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The Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship set Sydney Dragway alight, attracting more than 225 race teams from around Australia who showed up for round four, dedicated to the late Sam Fenech.

A record-breaking, sell-out crowd attended the event in celebration of the sport Sam dearly loved. Emotions ran high as tributes to Sam kicked off the weekend with the Top Doorslammer teams featuring a Missing Man Formation on the strip, speeches from hosts Chad Neylon and Wade Aunger and the unveiling of Adam Brand and Matt Cornell’s new release, Our Church.

“The song celebrates the community spirit of drag racing,” said co-owner Andy Lopez. “Our own Nathan Prendergast produced an amazing video that was played in front of the sell-out crowd and is already being hailed as the new drag racing anthem.”

The on-track action ran hot all night long, with PremiAir Racing owner and driver Peter Xiberras taking it to US international and 3x NHRA Champion Larry Dixon in round one and besting Lamattina Top Fuel Racing driver Shane Olive in round two, securing his spot against Jim Read Racing’s Phil Read in the A-Final.

The A-Final came to a dramatic close between the two single-car teams, as Peter laid down a 3.856-second pass at a whopping 483.66kph, over Read’s 4.162/350kph effort.

Despite being last season's champion, Peter took his maiden round win in the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship and dedicated the win to his late mate, Sam. “It has been a while - this one was always about Sam. I wanted to come here for Sam and then work out what I wanted to do, and I am just so proud that I could do it in his honour.”

“He is such a loved character, and we won’t forget him. I had his brother and son come and see me today, and it was such a vote of confidence that they still approve of what we do.”

Securing the third-place trophy and final step on the podium was international superstar Larry Dixon, who in the B-Final took out the win with a 3.932/501.17kph pass over Rapisarda Autosport team-mate Wayne Newby, who put down a 4.461/281.06kph pass.

“Drag racing is on the rise,” said Andy. “We attracted a big crowd to Willowbank for New Year Nitro and backed it up with a sell-out event in Sydney.

“The next round of the Top Fuel Championship is at Perth Motorplex on 4-5 March, and by all indications, it will be another massive event,” he added.

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