DRAG racing royalty heads to Willowbank Raceway after a stopover in Brisbane yesterday to launch this weekend's extreme new series.
Larry Dixon, the second-most successful NHRA Top Fuel driver in history, is preparing to contest the Santo's Cranes Super 3 Extreme meeting in Ipswich tomorrow and Saturday.
Dixon will be joined on-track at Willowbank Raceway by celebrated NHRA crew chief Lee Beard as part of the Rapisarda International Autosport team of Santo Rapisarda.
"Having Lee Beard come over from the States is hugely important to our operation," Dixon said.
"To put it in perspective, I see it as being similar to when Michael Schumacher went to Ferrari in Formula 1. He took all of his people with him so there was a comfort and skill level around him.
"It is exactly the same for me."
Checking out South Bank Parklands with his family, Dixon said it was fine partnership.
"Lee has won a tremendous amount of races and Championships all on his own in NHRA competition, so we're doing all we can to win out here this weekend," Dixon said.
"To be racing for my team owner, Santo Rapisarda on his home soil and the trophy that honours his son Louie's memory really is a big deal. We want to keep this trophy for the Rapisarda Autosport team."
Dixon detailed their expectations ahead of this weekend's revolutionary new event.
"The Super 3 Extreme format is new to Australia, but I have used this at exhibition races a lot in the past and for other team owner's such as Don Prudhomme," Dixon said.
"You've got to run quick right out of the box and do your best every time you pull up to the starting line.
"I'll be up against the best that Australia has to offer in Top Fuel, so we have to be prepared as quick as we can."
The Good Friday, Easter Saturday event represents a new approach to drag racing in Australia.
Willowbank Raceway Managing Director Steve Bettes said it was a coup to have Dixon and his crew chief Beard in Ipswich.
"Having people of the calibre of Dixon and Beard on-track for the Santo's Cranes Super 3 Extreme Drag Race really ups the ante for the entire event," Bettes said.
"The Australian racers want to prove themselves and beat Dixon on their home ground, while I know Dixon and Beard are determined to come away from the weekend with a win for Santo and also for Louie."
- Tomorrow and Saturday: Santo's Cranes Super 3 Extreme Drag Race.
- Gates open at 3pm each day with on-track racing from 4pm.
- Feature racing from Top Fuel, Top Alcohol. Racing also from: Outlaw 10.5, Pro/Modified Street Blown and fixed index, heads-up pro start categories 6.90, 7.90, 8.90 and 9.50.
Ticket information: willowbankraceway.com.au
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