As 2013 speeds towards its conclusion and plans for 2014 start to fall into place, Team Bray Racing matriarch Marie Bray has taken some time out to reflect on the year that was.
As the wife, mother, grandmother and mother-in-law of TBR’s racers, Marie hasn’t missed a moment of the team’s 2013 campaign from its very first outing of the year at the Summernats through to the thrilling ANDRA Top Doorslammer season finale in Sydney earlier this month.
It is for this reason that the team is proud to bring you ‘Marie’s highlights’ as they dig out the holiday decorations and put the final touches on their 2014 plans.
Marie Bray’s 2013 TBR Highlights
1. The 26th annual Summernats, Canberra
“The Summernats are always a perfect start to our year as while it is the largest modified car festival in the country it is not as high stress for the team as some of our other events and of course I love having the chance to go cruising in my cherished 1958 Chevy Impala,” said Marie.
“Making the event more epic than usual this year was the fact that Victor was honoured by being asked to complete the very first solo burnout on the new burnout pad. I was very proud to see him recognised in that way and to hear the appreciation of the fans as he smoked it up.”
Want to hear more about TBR’s Summernats story? Read the full event report at http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news2.html or for a closer look at Marie’s beloved genuine 1958 Chevy Impala, check out this video: http://youtu.be/sQBVVTBAcjM
2. The Westernationals, Perth Motorplex – Victor takes the runner-up spot to Peter Kapiris and grandson Josh goes along for the ride
“The Perth Westernationals was certainly a special event for us, with three generations of the Bray family heading over to Perth with Victor and Ben joined on-track by their grandson/nephew Josh McClennan in the Junior Dragster bracket,” said Marie.
“Victor faced our long-time friend Peter Kapiris – who was also leading the series at that point – in the final after earlier qualifying third fastest and driving around local John Zappia in the semi-final. Victor and Zap have been sparring partners for 30 years now and the rivalry is certainly palpable at each event we go to – this has been especially so this year as Zap went after Victor’s record six back to back Doorslammer titles.
“For Ben it wasn’t such a successful day at the office with a thrown blower belt putting him out in the first round while he was leading Zappia, but even so it was still a great day out for our family with three generations at the track.”
For the full TBR event report from the Westernationals, go to http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news9.html
3. Ben and the team battle adversity throughout Easter and are rewarded with World Sport Compact record in April
“March and April of 2013 saw Ben focusing on his Sport Compact campaign with three major events scheduled for his Nissan Altima, the APSA Pro Street Shootout, the Super 3 Extreme Drag Race and Sydney Dragway’s Jamboree,” said Marie.
“At the Pro Street event he broke a vital part which saw him and the team racing against time to be ready for the Easter weekend Super 3 event, with the parts arriving just 18 hours ahead of the start of on-track action. The team persevered and Ben was able to set his first sub-seven second pass and gain some valuable data which he put to good use just a few weeks later on his way to rewriting the world record books at Willowank’s Super Sportsman event, becoming the quickest four cylinder ‘doored’ car in the world running an SR20 motor, and the quickest four cylinder car outright in Australia – accolades which still stand to this day. To say I was proud of him and the entire team is a huge understatement!”
For TBR event reports about this part of TBR’s 2013 campaign, visit the links below.
• Race against time for Ben Bray Easter campaign – http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news11.html
• Six second success spurs on Bray to Jamboree this week end – http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news12.html
• Ben Bray re-writes World Record Books – http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news15.html
4. 46th annual Winternationals sees our son-in-law Dean McClennan and grandson Josh McClennan join Victor and Ben on-track
“While the dreaded rain may have brought the 2013 Winternationals to an early end, this is still an event that I will remember for a very long time as we took the ‘family racing’ concept to a whole new level with Victor and Ben joined by my son-in-law and my grandson. While they are regular racers, it was the first time in three years that we had all four family members competing at the same event, so it was definitely pretty special for all of us before we even turned a single wheel in anger,” said Marie.
“When it came to on-track performances, things were looking really good for all of us with Victor and Ben getting quicker and quicker with each Doorslammer pass and Dean running very consistently while Josh was enjoying his last Winternationals in the Junior Dragster category – that is one kid who is now looking for a big Christmas present so he can line up against his dad in Supercharged Outlaws in 2014 I can tell you!”
To hear more about the family ties which reined at the 2013 Winternationals go to http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news20.html or read TBR’s Winternationals event report at http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news22.html
5. Slamfest brings an all-Bray semi-final and a victory for Ben in Gladstone
“As a pet project of ours, the Slamfest Series is always pretty exciting for everyone at Team Bray Racing and the penultimate round of the 2013 Series was no different even before we had the pleasure of an all-Bray semi-final in front of around 5000 spectators,” said Marie.
“Victor and Ben are always angling for the workshop bragging rights and this time around it was Ben who took the win both against his dad and in the final. The result saw the pair tied for third heading to the final round, so there was plenty of playful stirring going on for a few weeks there!”
For the full TBR Gladstone Slamfest event report go to http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news24.html
6. Ben takes victory at ANDRA Spring Nationals against John Zappia
“The Spring Nationals in Adelaide may have ended with a win for Ben, but it did not come easy with an all-night rebuild on Friday night followed by having to borrow a door for the final after his own came off in the braking area after his semi-final win!” said Marie.
“The efforts of the team and the assistance of our fellow racers which made Ben’s victory possible really made this event a stand-out for me. While Victor watched from the sidelines after racing Stuart Bishop in the first round, I know it was a very special event for him as well to see the team succeed after such a chaotic start.”
For the full TBR event report from Adelaide go to http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news30.html
7. Building a new burnout car for Bathurst
“Seeing a project you have worked hard on for months come to life at one of the biggest motorsport events in the country is always pretty amazing, and that was certainly the case for us at the 2013 Bathurst 1000 when we brought out the new 1963 DEWALT Corvette burnout car as part of a three-car entertainment program by Team Bray Entertainment,” said Marie.
“We had tested the car out at Sydney Dragway’s Burnout Mania earlier in the week, and we knew then and there the car was everything we had wanted it to be – striking, impressive, different. It was fantastic to see it in action on the hallowed ground of Mount Panorama, and I was pretty pleased to see Craig Lowndes finish up on the podium as well!”
8. Last but not least – the ANDRA Top Doorslammer season finale’
“Who would have thought that the Top Doorslammer title would come down to the final race of the final event of the year, with Victor taking on Zappia in front of an enthralled crowd and a nail-biting Kapiris,” said Marie.
“While Zappia managed to take a narrow win to claim the title, if Victor had taken victory it would have been our long-time friend Peter who claimed the championship so every eye was fixed on the track as the pair of them lined up on the startline.
“The only word for that final race which seems to sum it up properly is intense. Victor was so very close to taking the win, getting the jump off the startline and leading Zappia down the track before his engine lifted the blower off the Sidchrome 1957 Chev.Victor and Zappia have such a history, taking each other on at drag strips all across the country for more than 30 years now and Zappia is the only one who has come close to Victor’s six back to back Doorslammer titles.
“It certainly had everyone talking and we were proud to see Victor taking out a facebook poll on who was ‘cooler’ of the two – at least we took the win in that race!It was an impressive event with a great field and great crowds and a close and hard-fought finale, and while it wasn’t the result we were looking for Victor and the entire team was quick to send their congratulations to Zappia and also Kapiris on a great season.”
For the TBR event report from the season-ending Australian Nationals go to http://teambrayracing.com/news03/news34.html
After celebrating Christmas the team will be right back to work for the annual Street Machine Summernats event across 2-5 January 2014, before launching into what is already shaping up to be a busy season.
From everyone at Team Bray Racing – we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season, and thank you to you all for your support during 2013! We look forward to seeing you on-track in the New Year!
For more information on Team Bray, please visit www.teambrayracing.com. Fans can also keep up to date thanks to the Team Bray app which offers news, image updates, a live webcam and lots more for free for Apple and Android users. To download the app, visit
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Upcoming scheduled events:
• Summernats: 2-5 January 2014, Canberra
• ANDRA Pro Showdown: 31 January – 1 February 2014, Perth Motorplex
• Westernationals: 28 February – 2 March 2013, Perth Motorplex
• Sydney Jamboree: 29 March 2014, Sydney Dragway
• Pro Series Round Four: 4-5 April 2014, Calder Park
• Nitro Champs: 2-4 May 2014, Sydney Dragway
• Winternationals: 5-8 June 2014, Willowbank Raceway
• Pro Series Round 7: 11-13 July 2014, Hidden Valley
• Desert Nationals: 19-20 July 2014, Alice Springs
• Spring Nationals: 4-5 October 2014, Adelaide Raceway
• V8 Supercars’ Bathurst 1000 (official on-track entertainment): 9-12 October 2014, Mount Panorama
• Australian Nationals: 31 October – 2 November 2014, Sydney Dragway
• Grand Finals: 5-7 December 2014, Calder Park
• Slamfest dates to be advised