Relaxation and rest follows racing for O’Rourkes

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Grant and Debbie O’Rourke are in the midst of a few days of rest and relaxation after the latest round of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series in Darwin, with both husband and wife eliminated in their first rounds of racing after qualifying eighth and seventh in the Top Doorslammer and Top Alcohol brackets respectively.

While the weekend didn’t go exactly to plan for the privateer team, the pair have banked some valuable data in the Top End and are making sure they make the most of their surrounds before returning to the daily grind back at their Joyner base.

“Darwin this weekend was a bit tricky with some small issues, including a faulty plug lead worth around ten dollars on cylinder number five of my Doorslammer during qualifying,” said Grant O’Rourke, whose business 1320 Racecars is a large supporter of the O’Rourke’s racing efforts alongside KTRANS WA, Thermal Edge Coating, Crow Cams and GRP Rods.

“While we were able to get it sorted in time for racing, Debbie and I did decide to sit out the third qualifying session due to the quick turnaround between the qualifying rounds, as we didn’t feel we could get the cars fixed in time without cutting corners.

“We were confident our earlier qualifying efforts would keep us in the field and we were right and I went on to face reigning champ John Zappia in the first round. Zap is always hard to beat and while in recent times reaction times has been a weakness for him, he was a lot sharper on the tree this weekend, despite my efforts too get the jump on him.”

Zappia took the win over Grant O’Rourke courtesy of the first ‘5.80’ second pass for the weekend against O’Rourke’s 6.687 second/189.60mph effort and would later take victory in the Top Doorslammer final against a red lighting Stuart Bishop.

For Debbie, it was tyre smoke that would put an end to her Top End efforts.

“This was my second trip to Hidden Valley Raceway and I had been really looking forward to getting back on track,” said Debbie O’Rourke.

“Unfortunately we smoked the tyres just after the 60 foot marker in my first round run against Steve Ham, handing Steve the win on his way to taking out the Top Alcohol final against Gary Phillips.

“While the weekend might not have gone how we would have liked, we do come away with some more valuable experience at this track that we don’t get to come to very often and now have the chance to enjoy some time together in the beautiful Top End.

“We will certainly be making the most of this opportunity, with our son Josh and his friend who drove up with Grant travelling back by plane Sunday in time for the end of school holidays, leaving Grant and I to enjoy a fishing trip and some R and R before I head back to work and he starts the journey back home in the truck.”

Grant will be back on-track for the Spring Nationals across October 4-5 at Adelaide International Raceway, while Debbie will next hit the quarter-mile for the Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway from October 31 to November 2.


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