Team Bray Racing's Ben Bray has claimed Top Doorslammer victory during the ANDRA Spring Nationals held this weekend at Adelaide International Raceway.
'The Kid' faced off against defending Top Doorslammer champion John Zappia in the final, with his 5.170 second performance at 211 miles per hour seeing him take the win over the West Australian's 5.20s/222mph effort.
The Queenslander had to fight every step of the way for the win, starting with an all-night complete engine rebuild necessitated by a torched piston following Friday evening's qualifying.
With that accomplishment in the bag, Bray headed off Maurice Fabietti in the first round in the closet race of the weekend, only to have to borrow a spare left hand door from him for the final after his own came off in the braking area following his semi-final win against in-form Stuart Bishop.
"It was fantastic to take the win in the first ANDRA Top Doorslammer championship event held at Adelaide International Raceway since 2000, especially after the blood, sweat and tears everyone on the team poured in over the two days," said Ben Bray, who started competing in Top Doorslammer in 2001 but had previously tasted Adelaide success in the junior dragster bracket.
"It was an exciting weekend that was for sure – from the all-night effort to rebuild the engine to the nail biting race with Maurice plus having to borrow a door for the final; Lady Luck certainly had her fun with us from start to finish during what just may be the final hurrah for the Monaro in her current all-black livery.
"To take the win this weekend was just phenomenal, it didn't come easy but that just makes it even sweeter for me, the team and everyone who jumped in to help us this weekend!"
It wasn't just TBR who encountered unexpected surprises during the Spring Nationals, with the entire Top Doorslammer field voting to postpone the second qualifying session to Saturday after dew set in on Friday evening.
With Ben's engine rebuild calling for all hands on deck, both Ben and Victor sat out Saturday 1st session to ensure the engine was in good shape, before the pair returned to the track and faced off against each other for the third and final qualifying run that afternoon, with Ben beating his father to the finish line in a sign of things to come.
"Stuart was certainly on fire this weekend, setting a new track record (5.076s) on his first ever pass at the Adelaide drag strip and then making it to the semi-final against Ben after we faced off in the first round," said six-time Top Doorslammer champion Victor Bray.
"While it wasn't the result I wanted, it was the next best thing seeing Benny claim the win – and after such a chaotic start to his weekend it was just what the doctor ordered for the team.
"Having said that, he now has a 2-1 advantage over me when it comes to Bray versus Bray showdowns in Adelaide, so we will have to make sure we come back soon so I can level that playing field again!" added a laughing Victor Bray.
While the day was ultimately one of celebration for TBR, it was also one tinged with sadness after it was announced that morning that drag racing identity Alan 'Fast Al' Eichmann had passed away following a battle with cancer.
"Fast Al was a big part of Rob Tucker Racing and Wayne Daley Motorsport for years, and was well known around in the drag racing community nationwide," said Victor Bray.
"Everyone at the event was saddened to hear of his passing, and Team Bray Racing sends our condolences to Al's family and friends as well as Rob Tucker Racing and Wayne Daley Motorsport at this tragic time."
Held over 19 and 20 September 2013, the ANDRA Spring Nationals at Adelaide International Raceway were run over the 1000 foot distance due to the length of the facility's braking area. For full results from the weekend, please visit http://teambrayracing.com/results/?c=1. The ANDRA Top Doorslammer championship chase will now head to Sydney Dragway, where it will conclude at 'The Nationals' over 1-3 November 2013.
While Ben Bray was tasting victory in Adelaide, at TBR's home track of Willowbank Raceway more than 200 racers were taking to the track for the annual Brisbane Jamboree.
Many of those competitors were seeking to challenge Ben's world record, set in March of this year when aboard his TBR Nissan Altima he re-wrote the record for the quickest four cylinder 'doored' car in the world running an SR20 motor with a 6.807 second performance at 202.39 miles per hour at the Queensland facility. The effort also saw them lauded as the quickest four cylinder entry outright in Australia.
At the close of racing for the two-day automotive lifestyle event, Ben was proud to see his records still standing.
"I was disappointed to miss out on the Brisbane Jamboree, but when it came down to it my passion and my loyalty was always to Top Doorslammer first," said Ben Bray.
"With the win in Adelaide this weekend it is the icing on the cake to know I still hold the World and Australian records that I set back at Willowbank Raceway in March, despite some valiant attempts at the Jamboree this weekend!"
Team Bray Racing will now head to Sydney Dragway for Burnout Mania on 7 October 2013, where Ben will test out his brand-new burnout car ahead of Team Bray Entertainment's annual appearance at the Bathurst 1000 across October 10-13.