WA drag racer Allen Puglia will get a chance to put his skills to the test against the best drivers in the nation when the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) Pro Series hits Perth Motorplex on March 3 and 4.
Puglia will be driving two cars, a Ford Mustang and a Ford Probe, at the event in two different categories, both capable of accelerating to over 300kmh in seven seconds.
His Ford Mustang will be racing in the Pro Stock category and that is where the lion’s share of his attention will be as he gets the first opportunity to compete on home turf in some two years.
“If I can just qualify well I would be the happiest man in the world because the guys coming over are the ones going for the championship; they’re all tough,” Puglia said.
The Ford Mustang produces approximately 1000 horsepower, close to double that of a V8 Supercar.
Puglia has many runs on the board at Perth Motorplex but the Pro Stock category produces several challenges such as a different sequence of starting lights.
“It’s all new to me and it’s different; the tree (starting lights) is definitely something we need to work on but the good thing is we can do that in testing,” he said. “We haven’t been that bad but when you are racing the likes of (national champion) Aaron Tremayne you need to be on your game.”
As if racing two of his own drag cars was not enough, Puglia’s sons Nicholas and Matthew will also be competing in the Junior Dragster division.
Fortunately Puglia has recruited extra people to his team, all with plenty of experience to help give a winning edge.
“It will be busy but we have some good people to give us a hand. John Barbagallo, my engine builder, is coming over as is Peter Pelekis who used to own the car,” he said.
Puglia hopes he can have some gains with his Mustang, which is only a new purchase and was imported from the USA.
“Sorting issues is one of those things with new cars, they’re temperamental,” he said. “We don’t know the car at the moment so we don’t really have a home track advantage. But it’s very close and we have only been hundredths of a second off in the past.”
Puglia will be joined by national champion Aaron Tremayne, current points leader Michael Ali, Monster Energy gun Shane Tucker and Mopar-backed Lee Bektash.
The Westernationals at Perth Motorplex runs on March 3 and 4. Tickets start from $31 and are available from www.motorplex.com.au.