Results: Holden Nationals 2023

All the highlights, results and action for the biggest-ever Tuff Mounts Holden Nationals

Photographers: Chris Thorogood, Noah Thorley

The Tuff Mounts Holden Nationals is always a premier event on the drag racing calendar, event organiser Todd Foley continually improving and making the lion pride showcase bigger and better every year.

2023 was no exception, with the 225 entrants making it by far the biggest running by some 50 cars that packed into Heathcote Park Raceway. Following Thursday’s testing was Friday’s qualifying, with eliminations and finals on Saturday.

The record number of entrants were farmed into nine classes, with the quarter mile classes racing under dial-in format and the heads-up eighth-mile classes duking it out infront of a pro tree.

Saturday mornings final qualifying runs (all run under quarter mile) saw some ripping pace in the crisp Heathcote morning sun, the Heathcote Park surface seemingly raining PBs to give us a taste of what was to come.

Ricc Pontonio’s brown VK Commodore lit up the timing boards with a fresh PB of 7.84 @175mph, backing up his form of joining the Seven Second Club at Drag Challenge earlier this year.

Luke Foley also eeked out a nice new PB during testing, stopping the clocks with a 7.61 @180mph in the ever-consistent VH Commodore, sporting a freshly rebuilt twin-turbo LS. He was just pipped over the line by 0.06 of second in the semi finals of the 275 heads-up class after a safety cut in the VH halted his pace.

Jake Cartledge was one of the few non-GM powertrains in the field, the Barra-powered VK wagon showing good pace with a couple of eights including a new best of 8.32 @166mph.

Luke Green and his TOPFLO LH Torana was another to break a barrier at Holden Nats, rocking into the sevens with a 7.99 @166mph and then improving to a 7.95 @171mph.

Mark Drew’s crusty LH Torana sent chins wagging on Friday with a 7.37, then backed it up with a 7.33 @194mph on the Saturday before claiming the win in the 275 GOAT heads-up class.

Although Mark’s pair of 7.3s made him the fastest radial car in the history of the event, it was Bruno Matijasevic in the big tyre HG Kingswood BADD71 that was the fastest car on the property. The thumping orange beast blew the crowd away with a pair of six-second quarter-mile passes during qualy, the best of those a 6.82 @190mph.

Eliminations got underway from late afternoon on Saturday with plenty of action including red lights, break outs, big pace and some super close finishes.

Luke Cartledge in the purple LC Torana and Pat Caruso in the Gemini coupe had one of the longer staging face offs in the final of Aspirated Assassins, with the par sitting in pre stage for nearly two minutes. When they finally did race, Luke uncharacteristically broke out while Pat nailed his run score the cherries.

Fittingly, the Six Cylinder class final was fought-out by two RB-powered VL Turbos. The race was a super close one, with Chris Oscurro’s blue Calais just coming out on top of Jack Kujundzija.

Kevin Cox had been wheel standing his nitrous HK Premier wagon all weekend in the 235/255 heads-up class, and he did exactly the same in the final against Jake Crumblin’s HZ ute to earn the top silverware.

Steve Athans fourth-gen Mustang lined up in the Big Tyre class heads-up final against Scott Foreman’s beautiful VB Commodore. The twin-turbo big-block Chev in the Mustang was pounding sevens all day, and continued the fast form to take the class win.

Lee Murray’s WEPN LJ Torana has had a few upgrades since our feature, but is still packing a ProCharged Holden V8 that send it down the track to a new best of 8.8-seconds at 158mph.

Trashy’s AGRO64 EH put on its traditional display of bonkers wheelstands.

Below is all the class results from the event, and keep an eye out for the June issue of Street Machine for the full event coverage.

Class Results – Holden Nationals 2023

Pro-Port CNC – Iron Lion

1st- Chris Tatchell – LH Torana

2nd- Paul Clifford – Holden Kingswood

Performance Parts Solutions – Aspirated Assassin

1st – Pat Caruso – Gemini coupe

2nd – Luke Cartledge – LC Torana

Hurricane Automotive Products – Boosted Holden

1st – Matt Murphy – HQ Kingswood

2nd – Jamie Knight – HZ Premier

Vicwide Diesel Repairs – Six Cylinder

1st- Chris Oscurro – VL Commodore

2nd – Jack Kujundzija – VL Commodore

Pro Street Radials – 235/255 Tire

1st – Kevin Cox – HK Premier wagon

2nd – Jake Crumblin – HZ ute

MPW – 275 GOAT

1st – Mark Drew – LH Torana

2nd – Andrew McQualter – HQ wagon

Race Parts Melbourne – Big Tyre

1st – Steve Athans – Ford Mustang

2nd – Scott Foreman – VB Commodore

Pro Street Trimming – Street Brawler

1st – Jamie Turner – HQ Kingswood

2nd – Jude Drew – VR Commodore

GJ Drivelines – Stick Shift

1st – Nick Nelson – VK Commodore

2nd – Phil Xuerub – VN Commodore