Top Doorslammer driver Sean Mifsud has gone back to where he started in drag racing, in the seat of a Chevrolet Camaro – albeit one that's a hell of a lot quicker than when he started.
His first drag car was a 1967 Camaro running high eights, now it's a 1968 version running 5.89 seconds.
“I started drag racing in 2002 and the first track I raced on was Heathcote,” Mifsud said. “I have always had a passion for cars, having a fair few tough street cars like Toranas and Falcons.”
The limousine company owner soon had the bug and moved into bigger and badder race cars such as his 41 Willys. Now it's a G Force-built Camaro, fitted with a 521ci Jancen Hemi with a PSI screw type supercharger, all modified by Mike Janis.
“My goal was to run a 5.8 second pass but we did that last week, the team's new goal is to run a 5.7 second pass,” Mifsud said.
With crew members including John Dyer, Craig McCaskall, Roger Addlerhof, Peter Lovering, Stuart Johnson, Peter Junior and wife Danielle, Mifsud has been lucky enough to compete at most tracks around the country.
“To run a Doorslammer at a competitive level, costs around $2000 per pass,” he said. “The cheapest part about this bracket is the purchase of the car. Then to have a competitive team you have the cost of a transporter, spares and inventory, motors etc.
“And not only have you got the cost of sending your transporter all over Australia, you also have to have your crew transported and accommodated.
“I admire all drag racers as everyone is in the same boat, all put in a lot of finances, time and effort from sheer love of the sport with little or no financial return at all.”
Mifsud is fortunate to not have experienced too many downsides so far.
“Luckily we have never hit anything, some blow ups in the early stage but it was all a learning curve,” he said.
The exciting nature of drag racing can prove a little too much for Mifsud's wife.
“My eight year old son Daniel is my biggest fan,” he said.
“But my wife to this day has never seen me go down the track live, as her heart stops when I get into the car. She does attend the race from time to time but will stay in the pit area.”
Things are soon going to get kicked up a level with another new car, a much talked about Duster.
“There was a joint deal done with my close friend Mike Janis and the 1970 Duster several months ago,” Mifsud said.
“The Jancen Widow Maker 1970 Duster is being fitted out with all new Jancen running gear. It is scheduled to leave mid January.
“So yes the Duster is on its way and will be campaigned next season, but we will be out testing it before the end of this season.”
As always with Top Doorslammer there is plenty of political camps in terms of field formats and legal combinations.
On the topic of 16 car fields, Mifsud would like to see it, but with conditions applied.
“This is a hard one! I personally think for Doorslammer to grow it needs to go to a 16 car field, but on the other hand I also personally think if it was to go that way there would have to be a time set of half a second above the national record eg 6.27 for you to qualify,” he said. “Let’s face it, if you can't run better than a 6.20 you are not in the hunt, so you are probably better getting some laps under your belt in Top Comp.
“That's only my opinion, as I too spent a lot of time in the second eight and not qualified in my early days of Doorslammer, never complaining, just knowing I needed to run faster to be in the show.”
The more controversial issue is that of nitrous and turbo cars. Mifsud thinks that keeping things supercharged is the way to go.
“At the moment we have enough blown cars here to make an exciting bracket. And as per our prior question it would need to go to the 16 car field, to give our current blown cars a chance first,” he said.
“After spending a lot of time in the US this has crippled the NHRA. Maybe there should be an Outlaw class separate to Top Doorslammer with no rules, weight etc then I would say bring it on.
“The biggest problem I see about our sport after racing in other countries is in Australia it is not promoted as a family sport and it does not receive the credibility nor recognition that it deserves for the amount of dollars and professional outfits brought forward by the competitors.”
Drag News Australia will be bringing you a sneak preview of the Duster soon... so stay tuned!