Rhiannon Allison is one of Australia’s fastest women, driving the Felicity Dragwell jet dragster. She will get a new experience for the Night of Fire however when she gets to race against her father Craig for the first time.
The pair will be driving two of the four jet dragsters set to compete at the Night of Fire, which also includes a massive fireworks display and freestyle motocross stunts.
“Racing against my dad will be the best experience for both of us by a long shot,” she said. “Having the opportunity to race your father at this level is incredible and we are both excited to take the track.
“When the visor drops it’s game on and I can guarantee I will give it my all to beat my Dad.”
When they are not racing jet dragsters, Rhiannon and Craig both share a supercharged altered which can be just as wild.
Unusually for Rhiannon, it was a chance to give her father some advice for a change.
“While Dad took his licensing stages in the jet dragster it was all about the start line. We started with fire shows and then lead to staging, which is a huge learning curve in the jets because when the rpm starts to rise you can’t hold the car with the rear brakes so the front brakes are introduced and even then it may roll through which Dad learned about.
“He drove great and after the first pass he was a natural in the jet world.”
Allison said that she would like to try and break her personal best time this weekend.
“Cracking my PB would be unreal. I’m itching to hit the burner and launch off the line. I’m excited for the night, not only racing my father but Pieter and Chuck. We have four highly competitive drivers taking the track.
“During the off season the team have been busy with all four cars doing driver appearances and upgrading car features and general maintenance. Every jet dragster was checked over and we are ready to take on the Night of Fire.”
Craig said he joined the jet team to support daughter Rhiannon, but his part in the team has grown from there.
“After Rhiannon got the drive in the jet car I took the on the role as crew. When Gary (Miocevich) became ill I was asked to run the team which was an honour and we had a great season,” he said.
“Gary’s son Daniel asked me to drive the jet dragster for the coming season which was a hard decision to make because of my role change on the team but with the great crew we have now I made the decision to drive.”
The first time Craig got to light the afterburner in the jet dragster was like a thrill ride.
“My first burner pass was like the first drop of a roller coaster that goes for five seconds. It pulled all the way to the finish line, not like a wheel driven car which lays over at about three quarter track. The first sixty feet is a lot different, very smooth with no wheel stands or tyre shake. I had a heap of fun and I was hooked.”
Making the whole deal unique is that Craig will get to race against his daughter, believed to be the first time a father and daughter have raced against each other in jet dragsters.
“Racing with Rhi is a cool deal and great for the sport. Rhi and I are very grateful for this opportunity driving against each other and our team mates Chuck Haynes and Pieter De Wit, two great, well known racers around the world.
“We are going to put on a show for Perth. The word is the team will be backing the rookie – me!”
Craig said it was a role reversal being the rookie for the first time.
“I think Rhi liked the fact that she could teach me something, I am a good listener,” he said. “Rhi and the team were great with my licensing. The routine in the car leading up to the licensing was all we talked about.
“To race Rhiannon heads up, line up against two good mates, put on a great show and light up the skies for the man that made this all possible, Gary Miocevich, will be great.”