Turbo LS-powered VC Commodore at Drag Challenge 2018

Dusty Benson returned to Drag Challenge with a near-1300hp turbo LS VC Commodore

Photographers: Michelle Porobic, Nathan Jacobs

AFTER destroying a tailshaft and diff on the final day of Drag Challenge 2017, Dusty Benson brought his VC Commodore L back to run in Haltech Radial Blown at this year’s event.

Holden VC CommodoreThe base-model VC’s original Starfire four-cylinder is long gone; in its place is an alloy-block LS2 running a stock crank, Callies H-beam rods, CP pistons and a TCM cam, along with a Plazmaman intercooler and Superflow intake manifold. A Haltech Elite 2500 ECU controls the boost from the twin low-mount Garrett GTX3582 turbochargers.

Holden VC Commodore“We’re only running up to 20psi so far,” said Dusty on Day Two at Swan Hill. “We’ve been battling to get it down the track so far, as we’ve got throttle problems. It runs an electronic fly-by-wire throttlebody, and there’s an issue there that we haven’t been able to get on top of so far.”

While Dusty has a flex-fuel set-up in the car, the LS2 runs on E85 at the track, and it makes plenty of snot, having run 1279hp on the engine dyno. A TCT 2700rpm converter and two-speed Powerglide handle putting all that hurt to the ground, via a nine-inch with 3.5 gears.

Holden VC Commodore“It is pretty good on the road,” Dusty said. “We’re doing about 3000rpm at 110km/h, so it runs well on the open road.”

Although it makes more than enough grunt, the Commodore is a real peach in the looks department, too, with a straight white body sitting tough over fat chaser wheels. “This car came from a country auction, but had been sitting around for years before that,” Dusty said.

Holden VC commodore engine bayThe boys continued to thrash on the VC to cure the throttle problems and try to get a single-digit pass down, though by Day Three they were looking just to make it to Calder Park on Friday.

Fortunately, Dusty and his crew did just that, and carried some decent pace in the process. A quickest pass of 9.47@147mph on Day Four at Swan Hill, followed by a 7.10@142mph on Day Five over the 1000ft at Calder, saw Dusty finish the week strongly and he ended up in 21st place in the Haltech Radial Blown class.


Class: Haltech Radial Blown

Engine: LS2
Turbos: Twin Garrett GTX3582
Transmission: Powerglide
Converter: TCT 2700rpm
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Power: 1279hp
Previous PB: 9.44@144mph
Best Drag Challenge 2018 Pass: 9.47@147mph