TBR endures character-building Nitro Up North

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The Gulf Western Oil-supported Team Bray Racing has pushed through a character-building weekend at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway at the weekend.

A pervasive electrical issue ensured the Gulf Western Oil TBR Corvette failed to make the eliminations field, with driver Ben Bray understandably frustrated with how things unfolded.

As always though the team refused to give up, and while they may not have made race day, work did not stop until the issue was solved – with a grudge match held against fellow Queensland Grant O’Rourke to prove it to the delight of a packed house.

“In the first qualifying session we missed the set-up and blew the tyres off, in the second we broke a blower belt. At that point I thought it may have been related to a tune-up issue, but it turned out we had an electrical problem and it was bugging us all weekend long,” Ben explained.

“In the third and final qualifier we backed it all off just to try and get a solid run and get in the field, but it wasn’t to be. The electrical problem flared up really bad, and 1.5 seconds into the run it created electrical mist which saw the supercharger to backfire.

“And that was that. We were on the outside looking in. When you blow the burst panel you are left with no horsepower and you just have to roll down the track – I can tell you that those seconds seemed like an eternity and by the end of it, I was pretty mad with frustration.

“Unfortunately, these things happen – sometimes in trying to go forward you end up going backwards and you can’t let that set you back for too long.

“While we weren’t in the mix for racing, we refused to give up – we went to work and got the problem fixed and even ran a grudge match against O’Rourke, punching out a 5.86 second pass at 251 miles per hour.

“While that time may not be something to cheer about usually, with the benchmark being 5.60s and us having earlier ran consistent 5.70s, after the dramas of qualifying the day before it was a step in the right direction.”

Now, the Gulf Western Oil Pro Slammer and its crew heads back to Brisbane, with plenty to do upon their return.

“Now, we regroup and look to make up for this at our next Pro Slammer round at the East Coast Nationals,” Ben said.

“In the meantime, my Toyota Solara and I have a date with the Brisbane Jamboree, so we will be working hard getting that ready to hopefully chalk up some wins for Gulf Western Oil and all of our fans.”

Before they head to Willowbank Raceway for the popular sports compact event across August 26-27, TBR will be appearing at the AgQuip show across August 22-24 in Gunnedah, New South Wales.

“We will be hitting the ground running after the four-day trip back from Darwin, that is for sure – not only do we have the Jamboree, but Team Bray Racing is also going to be proudly attending the AgQuip show for Gulf Western Oil, so it is going to be all hands on deck!” Ben said.

The Gulf Western Oil Pro Slammer will next be on-track for the East Coast Nationals, held at Sydney Dragway across November 4-5, 2017.

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