In Memory of Louie

Louie Rapisarda grew up around drag racing. Before he was in his teens he was assembling the top half of the engines in his father’s dragsters, and was soon handling all of the engine building. Inside burned an ambition to actually drive the cars.

Louie got his chance in December 1986, rattling off seven-second times with a blown alcohol engine in his dad’s “Trackburner” car. With no strip in Sydney at the time Louie’s chances were few and far between, but when his father, Santo, bought an ex-Dick LaHaie Top Fueller from the USA in 1989, Louie’s chance had come big time, and he grabbed it with delight. He scored a runner-up at his first meeting in Top Fuel, and in March 1990 at Calder, at age 23, became the youngest member of the Goodyear 5 Second Club with a 5.73 second run.



On July 22, 1990, at Willowbank Raceway, Louie’s car was making the last pass of the day, when the engine exploded in fire at one-third track. The car, with oil pouring out under the slicks, struck the left hand guard rail heavily, fatally injuring the young and talented driver.

As written at the time, “Louie Rapisarda was no god, no hero. But he was a talented racer, a loving husband (of 15 weeks), a fine son, a good friend. Louie knew the risks, the accepted the odds. He made his own choices for the sake of the sport he loved, for what he’d always dreamed of doing.”
He is sadly missed.

By: David Cook


Today, All of the racing that Rapisarda Racing does is in memory of Louie and hence you will notice the below photo and text on all of the team's race cars.