It was a fight to the end, but Rob Pilkington emerged as the 2010/11 Top Comp champion for Western Australia following the season’s Grand Final on Saturday.
Pilkington went into the final event as the points leader in his Force Equipment/Alutech Funny Car, with Jeffrey Clarke and Daniel Gregorini doing the chasing.
“We arrived at the Grand Final with great confidence after our win at the previous meeting to re-establish our lead in the championship,” Pilkington said.
“The weather conditions were the best we had seen all season with the cooler air producing more horsepower.”
As many teams across every category recorded personal best times, Pilkington managed a 5.76sec. time in qualifying which was enough to put the team into second position.
As the team got the car ready for the elimination round, word came through that Jeffrey Clarke would not be taking further part in the night due to engine damage.
“It’s not the way we wanted to fight it out for the championship and we felt bad for Jeff, but with Daniel still in the hunt we needed to concentrate on eliminations,” Pilkington said.
A 5.80sec. run won the race against Aaron Deery, who recorded Australia’s first methanol-fuelled 5.4sec. pass, and put the Force Equipment/Alutech into the A Final. That was enough to secure the team’s third championship in four seasons.
“Winning the championship early in the night put us all on a high but we really wanted to close out the season in strong fashion so we tuned up the car for the final,” Pilkington explained.
Up against Alistair McClure for the second event in a row, Pilkington recorded his quickest pass of the day with a 5.70sec. run but unfortunately it was tied to a red light (foul start) and the win went to McClure.
“The conditions were at their best so we were able to make a fast pass, it was just a shame I got a bit too eager on the line and left too soon; but full congratulations have to go to Al on taking his first Top Comp win,” Pilkington said.
As well as winning the Top Comp championship, the team also came second in the Driver of the Year title.
“It was an excellent result with to have our third title in four years and all would not be possible without the efforts of our hard working crew and our valued sponsors,” Pilkington said.
“A special thankyou to Josh Hurren for his reverse gear duties.”
You can see some high speed footage from inside the Force Equipment/Alutech Funny Car below
The team is now preparing for the Winternationals in Queensland where they will compete in ANDRA Pro Series Top Alcohol.
Rob and Jackie Pilkington thanks all of sponsors for their valuable support over the season and again welcome those who have joined the team for the trip to Willowbank.
Hold Fast Fluid Power
Shamat Diesel Services
Along with thanks to their regular sponsors:
Force Equipment service and hire
Prestige Tile Gallery
FLN Commercial Repairers