Next weekend’s Castrol EDGE Winternationals are set to see championships decided as the season-ending event for the ANDRA Pro Series over June 10-13 at Willowbank Raceway.
In Pro Stock Bike and Top Alcohol the pressure is on for Andrew Badcock and Gary Phillips, who while only needing to stage to claim their championships, still have to enter the largest drag racing event outside of the US without their titles completely ”stitched up”.
Badcock especially has a special curveball to consider, with his wife Lisa expecting their first child just after the event which would be the completion of his first season back in Pro Bike after a three year hiatus.
“All we have to do is greet the starter to claim the championship, and that is pretty exciting for me and also for the Trevor Birrel Racing Team,” said Badcock.
“My wife Lisa is expecting our first baby two weeks after the event but in reality it could be any day now, so that is something that is a bit of a curveball and Trevor might have to bring his leathers just In case!
“Our plan is basically just to run it like any other meeting, I have never won a Winternatioanls before so we will be going for broke, and try to take the Australian championship.
“When I got on the bike in September of last year it was the first time in three years I had been on one and to be in this position, especially with how the category has stepped up and everyone is just so competitive, is just amazing.”
In the Top Alcohol category, Gary Phillips and the Lucas Oil Products Top Alcohol Funny Car are also placed to claim the championship – his 14th national championship if he is successful – as long as he is able to qualify.
“Our major focus is to qualify at the Winternationals so we will claim our fourteenth Top Alcohol championship, but we don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves,” said Phillips.
“All eyes are on the fiercely contested Castrol EDGE Winternationals, where a win at the prestigious event is as coveted as the championships that are decided there.
“We’d love to win there in front of the home crowd and for our sponsors Lucas Oil Products, NSANE Developments, Champion Spark Plugs & ET Racing Fuels who have been amazing again this season.”
Unlike Badcock and Phillips, Brisbane rider Chris Matheson has the luxury of being able to concentrate on having fun at the largest drag racing event of the country after stitching up his championship.
Matheson’s position is even more impressive when the fact that the 2009/2010 series is his debut season in the Top Bike category is taken into consideration.
“We started the season with eyes open and launched straight into a steep learning curve to try to make an impression on the current field of Top Bike Riders and Teams,” said Matheson.
“We have had our ups, downs, crashes, engine explosions and even qualified well down the field on one occasion, but despite the unknown of Top Bike Racing that was thrown at us throughout the season, the Team rose to the challenges and excelled at every opportunity.
“Willowbank was the scene of our debut win in Round 1 back in August 2009, the Team has a huge supporter base here at our home track and we are eager to put on a big performance for fans and supporters alike, and despite already winning the Australian Championships, we still have unfinished business this season and will be throwing everything at the upcoming Winternationals event”.
The Castrol EDGE Winternationals will host in excess of 480 racers over the June 10-13 event, including 85 form the professional categories.
The Thursday June 10 to Sunday June 13 event will host the championship ANDRA Pro Series final rounds for Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock, Morgan & Wacker Top Bike and Morgan & Wacker Pro Stock Bike as well as final championship rounds for all of the sportsman brackets. For more information, schedules or to purchase tickets, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au