Wheelstanding Winternationals victory 30 years in the making

Victor Tsatlogianis took home top honours in Super Sedan at a jam-packed Winternationals 2024

Photographers: Ashleigh Wilson

Those who have been following drag racing on the east coast will likely know of Victor Tsatlogianis’s VIC350 LH Torana, as it’s been a regular in the drag racing scene since the 90s.

“I bought the car in 1993, and my first event was the 1996 Nationals at Calder Park,” says Victor. “We’ve done events all over: Performance Street Car Shootouts, APSA in Modified Street Unblown, the old Atura series, Nitro Champ semi-finals, and a heap more.”

Over that time, the LH has had a bunch of combos, including a 582ci fatty that saw it into the 8.3s while racing in Top Sportsman. “We took that out right before COVID to make it a street car again, and put in the 436ci small-block I had built back in 2005,” says Victor. “All we did to the small-block was change the mechanical injection out for an eBay E85 carby and add a solid-roller street cam.”

Even with the smaller mill, the LH has gone as quick as 9.25, all on a 255 radial. At the 2024 Winternationals, Victor had the combo running to within an eight-thousandth of a second on a 9.27. 

Since he started racing nearly 30 years ago, one of Victor’s goals was a win at the Winternationals, and he and the LH did just that at the 2024 Winters, taking out the Super Sedan class of the Aeroflow National Sportman Championship. “I wanted a gold tree, so I’m over the moon we were able to do it on such a big stage,” he says.

With reliability on his side, Victor didn’t break a sweat throughout the weekend. “I barely opened the bonnet; I’ve been super-impressed with the E85 on this engine,” he says. “With the 14:1 comp, it loves it.”

Wheels-up action is standard practice for the Torana. “It needs to go up to run a good time,” says Victor. “It can do a 1.35-second 60-foot on the 255, and the rear end is all still Torana stuff – there’s no tubs.”

As for the actual racing, Victor earned his way to the top to beat Patrick Barron for the Sportsman Super Sedan crown. “We did it the hard way, running all six rounds without a bye run. I got lucky with a double break-out that I still won,” he says. “It was such a well-run event, with a packed crowd.

“I would like to thank the K&A Racing team,” he continues. “I also want to say a special thank you to Terry Koukides for being my wingman for my meeting, Chris Adam, Fred from Protrans for his support, my good mate Pece and my sister Sevasti. This is just surreal, and I still can’t believe it. It is amazing, and I am still taking it all in.”

The Winters was the only round of the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship Victor was able to attend this year, but he’s planning to be at the Sportsman Grand Finals at Dragway at the Bend, 18-20 October.

  • Engine: 436ci small-block Chev
  • Trans: Protrans Performance Automatics Powerglide
  • Converter: TCE 5800rpm
  • Diff: 9in, 4.11:1 gearing
  • Wheels: 15×10 (rear)
  • Rubber: Mickey Thompson SS 255/60R15 (rear)