The ANDRA Drag Racing Series, the main sanctioning body of professional drag racing in Australia, will see the addition of a new Top Fuel team this season. PremiAir, based out of Sydney, is set to debut it’s new dragster with Luke Shepherd as the driver.
The team is planning to hit every major event on the ANDRA Pro Series schedule, but they have one small stumbling block in the way—they don’t have all the parts they need.
As a result, the first race of the season, in Adelaide, is still up in the air at this point. Team driver Shepherd says, “Adelaide is only a timing issue and it might be just a week before that we make the decision. Trucks and trailers are being refurbished at the moment and Peter [PremiAir Team Owner] is wholeheartedly committed to Top Fuel.”
Once the team is ready to race, consistency is their main goal. “We are not looking for 4.5-second times straight up; if we can get into the 4.80′s or something and have consistency then that will get us through a few rounds,” Shepherd said. “Damien Harris showed how doing that can get you into the championship hunt. For now it’s just four second passes we are after; if you can run that on race day you are in with just as good of a shot.”
PremiAir’s testing has proven rather eventful. At Sydney Dragway last weekend, a breather line came off the dragster’s motor, and lit up some oil in a big way. The team was undeterred.
As for the dragster? “It looked a lot worse than it actually was,” Shepherd said. “I saw the flash in the cockpit and got off the throttle. We had a small amount of cylinder head damage but if it wasn’t for the breather then it would have kept going and we had good incremental times.”
The testing will continue, and the team is optimistic. “Saturday didn’t go according to plan but it was another opportunity to get the car out there and teach the crew how to turn the car around in two hours,” Shepherd said. “It’s a matter of us making sure that the boys have got the tools they need and the parts they require and hopefully we can be at Adelaide, if not we will start at Sydney with the Australian Nationals.