The people of Drag Challenge Weekend 2022

A full gallery of the champions who made our most recent Drag Challenge one to remember

Photographers: Shaun Tanner, Chris Thorogood, Michelle Porobic

As much as the drag ’n’ drive component of our Street Machine Drag Challenge events is a properly cool thing, everybody who’s taken on one of our marathons says the same thing: it’s not only the racing that makes these events special, it’s the people.

The camaraderie that naturally comes from a group of like-minded people trying to get through the trials and tribulations of Drag Challenge is something you just can’t manufacture. .

The hours the SM staff and volunteers put into Drag Challenge is also remarkable, and we take our hats off to anyone that has given their time and love to make these events possible over the years; without them we simply couldn’t go racing.

So here’s a look at the men, women and children who made our most recent Drag Challenge Weekend in Victoria so special, and we can’t wait to do it all again for the big-daddy five-dayer in October.

Street Machine editor-in-chief Simon Telford greeting competitors on sign-in day, pictured here with eventual Kool Wrap 235 Aspirated class winner, Donnie Zurcas and his Mk1 Capri.

Our social media wizard Paul ‘Gus’ Cronin on the tools.

From left to right: Shaun Tanner, one of our champion snappers; SM journo Jack Houlihan; long-time SM wordsmith and general larrikin Iain ‘Marv’ Kelly.

Heathcote Park Raceway owner Lance Warren, who truly leads his staff by example. He’s on the tools just as much as anyone else in the joint, making sure the reinvented motorsport facility is the best it can be.

Chris ‘Tappy’ Thorogood has been the photographer behind most of our SM covers for years now, and never shies away from a day at the drag strip.

Kool Wrap was not only the class sponsor of 235 Aspirated this year, but head honcho Andrew Holdsworth also took to the lanes himself, piloting his GTA Fairlane in the Vibrant Performance Dial Your Own class.

SM ad champion Kim Simonsen (left) is a regular sight at DC selling our killer merch, pictured here with our young journalist Kian Heagney (right).

Alysha Teale is now the only person to have completed every single DC event we’ve ever run. This year, the Queen of DYO finished second in her class in HERHQ.

Kerry Digney was on the microphone all weekend, keeping spectators and racers both informed with results and entertained during quiet periods with plenty of anecdotes.

Benny Neal of Benny’s Custom Works overcame early test-day issues with his Barra-swapped Toyota Cresta to score second in the Speed Pro Six-Cylinder class and sixth overall.

Jason Waye from Tuff Mounts has been a long-time sponsor of the event, and for this year’s rodeo he brought his freshly built, Barra-swapped Fox-body Mustang, competing in the Tuff Mounts 235 Blown class. The car dipped into the low nines comfortably, with heaps of potential left on the table.

Nine-time Pacemaker Radial Aspirated champion Alon Vella (left) with Turbosmart Outlaw Blown winner and second outright finisher Mark Whitla (right), resolving who owns the best Mk1 Capri in a, er, civilised manner.

Drag Challenge 2019 champion Harry ‘Haul’ Haig took a more mellow approach at DCW ’22, putting his seven-second POP666 HQ on ice and LS-swapping his HG wagon, ‘Florence’, with his son Corty just a few weeks out from the event. The 12-second package ran flawlessly all weekend, so the boys spent more time on the beers and less on the tools for once.

Michelle Porobic of Bright Design Photography is as familiar a sight at Aussie drag strips as the Christmas tree, always trackside shooting photos of anyone who makes a pass to ensure nobody misses out on a cheeky snap.

Drag Challenge regular John Kerr is such a legend that we decided to put his ’64 Mercury Comet on our merch for this year, which sold out in record time. He was actually going to give this event a miss, but when he saw the merch he had no choice but to put his hand up!

Shawn McCann was the champion who stood trackside for hours with the video camera, capturing all the footage needed for our wicked daily recap videos. His day certainly didn’t end when racing finished either, staying up into the early hours of the morning with Mark Boxer to help edit the vids.

Chevy Barnes-Librio and his dad Paul built Chevy’s Barra-swapped XB ute as a cool P-plate cruiser. DCW ’22 served as the car’s debut on track and Chevy’s first time down a drag strip.

Joseph Lenthall is the commercial manager at SM and always chucks his hat in the basket to lend a much-needed helping hand during Drag Challenge’s hectic sign-in days.

Event director, Carnage captain and all-round legend Scott Taylor (left) hard at work calculating some of the trickier results, including Quickest Holden – which was this year won by a Josh Grant’s mang-powered VB Commodore.

That’s just a quick snapshot of the people who made this edition of Drag Challenge so epic, so make sure you have a flick through 150+ image gallery to see all the other champions from DCW Victoria ’22.