In the lead up to this weekend’s Westernationals at the Perth Motorplex, Oakford drag racer Rob Pilkington has made the bold decision to hunt for national records rather than local series points.
The Westernationals is one of only two events each season where West Aussie racers have the chance to set official national records on their home turf, and the opportunity has compelled Pilkington to focus his attention on the cementing his name in the record books for the AA/Funny Car class as part of the Group 2 category, “Competition Eliminator”.
A racer has three options at the Westernationals. They can hunt down a “Gold Christmas Tree” trophy or they play it safe and just keep bagging points for their local championship, even though there’s interstate visitors at the event, or they can just go all out and have a crack at the national records. We’re already in there with a 5.84 at 394kph and we already own the Motorplex Track record in AA with a 5.67 at 405kph, so I definitely think we can improve on that. But don’t worry, we’ve never won the Westernationals before and we’ll be out to add that to the trophy cabinet for sure!”
“You could assume that breaking records should automatically win you races but they don’t. Any drag racer will tell you that ninety percent of races are won on the startline and sometimes when you’re hunting records, you take your attention off nailing the starts to make sure you get everything else right for a quick and fast run.”
Pilkington refused to be disappointed about the Alutech/CTS team’s conservative results at the last event, filing his first-round loss to Shane Weston as “not the ideal time to be experimenting.”
“We were really thinking “big picture” at the last event, trialling a new fuel system and clutch package, because even though we’ve proven that we can run in the 5.50’s, we need to do it more consistently if we really want to keep the national travelling teams on their toes when they come to the west. Sure we’d love to have won the event for the third time straight but we really reached a lid with what we were using previously and there was never an ideal time to try some new stuff.”
The Alutech/CTS Monte Carlo Funny Carlo will take to the Motorplex quarter mile for four qualifying attempts over this Friday and Saturday, with the four round elimination process for Competition Eliminator scheduled for 3:58pm this Sunday.
For video previews of the Westernationals, check out www.motorplex.com.au