Introducing Grant O'Rourke

Premier race car fabricator, Top Doorslammer competitor



Date of birth: 16 December, 1969

Hometown: Perth, West Australia

Lives: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Occupation: Racecar Fabricator - 1320 Racecars

Hobbies: Watersports - fishing / skiing / boats / Jet Skis

Family: Married to Debbie O'Rourke since 1996, son Josh born in June 1997

Current racing class: Professional Top Doorslammer

Current car: 1968 Pontiac Firebird

Toughest thing about drag racing: Lack of corporate coverage

Best win: Every one of them

Toughest loss: 2004 Winternationals against Victor Bray in the Semi-Finals

Favourite competitor: Anyone I line-up to race against!

Personal car: 2002 Rodeo Ute

Personal Best Quarter-Mile ET: 5.92 seconds

Personal Best Speed: 247mph (approx. 394 kmh)

Hailing from Western Australia, Grant O'Rourke became a formidable competitor in the prestigious Top Doorslammer ranks in the early 2000s, consistently running amongst the top eight quickest and fastest TD competitors in the country as he chased the Series across the country.

After taking an eight year hiatus from 2004 during which he built, managed and maintained his wife Debbie's race car, 'The Jungle Boy' returned to the track in 2013 with a significantly updated HK Monaro ready to make up for lost time.

Grant's racing career had started years earlier, racing a HK Premier equipped with a 400 small block Chev from 1993 to 1996. He raced several times at Eastern Creek before moving back to Perth in late 1993. Grant then raced the Premier through to the end of 93-94 season at Ravenswood Raceway and learnt all about consistency with regular mid 12 second times. The O'Rourkes then bought an LC Torana and equipped it with a 383 Chev motor. This saw Grant into the 11s and he won the WA Super Street Championship for the 94/95 season.

In 1997, the O'Rourkes made the decision to move up the ranks with a fully-fledged, tube-chassised, PSI-supercharged drag car. This new car was based on an LJ Torana and ran in BB/AP which meant that custom work to bodywork would be permitted. This allowed Grant to work his fibreglass skills to some extremes, but nestled in chrome moly framework was a PSI Supercharged 348ci Rodeck aluminium small block. Grant used the BB/AP Torana to reset both the ET and MPH national records for the class on four different occasions, with a best of 7.03 at 200.4 mph.

In 1998, the O'Rourke's decided to move into AA/GAS, which meant modifying the car's chassis to meet the GAS class requirement. Wrapped in bright yellow bodywork and looking more like a true LJ Torrie, this car debuted at the start of the 99/00 season and ran a PSI supercharged 388 cubic inch Rodeck small block which turned in some world record breaking numbers - with Grant claiming 5 world records between 1999-2001, running a best of 6.45 seconds at 220.58mph at the 2001 Westernationals.

Grant's need for speed was not yet satisfied however, with the fabricator deciding to make the move to a HK Monaro Top Doorslammer, debuting in the bracket in 2000. The car would undergo many transitions across its next four years, before Grant decided to step away and concentrate on the racing career of wife Debbie.

Upon his return to the sport in 2013, the HK Monaro was again his steed before 2014 saw him debut a 1968 Pontiac Firebird built by him to Top Doorslammer specs from a ex-G-Force Camaro. The Pontiac debuted with an impressive 5.99 second first full pass on its way to defeating category champion John Zappia in the first round of racing for the 2014 Perth Motorplex Pro Shoot Out national event.

Since then, Grant has gone on to run a personal best time of 5.92 seconds at 247 miles per hour in the Pontiac, with plans in place to continue developing the car as the team chases Top Doorslammer success.

"I often get asked what I love so much about this sport, what it is that keeps me coming back," said Grant.

"It is just so explosive and exhilarating, and I love the challenge and the adrenalin it brings time after time.