THE LAST weekend of February saw the Kenda Tires 660 Drag Radial Series leave its native Queensland for the first time, making its way south for a round at Sydney Dragway. The eighth-mile competition saw a Friday-night battle with a total of $15,000 in prize money up for grabs, while each class duked it out on Saturday for their respective titles.
There were some wild wheelstands at Kenda, but that of Rob Godfrey in his gorgeous nitrous big-block Torana was probably the wildest. Thankfully there was no damage to the powertrain when the car came crashing back down to earth, and while the steering bent and the car headed for the wall, the bullhorn exhaust glanced off it, saving the car’s exterior bodywork. Rob has already commenced the repair on the Torry’s bent chassis, and we’re sure it’ll be back on track in no time.
A full-weight XW Falcon with leaf springs, 275 radials and a monstrous twin-turbo Pro Line 481X riding up front sounds like a recipe for wheelspin, but Steve Bezzina had the old girl dialled in an absolute treat, taking the win in the Speedy Diffs Outlaw 275 class.
Bezzina defeated Andrew Coles in his twin-snail, LS-powered VL Calais, who fell victim to a red light at the line.
Chassis guru Craig Burns of Street Car Fabrications had his blown Mustang set on kill, reeling off an astounding nine consecutive 3.9sec passes across the weekend, with a best of 3.90@190mph. He also managed to claim the $5000 cash prize for winning the Outlaw Radial class at the Kenda Tires 660 Kombat Shootout on the Friday night.
Coming into Kenda, Wade Wagstaff’s ’57 Chev was already the quickest radial car on Aussie soil. Having undergone a massive revamp in the lead-up to the event, it was looking absolutely stunning, and while Wade didn’t have much luck once competition got underway, the Chev pounded out jaw-dropping 3.84 and 3.85sec passes in qualifying – the only car to run in the 3.8s.
Simon Kryger’s Torana was spectacular to watch and had the candles lit all day, setting a PB of 4.28@169mph and cementing its place as the quickest nitrous radial car in Australia.
Dave Gardiner’s wheelstand-happy LX Torana came out on top of the Radial Rumble A competition, edging out Matt Loy’s nitrous-assisted HQ wagon by a miniscule .0007sec.
Perry Bullivant debuted his new C7 Corvette radial car, recently purchased as a going concern from the States. Perry hit the ground running, dipping straight into the threes, going rounds like a champ, and ultimately claiming the Race Parts Melbourne Outlaw Radial class.
John Ricca’s Mustang looked likely to defeat Perry’s Corvette in the Outlaw Radial final, with a quick jump at the green. But drama struck halfway down the strip when the Mustang burst into flames, giving Perry the win.
Ash Mason took the Outlaw 235 Kombat Shootout win on Friday night in his boosted LS-powered RX-7, recording a 4.77sec ET to beat Graeme Mackinnon’s 5.27. He also claimed the Haltech Outlaw 235 class trophy for more bragging rights.
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Dale Heiler laid down a new eighth-mile PB on Friday night, running a 4.11sec pass in his certifiably wild 3000hp VT Commodore.
Drag Challenge veteran Mitchell Bean brought his wife Kim’s Holden One Tonner for a tilt on the eighth. It runs a 434ci small-block Chev, backed by a Turbo 400. The duo recently fitted Holley Sniper EFI gear and a new dash to keep the car streetable. Over the quarter-mile at Willowbank, it’s managed a 10.5@126mph.
The Kenda 660 will be back at Willowbank Raceway on 15-16 May for Round 2, with more big prizes up for grabs.