K&N Dial Your Own Day Five – Drag Challenge 2019

Day Five of Drag Challenge saw a nail-biting finale in the always-unpredictable K&N DYO class

Photographers: Luke Hunter, Shaun Tanner

IT WAS down to the wire for class honours in K&N Dial Your Own on the final day of Street Machine Drag Challenge 2019. The key to success in Dial Your Own is consistency, with racers utilising both weight and precise gear-shifting points to try and accurately blast their steeds down the quarter-mile to match their Monday dial-in time.

Taking out top honours as the 2019 K&N Dial Your Own champion was ex-competition drag racer Paul Turner in his tidy LS1-powered HQ. Day Five saw the four-door rip a tight 11.373sec pass on its 11.396sec dial-in to finish Drag Challenge with a 0.05228sec split for the week.

“We had no real issues,” Paul said of his and son Jamie’s first time on the gruelling five-day event. “It feels great to have won – I was so relieved to get that final run in, and then to find out that we’d won was unbelievable. My kids’ mum passed away 10 years ago on Thursday, so that was in the back of my mind to try and get it done for her.”

The Quey runs a Higgins-headed LS1 fed by ETS race fuels – top sponsor of his daughter Jess Turner’s dragster. Behind the Mexican Chevy is a TH400 with 3500rpm Dominator stall and a Supa Trik nine-inch packing 3.75s and a full spool. “It’s nothing too crazy,” Paul said. “We bought the car as-is and I added the TH400 in. It was a 12.2sec car before we got it, and our best was 11.25@120mph a few weeks ago, with 4.11 gears.”

The father-and-son team are keen to defend the title in 2020.

Up from fourth into second placing by week’s end was another first-time DC entrant, Tom Wright and his bronze turbo-fed LSX HG Premier. Tom finished the week 0.05865sec off his 11.193sec dial-in, but he headed home in the reliable 376ci Prem before presentations, as he reckoned he wasn’t close enough for a notable position! “I thought we finished fourth,” Tom said. “I knew we might’ve had a chance, but didn’t think any of the guys broke out. I’m very happy with my result.”

Day Three and Four class leader Steve Grima laid down as many passes as the rain delays would permit, but it wasn’t enough to secure his stout Warspeed-built 5.7-litre LS-powered VK Calais the lead. “We were changing weight in the car, and I might have got the time on the final run if rain hadn’t finished the meet,” a deflated Steve said. The unyielding effort still earned Steve a podium placing in third, 0.09299sec off his original pace.

Slowly working his was up the ranks into fourth was the sleeper 400-cube WB ute of Cam Scott. The understated red Holden ran consistent low-12sec passes throughout the week and finished up a tenth off Monday’s 12.369sec.

The pristine ’55 Chev Bel Air of DC stalwart Daniel ‘Gizmo’ Grima rocketed up into fifth from 27th on Day Two. Gizmo had all but given up on the hunt after his earlier mid-pack standings, but he put in a superb effort playing catch-up, with a final split of 0.11933sec.

Rounding out the top 10 were John Kalantzis’s neat HSV GTS-R in sixth with a 0.12389; Matt Carey in his BLWNQUAD Quadriplegic Motorsports VZ Commodore ute in seventh with 0.12440; Glenn Archer’s turbo RA28 Toyota Celica taking up eighth with 0.12595; Dave Curtis in his tough VN Commodore with 0.12760 in ninth; and Day Four’s third placing Jason Davidson in his well-patinaed Holden One Tonner finished the event in tenth with 0.13351. Maybe replacing the lost gearbox sump plug with a silicone-slathered bolt on the Portland-Calder leg killed Jason’s consistency somewhat.

As for our Nissan Patrol-driving ex-Doorslammer racer Geoff Stone, he tried his hardest to chase the numbers. Late on Friday arvo I found him under the 4WD draining 75 litres from his long-range tank, before removing the second battery to slim the big girl a little in the hunt to match a 14.482sec dial-in. Overall the Patrol placed 20th, and Geoff hopes to rock up to Drag Challenge 2020 in his FC Holden, sporting the Patrol’s current drivetrain. He’ll be one to watch next year.

Broken Hill first-time racers Ben Brown and Darren Vartuli both garnered an ‘I Survived Drag Challenge’ sticker – just. Darren’s red VZ Tonner had a range of issues with the fuel system, with a split fuel tank module on Day One that saw them limp the car to Mildura and get a metal replacement lathed up locally. Day Four saw fuel leaking from an injector, so the fellas double O-ringed the culprit. That seemed to do the trick, with both the Tonner and Ben’s VE SS Commodore rolling into Calder to lay their final passes on Day Five. “Now we have our list of fixes for next year,” Darren said of their plans to return for 2020.


Paul Turner11.396120.027.29996.357.29595.927.32695.7211.373118.37-0.052275
Tom Wright11.193127.357.2398.887.19499.37.21299.1311.184125.48-0.05865
Steven Grima10.573135.516.793110.746.787111.226.782110.110.639135.63-0.09299
Cam Scott12.369110.857.90983.677.89985.337.94273.0312.383109.37-0.100055
Daniel Grima11.605118.977.38693.567.41287.087.40493.3511.564118.29-0.1193346
John Kalantzis11.931117.837.60495.457.59592.737.59394.411.906117.02-0.123885
Matt Carey11.227124.377.158100.647.290.127.23887.8411.202124.44-0.1244
Glenn Archer11.242122.677.16896.877.24994.697.21795.0811.199121.47-0.125955
Dave Curtis11.759121.17.5265.987.4895.657.50495.4911.755119.96-0.1276
Jason Davidson11.37899.497.32497.767.30976.837.34385.6311.499108.39-0.133505