The winners of Drag Challenge 2023

DC23 is wrap! Here's who came out on top


A huge day of racing at the glorious Bend dragstrip has just wrapped, with PBs and records toppling everywhere!

Surviving entrants crossed the border yesterday on a morale-boosting roadtrip back to Tailem Bend after a Portland washout. Some rolled up fresh-faced having grabbed some bonus Zs, while others thrashed to get their cars back together for one final effort. Without further ado, here’s the full list of DC23 class champions and runners-up! Keep your eyes peeled for the full awards list soon.

Haltech Radial Blown

Mark Drew’s crusty LH Torana has taken its maiden Drag Challenge victory, winning both the overall
standings and Haltech Radial Blown. Drewy’s pace was phenomenal all week, re-setting the overall
Drag Challenge record twice! He started with a 7.19@197mph at Heathcote, and on the final day at The Bend he went one better by handing in a 7.07@196mph.

Brandon Zito’s twin-turbo, small-block LC Torana was on kill mode all week, running well into the
sevens to stay in second spot in Haltech Radial Blown and third overall.

Turbosmart Outlaw Blown

First in Turbosmart Outlaw Blown and second outright goes to Mark Whitla. He staged in mighty Tassie Capri in the last 15 minutes of racing, and belted out an incredible 6.91@208mph! He’s earned the first-ever Six-Second and 200-Mile Club hats for the quickest and fastkeest DC pass in history.

Landing second in a mega-quick class on your first Drag Challenge is a massive achievement. David Tierney takes home silver in OB after a string of low eights in his twin-turbo, 400ci small-block HQ sedan.

Pacemaker Radial Aspirated

Al Vella’s had another corking week of wheelies and mid-eights in Pacemaker Radial Aspirated, and he romped it home by the better part of three seconds in his uber-angry 450ci Capri! It means he’s won the class at all but one Drag Challenge and Drag Challenge Weekend. 

Tony DiBiagio’s Clevor-powered, full-fat XY streeter managed an impressive week of mid-nines to earn second place. Blue Oval goodness all-round!

Carnage 235 Aspirated

The battle in the 235 Aspirated class was a tight contest all week, with defending class champion
Donnie Zurcas and Louis Younis’ LX Torana fighting it out. Only a couple of thousandths separated them at the end of Day One, and five days later the margin had swung in Louis’s favour by just 14 hundredths. He PB’d the car and ran the fastest time in Drag Challenge 235 Aspo history.

Tuff Mounts 235 Blown

The Tuff Mounts 235 Blown class got an unexpected shakeup on the last day, when the K24-
swapped Celica torched its engine on its first and only pass of the day. Driver Daniel Smith was
forced to hand in the default 20.00-second slip for not completing a pass, and the then-second-placed
Tom Wright took over the class lead in his HG by handing in a 8.75@167mph.

Carnage 9.5 Radial

Dylan Kane’s blown Quey is a feature-quality stunner with grunt and consistency to match, landing it first in Carnage 9.5 Radial. He stuck just two hundredths over the 9.50 benchmark on Day One and Day Two, handing in a great 9.507 on Day Three and clinching the win with a 9.545 today. 

Dave Carnell’s turbo Tonner was hot on his heels, finishing up two tenths behind. 

Pro Street Radials 8.5 Radial

The new Pro Street Radials 8.5 index class went to Clinton Kelly’s HT Holden, running just above the
8.5 dial-in all week to take the cherries. Chris Imlach’s Chevy Nova battled turbo issues for most of
the week to nab second.

GJ Drivelines Outlaw Aspirated

Dan Case’s Dart-blocked screamer of an LX sedan ruled the all-motor, fat-tyre crew, followed by Andrew Natoli’s VK.  

Speed Pro Six-Cylinder

Emanuel Debrincat led the Speed Pro Six Cylinder class from Day One in his freshly finished, RB-
powered VL Calais. Tuesday at Tailem Bend was the first passes for the car, so to win the car on his
first time out was a phenomenal effort.

Second place went to Warwick Meldrum’s Barra-swapped VF Valiant, and third to Shane Neumann’s sleeper XF ute.

Hare & Forbes Dial-Your-Own

Alysha Teale is undoubtedly the most successful Hare & Forbes Dial-Your-Own competitor we’ve ever had, and this year she smashed it out of the park in her evil-looking HQ. She nailed her dial-in within three passes on Day One, before nailing it first try at Mildura – a new personal record! She handed in another 11.272 on Day Five to cement her win, recording a 0.008-second split.

Runner up was Joel Lucas in his YSMOTY-nominated Falcon ute.