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Nitrous Windsor-powered Ford Capri runs nines at Drag Challenge 2018

By Iain Kelly | Photos: Michelle Porobic & Chris Thorogood, 23 Dec 2018 Drag Challenge

Nitrous Windsor-powered Ford Capri runs nines at Drag Challenge 2018

Mark Whitla’s sweet Tassie Capri cracked the nine-second barrier on Day Four of Drag Challenge 2018

AFTER running in Turbosmart Outlaw Blown in his RUNS7S Ford Capri at Drag Challenge last year, Tasmanian Mark Whitla came to the 2018 event with a different, nitrous-huffing Capri.

Ford Capri“I am putting a new blown 540ci combo together for RUNS7S, but it wasn’t ready in time for Drag Challenge, so this is a car I thought I’d bring along instead,” Mark said. “It was a massive thrash to make it though, working ’til 2am every day so we could get this car done in time. The first time I had driven it was on the road leg from Calder to Swan Hill!”

Powered by a 302ci Windsor, the stock-block build runs a roller cam, alloy heads, 12.5:1 compression and swallows a 150-shot of gas. Behind the donk is a 4000rpm converter, C4 transmission and a nine-inch stuffed with 3.5:1 gears.

Ford Capri“I run pump 98 on the street and we chuck 105-octane race gas in it at the track,” said Mark on Day Two at Swan Hill. “It should run 9.70 if I can get it out of the hole. We have had an issue with a miss for a few days, but we think we fixed it last night and now I have to relearn how to drive the car! I was up ’til 2am rewiring the whole nitrous system.”

Ford CapriHaving run 10.14@129mph at Swan Hill on Day Two, Mark was keen to get his passes done and hit the road, as the Capri has speed-limiting issues requiring him to drive below the speed limit. “We have to drive at 80km/h on the road because the radiator in this thing just isn’t doing a good enough job, so it makes for a slow trip,” he said. “It’s also absolutely chock-a-block in there, as we carry everything in the car – wheels, tools, six bottles of nitrous, the lot!”

Ford CapriHappily, Mark achieved his goal of running nines on Day Four at Swan Hill, with the Capri posting a stout 9.98@135mph timeslip. His strong form continued into the final day at Calder, posting a PB over the 1000ft of 8.01@127mph to finish off the week in style before the long drive back down to Tasmania.

MARK WHITLA
1970 FORD CAPRI GT

Class: Turbosmart Outlaw Blown

SPECS
Engine: 302ci Windsor
Nitrous: 150hp shot
Transmission: C4
Converter: 4000rpm
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Power: 523rwhp
Previous PB: N/A
Best Drag Challenge 2018 Pass: 9.98@135mph