Australian Drag Racing Legend Gary Phillips has claimed yet another ANDRA Pro Series Top Alcohol crown, taking his championship tally to sixteen.
Consistency was the key for Phillips again this season as the Lucas Oils team claimed two top qualifiers, three top speeds, two low ET’s and new national speed records bringing the bonus points that made the difference in the end.
“How good is this!” said an ecstatic Phillips after the reality began to sink-in of yet another crown.
“I never thought in a million years that we’d ever have this many championships but to have the fastest and quickest alcohol car in the country and fifteen championships in the class is beyond anything we ever dreamed!”
The quarter mile veteran was quick to give credit to his family, crew and backers for what was a championship on a knife edge right up to the final race.
“I share this championship with Debbie and Cheyne, all of the crew that we have around the country and of course, Lucas Oil, who are not just our major sponsors, but partners in our racing efforts. I know they’re proud of us but I reckon we’re even more proud to carry their logo on our cars. It’s an absolute privilege,” he said.
The latest championship makes it three out of the last four years for Phillips who also holds the honour of the only racer to have won seven consecutive titles in any class of the sport. However, Phillips rates this one as one of the hardest to attain.
“There were some nervous moments there at times, putting the car into the sand in Perth after resetting the national speed record and becoming the first alcohol car to run a 5.4, and then not qualifying at the Winters after being a runner up and running yet another 5.4 at the previous meeting. Nothing is guaranteed in this sport and even though we’ve had a great run with sixteen titles between Top Alcohol and Top Doorslammer, the elation seems as big as it was when we won our first title back in 1991.”
Gary would also like to acknowledge Champion Spark Plugs for their valued support throughout the years.
The Lucas Oils team will now jump ship from the Top Alcohol Funny Car into the Studebaker Doorslammer to rejoin the Slamfest eighth-mile series that will cover over nine thousand kilometres from home base in Brisbane to race at Townsville and Gladstone in Queensland’s north and Darwin in the Northern Territory, over four weeks. The Lucas Oils team currently sits third in points for the series.