Team Bray Racing's Ben Bray is faced with a race against time as he works to be ready for this Friday and Saturday's Santo's Cranes Super 3 Extreme Drag Race event (29/30 March) at home-track Willowbank Raceway.
The 29 year old is in the middle of what was to be a three-event program aboard his Nissan Altima; as part of an overall goal of achieving a 'six second' pass by or at April's Sydney Jamboree.
However, Ben has been forced to work against the clock after breaking an engine wrist pin during testing ahead of last weekend's APSA Pro Street shootout – the first of what was to be three events contested over three consecutive weekends.
The breakage meant he was forced to sit out Saturday's event, with the missed track time upping the pressure for the three-time ANDRA champion this weekend as he looks to make progress towards his Jamboree goal.
"When we broke the wrist pin, it meant that we couldn't continue with testing or get on track for the APSA Pro Street Shootout the next day, which was definitely very disappointing," said Ben Bray.
"Now that the parts have arrived today thanks to Scott Porter and Mick's Motorsport, we have at least 18 hours of work ahead of us to take the engine out of the car, pull it down and rebuild it, all ahead of a Friday kick-off - it is certainly going to be frantic, and we have about a 50/50 chance of pulling it off, so hopefully some Easter luck can come our way!"
As the event is not featuring the Top Doorslammer category, Ben will be joined on the entry list by Team Bray Racing crew chief Graeme Frawley this Good Friday and Easter Saturday.
Frawley - a ten-time Willowbank Raceway track champion who also boasts four national championships in the Modified bracket – was a regular fixture at the Ipswich drag racing facility before he joined up with TBR.
"Obviously we are not working Graeme hard enough since he is going off racing this weekend at Willowbank Raceway," laughed Victor Bray.
"I am looking forward to watching both Ben and Graeme hit the track, and also to seeing the three-round format in action for the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol brackets.
"There has been a lot of talk amongst the racers about the new format, so I am really interested to see how it plays out once everyone is on track.
"In my opinion, I think it is a step in the right direction and I think it would be great to see it introduced at a Top Doorslammer round as the format really lends itself to the oversubscribed fields our class tends to attract.
"It is such a shame when we have entry lists bursting with big names, only to see half of them or more sitting idly in the pits come race day due to there being only eight spots available on race day.
"Ensuring the entire field gets a chance when it counts – during race rounds – means the spectators get what they want, and the drivers and teams are rewarded for all their efforts and pre-event preparation. Having said that though, I am not sure exactly what best incarnation of a three round format would be best, so it will be good to see how this one works out this weekend."
Each day of the Santo's Cranes Super 3 Extreme Drag Race event will kick off at 4.00pm, with finals for all brackets from 9.00pm. For full event information and schedules, visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au.