Team Bray Racing’s Victor Bray has come oh-so-close to a final round win during the 2012/2013 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Season Finale with an Australian Nationals final appearance against eventual winner John Zappia.
The six-time back-to-back Doorslammer champion was in the box seat to take the win after getting the startline jump on the West Australian when his engine lifted the blower off the Sidchrome1957 Chevy allowing Zap through for the event win and the 2013 title.
Unfortunately for Team Bray, Victor’s final round battle wasn’t the only explosive action for the Queensland father and son outfit, with Ben Bray ushered out of proceedings early when his gearbox exploded during the second round of qualifying causing major damage to his transmission, drive line and tail shaft.
“What a full-on weekend we have had at Sydney Dragway for the season-ending Australian Nationals with no less than 19 Doorslammers on-track,” said Victor Bray.
“With just eight race day positions available and challengingly hot conditions during qualifying this event demanded everything of its racers from the very beginning and it didn’t get any easier from there.
“Facing off against my friend and then championship leader Peter Kapiris in the first round set the tone for an intense day of racing, and by taking the win I ensured that for Zappia to equal my record titles he would have to do no less than win the entire event.
“With a semi-final win against Andrew Sutton thanks to a hole shot I came to face Zap in the final, and with another hole shot in the bag I was ahead at the 800 foot mark until the nature of this wonderful and cruel sport saw the blower come off and Zappia recover the ground for the win.
“While I may not have taken the win, this has been one impressive event with a fantastic field and some great crowds, and I must send my congratulations to Zappia on his win and also to my friend Kapiris on a hard-fought season – if I had won the final he would have taken home the title by one point, so I am sorry I couldn’t get it done for you mate!
“It has certainly been a rewarding season for Team Bray and myself with three finals appearances and I have certainly felt that my friend, the late Mick Atholwood, has been riding along with us all year long, so everyone at Team Bray was very happy to see him announced as one of the first to be inducted into the ANDRA Hall of Fame in recent weeks.”
Thanks to his win this weekend, Zappia has claimed this year’s Doorslammer title ahead of Peter Kapiris and Victor Bray, making him the only racer to equal Victor’s record six consecutive titles in the bracket. Ben Bray finished the championship chase in fourth position, ahead of Maurice Fabietti in fifth place.
“Following a difficult first qualifying run I really felt like I was set for a good result during the second qualifier – the car was feeling quick and a look at the data shows we were on our way to a mid to low 5.9 second pass when at the 1000 foot mark the gear box exploded, causing terminal damage to the transmission and the drive line and tail shaft,” said Ben Bray.
“We all banded together to try and fix it in time for the third qualifier but it just wasn’t to be and so I missed out on a spot on race day.
“While I didn’t get the result I wanted it was still great to see dad make it all the way to the final round during what was a truly spectacular event overall – a Victor Bray versus John Zappia final round definitely had everyone talking with Sydney Dragway even running a Facebook poll on which of the pair was ‘cooler’ – we were of course pretty proud to see dad convincingly take the win when it came to that race!”