ON FRIDAY night at Calder Park there were a bunch of Street Machine Drag Challenge entrants getting some test passes under their belt, and crikey they’re getting fast! Despite rain the night before and dark clouds in the area, the turnout was great and the track was nice and sticky.
Straight off the bat Drag Challenge veterans Adam Rogash and Quentin Feast went low eights, both lifting before the finish line. This was the first time we’ve seen Quentin racing for a while now, as he’s had his twin-turbo LS-powered Torana off the road for some tweaks. He now has a new pair of Garrett GTX3582 turbos but incredibly still retains a factory LS plastic intake manifold. Quentin won the first two Drag Challenges and took last year off, but is returning again this year to challenge the new competition. Quentin cracked into the sevens for the first time and ended the night with a 7.75@177mph on conservative boost.
Adam Rogash had his new VK Commodore ALLSHOW out for just its third time at the track. He was keen to get the twin-turbo 440ci LS-powered Brocky tribute into the sevens for the first time too, after struggling with traction at Calder a few weeks earlier. He made the switch to a smaller 275/50 tyre from the 325/50 he originally had, tweaked the suspension and finished up with a 7.75@180mph – still turning tyres through the top end. Adam has won the Haltech Radial Blown class at Drag Challenge for the last two years in a row with his HSV Clubby NOSHOW, which ran a best of 7.80.
Jason Ghiller from Tunnel Vision was also doing some testing with his 8-second Barra-powered XD Falcon. Jason managed to get through Drag Challenge last year without a single issue, however now just one month out they’re all coming at once! He has been having problems with his bump-in feature on his transbrake, which is fine for Drag Challenge, but at Calder the gearbox became really unhealthy after a few runs. His plan is to get one more test and tune under his belt with the repaired gearbox and then tear down the engine and give everything a check before Drag Challenge.
A few of the K&N Dial Your Own class cars were also out testing including Rohan Hutson with his bad-arse nitrous small-block ’55 Chev, and Dean Osborne in his VX Commodore. Dean’s VX is pretty cool; it runs low elevens with just a cammed L98 and TH400 combo.
While John Colaidis isn’t doing Drag Challenge, it’s worth a mention because this is the first time he has raced in yonks! His Mustang was at King of the Street a couple of weeks prior but didn’t get to run because of mechanical gremlins. The turbo, single cam Ford six ran 9.0@147mph – well off the car’s best, but John and tuner Jason are still easing into it with the new turbo setup.
We also saw Evan Pantelios’s crazy VL Turbo out again. It’s still early days in terms of seat time for Evan, who prior to this car had only raced a 12.50-second VL Turbo – and that was twenty years ago! Plus the guys are still working on dialling in the suspension. Right now it looks like a pretty hairy ride, with the car blazing the tyres from about half-track onwards. Evan’s best for the night was 8.58@138mph.