The points chase heats up for Clayton

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The QLD Tyre and Retreading Team of Greg and Kim Clayton head to Benaraby raceway for the eighth round of the Aeroflow Sportsman Championship this weekend with the distinct goal to gain as many points in the championship chase as they can.

Clayton started the season with a win at the Australian Nationals in 2012, which inspired the team to make a full assault on the national championship. However, the challenges of running a unique engine combination leaves them somewhat isolated for advice.

“We run a completely different combination to everyone else with our big block 440 Chrysler wedge engine. We can’t just buy a Hemi tune up which makes it difficult to tune and race sometimes. People often ask what kind of engine we run because they can’t work it out at first glance. We run aftermarket Indy cylinder head components that we have had to refine and develop to further meet the demands of our racing.”

Despite the lack of easily accessible tuning data, Clayton refers back to what his engines have achieved on the native ground in the USA as a point of reference for what can be expected here in Australia.

“These engines have run 5.60 in the USA way back in early 2000 in a Top Alcohol Dragster, so we always knew that we could be competitive , but it would mean learning things the hard way for our own set up over here. But as hard as that has been, there’s a deep sense of achievement when it all goes to plan, because we know we’ve done it on our own!”

“Having said that, we always have fun at a race. My wife and brothers all work on the car while our two-and-a-half year old daughter tags along and we always go away from an event looking at the positives and what we can improve for next time, which I guess is why we have become competitive. Add to that the little extra, that my crew chief is my little brother and he’s never afraid to wind the power up and see if he can give me a fright!”

Clayton was also quick to give credit to a number of industry names that have availed themselves for the QTR Team’s cause, with help coming from across the Tasman as well.

“We must thank all who have support us, our major sponsor QTR and people like Steven Ham, Ken Lowe and Camp Stanley have always offered advice and help when ever needed. So we need to keep going and winning to repay them at the end of the season. We have even had a company from NZ offer to help freight the car to the Adelaide round in August if we get that far, so with that sort of support, who knows what may happen?”

The Benaraby Nationals begin July 20 at Benaraby Raceway, just outside the mining boom town of Gladstone in Central QLD.

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