Aussie drag racing legend, Gary Phillips put his name into the history books by recording a new world record during qualifying for 400 Thunder’s Coates Hire West Coast Nitro at the Perth Motorplex last night.

After a non-representative run in the first qualifying session due to hot, difficult track conditions, Phillips returned in cooler conditions for round two and became the first Australian Pro Alcohol competitor to run into the 5.3-second zone with a 5.374sec ET.

Not done there, Phillips ran an even quicker 5.360sec pass in his Lucas Oil Monte Carlo Funny Car to claim a new world record for methanol-fuelled Funny Cars – the pass bettering Swede Jonnie Lindberg’s previous record, set at ZMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, last year by just 1/1000th of a second.

“There’s a few dudes out there that can kick your butt so we just wanted to be the first to (run 5.3),” Phillips said.

“That’s the new record right there so we will take that one.”

Not to be outdone, just moments after Phillips’ barrier-breaking run Pro Alcohol points leader John Cannuli drove his Crossroads Racing Monte Carlo to a 5.379sec pass, signaling his intentions for tonight’s eliminations.

Darren Morgan’s return to Top Fuel with his AEG Powertools dragster continues on its merry way, with the four-time champion setting the pace with two consistent 4.7sec ETs – his quickest 4.748/504kmh leading the four car field.

Rapisarda Autosport International’s Wayne Newby (4.89sec) and local champion Damien Harris (4.91sec) currently sit second and third, with Mark Sheehan fourth on 5.265sec, engine dramas plaguing the canopy car on its two passes.

In Pro Bike, two-time Australian champion Maurice Allen set the pace in the category’s first visit to the Motorplex in five year, Allen recording a 7.235sec run to lead the five bike field, Glenn Wooster 3/100ths behind (7.262sec).

Points-leader Scott White had a difficult night, breaking a piston, which required an engine change, but his 7.397sec run shows he will be a contender.

The Coates Hire West Coast Nitro continues today with eliminations for Pro Alcohol and Pro Bike beginning at 6:00pm.

Top Fuel will have one compulsory qualifier at 6:00pm followed by two rounds of eliminations.

For fans outside the 300km exclusion zone around Perth, 400 Thunder is living streaming all the action from the Perth Motorplex to internet-connected devices – cost is just $5.00 per night.

To view, CLICK HERE or go to

Image: © Phil Luyer/High Octane Photos

Top Fuel Qualifying - Round 2Pro Alcohol Qualifying - Final Pro Bike Qualifying - Final