They always say that ‘team work makes the dream work’, and that is certainly true at Team Bray Racing.
One of the key players in the TBR pit area and at the workshop is Brett Farnell – crew chief for Victor Bray’s Top Doorslammer.
Farnell joined the team back in 2006 and his contribution to TBR since then has been such that he is now considered part of the family.
Not only is he family, he is also now a TBR driver with the outfit recently putting him in the driver’s seat of his own TBR/Gulf Western Oil supported front-engined dragster.
“Back in 2006 I was crewing for a guy and he didn’t need my services that weekend, so I asked Ben if he needed a hand as he had the Funny Car, his Doorslammer and Victor’s Doorslammer all running that weekend,” explained Farnell, who works for Gulf Western Oil as a delivery driver/warehouse storeman in Clontarf when he isn’t crewing for TBR.
“It was a good event to start with as Victor actually took out the final in Doorslammer which was pretty cool, and it has been a bit of a fairy tale since then. Over the years, working in the team has evolved to more of a friendship family, and it is really good.
“A definite highlight over the years would have to be Victor’s 5.96s run at Perth – everyone wanted him to do it before everyone else, and it might have taken him a bit longer, but when it happened it was epic.”
While he has been a part of TBR for just over 10 years, the 38-year-old Ipswich resident’s time in the sport of drag racing stretches over some three decades.
“My first ever time to a race track was around 1989, and I have worked in the sport for around 25 years now.
“My involvement has just evolved over time – I started working at the track around 25 years ago, and then in 2000 I started racing a street car, and then my first bike, having some good results along the way. In 2007 I ran my bike and my car at Warwick for one season, taking out the track championship in the car, equal second with the bike and also the ‘car and bike’ bracket for the year which was a bit of an achievement.
“Now after 10 years with the Brays I have been lucky enough to have them purchase a front-engined dragster for me.
“It is a real privilege to drive for such a well-known team and hopefully I can make them proud.”
It is a case of so far, so good on that front for Farnell, who went all the way to the finals during his first ever race weekend.
“I got my licence in August at the QDRC event at Willowbank Raceway and got one win, before continuing on to the Nostalgias the next day and ended up going to the B-Final, so that was a bit of an achievement,” he said.
“I am next on-track on the 28th of October, again at Willowbank. Hopefully I can try and get some more wins and just have a ball – wheels up and fast passes!
“I really do have to thank Vic, Ben and Maree – without them I wouldn’t be able to live my dream of driving a front-engined dragster. I started building one a few years ago but I just couldn’t afford it and for these guys to have the faith in me to drive a car for them and for Gulf Western Oil is just a massive privilege. Huge, huge, huge thanks go to Team Bray for the opportunities they have given me to race my dream vehicle.
“After the Willowbank event for me, it will be onto Sydney for a big and busy weekend with three TBR cars running.
“When we are at the track, I am a roustabout for the entire team while also being the Crew Chief for Victor’s car – it will be a huge weekend, that is for sure.”
The Sydney event Farnell speaks of is the 2017 East Coast Thunder Nationals, to be held across November 3 and 4. Sydney isn’t the only thing Farnell and the team is preparing for either, with plenty of projects on the go.
“Simon is what we call Ben’s Toyota Solara, and at the moment we are trying to get that bad boy to work a bit better for us and get down the track,” Farnell explained.
“At the same time, Ben has just purchased a Junior Dragster for his son Zac so that is one of my next projects to try and get onto the track.
“All the while, we are also trying to get that badass Corvette to do some laps, go fast and stick it to the boys!
“And then there is the front-engine dragster as well which we are fiddling with and trying to get right. We certainly have a few things on the go, but I am having a ball!”
When he isn’t at the race track or in the TBR workshop, Farnell works for TBR sponsor Gulf Western Oil as a delivery driver and warehouse store man at their Clontarf location.
“It has been pretty good to learn about all the different oils GWO they do have, even for me it was a surprise as to actually ow much they have, and all the different sorts,” he said.
“I work with a good bunch of guys there, and have good days getting out in the truck and delivering to customers who are using the product, which is awesome.”
For further information on the East Coast Thunder Nationals event, visit www.sydneydragway.com.au
Fans wishing to follow Team Bray can follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teambrayracing, or interact with the team on instagram (#gulfwesternoil). For more information, visit www.teambrayracing.com