JKLHYD VL Calais at Red CentreNATS #9

Lee and Anna Povey’s twin-turbo VL Calais has gone from strength to strength

Photographers: Ashleigh Wilson

Since we met Lee and Anna Povey at Red CentreNATS #7, their tough VL Holden Calais street car has got better and better as an all-round show and go car.

The VL cracked the seven-second zone last year and ran its current PB of 7.54-seconds at 183mph at Willowbank last month.

Hailing from Mt Isa in Queensland’s Gulf Country region, the pair aren’t afraid of a big drive. They’ve been to all sorts of tracks and events, including a massive 2500km haul down to the Holden Nationals in 2022.

Closer to home at this year’s Northern Nats at Springmount Raceway, the VL took out the roll racing competition, got the fastest MPH award and took home the best presented gong.

And last night in the 8-8.99 class of the Heavy Hitter drags at Red CentreNATS, Lee took on Luke Rosadi’s Maloo in the final. Luke got the holeshot, but Lee backdoored the HSV with an 8.416-second pass at 177mph against a 8.996 at 165mph.

Be cool to see this beast at Drag Challenge, Lee!

The story to here, 3 September 2021

We spied Lee and Anna Povey’s VL Calais in the Macca’s car park at Red CentreNATS #7, its pearl blue paint still managing to pop under the dreary grey skies of a rare rainy day in Alice. At first glance it looks like many other VLs rolling along on 20-inch Simmons, but as soon as the bonnet goes up and you stroll in for a closer look, that’s when it reveals its secrets.

Lee and Anna hail from Mt Isa and will be putting the Calais to the test in the Heavy Hitter drags at Alice Springs Inland Raceway tonight.

Bought as a rolling shell, the car already had some decent street cred, running well into the nines with RB30 power, but Lee had other plans that involved an LS Next block and heads from Dart that had previously been screwed together by Warspeed. The block and heads were all that was salvageable from a previous VL Calais that Lee had built, which tragically burnt to the ground, but sometimes, from adversity comes great things.

Thanks to the crew at Spot On Performance & Fabrication, the already tough VL got stepped up several notches, with a custom engine bay featuring a smoothed firewall and fabricated tubs that free up a lot of space in the engine bay thanks to the Rod Shop front-end that replaced the factory strut set up. The twin GTX 4202 turbos are mounted low behind the front bumper and the pipework and plumbing was also expertly handled by Spot On.

You’ll notice that’s a lot of motor to fit under a stock bonnet with no hint of a reverse cowl and that’s largely due to the Velocity Engineering dry sump allowing the engine to sit a fair bit lower. Velocity also supplied the beautiful intake manifold that sports a Plazmaman throttlebody. Moving back, there’s a Turbo 400 built by Paul Rogers and a 9-inch that’s narrowed to fit the 20×12 rims and 345/25 rubber under the mini-tubbed rear.

After a two year build it was time to see if all the time and effort was worth it, and after just two outings at the dragstrip, the car has run a best – so far – of 8.2 @ 166mph! That’s in full street trim with a full exhaust weighing in at 3542lb (1610kg) without the driver. Plans are to get the car to run a seven in its current trim before turning up the wick a bit and going on a bit of a diet.

The car’s current PB makes Lee a cinch for the the 8.000 – 8.999 Heavy Hitters bracket, which goes down tonight. The racing runs heads-up, on a pro tree and in Chicago Shootout format. If Lee can hook up on the ASID surface, he should be in with a shout at grabbing a decent wad of cash. Good luck, mate!