Two-time Australian Top Fuel Championship winning driver, Phil Lamattina will return to the cockpit of the LTFR dragster for the 2019/2020 season.
Lamattina, who has been acting in a Team Manager role for the last two season has said that the temptation to get back into the car has just proved too much.
Phil Lamattina expanded, “Firstly, we are so grateful to have had Kelly Bettes as our driver for the last two seasons, she has been awesome.”
“Kelly managed to achieve a championship in her first year as a Top Fuel driver and narrowly missed out on a second one this past season. She has been a professional at every step and we appreciate all of her efforts.”
“I guess for me it’s a matter of ‘once a racer, always a racer’ and I just want to get back into that race car. Seeing the car going so well and taking in the success from the sidelines has been great but I can’t pretend that I don’t want to drive!”
Lamattina took an enforced layoff from the driver’s seat after a chassis breakage saw Phil involved in his second serious accident in his Top Fuel career. When asked about whether he had any anxiety about returning to the car, Phil was quick to brush that aside.
“That second accident was a necessary part of making the cars safer than they have ever been. I’m not glad that it happened but I am pleased that it was a part of making the sport safer than ever before. My accident along with Larry Dixon's made drag racing as an industry look at the chassis building processes right around the world."
“The only anxiety I have is the excitement of getting in the new car and getting some laps in!” Phil laughed.
Lamattina is hoping to get some testing completed during October.
“We have much of the same crew as when I last drove, so it should feel like business as usual for me and for them. Getting the helmet back on can’t come quick enough!”