BIG BURNOUTS, bigger wheelstands and massive mph make Pro Street drag racing exciting. But what makes the concept interesting is the variety — big-blocks, small-blocks, blowers, turbos, nitrous and aspirated mountain motors.

The only common denominator in recent years has been the almighty V8 but with recent rule changes and new classes, the APSA’s Outlaw 10.5 Shootout at Willowbank Raceway had V8s, turbo sixes, fours and even rotaries slugging it out across the classes, making for some real drama and rivalry.

The headline class was Outlaw 10.5, with a $10,500 first prize on offer from Procomp Motorsport. The rules for the class allow any car with swinging doors, with any engine combination, just so long as you run it on 10.5W tyres — in other words, run what you brung and hope you brung enough!

The cash had plenty of heavy hitters lining up for a shot, including the Top Doorslammers of Mat Abel and Ivan Scaramuka, four Toyota 2JZ-powered Pro FX weapons, plus Frank Mamone’s evil blown Nova. Shane Tucker even had a Pro Stocker entered but didn’t make the start.

Regardless, it was a tantalising field — three massive V8s against the latest and greatest turbo sixes. The Top Doorslammers had the grunt but the question was whether they’d be able to put it to the ground on the narrower tyres. The turbos had the advantage of being able to dial in power as they chose through their engine management systems, while Mamone’s car was the only one constructed specifically to run the smaller tyre.

It was wide open and produced some thrilling racing. Mamone’s Nova ran straight and hard, with a best of 6.89@210mph, while the fastest turbo car was Ben Bray’s Gas Motorsports Scion, on 6.87@199mph. But the class of the field was Matt Abel’s ’57 Chev ’Slammer, which looked pure evil in all-black duco and ran a stunning 6.46@220mph.

In any other class of drag racing, you could be excused for thinking that Abel had the cash in the bag, but 10.5 is all about unpredictability, which quickly came into play as racing commenced.

Ben and Joe Signorelli both had issues in their Gas Motorsports cars, while Queensland Pro Stock legend Tony Wedlock got down to business with a stout 6.97 in his Toyota Solara. Bray hit back with a win against Mamone and Abel red-lit against Zoran Gajic’s 2JZ-powered BMW.

All bar Gajic and Signorelli ran into the sixes on the day, but only Mamone and Abel could do it reliably. Unfortunately for Mamone he ran his only seven of the weekend against Bray, leaving Abel to face off against Gajic in the final.

That put the fastest car against the slowest — but the big Chev farted and stalled on the line, leaving an ecstatic Gajic to take the cash. Not the result anyone expected but a great sign that this class is going to be fun to watch. For full coverage of the other classes – including the new Outlaw Radial class – grab a copy of the January 2011 issue of Street Machine.

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