Former National Champion Gary Phillips has returned to Queensland from a semi final berth at the Westernationals, rating the weekend as a solid advance in the right direction for the Lucas Oils Studebaker Doorslammer.
“Looking at our 60 foot incrementals and the MPH we run, the horsepower is not the problem. We’re making good launch times but we’re on a steep learning curve with the new four-link, where its shaking the tyres around the 150 foot mark. Having said that, the new changes have given us a few avenues to do some experimenting and there’s definitely opportunities to step it up and get back into the game.”
Despite stopping short of the final, Phillips was rational about the team’s expectations of the event.
“It would be unrealistic for us to have expected a win this weekend, but the big plus is that despite running hard, the engine came back clean after every run. I guess that’s as good a testament to Lucas Oils as you can get, because they’ve definitely “kept that engine alive,” Phillips said.
With the Doorslammer championship in full swing, Phillips will use the remaining two rounds plus some extra testing to get reacquainted with his championship winning Studebaker, sighting every run as an opportunity to learn.
“The goal posts have changed in Doorslammer. We’re not shooting for low sixes now – that’s ancient history! Now you have to run 5.80’s to be in the running and we intend to rise to the challenge sooner rather than later. As a result, we’re doing some extra testing before the next event to sharpen the knife.”
The attention now turns to the Nitro Champs event in Sydney in just a few weeks where the Lucas Oils team will present the doorslammer as well as the Top Alcohol Chev Monte Carlo at Sydney Dragway.