O’Rourke ready to ‘go for it’ in double header

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When Grant O’Rourke heads to the Perth Motorplex this weekend with O’Rourke Motorsport, he will be effectively competing in not one, but two, Top Doorslammer events at the same time.

This week’s 45th Annual Home Group WA Westernationals event (5-6 February) will host the semi-finals and finals of December’s Nitro Slam event, which was affected by rain at the same venue late last year.

The second and third rounds of qualifying for the ‘Westernats’ will double as these two rounds of racing, seeing all of those who are still in the running for Nitro Slam glory carrying increased pressure into this weekend.

One of those not feeling this pressure is championship leader John Zappia, with the local beaten in the first round of the Nitro Slam before rain intervened, creating a strong opportunity for other racers – second-placed O’Rourke included – to pounce.

“As we all know, anything can happen in this game we call drag racing, so as always we will just be as prepared as possible and go out there to do the absolute best that we can,” said O’Rourke.

“It is definitely a good chance to close the gap on Zap who has got away a bit at the front there. With him having been knocked out in the first instalment of the racing late last year, we will be looking to take advantage of that as will the entire remaining field. It will sure be interesting, that is for sure – it is going to be a case of absolutely going for it right from the get go!”

O’Rourke will meet third-placed Mark Belleri in the semi-final/second round of qualifying, with the format sure to be a demanding one for all those involved this Friday.

“It is definitely going to be a demanding format,” said O’Rourke.

“The approach to qualifying and the approach to racing is so different, so to do both at once is going to be taxing physically and mentally for everyone involved I think.

“Having said that though, we know what we are up against heading in, so we have a game plan in mind and have laid down the ground work ahead of time to make sure that we are as ready as possible to make the most of the format.

“Everyone on our team knows what is ahead and what they need to do, so now we just have to hope that we can put it all together on the night.”

The Perth double-header comes after a consistent start to the year for the team, including a history-making appearance at Calder Park only weeks ago

“It has been a consistent start to the year and to set the first ever five-second pass for Top Doorslammer at Calder Park Raceway a few weeks back was a great feather for our cap also, so we are going to be keen to keep the momentum up this weekend,” said the ex-pat West Aussie who is now based in Brisbane with wife and drag racing identity Debbie O’Rourke.


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