When husband and wife Grant and Debbie O’Rourke hit Hidden Valley Drag Strip this weekend for the latest round of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series (11-12 July), it will be Australia’s quickest and fastest current female drag racer who will lead the way for the high-octane pairing.
The fairer of the two made her debut in the Northern Territory in 2013 in the Top Alcohol bracket, while Mr O’Rourke will be making his very first competitive outing in the Territory this week as part of the Top Doorslammer category, in which he is currently placed third in the title chase.
“I had a great time in Darwin in 2013, where else can you go swimming in wave pools before heading to the track to race!” said Debbie O’Rourke, who is currently fifth on the Top Alcohol championship ladder.
“It was a tumultuous event for me, with tyre shake in the first qualifying session and damage off the hit of the throttle in both the second and third qualifiers, although that didn’t stop me running at 245 miles per hour!
“We were looking good for the first round of racing, however as sometimes happens in racing a cheap fitting let us down, spraying oil all over my tyres and seeing us out of the race.
“While we will definitely be hoping for a better result this time around, we have some valuable data and experience with the NT track under our belt now, so hopefully that will help both myself and Grant as he looks to make his debut this year!”
Grant O’Rourke will have plenty of time to check out the Hidden Valley drag strip ahead of the event, having already left their Joyner home base on the weekend accompanied by two ‘Joshes’ – his 17 year old son Josh and a school-mate of his of the same name – who will assume responsibility for keeping the team’s fans up to date across the event via the O’Rourke Motorsport Facebook page
“Ever since travelling to Hidden Valley in 2013 with Debbie, I have been looking forward to the chance to get on track myself, so I can’t wait for this weekend’s event,” said Grant O’Rourke, whose business 1320 Racecars is a large supporter of the O’Rourke’s racing efforts alongside KTrans WA, Thermal Edge Coating, Crow Cams and GRP Rods.
“There will be 11 racers taking to the track in my category with just eight spots available on race day so the competition is sure to be fierce, and with myself still in reach of second on the points ladder from Stuart Bishop I will be doing everything I can to bank those points away.
“Debbie has been kind enough to share with me the lessons she learned in Darwin last year, so hopefully I can put those lessons to good use!” laughed Grant O’Rourke.
The O’Rourkes will be joined on track in Top Alcohol by Gary Phillips, Steven Reed, John Cannuli, Jon Sting, Steven Ham, Scott Maclean and Nathan Coles; and by Peter Kapiris, Pino Priolo, Stuart Bishop, Marty Dack, John Zappia, Wayne Keys, Daniel Gregorini, Mathew Abel and Peter Coles in Top Doorslammer.