IF YOU ever want to start an argument around car guys, just ask who has the quickest street car around. The ultimate tests are events like Hot Rod Drag Week and Street Machine Drag Challenge that combine racing with track miles, but they are a big undertaking, both financially and time-wise.
The next best thing is to get all the contenders out to the track on the same day under the same conditions. Which is why Mustang racer John Colaidis, in conjunction with Tunnel Vision Turbocharging and Heathcote Raceway, has organised Melbourne’s King Of The Street meetings for the past two years. The third event ran last weekend.
The rules are simple: The cars have to be registered with full interior and working street equipment (no pulling headlights or seats) and run a radial tyre (any size) and a full exhaust. Previously pump fuel was a requirement, but it has now been dropped due to the difficulty in policing it. Nitrous had also previously been banned, but was allowed this time around. That said, turbocharging is the thing at KOTS, with 35 out of 45 cars wearing hairdryers.
Reigning champion Quentin Feast didn’t make it to defend his KOTS crown, leaving Frank Marchese’s twin-turbo XW as the favourite for the event. While the Falcon has a 7.54-second timeslip to its credit, the question was could he get all 2200hp to the ground. Frank must have thought he was at Powercruise at one point, doing a massive half-track powerskid.
Launch of the day goes to Mick Watt in his UTRIED Ford Cortina, running a new PB of 8.9@156mph. It has been a long time coming, and Mick’s crew were over the moon. Video to come!
Drag Challenge veteran Brendan Cherry had issues after his third pass with a dead injector and lost a piston, but managed to record an 8.91-second pass on an early shut-off and rolled through at 150mph. Brendan had the car home and the engine pulled out while most contestants were still at the track!
Steve Thomas’s LSA-powered VK is the cover car for the new issue of Street Machine LSX Tuner. Steve ran a 9.52@149mph, then gave the car a small shot of nitrous for a 9.49@139mph, backing off as he ran out legs in the top end.
Wayne Tennant’s A1R4C1 HQ Monaro ran 8.59@163mph. It’s powered by an LSX 427ci mill, with a single Garrett GT55 turbo.
Barry Hall’s staunch Premier ran a new PB of 9.6@145mph, thanks to an aspirated 572ci combo. And remember, these numbers are being recorded in full street trim!
Nigel Perera ran a best of 8.78@165mph in his VL. The car is powered by an RB25/30 combo and drives through a manual gearbox.
Matt Smoors’s VK graced the cover of the first issue of SM LSX Tuner. He has run 9.37 seconds at 153mph in the Magnuson-blown LS3 VK, and ran a best of 9.52 at Heathcote, running on radials for the first time.
Event organiser John Colaidis ran a best of 8.21@172 in his turbo six-powered Mustang, but broken planetary gears in his auto brought his day to a premature end.
The CHOPA7 VL Calais is out of the Maatouk’s Racing stable.
The V8 class came down to a David and Goliath match-up between young Brandon Zito’s aspirated LC Torana against the fearsome XW of Frank Marchese. Brandon ran a new PB of 9.34@149mph, and despite cutting some great lights, was out-powered by the Ford.
The XW was well off its best, with a quickest time of 8.19@177mph on low boost - more than enough to take the overall win.
Chris Kurumolla took out the six cylinder class and then went on to meet the Dandy XW in the overall final. His VN Commodore runs an RB30 Nissan engine built by CK Automotive and has run a best of 8.60-seconds on pump fuel.