Drag racing may be considered an individual sport but people make the ultimate difference at MacLean Motorsport, who have just wrapped up almost two weeks of Pro Slammer testing and competition at Sydney Dragway.
Team owner and driver Scott MacLean said though results didn't go his team's way on race day, the commitment of his crew had given him heart for the 400 Thunder Series rounds to come.
“We've done 13 days here and our crew worked tirelessly,” he said. “We've caught up on a heap of maintenance, because the car is not where I live anymore. We did some long days of rebuilds, servicing and putting in new parts.
“I have an awesome group of people, what can I say? They gave it everything they had and without them we have nothing, so I'd like to take this moment to say thank you.”
After recording some positive times in testing, hot conditions tested MacLean Motorsport when it came to qualifying day for East Coast Thunder at Sydney Dragway.
“The heat on Friday was incredible and it was good they changed qualifying to be a bit later in the day,” MacLean said.
“We didn't get it right on our first run and rattled first gear. We needed to reevaluate the data and have another go.”
With cloud cover taking some heat away from the track surface, crew chief Darren Mayer was able to nail the set up and see MacLean improve to a 5.70 time in the second qualifying session. Unfortunately MacLean's parachutes did not properly deploy and he went for a ride into the sand trap at the end of the braking area.
“The car got out pretty well, but I drove it too far through the finish line and the chutes didn't fully blossom. She was a wild ride and the car began porpoising to the end of the braking area. The last 50 metres it was full lock and we had to do what we had to do to stop.
“Thankfully nothing went through the motor, we just had to get rid of a half a tonne of rocks out of it. It was a bit of an experience! I have never been into the sand box before and I am not looking forward to going there again.”
Damage was limited to some minor cracks in the front clip and flat-spotted front tyres and the MacLean Motorsport Holden Monaro would live to fight another day, set to take on Daniel Gregorini in round one of eliminations.
Unfortunately it wouldn't be a fairytale finish as MacLean's motor had some difficulties and Gregorini was able to take the win.
“The weekend didn't end so well, we had a few mechanical gremlins going into E1. It just didn't happen for us and the car didn't do what it was meant to do. Daniel Gregorini beat us fair and square.
“Everyone gave it their best go. The mechanical issues on that pass were unforeseen and uncharacteristic for our car.”
Now MacLean is looking forward to heading to his new home track of Willowbank Raceway for the next round of the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer Series as part of New Years Thunder on January 5, 2019.
“We don't have any testing planned, so we will get the gang together in 2019 at Willowbank and we are really looking forward to that. Darren loves tuning on that track and hopefully we can get back into the 5.6s and win some rounds.”
- MacLean Motorsport Media Release