Four times ANDRA Drag Racing Series Top Fuel champion Darren Morgan and current series leader Phil Lamattina are crossing the Nullabor to put on a show and come away with the first ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree of the season at the 43rd Westernationals this weekend.
Lamattina said he was excited to go racing in his first Westernationals particularly against his old sparring partner Darren Morgan and stiff competition from the likes of Mark Sheehan, Damien Harris, Allan Dobson and 2010 champ Martin Stamatis.
“Darren (Morgan) is the defending champion and it’s always good to have the toughest cars there. He’s one tough competitor,” said Lamattina. “One thing we’ve got is a few runs under our belt already. We know we can beat Darren and he knows he can beat us."
“The conditions over there are going to be a little bit different and won’t be quite 1230as hot as last time. If the weather and the track come around I think we’re going to see some pretty special times and speeds.”
Lamattina expects to run somewhere in the low 4.60s but doesn’t think he’ll be alone.
“I’m pretty confident every car there can run in that low 60 range and more importantly I think if we can keep the races tight, that’s better than running the big times and speeds especially with that three round format. That’s pretty exciting for the crowd.”
One of those fast cars fans at the Perth Motorplex are excited to see on the track is that of Darren Morgan making his 2014 season debut.
Although DMR have not yet raced, Morgan is confident he can shake up the championship standings.
“It’s always difficult (coming into an event with limited testing), said Morgan. “We’ve got new superchargers and new injectors. We knew we had the championship going into the last race in Sydney last year so we put in 9 stand and 8 stand clutches to test those for this year.”
“But we wouldn’t go if we didn’t think we didn’t have a shot at it.”
“We’ll do our best with what we’ve got. Without the support of Top Fuel Australia and K-Trans we wouldn’t be going and we really want to put on a show for our West Australian fans.”
The Top Fuel candles will light up the 43rd Westernationals from 6:00pm Saturday March 1 and Sunday March 2 this weekend at Perth Motorplex.
Qualifying for the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship commences from 6:00pm Friday February 28.
Photos Phil Luyer and Andra