O’Rourke Motorsport’s Grant O’Rourke has enjoyed strong speed at the first-ever 400 Thunder series round – the East Coast Nationals at Sydney Dragway – at the weekend.
While mechanical issues saw the Brisbane racer elect to not complete the first round of racing, the team is happy with the speed found at the event which ushered in the dawn of a new era for Australian drag racing – complete with a new television package and free live streaming of all the East Coast Nationals action.
The first round of qualifying on Saturday the 7th of November saw the ex-pat West Australian set the fastest time with a 5.990 second pass at 242.67 miles per hour.
The second session saw that time beaten by only the reigning Top Doorslammer champion John Zappia, before the third session scheduled for the evening was postponed to Sunday morning due to rain.
So happy was he with the speed of the OMS Doorslammer, O’Rourke elected to sit-out the final qualifying session, and was paired with returning racer and fellow Brisbane resident Andrew Searle for the first round of racing.
“When I made my comeback to Top Doorslammer after eight years away it took me one pass to get my eye back in, so before the event I was forecasting that Andrew would need two, having been away from the bracket for 13 years!” said O’Rourke.
“He was never one to be discounted, with a great machine under him and being a very experienced and measured racer. I was certainly looking forward to racing him in the first round.
“However, I had trouble pulling up the car after the burnout, and so elected for safety’s sake to just accept the starting light and not run the race. When we went back to the pits, the crew discovered a problem with the rear brake disc, so I am happy that I made that call.
“The first running of the 400 Thunder series I believe has certainly been a success, and I was really happy to hear from many of my fans back in Queensland and across the country who have been enjoying the free live stream – this is exposure we haven’t had before, and it was great that they could all follow along with us as the action unfolded this weekend.”
Taking out victory in the Top Doorslammer bracket this weekend was John Zappia.