BIG cubes and big tyres ruled the roost in Drag Challenge 2019’s Outlaw Aspirated class. Slick-shod, big-displacement drag machines came out to play, battling throughout the week for bragging rights.
Mark ‘Bushy’ Busscher’s weapons-grade HQ One Tonner took the class win, edging out Daniel Cassar’s ’33 Ford coupe by less than a second.
Over the years, Mark’s Drag Challenge experience has been something of a rollercoaster. His first showing in 2016 involved an 11-second, LS-powered Adventra with a seriously uncooperative cross-track AWD system. The Holden’s eccentric traction control proved to be more trouble than it was worth, so the 416ci LS3-based donk from the Adventra found its way inside the matte-black HQ for the 2018 event.
Paring the Adventra’s ETs down by two seconds, the combination proved enough for Bushy to take runner-up spot behind Daniel Cassar in Outlaw Aspirated last year, before managing to turn the tables on Cassar this year.
Admittedly, Daniel’s preparation was far from ideal. Last-minute dramas with his planned Drag Challenge car took it off the road, forcing him to reassemble his ’33 coupe with whatever was on hand and fire up the small-block Chev the night before registration.
Carl ‘Chevy’ Taylor’s bubble-top ’62 Bel Air took home third place, running down the long country kilometres with ease. Chevy’s background in bracket racing made for a consistent week on the strip, turning over comfortable mid-10-second passes in the 1800kg, 540-cube beast.
Unfortunately, former Quickest Mopar winner Jon Mitchell wasn’t so lucky in his monstrous Dodge Challenger. After a wheelspinning 10.2-second effort on Day One, transmission issues befell the imposing coupe at Mildura’s Sunset Strip, putting Jon out of contention.
Greg Mason’s ’64 El Camino almost took out Drag Challenge Weekend 2018’s Outlaw Blown class, edged out only by Noel Inman’s wheelstanding Model T. Running a 388ci donk backed by a Powerglide and nine-inch, Greg ran bare 11s all week at DC 2019.
Stephen Willies campaigned his left-hand-drive, 521ci Ford Ranchero in Drag Challenge 2019 under the Outlaw Aspirated class. Placing sixth in the category this year, Steven and his brother ran just as quick as they could without a rollcage, recording an 11.02 and 11.09 at Calder Park at either end of the week.
Father-son duo Grant and Liam Grech survived the week in their 400hp LX Torana hatch, running a cammed LS2 and six-cog manual. High 11s at the track were just the ticket for a low-stress week on the road.
Six-year-old Liam was tasked with jack and wheelnut duties at each track, handling the steelies with aplomb. And Grant was straight back at Calder Park the day after Drag Challenge wrapped up, campaigning in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge.