Team Bray Racing gave the fans plenty to smile about at the weekend’s Santo’s Summer Thunder event at Sydney Dragway.
Five second passes, big wheelstands from both Victor and Ben Bray and plenty of smoke on the burnout pad was the name of the game for the Gulf Western Oil-supported team, at an event which started in blisteringly hot conditions.
“It was 42 degrees on Friday’s day one of Santo’s Summer Thunder. We had two test sessions scheduled, one for 5pm and one for 7pm, but it was still 36 degrees at 5pm so we decided to sit that one out,” TBR principal Victor Bray said.
“When we did roll out on Friday night, Ben’s run was very promising to the 800 foot mark, but then an electrical fault shut the engine down while for my own run, a transmission issue late in the pass saw me settle for a 6.09s result.
“Thankfully Saturday was much cooler for another test pass and three ‘all run’ rounds of racing and straight out of the gate we saw improvements – both of us got into the five second zone with a 5.948s pass for me and a 5.884s run for Ben. So we were off to a good start.”
In the first round of the all-run format, it was an all-Bray contest with Ben taking the win over Victor with a 5.783s pass over his dad’s 5.910s effort.
In round two, Victor faced Steven Ham with a broken blower belt for Victor off the launch seeing his Gulf Western Oil slammer unfortunately pushed back, while Ben took on and defeated John Zappia with a 5.739s pass at 252 miles per hour.
“While Dad broke the blower belt in his second round we had that fixed pretty quick and were ready to go again for round three, but unfortunately then the rains intervened,” Ben explained.
“While not what you want in terms of racing, the rain delay did mean it was the perfect time for me to entertain the crowd on the burnout pad in my Gulf Western Oil burnout car – my wife Sam joined me in the passenger seat and we sure had a lot of fun!”
Soon it was time for round three, and both Victor and Ben would delight the crowd with their dramatic performances.
“In my third round of the night I faced Mark Hinchelwood and was very pleased to take the win with a big wheel-standing 5.90s pass at 246 miles per hour – the fans certainly seemed to like it too!” laughed Victor.
“I think Ben was trying to copy me because he went pretty aggressive with his set-up on the start line against Steven Ham for his third round and ended up wheel standing his Slammer all the way to the 60 foot mark!
“Unfortunately he had to get off it, but that is how it goes sometimes. This year Sydney Dragway is celebrating 15 years of racing and when it opened, Ben won the final with a then very respectable 6.255s pass. It would have been great to take another event win amidst all the 15-year celebrations, but it wasn’t to be – we sure had a lot of fun though. I have to say it is so great to see four different winners from the four rounds run so far in this year’s 400 Thunder Championship – the bracket is certainly in great shape.
“Our congratulations go to the Pro Slammer finalists, Paul Mouhayet and Sam Fenech – Sam ran an awesome pass of 5.66s at 255mph, but everyone was very sad to see his chutes get tangled, leading to a nasty crash after the finish line. Thankfully while the car is in poor shape, Sam walked away unscathed and we are looking forward to racing against him again soon.”
TBR will next be on track at Willowbank Raceway on February 16, with Ben set to take out his Toyota Solara for testing as part of round one of Willowbank Raceway’s Queensland Drag Racing Championships ahead of the upcoming Sydney Jamboree (March 16).
At the same time, the team will also be working on the licensing process for the third generation of Team Bray Racing – with Ben’s son Zac Bray looking to soon join the Junior Dragster ranks.
- Team Bray Media Release