The Car
Sponsorship Opportunities
Contact Us

Judd runner-up at Tin Top Titles
Posted: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Perth-based Top Doorslammer drag racer, Robin Judd, kept his Australian championship dream alive after coming runner-up at the recent Castrol EDGE Tin Top Titles at Willowbank Raceway, Ipswich, Qld. 

Judd needed to make the final at Willowbank to stay in the championship race. And for the third time this season, he did.  


However, the William Buck/K & B Exclusive team had to overcome several hurdles before making the Doorslammer final. 

Before the event had even started, Judd and his crew had an epic across-country trip from Perth to Brisbane and then before eliminations, the team had to endure a late-night engine change.   

“Qantas had to change the our original aircraft. We finally arrived in Brisbane at 3am Saturday morning instead of 11pm Friday night. By the time we got to our hotel and to bed it was just before 5am. We were up again at 8am to unpack the race car and get ready for the first qualifying session at 4pm,” Judd said.

After the first qualifying session, Judd (7.534/225.00) was in eighth place in the eight-car field. The second qualifying session saw Judd jump into second spot with a 5.921sec at 242.59mph pass, his 18th career five-second pass.

The final qualifying session saw Judd (5.969/240.90) record another five-second pass to consolidate second place behind nemesis John Zappia. But as Judd crossed the finish line, his engine let go, which necessitated an over-night engine change for the hard working Judd crew.   

“The engine let go just before the finish line, some oil went on the headers, up on the windscreen and a little under the back tyres.

“I couldn’t see properly through the smoke, so braked as hard as I could and followed the white safety wall down into the braking area. As I was slowing the car moved around a bit scrapping the header pipes on the track causing some sparks. The track commentators though I had clipped the wall.

“I manage to pull up the car, in a plume of smoke, suddenly the car was surrounded by flashing lights. Thinking I was in trouble, the Willowbank Safety Safari arrived immediately, even though I was OK. I want to thank them for being so responsive. 

“We are not quite sure what caused the engine failure, but fortunately our spare engine was in our pit ready to go,” Judd said.

After working long into Saturday night and arriving back at the track early Sunday morning to complete the engine change over, Judd (8.061/218.77) had a lucky win over Deno Brijeski in the first round of eliminations after both cars over-powered the track and got involved in what could only be described as a good old fashion peddle-fest.

“Deno and I both smoked the tyres and went into shake. I was on and off the throttle three or four times before the car straightened up and I was able to power to the finish line for the win,” Judd recalled.

With a little more time to fine-tune the engine combo, Judd became a part of Australian drag racing history, when with a 5.909sec at 240.77mph pass he defeated Maurice Fabietti (6.009/248.07) in the quickest-ever side-by-side Doorslammer pass recorded in the country, in the semi final.    

For the third time in four completed championship series rounds this season, Judd again faced Zappia in a championship final.

With a chance to pull back valuable championship points from series leader Zappia, Judd and his crew sent the ’59 Studebaker to the startline with what they hoped was a winning tune-up.

With a slight startline advantage to Judd, Australia’s two quickest-ever Doorslammer racers charged to the finish line locked together.

At the end, it was Zappia (5.858/246.58) with a 27/1000ths-second margin win over Judd (5.946/242.20) in what has been acclaimed as Australia’s greatest-ever Doorslammer race.                                

Not only was the race Australia’s first side-by-side five-second pass, it was also the quickest-ever side-by-side pass run in the country. 

“We should have won the race as the combo Stuey (Stuart Rowland) put in was spot on for the conditions.

“I had problems holding the car in stage at the right RPM, the brakes weren’t holding as the clutch tried to pull the car through the light. What made it worst; Zap took longer than usual to go into full stage.

“I got the hole-shot on him, but lost the advantage with the RPM being too low slowing the 60-foot time. To compound things I shifted into second gear way too early as the car moved a little towards the centreline. The race really should also have been the first side-by-side 5.8-second pass. But I am proud of the result in any case.    

“Sure, I’m disappointed we did not win, but not with our efforts over all and what we have achieved in hindsight.

“We battled a lot of adverse circumstances, getting to the event and then making the final was a major feat. I am proud of the team,” Judd said.







All content on this website is copyright to Robin Judd Racing. No content is to be reproduced without written permission.
Home |News | Results | Gallery | The Car | History | Sponsors | Links | Multimedia | Sponsorship Opportunities | Contact Us | Sitemap