Team Bray Racing hopes to be poised to strike heading into the third round of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer title chase in Perth (1 and 2 March) following a satisfying Slamfest Series appearance in Portland at the weekend.
The second round of the 2013 Slamfest Series saw a flurry of trades for the Portland track record in front of a 3000-strong crowd, with Victor Bray just one of three drivers to rewrite the record books across the day on his way to a semi-final appearance.
"In the first round of racing I was able to reset the track record with a 4.078 second effort, backed up by my qualifying time of 4.160 seconds. That took the record off Russell Pavey, who had reset the track record to 4.145 seconds during his qualifying run," said Victor Bray.
"John Zappia – who went on to win the event - was able to run quicker in his first round showing against Ben (Bray), however he didn't have the qualifying result at that point to back it up, so I held on to it for that round until later he was able to go faster.
"In my semi-final I faced Peter Kapiris - last round's winner and at that point the series leader - however we stepped up the tune up looking for a few more hundredths and overpowered the track about 200 feet into the run.
"While that was disappointing we ran very consistent results throughout the day and the information we were able to gather provides us with a good baseline with which to head to Perth."
For Ben Bray in particular, the event provided a valuable opportunity to battle the rear-end demons which have plagued his Sidchrome-sponsored machine for the past few rounds.
"We hit the track during the non-compulsory test session to gain some crucial data following all of the changes we have made to the rear-end of the car since Heathcote's round," said Ben Bray.
"We made some small adjustments following that run and were able to take it down the track pretty straight in the first qualifying session, before making some more changes ahead of the first round where we took on Zappia.
"I was very happy with how the car ran during that round – it drove straight, it didn't shake, and it felt good. We had older tyres on so it was a little down on speed, but overall things are looking much better and that is a great feeling heading into Perth."
After taking the event win from Kapiris with a 4.015 second pass over the Victorian's 4.322s effort, West Australian John Zappia now leads the 2013 Slamfestseries by 15 points. The track record battle also ended with Zappia, who ran a 4.016 second pass in his semi-final to 'back up' his previous effort and set the record at 4.065 seconds; before then re-writing it courtesy of his final result.
Team Bray Racing will now head West for round three of the 2012/2013 ANDRA Top Doorslammer title chase as part of the Perth Motorplex's Westernationals(March 1 and 2). Before they get on track for race day however the team will undertake a test day on the Wednesday at the Kwinana facility, allowing the team to continue to build on the progress they have made in Portland.
Full results from the South Coast Raceway Portlandevent can be found at teambrayracing.com/slamfest-results.html
The 2013 Slamfest Series will be held over six plus rounds in 2013, with the next round to be held at Gladstone's Benaraby Raceway on Saturday 29 June. For more information on the Series, please visit www.slamfest.com.au or www.facebook.com/SlamfestAustralia.