The Ford-Powered Nationals will be one of the first major drag racing events Victorians will be treated to as the shackles loosen, and if these early entries are anything to go by, it’ll be well worth the wait when cars hit the strip in anger at Heathcote Park Raceway on Saturday 4 December.
The Ford Nats is the brainchild of Todd Foley, who started a tournament for the Blue Oval faithful after the initial success of his Holden-Powered Nationals event, which managed to sneak through the COVID restrictions handicap earlier this year.
“It’s the third time we’ve had to reschedule the [Ford Nats] this year, but I really wanted to squeeze it in before the end of the year and give Victorians a racing event they’ve all been craving,” he said.
Much like the Holden-Powered Nationals, competitors will be divided into five classes, racing in a dial-in format: Outlaw, Aspirated V8, Aspirated Six-Cylinder, Boosted V8 and Boosted Six.
Up to $8000 in cash and prizes are also up for grabs alongside the class wins thanks to the event sponsors, with qualifying and racing all to take place on the Saturday.
“This event has had the biggest sponsor support I’ve ever had for any event,” said Todd. “It just shows how much support small businesses are willing to throw behind events like this, and I couldn’t do it without them.”
It’ll come as no surprise that there’ll be a whole host of turbo Barras in the staging lanes in all sorts of flavours, including Joshua Tuskin’s XW sedan. Josh has taken on the likes of our Drag Challenge before, and for this event he’ll be heaving a 1500hp turbo Barra that so far has run a PB of 8.40.
Omar and the Empire Mechanical & Racing crew are Barra specialists, and they’ve entered their own ballistic KNGFGX FG-X Falcon, which holds the record for the quickest XR6 turbo with a PB of 7.2@192mph.
Nem’s QuickBitz-built and tuned FG F6 was the first FG Falcon into the sevens with IRS, the car running a PB of 7.96@178mph while still packing a full interior, thanks to a whopping 2000hp at the wheels.
Holden fans look away now! Jake Cartledge’s VK wagon is also rocking a turbo Barra to the tune of 690rwhp, backed by a Powerglide and Ford nine-inch. Jake’s gunning for an eight-second ET.
It isn’t all turbos though, with Chevy Barnes-Librio entering this killer XB Falcon ute powered by an aspirated 300hp Barra! It uses an LPG bottom end with a Dyno-mite Performance head, Plazmaman intake manifold and a C10 ’box. Pretty stout for a P-plater!
A huge name making the trek down from NSW is Alon Vella and his Ford Capri. The all-motor Capri has run and won just about every aspirated class we’ve had at Drag Challenge, the 450-cube Windsor keeping the turbo boys honest with a PB of 8.49@160mph.
He’ll be accompanied by good friend Nathan Ghosn, who’s also a Drag Challenge regular in his all-motor Capri. These boys know how to make their cars quick and consistent, so there’ll be some stiff competition in the aspirated classes.
The onslaught of tough Capris doesn’t end there either, with Adicted Performance’s Danko Knezevic entering his own twin-turbo Windsor Mk1 Capri. Danko is a well-rehearsed racer and knows his craft, so we expect him to go deep into the finals.
If sneaky warfare is more your style, then Bobby’s rear-mount turbo Falcon ute is a mad sleeper. It uses a 4.6-litre Ford Modular V8, with a pair of 62mm turbos hidden under the tub to yield around 1000hp. The ute’s PB to date is a 10.0, with single digits on the horizon at Ford Nats.
George Lyras took home the top gong in our Six-Cylinder class at Drag Challenge 2019, so his 1000rwkW-capable turbocharged Barra Cortina has more than enough punch to play with the big boys.
Spectator tickets are just $25 and are available on the day along with event merchandise, with on-track action to start at 10am and run into the evening.
The entry fee for racing is $200, but spots are limited, so anyone wishing to take part should enter here before it’s too late. A separate test day will be run on Friday 3 December for an additional cost separate to the main event.