Record under threat at Willowbank
THE stage has been set for a stunning Castrol EDGE Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway this weekend with some incredibly quick passes recorded at the Winters Warmup.
Conditions are also looking good for the 44th running of the annual event starting Friday.
Ben Bray, in his Monaro, put his hand up to be among the top of the Top Doorslammer brigade.
He fired down the Willowbank quarter-mile with a 5.88 at 244.52mph. His run was just outside the current national record of 5.80 set by John Zappia.
The Australian Pro Stock racers are considered world leaders in the level of technology and speed being extracted from their machines.
After last year’s record-breaking Winternationals, the category is settling for another classic – which could even see a world record fall.
Competitors at the weekend were sitting just three one-hundredths away from the national record – currently held by John Barbagallo.
Andrew Stavroulakis (Dodge) and Jason Grima (Ford Mustang) both established 7.06 second runs.
The eyes of the Willowbank Raceway will be on the Pro Stock field when they take to the track for their opening qualifier on Friday.
Gary Phillips in his Top Alcohol Funny Car approached his national record with a 5.56 second run at 250 mph.
Phillips is always strong at Willowbank, especially at the Winternationals.
Of arguably the bravest competitors to approach the Willowbank Christmas Tree, Mark Drew has delivered one of the fastest runs seen by a Harley Davidson Top Fuel bike.
He established a 6.59 second pass, which holds him in good stead for this weekend.
In the Rocket Allstars categories, two drivers managed to eclipse the track record at the weekend. Rod Harvey, in Super Compact, was under the national record in his Toyota Celica, setting a 6.432 second pass at 233.02mph.
Greg Fowler bettered the track record in the highly competitive Super Sedan category, taking his Pontiac GXP down the quarter in 6.989 seconds at 198 miles per hour.
Raceway Managing Director Steve Bettes said last weekend’s performances point towards the 44th Winternationals being the best yet.
“With the speed these guys were obtaining over the weekend, I fully expect that we’ll see a number of records go,” Bettes said.