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Robin Judd wins his first Australian Nationals
Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009

Perth-based Chartered Accountant and Top Doorslammer drag racer, Robin Judd, claimed his first major Australian title when he won the 44th annual Fuchs Australian Nationals at Western Sydney Dragway on Sunday, September 13  

In winning his first Australian National Drag Racing Association gold trophy, Judd broke a 10-year Nationals’ drought.

 

 


At previous Nationals, Judd was runner-up in the 2000 event, lost in round one of eliminations three times and did not qualify three times. The event has also been rained-out after qualifying three times.   

Judd (’59 Studebaker) and his William Buck/K & B Exclusive team were the quickest in each of the three Saturday qualifying sessions.

Judd led the 17 Doorslammer competitors when he top qualified with a 5.908sec at 245.05mph after the first qualifying run.

The next qualifier saw Judd run his quickest-ever pass, a 5.851sec at 247.07mph, to consolidate top qualifying spot. This qualifying race against Peter Kapiris (5.980/241.50) was the second quickest-ever side-by-side Top Doorslammer pass.  

The last session saw Judd (6.315/238.22) run the quickest in the cold and slippery evening conditions to stay top qualifier in the eight-car elimination field.  

Sunday eliminations saw Judd record his fourth quickest-ever pass (5.874/245.94) to defeat Victor Bray (6.106/235.35) in round one, then with a 5.951sec at 244.92mph defeat Bray’s son Ben (6.074/243.55) in the semi final.

In what has been acclaimed as the greatest-ever Top Doorslammer race in Australia to date, Judd (5.850sec at 245.67mph) ran his quickest-ever pass to defeat archrival John Zappia (5.875/243.41) in the final.

The final was also the quickest side-by-side Doorslammer pass ever recorded in Australia and the closest-ever in the 17 years Top Doorslammer has been run at the Australian Nationals. The winning margin was 7/100ths of a second.  

The race was also the fifth time Judd and his nemesis Zappia had met in a Doorslammer final in the past 12 months and after coming runner-up in the previous four, the first time he had defeated Zappia.                             

After the race an ecstatic Judd, who has radio contact inside the car with his crew chief Stuart Rowland, said while he thought he had won the race, he was not sure.  

“I knew I had a good reaction time (off the start line), hit my (gear) shift points and didn’t lift (off the throttle). The car felt strong and I thought I must have won, but wasn’t sure,” Judd said.

“I kept saying to Stuey (Rowland on the radio), as I was rolling through the braking area, ‘Stuey, tell me what’s happened, push the button and tell me.’ But, they (Judd’s crew) were so excited (back at the start line) they left me hanging.

“As I pulled the car up (in the braking area) I was sure I had won as I hadn’t seen Zap (Zappia) at all during the run and the track safety guys were clapping me as I rolled to a stop.

“I was so excited. I jumped out of the car and hugged the track official closest to me. I hugged the next official too and then all the officials that were there. Then Zap and his crew came over and there was more hugging. My crew then arrived (in the tow car), so more hugging took place with some dancing around thrown in. It was a great moment.  

“To top qualify at the Nationals against 17 cars entered in the most competitive Group One drag racing class, then to win the final is a dream come true. Thanks must go to William Buck and K & B Exclusive and my crew, especially Stuey (Rowland) and Andrew (Fowler),” Judd said.

Judd and Zappia are now locked together with 165 points each after the second round of the 2009/2010 ANDRA Pro Series drag racing championship series.  

Judd will now look to take the outright championship lead when the next ANDRA Pro Series round is staged at the Perth Motorplex, his home track, in mid-November. 

    

 

 

 

RJR

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