Winternats action heats up at Willowbank

Photographers: Michelle Porobic

WITH three days of action leading up the finals of the Fuchs Winternationals, there have been so many amazing performances that it’s hard to mention them all. But as always, it’s the ‘incidents’ that everyone is talking about.

Gary Phillips gave the video crew and several photographers a fright when his Top Alcohol funny car tried to climb the wall. After heading to hospital for observation, Gary was given the all clear and then tried to source another car to continue his championship assault, but unfortunately he hasn’t been able to find another car which basically puts a pin in his championship hopes.

Then there was the Phil Lamattina Top Fuel crash. In one of the most shocking crashes we’ve seen in years, Lamattina’s dragster folded in two and the rear half of the car flew hundreds of feet down the track before landing and crashing into the wall. Phil is currently in hospital with a back injury and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.

But there’s been some humorous incidents too. Like when Ben Bray faced off against Geoff Gradden in qualifying. Both cars launched hard, but Bray snapped a blower belt and Gradden’s car also shut off with both cars coasted to a stop side-by-side. Ben stepped out to give the crowd a bow afterwards.

Today it’s all about the finals, and there’s plenty of tough competition to see yet. We’ll give you a wrap up on what went down tomorrow.