21 SEP 2011 - Phillips Wins FUCHS Australian Nationals!
Phillips registers a 5.595 at 255.43 (411.06kph) to put the Lucas Oil Mustang back in victory lane.
19 September 2011
In his forty-first year of competition, Gary Phillips has put the nightmare fortieth season behind him by winning the 2011 Fuchs Australian Nationals in Top Alcohol at Sydney Dragway last weekend.
Labelling last season as a “cocktail of shocking weather and bad luck that I would rather forget,” Phillips committed to going back to a known parts batch this season, and right from securing the second qualifying spot at the start of the weekend with a 5.540 at 256.45 mph, the Lucas Oils Racing Team was back in the form that had earned their fifteen national championships.
“You really wouldn’t think that the slightest variations in clutch discs would produce such big inconsistencies on the track, but last season taught us that and this weekend’s result proves that when you use parts that you know, everything starts working like it should and you get the results you expect,” said a jubilant Phillips, whilst making the trek back north from Sydney to his native state of Queensland.
With the Lucas Oil Mustang’s consistency flowing throughout eliminations, Phillips found himself back in familiar winning territory, disposing of Wayne Price in the first round with a 5.612 at 256.65mph (413.03kph) before slicing another one-hundredth of the timing board in the next round [5.603] whilst claiming top speed for the event at 258.32mph (415.71kph) against Wayne Newby.
And as history has recorded countless times before, Phillips would meet his old sparring partner in Steve Reed for the final, saving his best time of the meet to register a 5.595 at 255.43 (411.06kph) to put the Lucas Oil Mustang back in victory lane over Reed’s centre-line crossing 5.628 at 252.14mph (405.77kph,) providing some of the most intense racing in recent Top Alcohol history.
Faced with the TV crew after emerging from the Lucas Oils Mustang, an elated Phillips credited the success to a refreshing list of low reaction times, a consistent car that ran almost identical each run, and a racing partner in Lucas Oils that makes it all possible.
“People are amazed at how were able to stay quick and fast but not hurt anything all weekend, all I can say is that Lucas Oil is the difference. We’ve thrown a lot of different ideas at these cars over the years, and some that would put a lot of stress on parts, but with Lucas, we reduce the variables dramatically because we know the oil will always do its job. We can’t thank Lucas Oils enough for creating such great products, which, at the end of the day, wins us races,” Phillips said, sharing the glory with his sponsor of 14 years.
Story by Bennie@benzpress.com
Images by Lee Davis and Darryl Treasure