Monster wheelstands and PBs at Drag Challenge testing Swan Hill

The agony and the ecstasy of Drag Challenge testing!

Photographers: Shaun Tanner

DRAG Challenge is coming up fast, kicking off at Calder Park 11 November. There are a couple of street meets scheduled at Calder before then, but a bunch of Drag Challenge entrants took the opportunity to get some extra runs in at Swan Hill today. It was cold and at times wet, but we still saw some killer runs.

The star performer was Mark Drew in the Crusty Torana. The car has recently had another makeover, including a stunningly sanitary engine bay. Jeff from Streetbuilt Racing put the car through its paces on the dyno yesterday and saw 1792hp at the hubs, running 42psi on methanol.

At the track, the Torana pulled a massive wheelstand, but came back the next pass to obliterate its previous PB of 7.33-seconds at 191mph, to the tune of 7.235-seconds at 173mph!

Kai McPhee also ran a PB in his VC Commodore, breaking into the 7-second zone for the first time with a 7.9-second pass. The VC was also on the dyno with Jeff this week, recording 1185hp at the hubs on 33psi and E85. The engine is an iron-block 5.3, taken out to 360ci, with Higgins heads and a Garret GTX5020R turbo.

Luke Foley also cracked his first seven. Luke came out pulled the wheels up and ran a 8.06-second pass early on, before returning after lunch with a 7.97-second scorcher.

Brad Kelly ran a PB of 9.52 at last year’s Drag Challenge, but smashed that today with an 8.93! The ute runs a built LY6 6-litre, Killaboost pipework and an 85mm Borg Warner turbo. The power goes down through a TH400, into a four-linked 9in.

Chris Imlach’s 1962 Nova also had a good day, running a 9.97-second pass at 136mph.

Young gun Chicka Waight also ran a PB in his HQ Premier, running his first 10-second pass and then improving to a 10.89-second PB at 124mph.

Daniel Szabolic’s twin-turbo big block HQ Monaro ran a best of 7.73-seconds at 144mph, getting out of it early. Feature on this car next issue!

Todd Foley’s VH Commodore ran a 9.11-second pass at 147mph. The Magnuson 2300-blown 403-cube combo made 774hp on the at the hubs last week and 877hp with a hit of nitrous! The VH is a sweet car and will be a great addition to the Tuff Mounts 235 Blown ranks.

Not all of the Drag Challenge crew had a great day. Matt Lampard had two passes in the LUMPER HZ Premier, resulting in one wild wheelstand and one smashed diff.

Corty Ward-Haig experienced all the highs and lows of drag racing in one day. Corty drove the LS turbo-powered Corolla to a new PB of 8.78-seconds at 151mph early in the day.

 On his last pass a head gasket let go, resulting in fluid under the back tyres and a slide into the wall that rolled the car onto its side. Corty is ok and the Corolla is apparently repairable.

Nick Sideris brought his VH Commodore over from Adelaide, but did a head gasket on his first pass. No doubt he’ll bounce back to make a good showing in Turbosmart Outlaw Blown.

Other cool cars in attendance included Steve Hunt’s always entertaining XW Falcon panel van, which ran a best of 10.13 at 131mph.

Dale Bickham’s Barra-powered Commodore ute went 9.0-seconds.

We dug this HK Holden wagon and its antenna nitrous purge! The old girl ran a best of 10.47 at 127mph on the day.

John Coladis suffered voltage dramas in his stunning twin-turbo Mustang, running a best of 8.6-seconds on 15psi.

We’ll be back at Swan Hill on 12 November for day two of Drag Challenge 2019. For spectator info, click here.