Turbo LSX-powered VY ClubSport at Drag Challenge 2019

Drag racing newbies build a 1160rwhp HSV for their first full Drag Challenge campaign

Photographers: Luke Hunter, Shaun Tanner

MATT McIntosh and Jayden Page got their first taste of quarter-mile action at Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend earlier this year. Emboldened by that experience, the lads from rural Victoria built a killer turbo VY HSV ClubSport to have a crack at Haltech Radial Blown on the full five-day torture test.

“The whole car was built in five months,” Matt said. “We really hadn’t drag-raced before Drag Challenge Weekend, which we did in a different VY. We came back from that with the bug, so we decided to build something serious.

“We bought it as an ordinary street car in June,” he continued. “We normally do supercharged cars at our workshop, Echuca Service Centre, but we have a couple of turbo set-ups under our belt now, so we are moving in that direction.”

For apparent greenhorns, Matt and Jayden are clearly fast learners, putting together a 427ci LSX combo huffing atmosphere through an 88mm Forced Induction Performance BorgWarner S488 turbo. The E85 guzzler is managed by a Haltech Elite 2500 ECU, while a TH400 three-speed auto handles ratios. So far Jayden and Matt’s Clubby has stomped out 1160hp at the hubs, on 24psi.

“We like how the LS engines work and how much good stuff you can buy for them, like the Plazmaman intake we have on our car,” Matt said. “We also love our VYs, too.”

Out the back, the stock IRS was thrown in the bin in favour of a Monroe Racing nine-inch running 3.5 gears. “We only got the diff finished at 7:30pm on Saturday night,” Matt laughed.

A faulty crank angle sensor held the lads back to a best of 10.08@149mph on Day One of DC 2019, before making the trek to Mildura via Swan Hill.

The VY did a 6.32@119mph on Tuesday over the Mildura eighth-mile, backed up with a 5.85@118mph on Wednesday. The lads then headed south to Portland, where slippery conditions meant a 6.07@129mph was as good as they could muster. Unfortunately, soon after leaving South Coast Raceway, disaster struck.

“About 20km out of Portland, we did a big-end bearing,” Matt said. “After we pulled over, a guy walked up and mentioned he had a shed and a hoist, so we took it there and confirmed it was terminal.”

Matt and Jayden got the car back to Echuca and had the motor out on the Saturday after Drag Challenge, and are already planning on ways to come back bigger and better prepared. “It wasn’t meant to be,” Matt said. “We’ll be back next year, as we’re getting ready for Queensland Drag Challenge Weekend. We’re making a couple of changes to the converter, as we’re still learning.”

Class: Haltech Radial Blown

Engine: Chev LSX 427ci
Turbo: Forced Induction Performance SW488
Transmission: TH400
Converter: 3000rpm mystery converter
Diff: Monroe Performance 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Power: 1160rwhp
Previous PB: N/A
Best DC 2019 pass: 10.08@149mph