Top qualifying honours a highlight for MacLean’s East Coast Thunder

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Scott MacLean scorched to the top of the Pro Slammer qualifying list on the opening night of East Coast Thunder at Sydney Dragway, before a red light in eliminations put the Darwin driver out of the event.

MacLean‘s second qualifying session time of 5.65 seconds was the quickest of the 16 cars in attendance, while his speed of 255.48mph (411.14kmh) in the first session was the fastest speed recorded of the Pro Slammers too.

The performances followed several days of testing at Sydney Dragway, where the team found reliable performance from the MacLean Motorsport Holden Monaro thanks to the efforts of a hard working crew and the input of crew chief, Darren Mayer of DMPE INC.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “We have put a lot of effort, time, and hard work in and generally feel rewarded.

“The first run from Darren was on cue, he wanted to back it down and aimed for a 5.74 and we went a 5.72 to set a good time straight up.

“He stepped it up for Q2 and we went a 5.65, the car felt very smooth carrying the front wheels.”

MacLean said the mood in the pits was upbeat with the team focused and producing fantastic results.

“The positive vibe we have in the team was exceptional. The harmony is pretty good right here and we have a healthy car.

“Darren Mayer from DMPE puts a lot of hours in behind the scenes in the US to put our engine package together. A major part of that engine package is CP-Carrillo who have been supplying us with exceptional components that keep our engine strong. Behind that we have Boninfante Friction Inc who are looking after our clutch package which gives us the drive to get down the track.

“Thanks also to Cool Bananas, a local childcare centre who have jumped on board this weekend too and to Redline Plumbing who have been very supportive of MacLean Motorsport and assisting to get us to these rounds.”

Mayer credited a good luck message from daughter Olivia for helping with the magic tune up that produced the 5.65.

Unfortunately race day would not be quite as successful for the team. With a bye run in the first round MacLean backed up his qualifying form with a 5.71 second run.

In round two against the USA’s Frankie Taylor, a red light would unfortunately bring an early end to MacLean Motorsport’s day.

“It was a positive start for the day, Darren backed the car down a bit as the track had no temperature, so we wanted to make a safe pass but hopefully get lane choice for round two,” MacLean said.

“The car did everything it was meant to do and it was on target, it was good to have a bye run to feel that out, the crew and team were pumped to go rounds.

“As for round two, all we can put it down to is driver error. I got myself in a pickle and didn’t get it right – that is disheartening from a driver’s point of view, to let your team down. I need to change how I am doing things and improve that part of my driving.”

The team now readies to head for Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway on January 6 for a one day 400 Thunder event where they hope to make an impact on the winner’s circle.

“We’ll continue that crusade to try and get that elusive victory,” MacLean said.

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