The world's fastest chaplain will be praying for some good results and safe racing at Willowbank Raceway this Saturday night, April 14 for Jet Car Thunder.
South African Pieter De Wit, who now lives in Western Australia, has a long career in drag racing, having driven Top Alcohol Dragsters and Funny Cars as well as Jet Dragsters.
While De Wit is well known in the west for his Jet Dragster driving, he also plays a greater role in the racing community as a motorsport chaplain.
De Wit was involved in a major accident while racing in 2013 when the parachutes failed on his 'Gravity Storm' Jet Dragster, seeing him go off the end of the track at well over 300kmh. He said it was the role of Perth Motorplex track chaplain Terry Dorrington following the accident that made him decide to do the chaplaincy course and give back to the sport.
“It is something close to my heart. I have seen what a great influence Terry played in my life as the track chaplain, as well as the role he played with my family while I was still in hospital. It's giving back to the sport in a different way.”
De Wit is looking forward to taking on Rachelle Splatt who will be making her first competitive Jet Dragster passes after recently licensing at Calder Park in Victoria. Splatt is a veteran of Top Fuel drag racing but the jets will be new territory.
“I haven't met Rachelle before, but like everyone I know her reputation as 'The Queen of Speed' in Australia,” he said. “It will be a great privilege to line up next to her, she is world known and has a lot on her list of racing credentials.
“I think we are both in uncharted waters. For me it is driving a new car while Rachelle has to change her driving habits from a Top Fuel Dragster to a Jet Dragster.”
De Wit will be driving the Speed Demon Dragster up against Rachelle Splatt in Land Missile as part of Jet Car Thunder – a spectacular event that will feature not just the flame throwing dragsters but also two Jet Funny Cars driven by team owner Darren Di Filippo and Peter Bedford.
It will be the first time De Wit has been at the controls of one of Di Filippo's jets and he said he was grateful for the opportunity.
“Darren and I have been in contact for three years or so now and I have been to Melbourne before to check out his impressive operation,” De Wit said. “I know there are a lot of well equipped drivers in Australia so I am grateful Darren thought of me.
“It might be my first time in Speed Demon but we will be looking to put on a fantastic show for the fans.”
Jet Car Thunder at Willowbank Raceway on Saturday April 14 will see the skies come alight as the jets roar like thunder down the strip. This will be the best way to cure the kids' back-to-school blues before school holidays are over!
A diverse field of 400 Thunder sportsman racers including Supercharged Outlaws, Pro Radial, Top Sportsman, Super Sedan, Super Street and Super Gas will also battle it out, and with valuable championship points up for grabs in the last sportsman racing appearance before the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals in June, fans can expect plenty of competitive racing.
Adult tickets are available for $30 with kids 13 and under free.
For more information check out www.willowbankraceway.com.au.