Hitachi hit the fast lane with Spinozzi Racing
As proud sponsors to the Spinozzi Racing team since 2011, Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCA) accompanied the Australian drag racing partnership over two days experiencing the Pro Slammer series at Sydney Dragway, Eastern Creek.
The brothers behind the team, Emilio and Adamo Spinozzi have been competing in Pro Stock racing since 2010 and now changing class to Pro Slammer don’t show any sign of turning it in!
Contesting their first Pro Slammer competition event in their new Chevrolet Chevelle as part of Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder, Spinozzi clicked on two win lights from three rounds of racing and set a new personal best time. The highlights didn't come easy however, with the heavy workload between rounds beginning from the very first practice session.
“Our morning run was our best of the event as we got the car off the start line and ran through for a 6.024, our quickest pass yet,” Emilio said.
“But the action started in the braking area as I struggled to pull up the car. I had the chutes out but I went past Geoff Gradden in the other lane like he was standing still. We looked into our parachutes and found most other teams were using a larger size, so Paul Mouhayet was kind enough to let us borrow some bigger chutes for the rest of the event, which gave me a lot more confidence as a driver.
Spinozzi took on 12-times national champion John Zappia in round one, with Zappia's 5.713 covering a valiant 6.179 from Spinozzi’s Chevelle.
“It was pretty awesome to be able to race against John Zappia in the first round, one of the legends of the sport,” he said. “We weren't expecting much and we had to pedal (get on and off the throttle) but we were right there if anything happened to Zap.”
The second round saw a fresh highlight as Spinozzi won his first Pro Slammer round, getting by Ben Bray in a tough 7.245 to 7.959 race.
“I think I had to pedal the car on nearly every pass and against Ben it took two goes at the throttle and some short shifting just to get down the track,” Emilio said. “But the car did eventually settle and we ran through for our first win, which was a great boost for the Spinozzi pit crew.”
In the final round against Peter Blake, Spinozzi again found a way down the cold race track with a 6.200 second victory. But the run almost didn't happen at all as the team found a cracked header pipe after warming up the car.
“I found myself running around the pits looking for welders and helmets shortly before we were due out,” Spinozzi said. “Then I was getting strapped into the car in the pits while the boys were still bolting the pipes back on. It was certainly a reminder that we were back in a racing environment, where the clock is ticking.”
Crew chief Michael Marriott said he was pleased with the progress but felt the Spinozzi Racing Chevelle was yet to show its full potential. “There were plenty of steps forward and some good gains but there are some big changes still to make,” he said.
“These cars are all about getting the correct wheel speed early in the run and I feel we have worked out the first hit of the throttle, so now we have to focus on the 60 to 80 feet zone. The car itself, built by SCF Race Cars, has been faultless and handles and drives really well. It does everything you ask it to do. Emilio has proven himself as a good driver and I think even the 6.02 is not indicative of this car.”
The team welcomed corporate guests from Hitachi Construction Machinery across the weekend, with customers and clients joining the race team for the excitement of Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder.
Brennan Garbutt, Hitachi’s NSW Sales Manager says ‘it proved to not only be a great opportunity to get behind one of our long-standing customers but to also share the excitement with a network of other businesses within NSW.’
Spinozzi said the team is planning on attending the Winternationals in Queensland in June, followed by a stint in Darwin.
HCA would like to congratulate the Spinozzi Racing team on their achievements to date and extends its support to Emilio and Adamo Spinozzi for their future motorsport events.
For further information on the team, including upcoming race events and achievements, please visit the Spinozzi Racing website at www.spinozziracing.com.au