Return to Willowbank promises Top Doorslammer thrills

A new racing surface has Australian Top Doorslammer Championship teams excited for the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals, taking place this weekend at Willowbank Raceway.

The ultra-smooth concrete drag strip received its final grind just a few weeks ago, resulting in a near perfect track for the eight Top Doorslammers in attendance at the season finale. Additional upgrades to Willowbank Raceway have also been completed, including spectacular LED track lighting.

Since then, track preparation teams have been hard at work bringing the surface into race-ready condition, with some teams getting an early look during the Winters Warm Up last weekend.

Championship leader Russell Taylor, Jack Danaher and Rob Harrington made test runs, giving them a head start on the competition to come.
Taylor’s Camaro was the quickest of the trio, making some 5.6-second laps down Willowbank Raceway and securing some quality data ahead of his attempt to win his first Australian Top Doorslammer Championship. Taylor sits on top of the series currently with 659 points to Zappia’s 635, while Ronnie Palumbo holds third with 543 points. The margin is too far for Palumbo to make up to Taylor, so it will be a two-horse race between the Western Australian teams to decide the champion.

Queenslander racer Harrington made an impressive early shut-off 6.07 pass in his Holden Monaro, giving indications of five-second potential, while Danaher battled early before eventually settling for a 6.22 run from his Corvette.

Also joining the party at Willowbank will be New South Wales racers Peter Lovering’s shoebox Chevy and Nasser Matta’s ’37 Chevy, while Queensland’s Neil Murphy will also be in the action, fresh off some five-second passes at Sydney Dragway.

The racing format for the Australian Top Doorslammer Championship will see some change, with the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals set to use an eliminations tournament (eight-car field) instead of the all-run format. This means that qualifying into the top eight becomes all important, before each elimination round sends one racer through and another on to the trailer!

Top Doorslammer fans have a variety of ways to follow their favourite teams. Spectator tickets are available online starting from as low as $60, or you can watch Sunday eliminations nationwide on 7plus.

The first round of qualifying will be held at 2.30pm on Friday, with rounds two and three at 12.05pm and 2.50pm respectively on Saturday. The first round of eliminations take place on Sunday at 11.45am. Top Doorslammers will be far from the only class of racing on track, with the full set of National Drag Racing Championship categories joining the fun, including Top Fuel, Nitro Funny Cars, Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, Pro Mod, Top Fuel Motorcycle, Pro Stock Motorcycle and over a dozen sportsman brackets.