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Article Date: 12 June 2010

Day two of the Castrol EDGE Winternationals has seen a lucky escape for two sportsman competitors, high-emotion qualifying for the ANDRA Pro Series categories and a couple of records thrown in at Willowbank Raceway today.

Following this morning’s incident in the Supercharged Outlaws category where Neil Murphy and Paul Stephen walked away unhurt from a miraculous crash (more details below), the first two of four qualifying sessions for the Pro Series brackets got underway.

At this point, top qualified are Martin Stamatis (Top Fuel), John Zappia (Top Doorslammer), Gary Phillips (Top Alcohol), Chris Matheson (Top Bike), Peter Ridgeway (Pro Stock) and Peter Cochrane (Pro Stock Bike).

While all of the action from the Pro brackets had the crowds enthralled, a few runs in particular grabbed their attention, including the first ever 260 mile per hour pass in a Top Alcohol car set by Gary Phillips this afternoon (260.71mph, approx 417 kmh), and the quickest side-by-side motorcycle pass, set by Chris Matheson (6.106s) and Jay Upton (6.409s), with Matheson’s run, a personal best, also seeing him steal away the quickest individual mantle from Upton.

Before all the Pro Series action today however the crowd were on their feet for a different reason, with the second round of qualifying for the Supercharged Outlaws featuring a very lucky escape for competitors Neil Murphy from Kippa Ring and Paul Stephen from Raby in New South Wales.

The two collided in spectacular fashion when Stephen’s stationary Altered in the right lane was hit by the out of control Mustang of Murphy, who turned hard right and into Stephen after encountering extreme tyre shake.

Both drivers, visibly shaken but otherwise unharmed, were quick to praise the safety features of their cars, which were completely written off, following the incident.

For more information on this incident, please Click Here.

Tomorrow will see the ontrack action kick off from 8.30am with the Pro categories on track from 11.30am, including racing by V8 Supercar stars Greg Murphy and Russell Ingall for the Castrol EDGE V8 Supercar Shootout. Saturday will conclude at 7.00pm before Sunday’s finals day starts from 8.00am with Pro Series eliminations from 10.00am, with racing expected to conclude at 4.00pm (all Finals from 3.00pm).

The Castrol EDGE Winternationals is the largest drag racing event outside of the US and is the season finale for the 2009/2010 ANDRA Pro Series season. For more information, schedules or to purchase tickets, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au

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