O’Rourke Motorsport record PB, but break in sours Westernationals

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In her first round of the 2015 Top Alcohol season, ex-pat West Australian turned Brisbane-resident Debbie O’Rourke punched out a personal best pass at the Perth Motorplex.

Debbie was on-track at her original ‘home track’ alongside Top Doorslammer racing husband Grant O’Rourke for the 44th Westernationals, laying down the 5.651 second PB pass in the second of three qualifying sessions for the event.

The effort saw her qualify for an exceptionally tough Top Alcohol eliminations field, despite her decision to not complete the third available qualifying run.

“The track conditions on both Friday and Saturday were very good, and we were pleased to see our qualifying get off to a good start with a 5.75 second pass before we were able to achieve my new personal best elapsed time of 5.651 seconds in the second qualifying round,” said Debbie O’Rourke, who along with Grant and the OMS crew hosted 40 guests from OMS supporters Total Eden and Hitachi Construction Machinery in the Perth Motorplex corporate area and OMS pit area on Friday evening.

“While I elected not to complete the third qualifying pass as I was not a hundred percent happy with the engine during the burnout and instead decided to shut it off, the previous efforts meant we were able to qualify for what was a highly competitive field of Top Alcohol racers in Perth this weekend.

“This saw us line up against Rob Pilkington in the first round of eliminations, where we experienced tyre shake at the top of first gear and forced me to pedal the car hard to regain control. While I was unable to recover to take the win, the weekend has been exceptionally promising for us especially given that we are running a new fuel and clutch combination in my car, and I can’t wait to see what we can put together for the next round in Adelaide.”

While qualifying may have gone well for his wife, for Grant O’Rourke it was another story, with engine damage in the second and third sessions seeing his solid first pass not enough to qualify for the field – missing out by just two one hundredths of a second.

“With oil downs by other entries early in the night on Friday, the program ran late and that saw our third qualifying session postponed to Saturday morning,” said Grant O’Rourke, who along with the entire Top Doorslammer field was running a special heart decal emblazoned with ‘Bonnie XOX’ on his Doorslammer this weekend.

“While our first pass was good enough to be sixth fastest for the eight car eliminations field after the second session, on Saturday morning with more good conditions and engine damage for us, I was bumped out of the field to ninth by some great passes from the other competitors.

“We increased the compression in our engine before this round to create extra power, and when you do that you need to also increase the amount of fuel that you run. Unfortunately when we got to the half-track distance on both the second and third qualifying runs the engine was leaning out (not enough fuel) and it saw us blow the burst panel out of the blower on both occasions.

“While that certainly didn’t go the way that we wanted, I still took home a trophy – securing the longest distance travelled award!

“I was also proud to be able to carry the Bonnie sticker on my car this weekend as I know my fellow Top Doorslammer competitors were. Bonnie is a long-time Top Doorslammer official who is close to all our hearts, and has just returned this weekend from her third trip to Singapore for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant treatment for Multiple Scleroses following her diagnosis four years ago. The entire OMS crew is sending our best wishes to her as she continues her recovery from treatment.”

In an unfortunate post script to the event, the OMS transporter was broken into at Perth Motorplex. 

The team shared the information on Facebook, where newsquickly spread in a search for the criminals.

“First up, we’d like to thank everyone for their support and the fact that it has been shared nationally and internationally is a credit to the drag racing community,” the team said on their page. “I guess at times like this it reminds us of the bond we share – even if it’s not always evident unfortunately. “Grant’s taken some time to itemise the stolen goods which I’ve listed below, to make sure that everyone who could possibly come across them will be on the ‘look out’, we just want our stuff back.”

The list is as follows:

1 x complete Lenco gearbox – 34/25 with packs and towers
1 x RCD starter motor
1 x battery pack, 48 volt + leads etc. to suit the starter motor
1 x brand new 18 volt Milwaukee rattle gun & drill kit, cordless with charger in plastic carry case
1 x Sidchrome tool box with 17” Asus Laptop, Canon 6D Camera & lens’, 2 Go Pros and various mounting kits and cables
1 x black wooden box of 10.7” Crower clutch plates / floaters – approx. 12-18 plates, ground and ready to use
1 x cardboard box “ACE” on outside, with 6 Ace clutch plates and 2 Crower discs – brand new
2 x hydraulic power packs to run out pro-jacks, one has quick release lines, the other is screw on lines
1 large plastic crate with a pair of Brad 5 cylinder heads (to be serviced) complete

The heads are distinctive as they were damaged on the weekend and have two ‘hot’ valves in the number one chamber. Number eight on the head has a crushed pushrod tube. Both heads have number five stamped into the back face of them.

Also missing is a large orange/blue plastic crate with a pair of Brad 5 cylinder heads complete (all new internals). These heads have number three stamped into the back of them.

Both pairs of heads have the team’s distinctive oiling angle fittings on them for the seperate rocket gear oil feed.

“In the meantime we are resolved to piece together what we need to race in Adelaide for the next TD and TA round, these thieves will not get the better of us,” the team said.


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