Talking to Neil Constantinou, it’s clear that he’s a man that takes his racing seriously. As he rattles off his list of previous Championships and accolades, it quickly becomes apparent that he’s in it to win.
“I’ve been racing since I was 17, I started racing at Sydney’s Oran Park track. My father actually got me in to racing,” he explains. Constantinou’s father was himself a decorated racer from Sydney’s Castlereagh days, running third in the Super Sedan for several seasons.
Now 44-years-old and with nine of the last twelve Sydney Dragway Track Championships under his belt, Constantinou is a force to be reckoned with in Top Sportsman.
“I think it’s the best class in the world!” he opens with a laugh. “It’s a quick class, full of good racers, great racing and plenty of tough races,” he adds.
Constantinou explains that his season was made that much easier by having a well set up car, and a great support network to keep his racing as consistent as humanly possible. “I’ve got the help of BK Race Engines and VP Fuels which helps me as a driver focus on drilling in and cutting numbers.”
Constantinou’s season would take him to all Sydney and Queensland rounds; however it was at his home track in Sydney that fellow racer Mitch Zammit put up the toughest fight of Constantinou’s season. “The Final in Sydney was a good one. Mitch and I both cut killer lights, he cut an 0.11 and I cut a 0.15 and that really set the tone for the rest of the season… good, tight racing!” explains the battle-hardened racer.
“To be the first to win the 400 Thunder Championship was my main goal for the season,” he admits, however his peers weren’t going to give up without a fight. “I was confident going in to the Winternationals as I was around 10 points ahead of my nearest competitor, and when Neil Maxwell bowed out in the first round we knew we’d won the Championship,” says Constantinou with his adulation still beaming down the phone line.
“I wanted to win the Winters to really secure the Championship, that would have been the cherry on top. I was down on myself for Steve Fowler outrunning me in the second round but I ran nine thousandths off my Dial In and it was a really close run.”
“Sportsman is a growing class, but it’s here to stay,” says Constantinou firmly. “Top cars, fast cars and they’re constantly evolving with new technology from fuel systems to ignition and all the electrics making the cars faster, more reliable and more consistent,” he explains.
Speaking of which, Constantinou’s Mustang is copping an overhaul ahead of the 2016/2017 400 Thunder Championship. “The car is getting a complete birthday – motor, gearbox, diff’, new paint. It’ll be ready for the new Championship in November!” he says enthusiastically.
If past performance is anything to go by, we’d suggest some extensions to the trophy cabinet might be the next works slated for the Constantinou Racing operation.