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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Bray Wins G.I.L. Australian Nationals with A Twist

By Rob Oberg
Photo by Jeremy Reimann/Carl Witt 

Ben Bray waits in the staging lanes on his way to the Australian Nationals championship. Photo by Jeremy Reimann/Carl Witt
Ben Bray waits in the staging lanes on his way to the Australian Nationals championship.
Photo by Jeremy Reimann/Carl Witt

January 20, 2002 - In an extraordinary performance at the 2002 Global Info-Links Australian Nationals held at Willowbank Raceway last night, the highly competitive Top Doorslammer category fell not to six times Australian Champion, Victor Bray, but to his seventeen year old son, Ben. Victor had in fact failed to qualify for a Top Doorslammer event for the first time in his career after problems getting a new combination in his own Castrol Chevy sorted out in time trials. Watching his son claim the Australian Nationals at his first attempt certainly went a long way to soothing the disappointment of missing the field himself. 

After qualifying the Castrol '56 Customline in seventh position with a career personal best time of 6.481 seconds at a speed of 218.98 mph, Ben drove the races of his young life to defeat second qualifier Kym Petterwood in the first round, number three qualifier Brett Stevens in the semi final and number four qualifier Gary Phillips in the final to win the prestigious title at only his second Top Doorslammer event. The win proved extremely popular with the huge crowd on hand at Willowbank Raceway who roared their approval when the win light came on in Ben's lane to signal his victory by the barest of margins over the multi national champion in the final. 

Ben Bray's victory establishes him as the youngest winner of an Australian National Drag Racing Association Group One (Professional Category) event in the history of the sport. Overseas records are being checked to see if he is now in fact the youngest professional category drag racing winner in the world. 

Bray won each of his races over faster cars through lightning fast reactions on the starting line, forcing each of the more fancied drivers to unsuccessfully play catch up all the way down the quarter mile drag strip. 

"How good was that?" a proud father Victor Bray asked after the final. "Ben kept his cool and did absolutely everything asked of him in the car. His reaction times put so much pressure on the other guys they couldn't catch him. What was looking like the worst weekend ever for us just got a whole lot better." 

Accepting the coveted trophy Ben said, "I can't believe I've won the Nationals. I've got to thank Mum and Dad for giving me the drive and all my crew guys. They've all worked their butts off this weekend and things just went our way. Thanks to Castrol and all our sponsors we were able to be here and make this happen." 

The Bray's Castrol Team now heads for New Zealand where Victor will be contesting a series of four match races against Brett Stevens. The next championship event for the team will be at Perth's Quit Motorplex on March 2 and 3. 

For further information go to www.victorbray.com

Rob Oberg
Oberg Motor Sports Marketing
oberg@eisa.net.au

 

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