The event made history in March

Australia’s Burson Auto Parts brought the spectacle of the Top Fuel Drag Racing Championship to the Victorian rural city of Mildura for the first time in 14 years recently.
Held at the city’s legendary Sunset Strip drag racing facility in hot conditions from March 11 to 13, this event formed the second round of the Burson Auto Parts 2022 Australian Top Fuel Championship.  
The Mildura event welcomed a total of six earth shaking Top Fuel dragsters to compete on a 1/8th mile drag strip (as opposed to the usual 1,000 ft length), making this the first ever Australian eighth-mile Top Fuel championship round. 
It proved to be a very successful event for Burson Auto Parts both as the series sponsor and as a major sponsor of the Lamattina Top Fuel Racing team, with Phil Lamattina winning Australia’s first 1/8th mile championship event, elevating the popular home town racer to the top spot in the championship.
In addition to Phil’s success, Burson Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster driver Shane Olive scored his first Top Fuel competition victory in Mildura, setting the lowest ET (Elapsed Time) of 3.17 seconds and the highest Top Speed of the event, clocked at an incredible 426kph. 
Taking the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship to a regional drag strip that had last seen a Top Fuel Dragster perform an exhibition run in 2014 meant that drivers and crew chiefs alike were effectively starting from a completely blank sheet. With a lack of historical data to lean on and a very hot track that made for incredibly trying conditions, this event presented major challenges to all of the teams taking part. 
While the Lamattina Top Fuel Racing team may have struggled in qualifying, come race day team owner and racer Phil Lamattina well and truly turned things around. Taking the win in each of his first two pairings put Phil into the A final against a hard-charging Wayne Newby whose round two win against his teammate Damien Harris had lowered the track record to 3.18 seconds.
Separated in the final by just thousandths, Phil made it three from three at his home track in front of thousands of loud and proud Mildura locals. An emotional Phil clearly felt the love the local fans.
“From the outhouse to the penthouse! That was an awesome show! I’ve got to take my hat off to my fellow competitors. It took them a while to dial it in, but there’s the six smartest tuners in the country out there and they’re all making it happen. Man, oh man, this is a dream come true.” Phil said.  
Phil Lamattina’s win gave him 200 points and the championship lead, 20 points clear of round one winner Phil Read. Shane Olive scored valuable points for his first racing win along with as Top Speed and Low ET points in the Burson Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster placing him fifth.  
Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship organiser, Andy Lopez, was elated with the first eighth-mile event saying that the visit to Mildura was a real positive for the series and the sport.  
“We knew it was a bold decision to run Top Fuel over the eighth mile for round two of the series, but we had the confidence in the teams, and
I think the quality of the racing and the response from the crowd after each pass shows that it was the right call,” Andy said.
“These are true drag racing fans here in Mildura and they showed us nothing but positivity and love from the minute we arrived in town. The Sunset Strip staff, from the track crew to the officials, helpers and everyone else involved in running the event were incredible and we really had the best time. I can’t thank them all enough.” 

For more information about the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship, visit www.topfuelchampionship.com.au