Darwin drag racer Scott Maclean may not have the vast experience of more seasoned drivers in the ANDRA Drag Racing Series, but when it comes to his home track of Hidden Valley Drag Strip, Maclean is going to be the man to beat.
On Saturday night Maclean beat his own track record again with a run of 5.685 at 251.95mph (405.46kph) over the quarter mile, which plays host to its first ever ANDRA championship rounds of Top Alcohol and Top Bike next Friday and Saturday, August 16 and 17.
In a warning shot to the nine other teams who are travelling to the event, Maclean said there is more to come yet from the AllTools Ford Mustang.
“We still haven’t made a lot of runs with this car so now we have got a good baseline for it,” he said. “We’re aiming to be running some 5.5 second passes soon and I don’t think they are far away to be honest.”
Despite its low altitude, Darwin’s Hidden Valley Drag Strip is still located in the very north of Australia and experiences tropical conditions that can rob high performance engines of horsepower.
Maclean says he hopes the data the team has accumulated for Darwin’s unique conditions will give them a head start on other teams but doesn’t doubt that the likes of 15 times ANDRA Top Alcohol champion Gary Phillips will quickly come to grips with Hidden Valley.
“I certainly wouldn’t go in relying on that (a home track advantage) because people like Gary Phillips race in all kinds of conditions and adapts to it like a duck to water,” he said. “They can make the car go down any track. I think we will be competitive but I don’t think prior testing will be much of an advantage. They will have a tune up somewhere for these conditions.”
With his family, friends and sponsors all in attendance, it’s going to be a lot of pressure for Maclean but also something he can revel in as he gets to prove himself against the nation’s best racers.
“It’s thrilling to race at home with big events, we’ve got some sponsors that are pretty excited to be a part of it. The whole hype in town is really looking good,” he said. “We’re going to go there and give it the best we’ve got, I’d love nothing more than to win the meet at home. I’m not banking on it, but we’re giving it our all.”
Maclean will be facing the cream of Australian drag racing including reigning national champion Gary Phillips, former national champion Steve Reed, Australia’s quickest active female racer Debbie O’Rourke, Queensland powerhouse Steven Ham, John Cannuli, Gary Busch, Rob Pilkington, Frank Intini and Mark Probst.
Joining Top Alcohol will be the nitro-fuelled Top Bikes of Australian championship leader Chris Porter, Terry Burnett, Greg Durack and Gordon Crawford.
Qualifying begins at 6pm Friday August 16 with eliminations racing from 5pm Saturday August 17.
Maclean’s AllTools Funny Car will be on display in the Smith Street Mall, Raintree Park, Darwin City on August 15 from 12pm to 3pm, with live crosses from Northern Territory radio station Hot 100.