Victor Bray takes dramatic win with double-shot PB in Perth

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Queensland drag racing veteran Victor Bray has taken victory against local hero and reigning champion John Zappia in a breakthrough appearance for the Perth Motorplex’s Goldenstates event at the weekend.

The win was the icing on the cake for the Kallangur tomato farmer who is one of the most well-known identities of the sport, with the six-time champion also setting down two ‘five second’ elapsed time performances on his way to the winners’ circle.

The ‘five second’ elapsed time for the quarter-mile is a benchmark all Top Doorslammer racers strive for and many have surpassed over recent years, with Bray ecstatic to break through for the very first time on Saturday night with a 5.960 second pass during his semi-final win against Pat Carbone, after he had earlier dispatched Maurice Fabietti in the first round.

The 55 year old then laid down another in the final round, with his 5.953 second pass at 243.24mph boosted by a reaction time of just 0.097s (compared to Zappia’s 0.202s) seeing him beat five-time champion Zappia on his home turf while propelling himself to second in the national point standings.

Bray was understandably jubilant with the result, which is even more impressive when it is considered he was forced to miss the second round of qualifying when an engine change was necessitated by a damaged rear main bearing.

“What an event, it doesn’t get much better than this!” grinned Victor Bray.

“Those five second passes have been a while coming – we have been so close but so far on so many occasions so I am just elated to have finally shook that monkey off my back.

“To top that off with a win against Zappia was just the icing on the cake, it really does feel terrific and I am so happy for the team after all of their hard work and dedication.

“With Zappia and others in this category really stepping it up over the past years and the growing entry lists, the competitiveness in Top Doorslammer is so incredibly tight today.

“We have had to really step up while still maintaining a focus on consistency, and I think now we have got the right direction underway which is pretty exciting!

“In addition to my team, I am dedicating this win to the late Mick Atholwood, my former crew chief and a real legend in this great sport of ours who passed away earlier this year. He was such a big part of our team for so long, so this one is for him.”

Bray wasn’t the only one happy with his results, with his and his team’s facebook pages lighting up with comments and wall posts of congratulations both during and after the event.

The first messages started appearing when Bray ensured his place amongst the highly competitive race field of just eight competitors from 18 entrants – the second highest number of entrants for the category in the event’s history.

“I have been blown away by the support on my facebook page and the page for Team Bray Racing – the messages of support really started pouring in once we set the first five second pass and then went to a whole new level with the event win. It was overwhelming and humbling to see the reaction, it made it all the more sweet,” said Victor Bray.

While Victor triumphed, his son Ben Bray – also a Top Doorslammer competitor and previous champion – had a difficult weekend with his new engine combination seeing him overpowering the track and failing to qualify for the field when his Sidchrome Monaro hit the centre-line (a disqualification offence) during his final qualifying attempt.

“I am so happy for dad this weekend to not only run his first five but to punch out two of them and then take the event win – what a great result for our team and for our whole family,” said Ben Bray.

“The new engine combination in my car has a lot of power and I suffered from tyre shake all weekend making it a difficult outing for me, but with more testing planned before Christmas I am hoping we can have it under control soon.”

Following the weekend’s event, round one winner Peter Kapiris leads the ANDRA Top Doorslammer points on 160 with Victor Bray in second on 122 points. Reigning champion John Zappia is in third on 118 points while Ben Bray is in 5th with 84 points following his semi-final appearance at round one. It was the first time the 28 year old had failed to qualify for the Goldenstates event since he started competing in Top Doorslammer in 2001.

The Team Bray Racing outfit will not be resting up following the weekend’s event, with the team now heading to Adelaide for the one year celebration of the reopening of the Adelaide International Raceway dragstrip. For more information on this event, please visit  The next ANDRA championship round for Top Doorslammer will held at Calder Park on 16-17 February 2013.

Full results from this weekend’s Top Doorslammer racing are available at

photo – Phil Luyer – High Octane Photos

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