Long time Ipswich drag racing enthusiast Rod Oberg's Winternationals campaign is back on track after a heart breaking engine failure at last weekend's test event at Willowbank Raceway almost ruled him out of the race.
After debuting his Supercharged Outlaws Funny Car at last year, he set his sights on this event aiming to win through the early elimination rounds and be part of the main race day finals on Sunday.
That goal looked unachievable after a minor part failure during testing then resulted in major irreparable damage to the engine's camshaft on Saturday.
The drama was chronicled on the Oberg Family Racing Facebook page and within hours offers of help from the local Drag Racing Community flooded in. The parts and assistance provided enabled Rod and a small army of helpers to repair the car just in time to complete an essential test run producing a 6.6 second quarter mile time reaching 348kph (217mph) in the final minutes of the event.
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"While I wasn't quite ready to give up, I admit that I felt very deflated and was convinced there was little chance of seeing us being back on track this season let alone for the Winternationals the next weekend" Rod said.
"Having not even asked for help, and with every other team also racing the clock to be ready for the event this weekend, I was overwhelmed with the support I received not only from my existing sponsors but also fellow competitors."
One new supporter was long time Pro Stock racer Wayne Daley from the Diamond T Custom Tool boxes team. "We know what it's like contesting this sport on a family budget so we wanted to offer a helping hand if we could" he said.
"I have watched Rod’s progression in the sport, from being just a small kid in the pits with a dream to go fast one day, to a dedicated Raceway volunteer and now to racer. Across the years he has been a mate to the sport supporting other racers as well as his sons in their junior dragster careers. Now it’s his turn and we wanted to see him living his dream this weekend. We're happy that we could provide a bit of additional sponsorship from Diamond T Custom Tool Boxes to keep him on track.
Daley has had a long and successful career in Drag Racing begining at the old Surfers Paradise Raceway and is himself hoping to continue his winning form in the Pro Stock category after a victory in Sydney last month.
Pro Stock is one of many professional and sportsman brackets that will have 400 Thunder Australian Championships decided at this weekend’s event. Five hundred teams from all over Australia are contesting the annual Gulf Western Oil Winternationals, which is expected to attract up to 40,000 people to the Ipswich facility.