Smiles all-round as Solara breaks cover at Jamboree

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The weekend’s Brisbane Jamboree at Willowbank Raceway represented not only the 27th running of the world’s largest sport compact drag racing event, but also the debut of the much-anticipated Ben Bray’s TBR Gulf Western Oils Toyota Solara.

While the debut for the brand-new car may not have gone the way the team would have hoped, that didn’t stop the fans lining up with grins on their faces to see the new entry in the pits, nor could it discourage them from cheering in the stands during its two burnout appearances.

With car preparation issues in the lead-up to the weekend’s event, the TBR team pulled a lot of all-nighters to ensure Ben and his brand-new machine made it to the prestigious event. Saturday’s first day of proceedings saw new car issues with the ECU plague TBR, before the converter then also created problems which saw the car unable to roll-out for Saturday qualifying. Event organiser Collin Willshire came to the rescue with a loaned converter and after the team worked all-night, they were able to come out on Sunday.

As a brand-new car with absolutely zero runs down the track to its name, the first run was a burnout and launch to gather more data and check all systems before it was hoped an entire pass would be attempted. However, ultimately the decision had to be made to do a similar run for its second appearance.

“I am a bit disappointed that we weren’t able to put on the show I wanted to for the fans at Jamboree – it is such a great event and I had really hoped we would be able to take it down the track and repay all our family, friends, sponsors and fans for their support – especially this list

– Jamie and Kat Paige et chassis for then endless support ,

– Brett , Jackson for all the late nights

– Rod , Nat , Terry for never giving up on me

– Big thanks to Glenn from Dodson Motorsport for getting it to run so good in a very short period.

– Ben Hunt For all his advice along the way

– Phill Obrian , Collin Willsure , Rocky Rehayem and the whole pac performance team for the help.

– STIX from quick bits,

– Andrew Serlie for leading and helping with everything I needed

– My family for the support and help especially my mum and dad

– My wife and kids for allowing me to be away from them to live this dream and just show me 100% support all the Time

And everyone that has helped me get where I am with this car I appreciate it more than you all know,” Ben Bray said.


“Having said that, I am once again blown away by the support of the fans – we were constantly inundated over the weekend and even though we weren’t able to take the car down the strip for them, they cheered for the burnouts all the same.

“There really aren’t any better fans than ours I don’t think – I am constantly humbled by their continuous support and enthusiasm for what we do, even when things don’t pan out the way they probably would like!

“A big thanks also has to go to Gulf Western Oil – they allowed me to step up and bring this machine to Sport Compact. When it is ready, we will be able to play with the big boys of this scene and hopefully, we can do Gulf Western and all of our sponsors proud.

“After thrashing away for the whole weekend and putting those couple of test hits on it, it is really sounding awesome and I can’t wait to see what it delivers once we get on top of the new set-up.

“We are really so thankful to our sponsors, to the fans all over the globe and of course to everyone who has helped us out during this process – we wouldn’t be putting passes down the track and getting to as many events as we have been without their support.”

Team Bray Racing will next be on-track for the East Coast Nationals at Sydney Dragway, to be held across November 13-15. For event information, visit

Fans wishing to follow Team Bray can also follow them on Facebook at, or interact with the team on instagram (#gulfwesternoil).

– By TBR Media

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