Willowbank, Australia round two preview

Newby focused on Willowbank redemption It'll be a purpose-filled assault of Queensland's Willowbank Raceway when Sydney drag racer Wayne Newby returns for round two of the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Australian Championship double-header on...

Newby focused on Willowbank redemption

It'll be a purpose-filled assault of Queensland's Willowbank Raceway when Sydney drag racer Wayne Newby returns for round two of the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Australian Championship double-header on January 3, 2004.

The Top Alcohol competitor had set up a greatly anticipated showdown with reigning champion Gary Phillips during the iTEL Nationals a month ago, only to be left stationary at the start line.

"The season goal was to get off to a good start and shape up to a decent crack at the championship," said Newby.

"Gary was always going to be tough to beat but after top qualifying I thought we had a good handle on the car.

"We got to the staging area and as I warmed the tyres I banged the blower and that was the end for us."

Phillips enjoyed a solo run to iTEL Nationals victory while Newby was left to ponder what might have been after earlier recording a 5.76 second pass that was just outside his opponents best run of 5.69 seconds.

"It was more frustrating after pulling the car apart and being unable to find anything wrong with the dragster.

"I had a chat with Top Doorslammer driver Peter Kapiris who said he'd experienced similar misfortune in the past where the combination of air speed and fuel consumption isn't compatible and it shuts down the whole deal.

"We've had to work pretty hard to get the car right for January 3 as it was bent fairly bad from tyre shake during the Nationals."

Newby is hoping New Year's fortune will allow him to secure maximum points during round two of the Australian Championship on January 3.

Despite the early season mechanical setbacks his plan of attack remains simple and he admits to feeling reasonably confident of going one better.

"We hope to run some good times and that's what we'll be leaning hard towards so we can improve our position in the early stages of the Championship.

"Overall I've been pretty happy with how we performed.

"We tried a few things that didn't work, but we've ironed out those problems and are fairly optimistic towards January 3.

"The Willowbank surface is like a billiard table and I definitely have a preference for the right lane after securing a 5.76 in qualifying."

Willowbank Raceway officials are gearing up for a party atmosphere with the return of top quality drag racing to help bring in the New Year.

Families are encouraged to come along and experience the high-speed thrills that are generated by the two quickest and most powerful professional brackets of drag racing in Australia.

"It's a magnificent sight to see the Top Alcohol machines charging down the quarter mile strip at about 250mph," said Willowbank Raceway General Manager Harry Rowsell.

"You lift the bar even higher for the Top Fuelers that have the capacity to reach speeds in excess of 300mph.

"We've packed all this fuel injected fun into one full day of entertainment and certainly encourage parents to bring along the kids and experience something totally out of the ordinary these school holidays."

January 3, 2004 -- Featuring Top Fuel and Top Alcohol

Other racing includes: Supercharged Outlaws, SuperComp, Competition Bike, Modified, Super Sedan, Super Street, Modified Bike, Junior Dragster, Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson

-bam-

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Series GENERAL