MICHAEL Haimandos is no stranger to fast cars. His previous rides included a show-quality, street-driven XE Falcon that made over 850hp naturally aspirated. Then one day he got the drag racing bug, and found himself behind the wheel of a Pro Stock-engined Capri that was running rights. In fact, his first ever pass down the quarter was an 8.3 in the Capri! Ever since that pass he has been hooked on going fast.
Michael was content with the Capri, but eventually, good mate Mark Kougias called. “Mark said he had found us the perfect race car – a twin-turbo, seven-second Mustang from the USA,” said Michael.
Before he knew it, Michael was at BK Race Engines’ workshop checking out the Mustang. Bill from BK had bought the Mustang for himself and shipped it over to use as promotional race car for his business, but with no real time to enjoy the car he decided to sell it. Michael was hesitant about buying such a fast car given that he was still on his drag racing Ls, but with a heap of encouragement and financial support from Mark, the boys soon had the 2000hp plus Ford in their shed.
The Mustang is a ’99 model, with a chassis built by Racecraft and updated by none other than Larry Larson Racecars in the USA. Powering the beast is a 400ci DART billet-blocked small-block Ford (previously 392 cubes). It runs a host of killer go-fast gear, such as a Bryant billet crank, GRP conrods and Diamond pistons. The custom billet wet sump is teamed with a Petersen external oil pump, and the camshaft is a custom-ground 55mm Bullet roller item.
Sitting on top of the short block are a pair of Brodix BF202 alloy heads filled with JESEL rocker gear, Exceldyne valves, Trend pushrods and PAC valve springs, while the port-matched Edelbrock manifold seals the deal. Supplying the Methanol is a belt driven Aeromotive fuel pump with 16 Siemens 2200cc fuel injectors. Controlling the fuel, spark and everything else is a BS3 ecu and MSD Grid ignition.
Previously the engine was equipped with a pair of Garrett 78mm journal bearing turbos, but recently the boys have fitted a pair of Precision 88mm Gen-2 ball bearing turbos in the search for more horsepower. They produce around 42psi of boost and slam it into the cylinders after being cooled by a custom water-to-air intercooler.
The combination pumped out over 1690hp on the hub dyno with just 35psi of boost. It’s very safe to say that this black beauty is making more than 2000hp come race day. Backing up the mega-tough engine is a three-speed Lenco with a Neal Chance 7000rpm converter. The gearbox is maintained by Michael’s mate Johnny from Johnny’s Automotive. The 3.7:1-geared Strange Ultra case differential with 40 spline axles transfers the power to the ground.
The car was originally setup to race in the Outlaw 10.5 class in Cecil County, USA, and used to run consistent 7.0 quarter mile passes. Here in Sydney, the best ET Michael has managed so far is 6.71@189mph on a 33x10.5in Mickey Thompson slick. Recently, at the 2017 Nitro Champs in Sydney, Michael had a ‘moment’ on the race track.
“I left the line hard and then, a few seconds into the run, we overpowered the tyres when shifting into second gear and I crossed the centre line in a big way, but was able to hang onto it, and keep it from hitting the other racer and the wall,” said Michael. “I managed to save it, luckily.”
Ideally Michael and the team want to go faster, but that isn’t his favourite things about going racing. According to Michael, the mad thrash leading up to a meeting with all his friends and family on board is what matters most. It’s a steep learning curve, and Michael is keen to learn more about the chassis and other elements of the car.
“If it wasn’t for all the financial help and encouragement from my good friend Mark, I’d still be running eights in the Capri,” said Michael. “I can’t thank him enough for the opportunity to go out and race and have fun.”