including my first round win – my team and I just converted my fuel over from Methanol to VP Racing MS109; picking up an extra 43hp with the fuel changeover,” she explained.
“Getting that first round win in Sydney was a feeling that I cannot quite explain, it is almost like it sets your heart on fire!
“Unfortunately, due to driver error on the start line I lost my second round, but the car was running quite consistent, and we will keep working on the refining and perfecting I need to do as a driver.
“Bracket racing is definitely challenging; bracket racers are on their game, and it has taken a little bit for myself and my team to find our feet. In saying all that, I am proud of what we have accomplished in such a short span, and I look forward to going rounds in the future.
“My goal of course is to win, and I know that all takes time. To win this meeting would mean everything to me as this year has definitely been a difficult one for myself for many different reasons, so to close the year off with a win would be magical and would be a great way for me to network with companies as I will be leaving for America a couple of days after the race meeting to attend the PRI Trade show.”
Ambruosi is excited about the future of drag racing under the new NDRC, and the prospect of shooting for a championship title within the series.
“In my opinion ‘unity’ for drag racing and all racing categories here in Australia is everything,” she said.
“As a racer and passionate ambassador of the sport and series I am excited to support associations that are tirelessly working towards making the sport great again.
“The NDRC conference and overall championship is definitely something I am aiming for, drag racing is my passion and my life, so it would mean everything to me to claim it.”
Ambruosi has some key advice for those looking to follow their passion as she has.
“If you have a passion for something, never let anyone tell you it can’t be done,” Ambruosi said.
“You are and will always be the author of your life, always remember to be kind, remain humble and know that knowledge is power and thinking out the box is imperative. And do not forget – failing is important as it will allow you to evolve, develop and move forward so fail fast, fail often and fail forward.”
As she prepares for the Top Fuel Xmas Showdown at Sydney Dragway, Ambruosi has a number of people she would like to thank.
“Drag racing has brought me many opportunities so far, from travelling to America and meeting the FuelTech team to securing partnerships with many companies and working as a brand ambassador,” she said.
“I have met so many incredible and intelligent people so far throughout my time in the industry that allow me to always continue learning and evolving which is something I am forever grateful for.
“I would like to thank my dad for helping me to get to where I am, without him I would not be in this position, and I am eternally grateful for that.
“I would also like to thank my crew chief, Stef – this car would not be where it is today if it wasn’t for him and his dedication towards our team.
“To my mum Nadia and sister Chanelle, I am forever thankful for your support and the unconditional love you have provided me; thank you for putting up with all my working hours and the sacrifices I have made to go racing.”
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 FuelTech 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