WHEN it comes to street-style no-prep racing, there’s no doubt that all-wheel-drive cars have a strong advantage over two-wheel drive. Jason Ruby’s S13 Nissan Silvia started life as a rear-drive turbo four-cylinder car, but has since morphed into a nine-second RB30/25 weapon. Recently, a Nissan GT-R all-wheel-drive conversion has been added into the equation.
At Tunnel Vision’s King of the Street event at Ballarat Airport last weekend, the Silvia absolutely dominated the field of some of Melbourne’s toughest genuine street cars. The rules were simple: eighth-mile heads-up racing on DOT-approved tyres, road-registered cars only with full exhaust systems, and no stripped-out race cars with number plates.
We saw the likes of Luke Foley in his eight-second VH Commodore, Jason Ghiller in his Barra XD Falcon, Brendan Cherry’s twin-turbo big-block HK Monaro, Dom Zito’s LJ Torana and heaps more come out for a crack at the cash up for grabs.
From the outset the quick Silvia looked a chance; once it hit second gear it just gripped and ripped during the practice runs.
In the first round the Silvia took on Ken Perry’s HK Monaro, driven by his wife. Despite a slow reaction time, Jason was able to drive past the Aussie classic and take the win. Round two saw Jason take on the only other all-wheel-drive car in the comp, a turbo four-pot Mitsubishi Evo III, with the Silvia winning by a few car lengths.
In round three things really started to heat up as Jason took on Jim and his HK Holden. The startline got stickier as the day went on and by now the Silvia’s traction advantage was starting to fade. The HK managed to get out of the hole cleaner than the Silvia, but once Jason pulled second gear he flew straight past the old Holden, proving that the boosted RB has some serious snot.
Round four was an easy win to the Silvia. Vince Riccotti wasn’t able to get his turbo Ford single-cam six-powered Cortina onto the two-step before the lights went green, so it was super-lazy out of the hole. The semi-final also saw an easy win to the Silvia against a Chev-powered HQ sedan.
In the final it was Brendan Cherry’s twin-turbo big-block HK Monaro versus Jason’s Silvia. Brendan hadn’t really been challenged all day and looked like a serious contender from the outset – for a car making over 1000rwhp through a 255 tyre, it managed to hook up surprisingly well on the no-prep surface.
Cherry managed to just get ahead of the Silvia in the first 60ft, and from there it was neck-and-neck the whole way, until the big-block in the Monaro really came on boost and started blazing the rear tyres in the top end. Jason’s Silvia drove straight past him – but what a race! You couldn’t have asked for a better final between two very different cars.
Jason took home $4000 cash for the win, while Brendan pocketed $1500 for his efforts.