Wet weather has brought a premature end to the 2013 FUCHS Winternationals campaign of Team Bray Racing at Willowbank Raceway today, with the fourth and final day of the event abandoned due to rain.
Team Bray Racing's Ben Bray was set to tackle a record Top Doorslammer field in eliminations today after qualifying seventh courtesy of his 5.937 second effort at 246.35 miles per hour, however the decision was made by track management at midday on Monday to abandon 'finals day' with points to be awarded for completed rounds as per the ANDRA rule book.
For Victor Bray, it is a bittersweet result as while the event is a favourite at his home track, the record bump spot for the bracket – seeing the field declared the quickest in Australian history – of 5.970 seconds did see him on the outside looking in , with championship rivals Peter Kapiris and John Zappia both able to qualify.
"With the Top Doorslammer bump spot seeing it as the quickest field in Australia it was extremely competitive out there, and with a 6.014 second I was just on the outside looking in unfortunately. We threw everything we could at it but unfortunately it just wasn't to be," said Victor Bray.
"It is always a shame to see an event end like this, especially when it is an event like this at our home track of Willowbank Raceway, we love racing at the Winternationals and putting on a show for the fans, so it is disappointing. But at the same time, with my position out of the qualifying field it is good for us in terms of the championship as far as keeping my point's gap from Peter Kapiris and John Zappia blowing out to much.
"From here we will just turn our attention to the next championship event in Adelaide, which is a track where we have lots of experience so we are feeling pretty confident we can be on the money – but in the meantime we have some busy times up ahead with the burnout cars in Darwin and Townsville for the V8 Supercars as well as two Slamfest rounds in Gladstone and Mackay, so there is no rest for us!"
Ben Bray said he was happy to have made some strong progress with his Sidchrome Top Doorslammer while delivering a highlight moment for the bumper crowd on Saturday by lining up with his dad during qualifying.
"I was really happy to see the car finally running straight down the quarter-mile and I was looking forward to a really good Winternationals race day after some fiercely competitive qualifying sessions saw me lock in seventh place on the qualifying sheets with a 5.937 second pass," said Ben Bray.
"It was fantastic to line up against dad on Saturday during qualifying, we have faced off against each other in the final of this event three times previously with two of those wins going to me, so it is always good fun for us and the crowd when we come to the line together and their reaction was just phenomenal."
As the biggest event of the year at my home track I was looking forward to getting out there but instead now we will get back to the workshop and get prepared for the busy months coming up!"
Also on track across the weekend were Victor's son-in-law and grandson Dean and Josh McClennan in Supercharged Outlaws and Junior Dragster respectively, with McClennan Senior punching out a 6.60s and 6.70s performance in his first two qualifying passes, before a blower restraint got caught in the injector hat on his final pass ahead of a first round loss. For Josh McClennan, enjoying his last season in Junior Dragster this year, a break-out saw him suffer a third round loss after qualifying 16th from the field of 46 racers in his bracket. The 16year old is hoping that next year's Winternationals will see him lining up against his dad in Supercharged Outlaws ahead of a hopeful Top Doorslammer seat alongside 'Papa' in the years to come.
From Willowbank Raceway the Team Bray Racing trailers will head back to the Kallangur workshop to be packed ready to leavefor this weekend's Darwin V8 Supercar event where the TBR burn-out cars will be on-track for the fans' entertainment.
The Darwin event is the first in a string of events coming up for the popular north Brisbane outfit, with performances at other V8 Supercar events also on the cards, as well as two rounds of the Slamfest Eighth Mile championship in Gladstone and Mackay all before the next round of the ANDRA championship in Adelaide across 20 and 21 September 2013.