DRAG Challenge is getting more and more hectic by the day. Here are the big stories from today's racing at Sunset Strip in Mildura.
Defending champ Quentin Feast prepares to send his turbo LS-powered Torana down the Mildura eighth mile. Following some transmission dramas on day one the Torry has been running strong, and while Quentin battled for grip early on at Mildura today, some tuning eventually saw him run a 5.59@131mph – the quickest pass of the day.
Drag Challenge veteran Alysha Teale’s 383ci Chev-powered HQ has been running like clockwork. Just as she did last year she is attacking Drag Challenge solo, running an 11.98 at Calder on day one. Competing in the Dial Your Own class, she ran a 7.71 over the eighth at Mildura today. She is the current leader in DYO, no mean feat in a very strong field.
Dean Gianginis topping his VK up with pump fuel by the side of the highway enroute to Mildura. With almost 800hp worth of carby-fed 416ci LS3 on board, it gets through a fair bit of the stuff.
Mark Clifford’s Mustang Fastback cuts a mean figure on the highway. It’s a mid nine-second rocket that’s putting on a strong showing in the Dial Your Own Class. The 598ci Shotgun Hemi makes around 500kW at the treads and sounds good doing it.
It was a tough day at the office for Terry Seng and crew. Thanks to stellar performances at Calder and Portland, the turbo LS-powered VC Commodore held a commanding lead in the outright stakes, but today at Mildura they had transmission woes, then struggled to find grip before eventually settling with a 6.47-second pass. It’s well off their blistering pace from the previous days and as a result the Street Radial Blown class has opened right up, but with better conditions expected tomorrow and one of the most talented teams in the field, we’re sure Heathcote will see a return to form.
Matthew Smart’s KE10 Corolla runs a full-house, Weber-fed black 202 Holden six that makes 320hp on the motor, plus an additional 175hp worth of spray when the mood takes him. Prior to Drag Challenge it was a dedicated race car, but Matt liked the sound of the event, so he put some rego on it and sent in his entry.
Graeme Horner’s freshly-built VK Calais runs a bone-stock LS1 with a big old turbo hanging off the side. He has the national unopened LS1 record in his sights, and if he can combine his terminal speed from day one at Calder with his 60-foot time from day two at Portland, he should get it done tomorrow at Heathcote. Today in the heat at Mildura, he ran a best of 6.47@111mph.
Bubba Medlyn’s bad-arse twin turbo VH has endured its fair share of woes over the course of Drag Challenge, but the boys have worked hard to keep it out on track. Packing one of Torque Power’s killer new Holden-based blocks and a big pair of Turbonetics snails, the matte black beast stomped out an impressive 5.97 pass today at Mildura, and word has it there’s a shit-ton of boost in reserve should Bubba decide to let it eat at Calder on day five.
Sydney’s Louis Younis refuses to let Drag Challenge beat him. After junking an 8-second nitrous small block in the weeks before the event, he fitted a fresh (albeit far less stout) motor just so he could still take part, and then proceeded to smash it to bits at Portland on day two. After sourcing yet another replacement small block locally on Gumtree, the Younis Racing crew got the car back on the road and drove through the night with an unscheduled stopover at Hamilton, catching the Drag Challenge pack at Mildura this afternoon, just prior to the 4pm cut-off. By that stage first gear had departed his two-speed Powerglide trans, and despite being disqualified on account of the engine swap, he made a pass and is continuing to take part in the event. What a massive effort!
After hanging back to help his mate Louis Younis with an untimely engine swap, Andrew Natoli arrived at Sunset Strip Mildura without a moment to waste before the 4pm cut-off. On went the drag radials and he headed straight out on track, fetching a 7.36-second pass out of the naturally aspirated 333ci Holden-powered Commodore. It’s a couple of tenths shy of his PB, but he’s still in the hunt and he’s stoked!