The O’Rourke Monaro returns..!
1 November, 2012
One of the most iconic Dorrslammers in the country returns to active competition this weekend at the Australian Drag Racing Nationals at Sydney Dragway, and with it, the return of a man revered in Group 1 and 2 circles as one of the very best.
In recent years Debbie and Grant O’Rourke have been campaigning their Top Alcohol Funny Car around the country, but for Debbie, the big focus was returning to the Top Doorslammer [T/D] ranks with their modified HK Monaro.
Six years ago husband Grant had his last ride in the Monaro, with the man who once held the mantel as the quickest and fastest small block pilot in the world turning to tuning duties with Debbies Funny Car activities. This weekend though he, and the teams HK Monaro, will return to active duty.
“I’ve got a relatively minor medical procedure to undertake in the next few weeks, so whilst I was scheduled to make the cars debut, it’s all down to Grant now,” Debbie confirmed.
“It may be the same car, but Grant’s 1320 Race Car business has revised it dramatically with a new 4-link rear end, a revised 511ci supercharged powerplant and a whole range of other changes that will make it more competitive with the current field.
“We’re under no illusions that it will take us a little time to get back up to speed in T/D but it’s not too different in many ways to the setup of the Funny Car we’ve been running the last couple of seasons, and in fact, it will be easier to drive.
You get the impression that Debbie is disappointed that she won’t get the chance to drive the Monaro, the woman who also held the title of quickest and fastest female small block driver in the world is no slouch, and has her own aspirations when it comes to competing.
“Yeah, I am disappointed, but I think there’s a lot of people that are looking forward to seeing Grant back behind the wheel. It will be good for him too, because our program involves getting both the Doorslammer and the Funny Car up to championship winning level over the next couple of seasons.
“We know it will be no easy ride, but if we just keep chipping away at it, there’s no reason why we can’t be competing for round wins every event.”
Whilst Grant’s return to the wheel of the popular Australian ‘muscle car’ will attract plenty of attention in Sydney this weekend, the gorgeous new V8 Nights livery will ensure that the O’Rouke Doorslammer will be a popular destination for the fans in the pits.
“V8 Nights have joined us for our return to Doorslammers, and as a result we have a gorgeous new blue and black livery which will grab plenty of attention,” Debbie said.
“I’m very excited to have Dave Viola and his team on board. V8 Nights debuted earlier in the year with Jamie Noonan, who I compete against in Top Alcohol, so we were well aware of their fantastic events, so I know what a great operation they are and we’re looking forward to working with them.
“As an event, V8 Nights is outstanding, it has really added another level of excitement to the V8 Supercar weekends with the opportunity for fans and corporates to be entertained by some of the greats of the sport in a relaxed environment with first class catering and entertainment.”
“We’re very pleased to be involved with Grant and Debbies return to Top Dooslammer,” Dynamite Solutions’ Dave Viola added. “They have a great tradition in this sport and are very well respected as competitors. I’m really looking forward to seeing the V8 Nights Monaro on the strip this weekend.”
“Honestly, our aim this weekend is to qualify,” Debbie admitted. “This is one of the best fields anywhere in the world, and they’re all so competitive. For us we have some work to do to dial the car in, but given that there has been a bit of a break since the most recent round of Doorlsammers, and with limited testing opportunities, we’re hoping that everyone is a little relaxed and we might catch them napping.. we’ll see how it goes.”
Sydney’s Nationals won’t be the only time you’ll see the V8 Nights Monaro in action over the coming month, with the O’Rourke’s returning ‘home’ to Perth for the Goldenstates (November 16-17) before winding their way back to Brisbane via Adelaide International Raceway the following weekend.
Kick-start your Supercar weekend with V8 Nights - an exclusive and innovative event held at each round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series. Located at premium venues close to the circuit, these themed nights include a tantalising three course meal, a four hour premium beverage package, live entertainment, special guest speakers, meet and greet with past and present Supercar drivers and other sport stars, autograph sessions, model and grid girl photo opportunities, raffle prizes and much much more! Dont miss out on these exciting events, visit www.v8nights.com.au
For more information on V8 Nights, contact Kayce on 0411 552 811 or email, email@example.com