Pilkington makes perfect start

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Rob Pilkington made an impressive start to the drag racing season at Perth Motorplex with a win in Top Comp at the Grand Opening event on October 30.

Pilkington unleashed a strong 5.70 sec pass
Pilkington took his Force Equipment/Alutech ChevMonte Carlo Funny Car to a sub-record 5.85sec. in qualifying to sit in third position come eliminations, but then unleashed a strong 5.70sec. run against Robin Judd to move through to the final.

There he took on Jeffrey Clarke and when Clarke spun the tyres early, a 5.95sec. from Pilkington secured the win. Pilkington said the day started with the team exploring the track to find a baseline tune up.

“After returning to the pits and assessing the data from the first lap we made some clutch adjustments which gave us a more respectable time, but the car was still not aggressive enough on the start line to make use of the great track and air conditions,” he said.

“We knew we needed to throw more clutch at the track as conditions we improving as the night went on.”

The decision was made to run a fresh clutch for eliminations against the always tough Judd. The strategy paid dividends with the quickest run of the day and a top speed of 252mph, the fastest ever recorded for a AA/FC in Australia.

“It could have been even quicker if not for me shifting too early in first gear which robbed us of a faster time,” Pilkington explained.

The final featured two of the quickest Competition race cars in the country and while the teams are good friends off the track, there is a definite rivalry on it with both to be contenders for the championship.

“After completing our in-between round servicing and fixing some broken supercharger studs from the previous round we were confident we had the car set up to take out the final over Jeff,” Pilkington said.

“I knew Jeff would be throwing everything at us to take the win so I needed to cut a good reaction time but Jeff to his credit out-reacted me on the tree.

“The car started to go into tyre shake so I instinctively shifted into second gear to try and drive out of the shake which enabled me to make the finish line and take the win over Jeff who unbeknown to me had smoked the tyres on the start line and was unable to catch us.”

Pilkington is a two times Top Comp champion and a third is on the agenda, with the perfect start.

“This win gives us maximum points to start the season off with and puts us in a strong position after running the quickest and fastest times for our class in Australia,” he said.

Rob and Jackie Pilkington expressed their thanks to their sponsors for providing the support to run quick times and take the win.
The team will next be on track on November 20 where they will aim to boost the points lead.

Major sponsors – Force Equipment, Alutech
Associate sponsors – Prestige Tile Gallery, National Tyres, FLN Motor Body Builders, Perthmetro
Builders, Ranch Auto Engineers, Mobil One

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