The Willshire family is all smiles following the penultimate round of the 2015 Queensland Drag Racing Championships held at Willowbank Raceway on the weekend.
Thirteen year old Jett Willshire took out his maiden victory in the Wallace Bishop Loyal Watches Junior Dragster class, after earlier facing off against his eight year old brother Rustie Willshire – who was enjoying only his second competitive outing after making his debut at the last QDRC round, held in September.
Joining Jett in accepting winners’ trophies this evening were Paul Pires (Modified Bike), Kellie Kidd (Knijff Earthmoving Modified), Josh Fletcher (Donnelly Blasting Services QDRC Outlaws), Sam Kiprios (QDRC SuperComp), Kerry Boyde (Super Gas), David Morris (Powercruise Super Sedan) and Andrew Stathis (Prime Signs/Speed Elec Super Street).
The year nine student of Calvary Christian College said the victory came after a lot of hard work.
“I am feeling really good, very pumped!” said Jett Willshire, whose father is drag racing identity Collin Willshire who this weekend was campaigning his Jett Racing Toyota Eclipse with the team’s driver Kelly Bettes at the wheel.
“This is my first win in the category and it feels so great. I was struggling a bit, dad was out on-track with Kelly in the Eclipse and so I was working on both my car and my brother Rustie’s dragster getting them ready for each race and at times I felt like I wanted to quit – but I kept on pushing and now I have won a QDRC event and it feels like all the work has paid off.
“It feels really good and now I don’t have to worry about anyone else, I can just do my own thing and head back to school – I have actually already rung two of my school mates about it, that is how excited I am!”
Jett faced off against his younger brother Rustie in the third round of racing, and needed to take that win to secure his place in the final.
“Rustie has been having a couple of issues with his car and when he raced me he left the line a little late so it gave me a good opportunity to catch-up. For me it was really good that he did, as if he had of won I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to win the event,” said Jett.
“At the end of the track I just jumped out of the car and ran over to him and gave him the biggest hug and said ‘thank you, thank you, you have gotten me here’. He didn’t mind that I won, he was very excited that I could go to the final.
“I definitely have to thank mum (Katie) and dad for letting me race – heaps of people at school say they wish they could be like me and race, it is really sensational to come out here and do this. And thanks to Willowbank Raceway too and also my sponsor Lucky Bling who support me with clothing and also a cash prize for winning, and (category sponsor) Wallace Bishop who gave me a free watch for winning the class!”
Rustie was very enthused about his brother winning, admitting to his dad after the race that he did all he could to ensure his older sibling’s place in the final.
“I told my dad after the race with Jett that I took my foot off the pedal a little bit, because I wanted him to win and go to the final,” said the eight year old Rustie Willshire, who enjoyed his second racing event this weekend.
“I really like racing, we go so fast it is like travelling into he future! It is so much fun, I really love it.”
The Willshires weren’t the only ones celebrating this evening, and in the Donnelly Blasting Services QDRC Outlaws bracket Josh Fletcher in particular was very happy with the outcome of today’s racing.
Cornubia’s Fletcher had entered this weekend’s racing five points adrift of then-points leader Nathan Pullen, but thanks to his victory tonight is now leading the standings with just one round of racing left in the 2015 QDRC season.
“Leading the points is obviously where you want to be heading into the final round so we are very happy with that,” said Fletcher, who thanks sponsors Redland Service Centre, Lucas Oils, Performance Diffs, Fletchweld Engineering, Hi Reach Rentals, Dave Mullens Automotive, The Bolt King Capalaba, and Horse Power Engineering.
“In the third round of racing we actually raced Nathan (Pullen) and at that point we were tied on points, so that was a big race for me and saw me come away with the points lead.
“In the final I had a bit of a sleep on the start line, but luckily for me (opponent) Les Rodgie was the same – the car ran really consistently all day, it raced beautifully, it all went the way we wanted.
“The last round is a different format (eliminations racing as opposed to the Chicago shootout format), you have to do well in the final to win the championships so we will be doing what we can of course!”
Next up for Willowbank Raceway are the finals for the Street Series during the 21 October (Powder Puff) and 31 October (Street Sedan, Street Bike) Test n Tune events, ahead of Mopar Sunday (8 November) and the final round of the QDRC (21 November).