Willowbank News and Media
BROTHER V BROTHER UNDER BLUE SKIES AS 47TH FUCHS WINTERNATIONALS CLOSES IN STYLE
Article Date: 8 June 2014
The 47th FUCHS Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway has enjoyed four days of great on-track action under beautiful blue skies.
Today’s race day awarded winners across a host of brackets, including professional brackets Top Fuel (Damien Harris), Top Alcohol (Jon Sting), Top Doorslammer (John Zappia), Pro Stock (Aaron Tremayne), Top Fuel Motorcycle (Chris Matheson) and Pro Stock Motorcycle (Luke Crowley). For full results from the FUCHS Winternationals, please click here.
The Pro Stock bracket saw a sibling rivalry come to the boil during today’s race day, with brothers Aaron and Tryonne Tremayne facing off in the final for the Pro Stock bracket with the win eventually going to younger brother Aaron when his brother red-lit (jumped the start).
“This weekend was just unbelievable, I haven’t been to a race meeting this good in a long time, it was just fantastic,” said Aaron Tremayne.
“To face off against each other in a final, before we even race, we have already won, we are happy no matter who wins – but having said that heading into this final I told him he would have to push the tree hard to win, and he did!” laughed Aaron.
The Pro Stock bracket offered a host of action to spectators, including the quickest side-by-side Pro Stock pass in Australia between Aaron Tremayne (6.961s) and top qualifier Lee Bektash (6.965s) and a tug of war with the Australian elapsed time and speed records which saw Bektash emerge with the elapsed time record (6.960s) courtesy of his performance yesterday and the Tremayne brothers trading the mile per hour record back and forth today. While Aaron took the event win, his older brother was the last left standing when it came to the record with a 196.85 mile per hour effort (approx. 316.79km/h).
“To run together in the final at the Winternationals is just a dream come true, my crew and everyone works so hard and I couldn’t do this without them, what an awesome weekend,” said Tyronne Tremayne.
On his way to his Top Alcohol final berth against fellow Queenslander Jon Sting, Top Qualifier Gary Phillips blazed to the second fastest Top Alcohol elapsed time for the quarter-mile distance in the world and reset his own Australian Top Alcohol elapsed time record with a 5.424 second effort.
“We ran the second quickest time in the world and reset our own Australian record, but the big thing for us was that we ran 214 miles per hour to the half-track distance, which no one has ever done before so we are very proud of that one. This has been a fantastic event, the track was just perfect and the crowd were brilliant and really got behind us,” said the Hillcrest resident.
In an upset, Phillips shook the tyres in his Funny Car off the start light, allowing Jon Sting in one of only two ‘dragsters’ of the Top Alcohol field to streak ahead for the event win with a 5.589 -second pass at 250.88 miles per hour.
“This has been great, we have been racing for a very long time and this is definitely the pinnacle for us to win this event,” said Sting.
“We have a couple of new guys on the crew who have helped with consistency which was really important this weekend. We haven’t run for a year or so, so to come out and get a result like this is really exciting and I am dedicating this win to the late Peter May who passed away a few weeks before last year’s Winternationals, he was my partner in Modified and Competition days.”
In Top Fuel and Top Doorslammer the finals pitted West Australians against each other, with Damien Harris and Top Fuel debutant Anthony Begley facing off in Top Fuel and defending champion John Zappia and Daniel Gregorini going toe to toe in Top Doorslammer. The first WA v WA group one battle of the night saw six-time Top Doorslammer champion Zappia secure his forth Winternationals event win and his first under the banner of his car’s naming rights sponsor, FUCHS.
“This is the third year with FUCHS as the naming rights sponsor of the FUCHS Winternationals and our first win here, I guess it was third-time lucky,” said the FUCHS-sponsored racer.
“It is a special win, and to have Wayne Hoiles the CEO of FUCHS Australasia here was perfect and I was very pleased to present him with the trophy in thanks of all his support. My crew also deserve a lot of thanks, they worked very hard. It was an awesome event, the track was killer and the crowd and weather was just awesome.”
In Top Fuel, Damien Harris powered down the quarter-mile to take the event win ahead of Top Fuel debutant Anthony Begley in a flaming side-by-side pass that had the crowds on the edge of their seat.
“I am stoked for the (Rapisarda) family to get a Winternationals win, our result keeps Dobbo (Rapisarda Autosport International team-mate Allan Dobson) in the championship lead and allows us to claw back a few points from Phil Lamattina in the title hunt,” said Harris.
“The event was just amazing, the crowd and this magical weather just made for such a great show this weekend.”
On two-wheels, Top Fuel Motorcycle and Pro Stock Motorcycle provided plenty of action, with the defending champions Chris Matheson (TFM) and Luke Crowley (PSM) facing off against Graeme Morell and Maurice Allen respectively, with Crowley taking the Pro Stock Bike win courtesy of a superior reaction time while Matheson blazed ahead of Morell to take an easy 6.379-second victory despite an early shut-off.
“All my family came out to see me take this win so that was really great and I really have to thank them and my crew for all of their support – I busted just about everything in the truck this weekend but we made it through just and I am very happy to have the win, what a great event,” said Matheson.
For Crowley, the FUCHS Winternationals event win in Pro Stock Motorcycle sees him further establish his title lead.
“First of all, I have to say a big thanks to Willowbank Raceway – what a track to race on, we have been looking for killer numbers all year and what a track this was to come home to. We had a few niggling issues this weekend so we couldn’t run the big numbers as much but my crew worked really hard all weekend to get us ready and I am over the moon,” said Crowley.
Also on track today was racing for the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Series. A special story emerged in the Junior Dragster bracket, with Madison McClennan - Victor Bray’s granddaughter and Ben Bray’s niece - taking the event win in the bracket in only her third ever event.
It had already been a big weekend for the Team Bray Racing family, with Ben Bray experiencing a roll over in his Factory Xtreme Nissan Altima on Saturday, hitting the wall and rolling before coming to a stop on its roof. Bray walked to the ambulance, and was later transferred to hospital where he remains in a stable condition under observation as medical staff decide on a course of action regarding his recovery. By taking the event win, ‘Madi’ also claimed the Louie Rapisarda Trophy.
“It has been a big weekend and this is a very special win, I am very proud to have been able to get this win for my uncle Ben and my grandad, I can’t wait to get on track again,” said McClennan.
Also taking wins on track today were Kyle Putland (Competition), Clint George (Super Stock), Chris Hall (Super Compact), Daryn Schuster (Competition Bike), Rodney Hansen (Donnelly Blasting Services Supercharged Outlaws), Jess Turner (Knijff Earthmoving Modified), Rick Neilsen (Powercruise Super Sedan), Rob Winterburn (Prime Signs/Speed Elec Super Street), Joe Khoury (Modified Bike) and Dale O’Dwyer (Super Gas). For full results from the FUCHS Winternationals, please click here.
The FUCHS Winternationals is the largest championship drag racing event held outside of North America. Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility, located 45 minutes from Brisbane or just a short drive from Ipswich, offering a year-round program of events for the entire family. For more information including a full event calendar, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au
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