Nine cars to watch at Drag Challenge Weekend 2020

A bunch of cool rides that have caught our eye on Day One of DCW

Monaro 1422 Jpg
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ROWAN ELLEM – DODGE CORONET

Class: Haltech Radial Blown

DRAG Challenge virgin Rowan Ellem brought some heavy metal to pop his DC cherry, in the form of a 1967 Dodge Coronet. Bought as a wreck in 2003, the big Mopar rocks a mild Martin White-built 440ci big-block topped with Trick Flow heads, and makes 468rwhp.

Dodge 440 Jpg
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“We have two nitrous kits on there, including one that is 100rwhp, but I’ll only use one to avoid spraying the rods out of it,” Rowan laughs. “It only has a cast crank in it, with a 727 auto and 8¾-inch Mopar diff with 3.7s.”

A mono-leaf rear end with Competition Engineering CalTrac bars work with the 255 radials to move the big-inch barge down the eighth-mile in 7.0s, while Rowan made his own chassis connectors, added carbonfibre bumpers and a fibreglass bonnet to cut the Plum Iris Coronet’s mass down to 3500lb.

SCOTT HOFFMAN – TOYOTA SUPRA

Class: Haltech Radial Blown

WHILE he has a seven-second, 2JZ-powered KE20 Corolla at home, Scott ‘The Hoff’ Hoffman brought his JZA80 Supra to run at DCW 2020. The car’s original 2JZ is long gone, replaced by a Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 making a smidge over 1000rwhp. The quad-cam four-litre donk has upgraded internals, including Argo rods and big Kelford cams, while comp was dropped to 8.5:1 to suit the rear-mounted, journal-bearing Garrett GT4788 party-starter.

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“It has gone 9.40@150mph on about 36psi,” says Scott, the man behind Cleveland Exhaust & Suspension Service. “I run a Haltech Elite 2500, ’Glide, and I just spent a bunch of time sorting the cooling system and adding a/c.

“With no ’cage, I can only run 10.50s this weekend, but I think it has an 8.99 in it. It was only meant to make 1000hp at the crank, so it has some head-lifting issues that fire rings would fix, but I am not stripping this engine down to do that.”

REION SAMMONS – HQ PREMIER

Class: Turbosmart Outlaw Blown

ACCORDING to Reion Sammons, his HQ was a “stock, rusty blue 202 ’73 Premier with air and steer” until recently. It was reborn as a Monaro lookalike when Reion transferred the blown, tall-deck, 598ci Big M big-block from his ’65 Impala to the Quey.

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“It went 9.80@114mph in the 5200lb Impala – hard on the brakes,” laughs Reion. “It was starting to wreck the Chevy, so I ’caged the HQ and got it teched. Hopefully it goes 8.70, but it is 4200lb with 160 litres of methanol in the back, plus a full stock tank for road fuel.”

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Reion will remove the BDS 8/71 blower after each day’s racing to run the road legs aspirated and on pump fuel. “It’s a seven-year-old engine and I think it made 1450hp back then,” he says. “It is built for fun, not for taking it too seriously!”

DAVID CHALLEN – HT PREMIER

Class: Haltech Radial Blown

QUEENSLAND’S David Challen rocked up to Drag Challenge Weekend with his nine-second 1970 HT Premier. Sporting a 4.8-litre iron-block LS wearing twin high-mount eBay GT35 turbos, upgraded cam and intake manifold, it has made 700rwhp on just 14psi and gone 9.60@141mph – despite the rotating assembly and heads still being all factory hardware.

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“We have turned it up a bit since the dyno, and that 9.60 was pushing through the converter, so I changed that and hopefully we’ll go bottom nines,” David says.

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Behind the E85-guzzling LS is a Powerglide and nine-inch combo, which Dave is hoping will help him trap 150mph.

MARK RIEK – LH TORANA

Class: Tuff Mounts 235 Aspirated

BRISBANE’S Mark Riek debuts his Torana at Drag Challenge Weekend having only completed it on Wednesday night, following a 12-week build. Like plenty of others, Mark has seen the light with an all-alloy, 5.7-litre LS1 up front, taken from an extremely low-kilometre Statesman. To this, he’s added a FAST manifold, Higgins heads and a Comp Cams bumpstick, all sitting on Tuff Mounts hardware.

Torana Lx Jpg
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Running on 98 pump fuel, the original-paint Torana churns out just a touch over 400 horses at the hubs through a 4500rpm TCE converter, Protrans-built TH400 and Truetrac-centred nine-inch rear.

The Torana’s factory air conditioning has been plumbed to the LS1 air con compressor to keep Mark and his mob cool on the road legs.

BRENDON DE RUYTER – HONDA INTEGRA

Class: Turbosmart Outlaw Blown

DRIVEN by good mate Ben Wilkinson, Gold Coast-based Brendon De Ruyter’s 1995 Integra VTi-R highlights the variety of cars running at Drag Challenge Weekend. It’s also a showcase for some super-clever stuff; tucked under its factory front-drive floor is an all-wheel drive system sourced from a Honda CR-V mummy-mobile!

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The Auto Perfection-built, 101 Motorsport-tuned turbo B-Series engine hasn’t been opened in 13 years. “It’s done countless runs down the quarter,” Ben reckons.

Integra Jpg
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When it was a front-driver, it packed 600hp on around 35psi of boost and laid down a 10.2@146mph. But now it’s running with an extra 200 ponies and all-wheel drive, who knows what surprises this Honda has in store for us at DCW 2020!

JASON DAVIDSON – CHEVROLET CAMARO

Class: Haltech Radial Blown

THIS Camaro is untested coming into DCW 2020: “It’s been around the block!” owner Jason Davidson laughs.

Camaro Jpg
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Donk-swapped with an ex-wrecker’s 5.7-litre alloy LS, the Camaro is an ex-roundy-round racer bought by Jason 10 months ago for its extensive rollcage that complied with IHRA tech inspection to allow the car to run sub-10.5s. Now running a Holley carb, the LS feeds its twist to a TH350 auto and an alloy-centred nine-inch.

Jason describes the body as “rough but tough”, but it’s a little lighter than his previous One Tonner, so it should be quicker than the Tonner’s 10.6 and be a great street/strip cruiser.

FILIP PETROVIC – XB FALCON

Class: Carnage Dial Your Own

FILIP Petrovic’s 1973 Falcon has an aura of old-school street machining coolness. Under the bonnet is what Filip describes as a 408-cube ‘Clevor’ – a Dart-blocked Windsor wearing Cleveland-type CHI alloy heads and fed by a Holley carb. A C4 auto and Truetrac nine-inch diff completes a trad-tech driveline that puts down 440hp to the wheels on 98 fuel.

XB Falcon Jpg
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Being his own boss at Top Dog Convertors & Mechanical, Filip has done everything on the car except the paint over the past six years.

Xb Engine Bay Jpg
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Three test runs a few weeks ago saw the Falcon post a best of 11.02@124mph, and Fil hopes his no-trailer sailor will be into the 10s in the Carnage DYO class.

SHANE BAKER – VH COMMODORE

Class: Haltech Radial Blown

SHANE Baker’s 1982 VH Commodore carries a couple of turbos on its VT-series injected powerplant, along with COME alloy heads. On around 23psi of boost, it develops close to 1000hp, although Shane (who builds performance hardware at his business, Shane’s Bikes, Boats & Performance in Warwick) isn’t sure of the precise figure: “I have a dyno, but I street-tuned and datalogged this one,” he says.

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There are few doubts about that, as prior to Drag Challenge Weekend, the E85-fuelled sedan has run 8.47@165mph in the quarter and 5.3 in the eighth-mile. And Shane does that on an untubbed, standard suspension layout, too!

 

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Ash Wilson
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