Pacemaker Radial Aspirated Day Three – Drag Challenge Weekend

ATTACKING a street-car torture test like Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend with a high-maintenance, mega-horsepower aspirated engine is no mean feat. Lofty compression ratios, high-lift camshafts, big converters, screaming cruising rpm and soaring engine temperatures can make life a living hell out on the highway.

There’s a lot to be said for experience, and perhaps that’s why Drag Challenge stalwart Alon Vella continues to enjoy so much success in the Pacemaker Radial Aspirated class. With his engine builder Damian Baker from BG Engines riding shotgun in the 450ci Windsor-powered Capri, Al added a truly impressive fourth Drag Challenge Radial Aspirated trophy to his cabinet on the weekend, also placing sixth in Outright terms.

“The car ran good; it went 8.9 on the first day, so we’re pretty happy,” said Al. “We went 9.0 today [Day Three], and while we were hoping for eights all week, that’s life. I really enjoyed it as usual. It was a really good event.”

Keeping him honest was Queensland local Pat O’Shea, whose exquisitely prepared XR Fairmont displayed ultra-consistent mid-nine-second pace all weekend, despite a gearbox rebuild on Day One. “I thought we were done on Friday, so to make the end of the event and finish second is pretty cool,” Pat said.

In third place, Brodie Olsen’s stunning LX hatch was also running in the nines, with a tough 383ci Holden engine and Turbo 350 gearbox and on little 235 radials – a very well-sorted car.

Sydneysider Nathan Ghosn is no stranger to these types of events, but earned his fourth place finish this time around in his Capri, slogging it out with busted valvetrain components among other issues, but ultimately overcoming them all.

Despite the high ambient temperatures and hilly terrain, there was a remarkably low attrition rate in Pacemaker Radial Aspirated, with just one competitor – Steve Hopes in his oh-so-tough EH sedan – failing to finish.

Results

Pacemaker Radial Aspirated 

Alon Vella                        

Ford               

Capri

23.889      

Pat O’shea

Ford

Fairmont

25.240

Brodie Olsen

Holden

Torana

25.980

Nathan Ghosn

Ford

Capri

26.622

Mark Stewart

Holden

Torana LH SLR 5000

28.434

Robert Fenwick

Holden

Commodore

29.213

Brian Jensen

AMC

Javelin

29.405

Andrew Valentine

Holden

HQ Monaro

28.743

Sheridan Eaton

Chev

Camaro

29.174

Bill Ewing

Ford

Mustang

30.978

Tim Murphy

Holden

Commodore

33.571

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