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Article Date: 6 June 2011

The stage has been set for a stunning Castrol EDGE Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway this coming weekend with some incredibly quick passes being recorded at the Winters Warmup.

A number of drivers, several of whom have had indifferent seasons got down the race track with great form and conditions are looking good for the 44th running of the annual Castrol EDGE-backed extravaganza.

Ben Bray in the Sidchrome Monaro has put his hand up to be among the top of the Top Doorslammer brigade firing down the Willowbank quarter-mile with a 5.88 at 244.52mph.

This is just outside the current national record of 5.80 set by John Zappia.

The Australian Pro Stock racers are considered world leaders in the level of technology and speed being extracted from their machines and after last year’s record breaking Castrol EDGE Winternationals the category is settling for another classic – which could even see a world record fall.

Competitors at the weekend were sitting just three one-hundredths away from the national record – currently held by John Barbagallo. Andrew Stavroulakis (Dodge) and Jason Grima (Ford Mustang) both established 7.06 second runs. The eyes of the Willowbank Raceway will be on the Pro Stock field when they take to the track for their opening qualifier on Friday.

Gary Phillips in his Top Alcohol Funny Car approached his national record with a 5.56 second run at 250 mph. Phillips is always strong at Willowbank, especially when the Winternationals roll around.

Of arguably the bravest competitors to approach the Willowbank Christmas Tree, Mark Drew has delivered one of the fastest runs ever seen by a Harley Davidson Top Fuel bike – he established a 6.59 second pass, which holds him in good stead for next weekend.

Meantime, in the Rocket Allstars categories, there were several standouts as well. Two drivers managed to eclipse the track record – and this was just the warmup – with the serious business to come next weekend:

Rod Harvey in Super Compact was under the national record in his Toyota Celica, setting a 6.432 second pass at 233.02mph, whilst Greg Fowler bested the track record in the highly competitive Super Sedan category, taking his Pontiac GXP down the quarter in 6.989 seconds at 198 miles per hour.

Raceway Managing Director, Steve Bettes, says the performances over the weekend point towards the 44th Castrol EDGE Winternationals being the best yet.

“With the speed these guys were obtaining over the weekend, I fully expect that we’ll see a number of records go at the Castrol EDGE Winternationals,” he said. “Conditions across the weekend were perfect for drag racing and we’re hopeful of similar come next weekend.

“The stage is set perfectly for the Winters. Competitor numbers are very strong right across the board, ticket sales have been exceptional and the overall interest from the drag racing community is at an absolute high – we cannot wait for that first pass on Friday morning!”

The Castrol EDGE Winternationals is an entertainment extravaganza held annually across the Queen’s Birthday weekend and is expected to provide an economic injection of millions of dollars into the South East Queensland region.

For the first time in 2011 – eliminations will be held on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday Monday.

Children aged 13 and under are able to gain free admission to the Raceway during the Castrol EDGE Winternationals, and students with ID are able to gain discounted entry. One-day, two-day and full-event passes are all available – for more information, to purchase tickets and for schedules, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au

Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility, hosting year-round racing including four ANDRA Pro Series rounds per year including the Castrol EDGE Winternationals. For more information, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au


Feature racing: Top Fuel, Top Doorslammer, Top Alcohol, Pro Stock, Top Bike, Pro Stock Motorcycle

Also racing from: Lifestyle Floorcoverings Competition, Lifestyle Floorcoverings Super Stock, nsane.net.au Super Compact, Competition Bike, Allstar Batteries Supercharged Outlaws, Knijff Earthmoving Modified, Powercruise Super Sedan, Speed Elec/Prime Signs Super Street, Modified Bike, Donnelly Blasting Services Junior Dragster and Neptunes Pool Care Super Gas.

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