Red CentreNATS Grand Champion 2022

Presenting the Red CentreNATS Grand Champ for 2022

Photographers: Ash Wilson

Nigel Warr’s HQ Holden ute is the Red CentreNATS Grand Champ for 2022!

Since we featured the ute in 615-cube, normally aspirated form back in the May 2020 issue, Nigel fitted staunch new combo, which no doubt helped in his quest to be the first West Aussie to win the Grand Champ gong.

Mods included a de-stroke to 567ci, an F-2 ProCharger, Plazmaman intake and water/air intercooler. Tuned by Jeff Johnson, the new deal made 1193hp at the hubs on 20psi and E85.

On the drag strip, Nigel out-paced the entire field and set a new personal PB in the process, to the tune of 9.2-seconds.

As well as completing the Street Parade, Grand Champ contenders have to compete at the drags, in a motorkhana and on the grass. Meaning show ponies and trailer queens are going to have their work cut out for them!

74UTE was up against some stiff competition, including Billy Shelton in his VL Commodore, who came into the event as the reigning Grand Champ for both Red CentreNATS and Rocky Nats.

The Street Machine Summernats 34 Grand Champion was also in contention, in the form of Jason Mansweto’s fearsome XW Falcon.

Both the VL and the XW are proven seven-second runners, but the Falcon had issues with traction this morning and was unable to get near its PB.

Likewise, the VL ran a healty 9.5-second pass, but way off his Willowbank best.

“The weather was cold this morning at the drags,” says Jason. “So I put the softest tune I could into it, but the track had no bite and we smoked the tyres. Unfortunately we only got one hit at it and we didn’t get up there in the points.”

The XW still took home plenty of tinware, including Top Sedan, Best Paint, Top Engineered and a spot in the Top 10.

Another fancied runner was Paul Tinning in his twin-turbo, Viper-powered XP Falcon, fresh from action at Gazzanats. Paul scored well at trophy time too, including a win in Top Undercarriage/Engineered. Feature soon!

Peter Beauchamp performed strongly in the Summernats 34 Grand Champion chase in his stunning FB Holden tudor and was in hot contention again in Alice.

While the twin-turbo Lexus V8-powered FB performed well on the Summernats pad, this was the car’s first time on a drag strip.

“We wheelspun the whole track,” says Peter’s son Daniel. “We went 14-seconds, but I’d like to think we could run an 11 or even a a 10 if we could hook up.”

Peter finished top three in the Grand Champ chase and also won the highly-coveted People’s Choice gong and placed in the top five Elite.

Freshly-married Joel Sykes also gave the Grand Champion chase a healthy crack in SINNER. Joel pretty much powerskidded the whole track, but still managed a staunch 11.47.

Other contenders included Radek Saits, who took out the Top Retrotech award come juding time in his slick XP Falcon ute.

It is always a treat to see Dean Rickard’s stunning HT Monaro in the flesh and even better to see it being used hard!

The longest-driven contender for Grand Champ would have to be Kev Jones in his HZ Holden panel van, who road-tripped from Perth to Alice for the umpteenth time!

And flying the flag for the late model brigade was Peter Jackson’s wide-body Audi R8.

Stay tuned for more results shortly!