Turbo Monaro makes the quickest and fastest pass in Drag Challenge history on amazing Day One

Daniel Szabolics’ epic twin-turbo big-block HQ Monaro broke the Street Machine Drag Challenge ET and MPH records twice on Day One of Drag Challenge 2019!


THE car gracing the cover of this month’s issue of Street Machine turned the tyres on its first pass, but came back to knock out an epic [email protected], pipping the previous record of 7.36@192mph set by Frank Marchese at Swan Hill in 2018.

“That was unreal; I’m still shaking a bit,” says Daniel back in the pits. “I had to steer it through the top-end as the track was a bit challenging today at 197mph. I think I actually pedalled it so Frank will probably yell at me once he sees the log.”

Powered by a Dandy Engines-built Dart Big M 632ci tall-deck big-block, the HQ uses twin 94mm Precision ProMod turbos to make over 2500hp at the hubs on 28psi, controlled by a FuelTech ECU. Sucking methanol at the track and pump fuel on the street, the 3800lb monster is all-steel apart from the fibreglass reverse cowl bonnet, and retains a full interior.

Watch the highlights from Day One

The forced fat block puts the hurt on an M&M TH400, with a fabricated nine-inch out back running 3.23 gears. Given he’s only made a handful of passes down the quarter-mile in his life, Daniel wisely chose to have the bloke who built his engine sit in the passenger seat for Drag Challenge. It is an especially smart move when your engine builder is Frank Marchese, who won DC18 in the Dandy Engines FAIRXW.

After Frank looked through the FuelTech’s logs in the pits and giving the silver two-door a once-over, Daniel wheeled back out to make another lap, running [email protected] on only his third pass at Drag Challenge.

“I’ve lifted a couple of times today as the car feels like it’s just going to let loose,” says Daniel. “We have so much more in it, but we just have to take it as it comes. Since the test day we fiddled around with the suspension set-up a little bit, and Frank has made some minor changes, but the biggest change was the new crank.

“We pulled the crank which was in it out last week and Frank put a new Callies Ultra Billet crank in it before Drag Challenge. It had a good crank in it previously, but you just don’t want a crank to break.”

The 275 radials out back meant Daniel is running Drag Challenge in the ultra-competitive Haltech Radial Blown class, though his record pass means he currently has the wood over the entire field so far, before the long drive to Swan Hill rounds out the first day of competition.

Holden HQ Drag Challenge


Class: Haltech Radial Blown

Engine: Dart 632ci big-block
Turbos: Precision 94mm ProMod
Transmission: M&M TH400
Converter: M&M bolt-together
Diff: 9in, 3.23:1 gears
Power: 2560rwhp
Previous PB: 7.37@194mph