When the Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes came to Willowbank Raceway in 2013, it saw two local Top Alcohol racers crowned victorious – 17 time champion Gary Phillips and category debutant Darren Fry.
Both are currently preparing for the second running of the Easter bonanza, which will hit Queensland’s premier drag racing facility on Good Friday (April 18) and Easter Saturday (April 19) featuring Titan Cranes Top Alcohol as well as Top Fuel.
Fry’s 2013 ‘day one’ win came on his first ever race day after completing licensing for the bracket just days earlier, while Phillips victory on Saturday’s day two of the new-for-2013 event saw yet another trophy added to a bursting display cabinet which is testament to the success of his 44 year career.
Now both racers are looking to repeat their success of 2013 as the final countdown to next week’s Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes gains momentum.
“The three round format with two rounds of racing held over two days is a really great format I think for both the racers and the crowd – it is all about giving the fans a show,” said Fry, who is supported by his business Dazza’s Steel Fabrications and Noonan Race Engineering (NRE).
“To take the win on the first day of the 2013 Easter event was such a buzz, it was the first Top Alcohol round we had ever run and to take it out as a rookie was a really cool feeling.
“It will be tricky to repeat that success this time around as we have been out of the car for a while as we have looked to build up our program ready for a full championship assault, but we will be doing everything we can to make it happen.”
Phillips is a local legend around Willowbank Raceway, well-known for his horde of ANDRA ‘Christmas Tree’ trophies (he currently has 37) and 17 national championships across the Top Alcohol (16) and Top Doorslammer (1) brackets.
“At the 2013 event we had some struggles on the first day but were able to make some changes and put together a great showing on Saturday – top qualifying and continuing that performance on each run to earn the win,” said Phillips, who is supported by Lucas Oil Products, Champion Spark Plugs, Odyssey Batteries and Speedflow.
“We have been very busy since Easter last year with events in Sydney, Willowbank, Darwin and Perth including top qualifying and event winning performances on our way to taking the Top Alcohol championship for 2013, as well as some personal bests as well.
“Heading into the 2014 Easter event my goals are the same as they are for any event – to try and win. We have a number of new parts to fit in the car and are currently deciding which ones to try, but whatever we do it will be all about racing the lane we are in, chasing the maximum performance available, and shooting for the win.
“To have the Titan Cranes Top Alcohol and Top Fuel brackets together at the same race as the feature acts will be great, these two classes are the quickest and fastest in ANDRA Championship Drag Racing and will make a great show. To see the support of Titan Cranes of the Top Alcohol bracket also is very pleasing, I would like to thank them for their support of the bracket.”
Fry and Phillips will be joined on track in the Top Alcohol bracket by fellow Queenslanders John Cannuli, Steven Ham, Debbie O’Rourke and Steven Reed as well as New South Wales’ Mark Hinchelwood and Wayne Newby and Victoria’s Wayne Price.