Nostalgic return to Calder for TBR

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Team Bray Racing will soon head to Calder Park Raceway for the return of ANDRA Top Doorslammer racing to the Victorian facility, thanks to this weekend’s Southern Nationals event (April 4-5).

They will do so with no shortage of inspiration due to the rich history enjoyed at the venue by the team, its father and son drivers Victor and Ben Bray, and its crew.

Six-time back-to-back Top Doorslammer champion Victor Bray explains:

“Calder Park is certainly a very special place for Team Bray Racing,” said Victor.

“My first trip to the facility was in November of 1990 in BB/G trim for the Andrew Rowe Memorial where I ran 0.04 seconds under the National record at the time.

“I then went back and rewrote it in April of 1991 and again in February of 1992, the year in which I also found myself in the final round against Donna Sizmur travelling along the track vertical with the rear bumper scraping the ground when the injection of more power by my crew chief Mick Atholwood didn’t quite go to plan!

“In 1993 I returned in AA/G trim and resest the national record, before returning and resetting it once again in 1994, all the while racing in the track’s Wild Bunch Feature races.

“In December of 1994 Calder Park hosted the first event where the Top Doorslammer name was used – the Top Doorslammer Challenge saw me debut a supercharged 504 Keith Black 1957Chev which I went on to win six straight championships with before my son Ben took another two.

“In 1996 we enjoyed a clean sweep of the Australia versus USA Top Doorslammer Series at Calder, and in 1999 I drove my Chevy to a new world speed record on my way to winning the opening round of the championship.

“While Top Doorslammer racing ended at the venue in March of 2001, TBR were pleased to take to the track once again in 2011 with a round of the Eighth Mile Slamfest in which both myself and Ben competed.

“While 1992’s vertical tour of the strip is impossible to forget, Mick Atholwood played a key part in a lot of my success at Calder over the years and as such will definitely never be far from my mind this weekend and I hope that he will be travelling alongside me in spirit when we hit the track.”

For Ben Bray, the Slamfest round of 2011 was his first in the senior ranks at the venue, having previously only raced at Calder Park in the Junior Dragster ranks.

“To get back on track in 2011 at Calder Park after such a long time was a real special experience for me, it was certainly different heading on down the drag strip in a Top Doorslammer after having last been there in a Junior Dragster,” said Ben Bray.

“I am really pleased that in 2014 we will see Top Doorslammer racing returning to Calder Park, and I can only hope the spectators come out for what I am sure will be some great racing this weekend.”

Victor and Ben Bray will be amongst an entry list of 13 Top Doorslammers for the Southern Nationals at Calder Park Raceway this weekend, with longtime TBR friend Peter Kapiris expected to be a firm favourite as the home town hero.




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