Drag Challenge Weekend 2020 Day Two

Day two action from Drag Challenge Weekend, including video, gallery and full results


IT WAS hotter than Satan’s jocks at Warwick Dragway for Day Two of Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend, and it wreaked havoc on the cars and crews who made it down to the regional centre to run the eighth-mile track.

For full results on every car: click here

Ben Vlekken stayed out in front of both the Haltech Radial Blown class and Overall, with a 5.18@141mph on the tricky eighth-mile surface, as the Spot On Performance-supported VH Commodore wagon was able to get its huge LS-turbo power to the blacktop better than any other car on Saturday.

In Pacemaker Radial Aspirated, Alon Vella tightened his grip on the class with a 5.70@122mph, heading Jesse Davidson’s HG (6.81@100mph) and Tom Hastings’s big Customline (7.49@79mph). The mid-five-second run kept Alon in the Top 10 Overall, between Ben Taylor and Rob Armstrong’s Camaro and Juan Kudnig’s HT.

Trent Brimble’s VILLIN Commodore was one of the day’s big movers as the factory Turbo VL jumped into third Overall and third in Haltech Radial Blown with a 5.56@130mph. Running a 403ci LQ9, Plazmaman intake, GTX55 turbo and Holley Dominator, the fresh build is still only receiving 20psi but could see 30 one day. Trent admitted he is still feeling his way with the fresh build and stepping into the car’s seven-second potential, which is right there as it has already made 1130hp at the hubs on 20psi and E85.

After clocking a 5.23@127mph at Warwick, Ben Paganoni sits ninth Overall and second in the Speed Pro Six-Cylinder class, but the Barra in his Fox-body Mustang isn’t happy. The man leading the class, Benny Neal in the Barra Cresta, sits fourth Overall. He ran 5.75@129mph after doing another round of Draino engineering on the Cresta’s blocked radiator.

Jamie Swift’s NOGILT VH Commodore is running fast at DCW20 thanks to a new forged bottom end in his L98 6.0-litre, plus Higgins CNC heads, a GTX50 turbo and a Haltech PS2000 ECU. Having only got it running in days prior to DCW, his crew initially struggled with getting it to build boost on the converter. “We didn’t get time to hook up CO2 control so it has had super-lazy 60-foot times, but it did pick up 9mph in the top end,” Jamie said. A 5.89@117mph put him into the Overall Top 10 and in sixth place in Haltech Radial Blown.

Rahim Tarr surprised everyone when he turned up at Warwick with a new windscreen in his XD ute. He finished the day in 15th Overall and in the lead of Turbosmart Outlaw Aspirated following a 6.35@108mph on the eighth-mile. The 434ci Ford leads Outlaw Aspirated big-hitter Steve Micallef and his One Tonner.

Steve struggled through Day One due to tuning woes with a new combo. Now running Holley EFI, a new cam, twin throttlebodies, and a huge 14.5:1 compression in the 632ci big-block Chev, the set-up made 855hp at the hubs with 17-percent converter slip before DCW. With the converter now fixed, Steve is still searching for the tuning sweet spot that’ll work in this atmosphere and at this elevation. He eventually ran 6.86@104mph at Warwick.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all beer and skittles on Day Two. Pat O’Shea’s immaculate XR Fairmont left on a tilt tray, one of a few cars to pack it in. Duncan McKenna’s 500ci big-block ’67 Dodge Charger blew its 727 auto, while Harun Gencerier’s C63 also hit trans troubles. Joel Ricketts’s big-block VF Hardtop survived a fire on the road leg to Warwick only to go out with throttle issues.

Mitch Pullen’s wild drift Hilux had to go back on his transporter after running quicker than his tech certification allowed at Willowbank on Day One, and Paul Merry was able to source a new turbo for PSIPREM after he lost one on the HT’s last run on Day One, but he didn’t make the drive to Warwick as he wasn’t sure what shrapnel had gone through the motor.

All in all, the attrition rate hit hard as the survivors made their way back to Willowbank in preparation for the final day, which is also set to be the hottest of the event.

It all kicks off at 1pm at Willowbank Raceway, running through ’til 6pm, followed by the awards ceremony.

DCW 2020: Day Two – Top 10 Overall

1. Ben Vlekken (VH): 12.992

2. Mark Van Der Togt (XW): 13.784

3. Trent Brimble (VL): 14.206

4. Ben Neal (Cresta): 14.284

5. Shane Baker (VH): 14.285

6. R Armstrong / B Taylor (Camaro): 14.568

7. Alon Vella (Capri) 14.601

8. Juan Kudnig (HT): 14.742

9. Benny Paganoni (Fox-body): 14.743

10. Jamie Swift (VH): 14.824