ALON Vella is a little bit secretive when it comes to his Capri’s engine capacity. “It’s somewhere over 450 cubes,” he said. But when the conversation switches to horsepower, he’s a little more talkative. “It makes over 900hp with the single carby, which is how we did Drag Challenge, but with the twin carbs it makes over 1000hp.”
Unfortunately the freshly built twin-carby combo didn’t want to play when they took it out to Sydney Dragway for some testing, so the guys elected to run the single 1275 Dominator and see how it all went.
“We had nothing but problems in the lead-up to Drag Challenge,” Al said. “Carbies, electrical gremlins, trans issues, and then I ripped the exhaust off when I drove it on the truck to bring it down. So I had to weld it all together again before we even headed to Melbourne. I’ve got to really say thanks to John and Jake Maric for helping me get the car ready while I was losing my shit.”
Thankfully the problems stopped once they got on the road for Day One, although there was a mystery electrical glitch that would randomly shut the engine off. “It would run fine for a couple of hours and then just stop,” Alon said. “All you had to do was switch it off, and then fire it up again and it would be fine.” Weird!
After winning the Radial Aspirated class last year, Alon made a few changes to make the Capri even better. Obviously there’s the new motor, but he also had JB at SCF Race Cars redo the four-link rear to give it more suspension travel on the open road, while fellow Drag Challenge competitor Steve Micallef from Shift Right fitted a Gear Vendors overdrive.
“On the road it’s heaps better with the Gear Vendors,” Alon said. “I should have put one in years ago.”
With close to 1000hp and over 450 cubes, the Capri has a bit of a thirst, so the guys ran it on 98-octane fuel for the long drives, and then switched the metering blocks to run Roo16 for maximum performance on the track. “We didn’t push it that hard, because we had a pretty big lead in Earl's Radial Aspirated,” Alon said. “But if I’d known how close I was to being quickest Ford I might have pushed a bit harder. Once we’ve got it going right it should go 8.50s naturally aspirated.”
By the end of the week Alon had a 3.3-second advantage over his nearest competition to take the win in Earl’s Performance Products Radial Aspirated, and 13th overall – the Capri was the quickest naturally aspirated car at Drag Challenge. That’s two wins in a row for Radial Aspirated; can anyone match him next year?