Phillips sets a super pace

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At last weekend’s Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race, Gary Phillips swept the board by claiming wins on both nights and setting a new elapsed time record in his Lucas Oil Products Top Alcohol Funny Car.

On night one of the event, after struggling during the lone qualifying session, Gary came back to defeat John Cannuli with a 5.60 shutting off early to run only 245mph. The Lucas Oils team then faced Debbie O’Rourke in the final, which saw a super consistent 5.61 come up on the scoreboards, along with the much sought-after win light.

“After day one, we felt the combination was extremely close to being right. The track was fantastic, the air was ok, and the car was close. We knew that only small tweaks had to be made, because the ETs were still quick despite pedalling the car and shutting off early on both runs,” Phillips said.

Come night two however, Phillips and his Lucas Oils team hit the tune up spot on, by top qualifying with an astounding 5.470 at only 250mph, again shutting off early.

“I had been shutting off very early every run so far because of the poor visibility I was experiencing once I got just past 1000ft. On that pass it ran nearly 213mph to half track, and I shut off at 5.01 seconds. We knew there was definitely more there, however it’s very hard to drive under full throttle into pitch black, it doesn’t feel natural,” Phillips explained.

With this new data under his belt, it afforded the opportunity to tweak the tune up that has been under development for over a year, on a solo run in the first elimination round. What came up on the boards was something special, a blistering 5.438 at 262mph. This run was now the quickest ever in Australian TA/FC history and it was also good enough to reset the National Record, with the previous 5.470 as a backup run.

“It was all over the track, definitely not pretty, and far from the perfect pass, but we’ve got some great data to work with now. This car is fast and we feel there is still more there,” he said.

Gary came back in the final and claimed the win despite smoking the tyres at the hit.

“We didn’t touch the tune up for the final, but with the dew coming in late at night, it just wouldn’t handle it,” he said.

“Overall, we’re extremely happy with our results this weekend, especially for our long time and much treasured naming rights partner Lucas Oil Products, who are like family to us, and all of our associate sponsors” Phillips said.

Don’t forget to head over and like the team’s Facebook page at Keep up to date while Gary and his Lucas Oils team are busily preparing both cars for the upcoming X-Champs at Sydney Dragway on May 3 & 4, in addition to some testing in the week leading up to the event.


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