American ace eyes record at Willowbank
TOP Fuel drag racing royalty Larry Dixon is on his way to Ipswich to contest next month's City of Ipswich Winternationals.
Dixon will pilot a vehicle under reigning 2015 Championship-winning team Rapisarda Autosport International, at the largest championship drag racing event held outside of North America.
The 2016 Winternationals mark three years since Dixon, a 21-year veteran of the sport and well-decorated on the US circuit, last raced in Australia.
It was back then that he solidified good relations with the Rapisarda outfit, pedalling their car then to a record-breaking 4.503 seconds at 322.18mph.
"I don't want to go any slower this time, I want to go quicker," Dixon said, showing his fierce competitive streak.
"The Rapisarda car I'm driving has got some new equipment that is making more horsepower.
"If the weather is fine and the Horsepower Gods play nice we might have a chance at resetting that record.''
Dixon has been doing his research.
The Rapisarda outfit holds records for both speed and ET. With the Willowbank track widely recognised as one of the finest drag racing surfaces in the world, the team will be given every chance to put that extra horsepower to good use in front of the 40,000-strong crowd over the four days.
The Rapisarda/Dixon collaboration stretches back over five years. It is based on much more than Santo Rapisarda Jr throwing Dixon the keys to a 10,000 horsepower hire car every time he comes to town.
"He's a really great person and does a lot for the sport, not only in Australia but in the United States as well,'' Dixon said.
"I feel proud to be driving one of his many race cars.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing the friends I made down there last time and of course all the fans.
" I'm excited to get back on to the track and looking forward to a really great event.''
Dixon and his team will join a burgeoning field of Australian Top Fuel confirmed for the event.
The ground-shaking, nitro-burning action blasts off at Willowbank Raceway on June 9, wrapping up on June 12.