The supercharged, methanol burning Funny Cars and Dragsters of Top Alcohol return to Hidden Valley Drag Strip this weekend led by none other than ANDRA Drag Racing Series leader and 16-time Top Alcohol Champion Gary Phillips.
The defending Aussie number one comes into Darwin on the back of a record setting 5.424 second run during his charge to a runners up placing at the Fuchs Winternationals in Queensland. If the weather conditions are right, fans in the Top End could see Phillips go very close to replicating the feat.
“We are going to try and repeat the performance levels that our Lucas Oils Funny Car ran at the Winternats,” said Phillips.
“The weather conditions at this time of year should suit us all better, because it is a month earlier than last year. The high humidity is still a horsepower killer but there are ways around that.
“After last year’s race the track management promised us increased lighting down at the finish line and into the braking area, that will play a big part in how fast we can run there.
“With this safety upgrade hopefully done, speeds in the mid 260 mile per hour (420 kph) range will be possible.”
Phillips credited to the Northern Territory Government as he looks forward to racing in front of the raucous Darwin crowd at a complex he describes as “world class”.
“The venue up in Darwin is great, the NT government really have made this facility world class, and the track preparation is as good as anywhere.
“Last year this race had a huge crowd and the spectators up there are into their drag racing, they really do let you know you are welcome and appreciate fast close runs.”
Race goers will be treated to a full eight car field featuring a who’s who of Top Alcohol including Steven Reed, Steven Ham, John Cannuli, Debbie O’Rourke and Fuchs Winternationals winner Jon Sting joining locals Scott MacLean and Nathan Coles.
“They all have their eye on the ultimate prize, that being the end of season title of Australian Top Alcohol Champion,” added Phillips.
“The top five in points so far this year will be there as well as a few others with more than a chance to have a say in the outcome. It is a very competitive class.”
Top Alcohol will be joined on track by the flame throwing Top Fuel Motorcycles and the fastest sedans in Australia as Top Doorslammer, led by six-time champ John Zappia, makes it’s ANDRA Drag Racing Series debut at Hidden Valley.
Gates open at 5pm on Friday July 11 and 2:30pm on Saturday July 12. Top Alcohol, Top Fuel Motorcycle and Top Doorslammer are expected to be on track from approximately 6pm.