The expectation of National records being set during this weekend's 38th iTEL Community Telco Drag Racing Nationals has been supported by some blistering times and speeds during yesterday's official warm up at Willowbank Raceway.
Of greatest significance was a mind-blowing 5.672 pass by Australian Top Alcohol Championship titleholder Gary Phillips at a speed of 247.39mph (398.14kmh).
That mark was just a hundredth of a second outside the National record of 5.660 set by Wayne Newby during the Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway during 2002.
"Given the steamy conditions this was a good run for us and we were satisfied enough with the one pass in the Lucas Oil Products Dragster," said Phillips.
"The track felt smooth and that showed in our performance because when you have such hot weather it takes a good track to be able to hold up as well as the Willowbank strip has.
"Given that the forecast is for similar weather over the iTEL Nationals weekend I'd be surprised if these sort of times aren't repeated.
"This was a dream test run .. the dragster didn't shake at all and still looked brand new afterwards.
"But it was only our intention to check that everything was o-k.
"While we're satisfied with the deal it doesn't mean much and it'll all come down to what really happens this Friday.
"Probably the most positive news for us was how fast we ran to half-track which was 202.88mph which is the fastest ever run in Australian Top Alcohol.
"I think that's an indication that we can hope for even better performances during the iTEL Nationals."
For Willowbank Raceway officials the feedback from drivers has been positive and they're expecting a bumper crowd to complement some great drag racing action this weekend.
"Gary's run was sensational but he wasn't the only one to leave with a smile on his face as numerous competitors were able to record personal best times," said Willowbank Raceway General Manager Harry Rowsell.
"Pre-purchase ticket sales suggest the iTEL Nationals may represent the biggest ever turnouts for a season opener at Willowbank Raceway and that's great news as big crowds usually spur drivers on to provide something special.
"The $1.1 million refurbishment of the surface has proved to be money well spent and is already paying huge dividends so far as driver performance is concerned.
"We've got three days packed full of action and excitement during the iTEL Nationals and this event will provide Queenslanders the chance to show that this state is the true home of Australian motorsport."
The 38th iTEL Nationals enjoys the continued support of the Queensland Government through Queensland Events and the Department of Sport and Recreation.
38TH iTEL Community Telco Drag Racing Nationals Fast Facts
Friday Qualifying from 9.00am
Main Program 5.00pm - 9.00pm
Saturday Qualifying from 9.00 am
Main program 4.00pm - 9.00pm
Sunday Early Racing from 9.00 am
Main program 2.00pm - 9.00pm
General admission for each day is $32.
Students (id required) $18
Children 13 and under free
Pit access -- additional $8
3 day pit pass - $95
2 day pit pass - $78
2 day Reserved seating - $18 per seat -- Saturday and Sunday
3 day Corporate Club - $340 per person
For tickets phone 07 3849 6881 or book on line at www.willowbank-raceway.com.au and go to the Online bookings link.