Team Bray Racing, Ben Bray and the Gulf Western Oil Pro Slammer saved the best for last at Adelaide International Raceway’s Southern Thunder event.
What was day two of the event was plagued by 50 kilometre per hour winds for much of the day, necessitating delays to the day’s programming and rearranging of the schedule to try and fit as much racing as possible into the time left before the venue’s 11.00pm curfew.
As a result, the afternoon test sessions scheduled for the Pro categories were dropped, and the race distance was reduced to the eighth-mile (660ft) in the interest of safety.
“On Friday the track had been prepped very well and the weather was just great,” Ben Bray explained.
“On the first test we popped the blower off the engine on the hit and on the second test we launched very well, although we were a bit slow on tyre speed in the medal of the track and shook the tyres, so we backed it off and went down the track slowly – being a test there was no issue with that, that is the joy of tests, you get to try things!
“Come Saturday and there was no more testing, we were right into racing in the three-round format. Although we met and lost to current Pro Slammer champion Mark Belleri early in the evening, we ended up matched with him for our final run of the night and it was a pretty good race, even if it didn’t go all our way.
“We were actually able to put down the closest round of racing of the night for Pro Slammer for the crowd, and it was my best pass of the night too with a 3.89s ET.
“While it was our quickest of the night, on this rare occasion it still wasn’t enough as Mark got us on the holeshot! I can’t even say the supercharger blocked my view as I was in the right lane, he just beat me on the tree! When I get home I had better get out the Porter Tree and sharpen up my lights skills,” laughed Ben.
“Our congratulations go to Mark and also to John Zappia who took out the Pro Slammer honours with a great performance.”
Team Bray Racing were running a solo Pro Slammer campaign this weekend, with Texan Frankie Taylor unable to attend due to work commitments in the US. Taylor will be back with the team for the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder event at Sydney Dragway and also the “big one”, the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway.
Before then, however, TBR has more work to do – Ben and the team will now head home to Queensland to run the Gulf Western Oil Toyota Solara in the Competition Bracket of Willowbank Raceway’s Good Friday Santo’s Super Thunder event for testing purposes.
“What better way to round out what has been a very busy March than to get the Solara out at home in Queensland at Easter?” said Ben.
“Hopefully we can put on a good show for the home-ground fans and put a bit of extra spice in their Easter long weekend.”
For more Santo’s Super Thunder event information, visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au
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