Corey Read’s LS3-powered Ford XF Falcon – Drag Challenge profile

Drag Challenge regular Cory Read isn’t about to make friends with the purists in the XD-XF Falcon Car Club, as his XF S-Pack runs eights thanks to turbo LS power

Photographers: Luke Hunter, Chris Thorogood, Shaun Tanner

CORY originally ran the big white sedan in Drag Challenge 2016 with a basic forced, forged 5.7-litre LS1, as he’d weighed the cost of building a tough Windsor to make the same sort of power and instead opted to buy a Tuff Mounts LS conversion kit.

Having run mid-nines with the LS1, Cory stepped up to a built 6.2-litre LS3 out of a wrecked VF Commodore ahead of this year’s Drag Challenge Weekend in Queensland, retaining the BorgWarner S475 power-adder, E85 fuel and GM PCM brains-box. The transbraked TH400 and 3.5-geared nine-inch out back were also retained, and provided a solid combo.

While his mechanical plans were solid, what Cory wasn’t expecting was to land himself in hospital just days before DC 2019 kicked off! “I had been really busy with work before Drag Challenge; then I was busy at night preparing the car,” he explained. “I thought I maybe had a cold, but I thought nothing of it. My wife told me to go to hospital, and as it turns out I had a bad chest infection. This was the Saturday before the scrutineering day, so we missed that coming over from Adelaide. We got to Melbourne at 2am Monday morning, and felt pretty knackered. I’m getting over it now.”

Cory started the week strongly in Haltech Radial Blown class, running 8.90@152mph on Day One before backing that up at Mildura on Day Two with a 5.72@122mph, which equates to an eight-second pass on a full quarter-mile.

However, it all went badly wrong on Day Three, when the XF ejected its bonnet 100m into the atmosphere as the car crossed the finish line at 123mph!

“I had no indication of it going, and all of a sudden it went bang!” Cory said. “It scared the crap out of me when it happened, because it smashed the screen and then folded into the roof.”

Thankfully Cory had received a slip for his 5.80@123mph run, which meant he had all afternoon to fix the car, despite the windscreen and roof being caved.

“I can’t believe we got a windscreen guy to come to the track that afternoon, and he managed to put a new screen in the front and secure the rear screen back in to the car,” Cory said.

Bushy [Mark Busscher] jumped into the car and used his feet to pop the worst of the roof dents out. Then, to fix the bonnet, Adrian Wood and a few of his mates jumped in to give me a hand to get some Allthread rod from Bunnings. We put that through the back of the bonnet and drilled holes in the firewall so that the bonnet threads in, then drops down on the pins and locks in that way. ANDRA officials had a look at it and are happy the bonnet is locked on securely now.”

Portland saw the XF in the staging lanes to the amazement of many other entrants, with a 5.65@123mph the best Cory managed there, before finishing the week with a 9.32@131mph.

“We wanted to run an eight on standard suspension, which we did on Day One. All we did was fit new shocks,” the Adelaide local said.

“Other than that incident with the bonnet, the event was awesome. It was probably the hardest we’ve done out of the four we’ve run, but it was great.”


Class: Haltech Radial Blown

Engine: Gen IV 6.2L LS3
Turbo: BorgWarner S475
Transmission: TH400
Converter: Altorque Converters 4000rpm
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Power: 1000rwhp
Previous PB: 9.25@146mph
Best Drag Challenge 2019 Pass: 8.90@152mph