TEAM BRAY HEADS TO 41ST AUSTRALIAN NATIONALS
Victor, runner-up in Top Doorslammer in Sydney, and Ben Bray have won four of the last five Nationals in Doorslammer and are planning to keep the quarter mile ball rolling, despite a massive offensive from their Doorslammer and Top Alcohol opponents. Victor reckons the competition will be stronger than ever at Willowbank with 16 Doorslammer and 14 Alcohol cars entered.
The good thing for the legions of Team Bray fans is that team has found the source of the electronic gremlins that plagued Vic and Ben's Sydney campaign and has also been able to rescue valuable data from the Sydney runs.
"We've been doing a lot of work to make sure everything is alright with the cars before the Nationals," Victor said. "The trouble in Sydney was the special program we use to gather data was playing up, but we've sorted that out now.
"We'll really need the data after every run at Willowbank because my old mate Johnny Zappia is going to be really stout and there'll be trouble for all of us if he starts off running the sort of numbers he ran in Sydney.
"We need to have a good run, especially with the Castrol Edge Monaro, but my car and the Funny Car also need to make good starts so we're pretty keen to get some times in early. The weather's looking good and the track is usually pretty stout this time of year and with big fields entered for Doorslammer and Alcohol, qualifying is going to be very important."
Ben Bray won the Top Alcohol title last season, in his first full tilt at the championship but Victor said Top Alcohol is only going to get harder to win, as danger man Gary Phillips has just bought a new car.
"Yeah, we should all enjoy Top Alcohol while we can because the news is out that Brisbane’s 12-time Australian Top Alcohol champion Gary Phillips will switch from his traditional dragster combination into the Funny Car ranks this season.
It now seems the 41st Australian Nationals may very well provide the last stand for his dragster. Phillips is no stranger to the Funny Car ranks having secured his first couple of Australian Championships in the popular Top Alcohol drag racing machine.
All events are important to Team Bray to win and the Nationals won't be any different, Victor said.
"The Nationals is a prestige event and I think me and Benny have won four of the last five Doorslammer crowns there so we need to win there and score points, especially Ben; we don't want to let this season slip away like the last one.
"The Sydney data showed that our lock-up clutches were playing up; we know we have a direction with them but we still don't have them worked out 100 per cent, so we'll be keeping our eyes on them. They weren't working as well in Sydney as they were at the 'Winters'; there's still plenty to learn.
"The Monaro is fast, we're just chasing consistency, but we've got some good data to go by and the weather and conditions at the Nationals won't be much different to the Winternationals where all three cars were fast, so were hoping to run well."