Twin-turbo Noonan Hemi-powered Chevrolet Camaro

Kyle Hopf’s incredible three-second Noonan Hemi-powered Camaro is ready for Kenda at Sydney Dragway this weekend

Photographers: Steve Kelly, Dave Reid

AFTER storming into the threes with a [email protected] eighth-mile pass early on in its development, Kyle Hopf is looking to make further inroads with his newly constructed twin-turbo Camaro at the Kenda 660 radial meet at Sydney Dragway this weekend. Having been part of Australia’ s first side-by-side three-second radial pass alongside Wade Wagstaff’ s Chev, the Camaro has undergone changes in the chassis, power management and transmission departments.

“Given that we’ve made some changes, we’re not necessarily expecting to run in the threes in Sydney,” said Kyle. “The main goal is to make the car faster in the front half, and we know where we need to be in the front half of the track in order to be deeper into the threes, so we’ll make a lot of 60- and 330-foot hits. There’s no point making a heap of full passes and wearing the motor out until we have that part sorted, but there’s a bunch of timing and boost in reserve if and when the car is ready for it.

“I’d like to thank my sponsors, crew and supporters for making it possible.”

The original article below was first published in the May 2019 issue of Street Machine

Hopf, owner of 6boost, a successful Queensland-based performance business, has had an obsession with world-class radial racing for years, which, coupled with his skill and motivation to be competitive on a world stage, has produced what will certainly be one of the quickest Aussie radial cars of the modern era.

This 1968 Camaro originally ran as a 10.5 car in the United States. “The car was originally built in 2005 by Racecraft for Jim Robbins, and was an 864ci, 5.3-inch bore-space big block-powered manual car on nitrous,” Kyle says. “It was then imported to Australia to run in the APSA 10.5 class by Simon Kryger and Johnny Wilson and it made what is still the second-quickest nitrous pass in the country.”

Eventually, the car ended up with veteran small-tyre racer Stu Henry in Queensland, who revamped it into a radial weapon before deciding to move it on as a roller. Kyle sold the car he had in order to buy the Camaro, and it was game on.

“Over the years my dreams and aspirations had grown and I’d developed serious intentions to ultimately to take a car to Lights Out and Sweet 16 race meetings in the USA,” he says.

One of the first changes Kyle made was to get rid of the car’s orange hue in favour of the new Citrus Green Metallic. “I was never a huge fan of the orange, so after a conversation with good friend Brett Benz at Warwick Panel & Paint, the decision was made to give her a complete facelift,” he says. The amazing part of this story is that due to time constraints, the paintjob was done in a crazy 24 hours! Brett and his team worked their fingers to the bone, and the car rolled out of the booth the following afternoon looking flawless.

“The colour change and facelift is my favourite part of the whole transformation,” Kyle says. “It truly made the car, and I’ve received so many positive comments. Fittingly, the colour is actually a factory 70s Camaro colour too.”

When it came to the car’s powerplant, Kyle was initially keen to run a Tremaniac-built 460ci small-block, with heads based on Tremaniac’s canted-valve Pro Stock heads. “It was to be a killer deal, and as I look around the world now, it could have been a good move, especially when we’re now seeing the same engine running into the 3.60s,” Kyle says. “But there were extensive delays with the US block manufacturer, and I’m the type of guy that loses interest quickly if I can’t keep moving forward with my plans at the rate I need.”

So instead, Kyle opted for a Noonan 4.9 Hemi, just 16 weeks out from what he hoped would be the car’s debut at the Kenda Radial Riot at Willowbank in September 2018. Yes, there were other engine packages available such as the 481X, but with Noonan being somewhat local and capable of meeting an insane four-week engine build schedule, the deal was done.

“I liked the idea of being able to drive to the Gold Coast and talk about my motor or be able to buy parts,” Kyle explains. “The 4.9 Noonan addressed pretty much every shortfall of a regular Hemi, with a dramatically improved valvetrain being the main bonus for reliability. The 4.9 had certainly proved itself with a blower, and with mine to be the first they had built for a turbo application, it was an exciting decision.”

The 511ci short motor was assembled in the USA and shipped to the Gold Coast, where the top end was completed. It uses a 3.9-inch stroke, eight-bolt crank, 6.7-inch GRP conrods and Diamond pistons, and has been built to take an incredible 80psi of boost.

“There were bunch of small headaches once the motor arrived,” Kyle admits. “For instance, it was the first inlet manifold they had built for a turbo application, as these motors traditionally run a supercharger, so the intake didn’t have provision for any sensors or boost reference points. I wasn’t about to take a drill and tap to my new $10K manifold, so we had to get crafty with the engineering and built a spacer that bolted onto the burst panel that also integrated our fuel pressure mount.”

These 4.9 motors normally run a dry sump that bolts onto the front timing cover with an RCD clamp, and the pump points forward rather than running it down low and to the side like a 4.8. While dry sump oiling is usually considered the best way to go, the components chew up a lot of real estate and add weight to the car, require extensive plumbing and lines, and are prone to leaks and failure. Kyle reasoned that if Pro Mods can run into the 3.60s with a wet sump, there is no reason it should be a problem for this package, so they went with a wet system instead, with the data so far showing it has been more than capable, with no oil pressure fluctuations.

Two billet 700lb injectors are mounted in each runner, fed by a 32gpm Rage mechanical fuel pump from a 26-litre billet fuel cell made in-house at 6boost. From the pump the fuel runs to an Aeromotive tall-top regulator and through a System One 100-micron filter to the injectors.

The pipework on the car is incredible; the 6boost boys really know how to build a hot and cold side on a turbo car. The charge side and the five-inch exhaust are all hand-crafted in titanium. The hot side runs into 321 stainless piping before entering billet merge collectors, and the engine is fed by a pair of massive Garrett 98mm turbos with Tial stainless housings, supplied by Brett and the team at GCG Turbochargers, finished off with twin Turbosmart 60mm wastegates and blow-off valves. The Camaro is actually the first in the world with the new 60mm Gen-V gates.

Kyle is tight-lipped about the size of the cam, other than it being “big”. Shane Tecklenberg, who was responsible for the MoTeC package on the car, liaised with Dave at Noonan in the USA to plan the compression and cam package.

When it came to choosing an ECU, it was really down to MoTeC or Holley for Kyle’s application. “There are a bunch of quick cars getting about with Holley gear, but for me it was about choosing an ECU and tuner that could get us to the front in as few passes as possible, and there are few on the planet with more experience than Shane T,” Kyle says. “So we went with MoTeC, and this car has the most state-of-the-art electronics money can buy. The ECU is capable self-correcting from every sensor for traction control, wheelstand adjustment, O2 etc.”

Photographers: Steve Kelly, Dave Reid