Ford Powered Nationals 2022

A few quick highlights from the 2022 Ford Powered Nationals at Heathcote Park Raceway

Photographers: Michelle Porobic

The Street Machine team headed out to the Ford Powered Nationals on Saturday at Heathcote Park Raceway. Our main job for the day was to put the Carnage Mazda MX-5 through its paces. Scotty and the lads at Maxx Performance had just finished fitting a huge new turbo to the Mazda’s Barra powerplant, as well as replacing the old Ford ECU with a brand-new Haltch Elite 2500.

We’ll reveal how that went in a future Carnage episode. The event itself was a cracker, with over 100 cars and some great racing. The weather was killer all day, until a downpour in the evening put a stop to play.

“Unfortunately we had a decent shower come through around 7pm in the middle of the elimination round 3 and we were unable to finish the rest for the event or crown any class winners,” says event promoter Todd Foley.

“So collectively we have decided to split the entire prize money ($4000) over the 23 remaining entrants. It’s not the way we would have liked to finish the event but I’m thankful we were able to finish 85 per cent of the racing and put on a good show for everyone.”

We had a blast racing, spectating and enjoying some gourmet BBQ and souvlaki action from the MPW and Big H Racing teams respectively. Here are just a few of our favourite cars of the day.

Mark Jachman brought this fascinating Mk I Ford Cortina over from South Australia’s Riverland. The little beast runs a Ford 250 crossflow six, complete with Autronic EFI and enough nitrous to make 650hp on the engine dyno!

Mark ran a best of 10.03-seconds at 137mph. Sadly, the motor is showing some signs of fatigue, so Mark is planning to build another one and then come back to the track to get that nine-second pass.

“We might put a Barra in it one day,” says Mark. “I want to run an eight-second pass ultimately and while I love these old 250s, the blocks are a bit of a limiting factor.”

Zoran Makarovski from Competition Engines has been campaigning his twin-turbo SBF-powered Fairlane for many years. and cracked the seven-second zone for the first time in Friday testing, running a 7.97-seconds at 173mph in the 4000lb beast. Zoran backed this up with another 7.9 in racing.

The Quilty family brought this crazy Holden Rodeo over from South Australia and while they didn’t compete at the Ford Nationals, they ran their creation in testing on both Friday and Sunday.

While it looks wild, the swap is actually super-neat and has the engine set right back in the firewall to make everything fit.

Sean Anthony’s Drag Challenge-proven 13CABS was the fastest car on the property and set a stomping new PB of 7.76-seconds at 182mph. Feature soon!

Danko Knezevic of Adiktd Performance fame built this Capri up as a young bloke, before selling it off to concentrate on family and business. He recently had the chance to buy it back and rebuild it in just one month with sons Zack, Dylan and Levi.

The family finished the car in time for the Ford Nationals and Zack jumped behind the wheel for his first crack at drag racing outside a Junior Dragster. After a test hit, Zack sent the Capri through for a 9.9 114mph!

“Zack has been working on this car every night after work until 11.30 at night and his hard work and dedication has really paid off, so I’m very proud of him,” says Danko.

“His brothers really chipped in as well. For a kid that has never done a burn out let alone jumped in a race car he did amazing, watching his brothers strap him in to the car was such a proud moment for me.”

Non-Fords are allowed to run at the FN in the Outlaw Class, which included Christoper Oscuro’s stunning RB30-powered VL. Christopher nailed a new PB of 8.36-seconds at 163mph. The VL was the fastest car in its class and was going rounds until rain halted play.

Also in the Outlaw class was Jeremy Cheaib in his bad-ass Toyota Supra dubbed JETLNR. Jeremy ran five PB-setting passes, with a best of 8.18-seconds at 169mph.

Congrats to Todd and his team on a great event! All being well, we’ll be back at HPR next weekend for more Carnage testing next weekend.