XF Falcon sleeper cracks the eight-second zone

Shane Neumann turned his dad’s ute from an original stocker into a eight-second Barra-powered weapon

Photographers: Chris Thorogood, Michelle Porobic, Shaun Tanner

UPDATE, 14 JUNE, 2023

Drag Challenge regular Shane Neumann has cracked the eight-second zone in spectacular fashion at Heathcote’s King of the Street meeting over the weekend.

After getting oh-so-close to an eight at Drag Challenge 2022/23 earlier this year, Shane broke through with a PB of 8.89 at 150.8mph.

Shane and the XF ran second in Speed Pro Six Cylinder class at DC, with a best of 9.02-seconds at 139mph on the final day after a trouble-free week on the road.

The ute is essentially unchanged from its 2018 guise (see below) aside from from some suspension tweaks and an engine refresh prior to DC.

What makes the whole story even cooler is that Shane’s dad bought the XF brand-new in 1988!

8.89 @ 150.8MPH ? #aussiefarmtruck

Huge congratulations to an awesome customer & great friend Shane…

Posted by All Trade Automotive on Tuesday, June 13, 2023


While it might look like it is ready to head down to the local farmers’ market, Shane Neumann’s XF Falcon ute packs a big, Barra-powered punch. Having run a pre-Drag Challenge PB of [email protected], the sky-blue commercial might not have been in contention for the Outright win, but Shane still gave other competitors in the Haltech Radial Blown class a fright at Drag Challenge 2018.

Falcon XF uteThe bullbar and canopy give the ute a bit of a sleeper look, and Shane wouldn’t have it any other way. “My dad bought this car new in 1990 and I wanted to keep it looking exactly how he had it,” he said. “It was one of the last 4.1-litre sixes with a three-on-the-tree, and it was his work hack until he gave it to me about five years ago. I used it as a bit of a runaround vehicle when my other cars were off the road, until I decided I wanted to put a new engine in it.”

‘Barra the world’ has become one of the most common phrases on the internet today, and it was one that Shane couldn’t ignore. “I was going to put a Windsor V8 in it, but everyone else was doing Barra turbo sixes, so that’s the way I went.”

Falcon xf uteShane’s four-litre six has scored Mahle pistons, H-beam rods, PAC springs, and a whopping GTX45 Garrett snail hanging off the side of the DOHC head. With a Haltech Elite 2500 ECU and a gut-load of E85 on board, Shane was hoping to run a couple of mid-nines over the week and have a great time doing it.

He went way better than expected, with a 9.44@149mph at Swan Hill on Day Two, backing it up with a 9.03@152mph on Day Four.

Falcon XF ute“I’m stoked; I’m so happy to run that 9.0,” said Shane, who had a couple of special guests in the stands watching him send the blue commercial. “Mum and Dad came for the day on Thursday,” he said. “Dad had never seen it run and he’s pretty impressed, that’s for sure. He couldn’t believe how well it goes!”

Shane was also pleased with how well the Barra ute racked up the kilometres on the road legs. “It was pretty good to drive, to be honest,” he said. “I have Car Builders insulation all through it, so it was pretty good on the road. Our trailer probably weighed 700kg; having not done Drag Challenge before we wanted to bring everything with us, but we didn’t need it!

Falcon XF ute“Hopefully next year we’ll be chasing high-eights. I want to check the exhaust gas temps in each port, plus I want to rip the motor out and have a go over it. I also need to play around with the rear suspension just to refine it.”


Class: Haltech Radial Blown

Engine: Ford Barra
Turbo: Garrett GTX45
Transmission: TH400, transbraked
Converter: TCE 4500rpm
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Power: Unknown
Previous PB: 9.80@150mph
Best Drag Challenge 2018 Pass: 9.03@152mph