Mark Sheehan is ready to lead the West Aussie charge against current Top Fuel champion Darren Morgan, 2014 points leader Phil Lamattina, the duel threat of Rapisarda Autosport and former Top Fuel champion Martin Stamatis this weekend at the 43rd Westernationals.
Although the NSW based Rapisarda and Billview teams feature West Australian drivers in Damien Harris, Allan Dobson and Martin Stamatis, Sheehan Racing is WA owned and operated.
“I think to all West Aussie teams the meetings don’t get any bigger than this, especially for the teams that don’t travel,” said Sheehan. “This is home turf and that counts for the fans on the hill watching. (There is) nothing better than winning at your home race track.”
“For me personally, I know how rewarding it is for myself and the whole team when the likes of DMR, LTFR, RAI and Martin Stamatis come to town.”
“There is some stiff competition there for sure, with the years of knowledge and the run data that some of these teams have, not forgetting who some of these teams are linked in with in the US. To steal a win in Top Fuel against these guys is definitely worth all the hard work.”
In the three round format during round one of the Top Fuel ANDRA Drag Racing Series at Perth Motorplex, Sheehan ran a 4.658 in eliminations to beat Stamatis and 4.753 as runner up in the A Final to Lamattina’s 4.651.
Round two the following night was a costly one for Sheehan going through two engines on the way to the B Final. Out of bullets, he was unfortunately unable to make the start but Sheehan acknowledged the damage sustained during those passes was self-inflicted.
Coming into the Westernationals the car has been serviced and replaced with new components and the team is confident of challenging Lamattina despite his consistency at Perth Motorplex.
“One hundred percent (we are confident). This season Phil has shown so far with his consistency that LTFR are the team to beat and we know we can play the spoiler in his hunt for his first Championship.”
“That’s not taking anything away from the other teams entering, there may be only six cars at the next two rounds but all of the cars are capable of running into the 4.50s if the conditions are right.”
“Whoever takes the win light at the next two rounds is going to have to earn it.”
And if it isn't Sheehan himself standing on the podium, he doesn't mind if it’s another championship contender in his place.
“Of course when we hit the race track we will be one hundred percent ready and focused and I would like to be part of the winning action.”
“But I would also like to see DMR finishing strong to make up some ground in the points and hopefully build from there throughout his season and defend his three straight Championships.”
The 43rd Westernationals get under way Friday February 28th with qualifying for round three of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.
Round three of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series for Top Fuel begins with qualifying on Saturday March 1st at 6:00pm and again for round four on Sunday March 2nd.
Image courtesy Phil Luyer / High Octane Photos