THE XR6 Turbo Developments Six-Cylinder class was a new addition for Drag Challenge 2019, blooding a bunch of new talent and delivering on drama, speed and camaraderie.
It should come as no surprise that the top end of the Six-Cylinder field was occupied by Barra-powered metal. Bringing home the top gong in the class was George Lyras and his slick Barra-powered Cortina. It was George’s first crack at DC, and he led the class from start to finish thanks to consistently solid pace.
After running an 8.81@148mph on Day One at Calder, George almost pulled the pin on the road when a bunch of electrical dramas gave the boys some headaches. “We ended up chasing it down to one bloody wire on the alternator,” he said.
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With that problem sorted, George backed up his Day One pace with bests of 5.73@121mph on Day Four over the Portland eighth-mile and 8.97@151mph on the final day back at Calder to stay on top.
“The pace was okay,” George said. “It’s not as quick as the car has gone before, but we’re here at the end of the week, which is the most important thing.”
Second spot in the class also belonged to a Barra-snotted Ford: Chris Palfreyman’s XD Falcon. Chris came all the way up from Hobart for his first crack at DC, and after four days of competition he sat just 0.823sec behind George, with best times of 9.14@160mph on Day One and a 5.9@120mph over the eighth at Portland on Day Four.
“We’ve had some issues,” Chris admitted. “We hit a kangaroo coming up to Mildura after stopping to help a competitor, the auto has been getting hot on the road, and we’ve had some coolant and fuel leaks to tidy up as well.”
The battle for the top spot heated right up on Day Five at Calder, when George Lyras couldn’t get the pace he wanted and Chris screamed down the track to the tune of a monster PB of 8.71@157mph. Unfortunately though, that was Chris’s last run of the day. “We hurt first gear in the auto on that last pass, so we’re done,” he said.
Putting a stop to the Barra domination was Danny Bresciani’s R33 Nissan Skyline. The RB-powered beast had been keeping the Barra boys honest all week, with a 9.46@146mph on Day One and a scintillating 5.91@122mph eighth-mile pass on Day Four at Portland, before a 9.17@151mph on Day Five secured his third-place finish.
Danny’s auto let go on Day Three, but fellow competitor Wayne Cartledge came to his aid. Wayne had also been a front-runner in the class with his Barra-powered Cortina, sitting in third spot until he broke a piston on Day Three. With his car out and Danny’s R33 in need of a gearbox, Wayne set about pulling the ’box out of the Cortina in the pits at Mildura to throw in the Skyline so Danny could get through the week.
Drama also visited the Haltech boys and their G6E FG Falcon, which royally screwed a tailshaft in the pits on Day Two at Mildura when Mitch Smith was practising stalling the car up with some added boost. “I don’t really know what happened,” he said. “We were just stalling it up and it completely munted the tailshaft.”
| Read next: Drag Challenge 2019 - Full Results
The crew put the word out, and somehow they not only found the only G6E in Mildura, but the owner was willing to park his car and donate the tailshaft until the boys could get back down to Melbourne on Friday, where Maxx Performance had an upgraded unit ready to go.
The Haltech crew were able to keep their pace consistent to finish sixth in class, with a pair of 10.6s on Days One and Five at Calder, and eighth-mile runs of 7.3 and 7.2 at Mildura and another 7.2 at Portland.
Casualties in the class were quite low, Shane Neumann’s Falcon and Wayne Cartledge’s Cortina being the only two withdrawals from the class early on in the week, with the remaining 14-strong field all grabbing their ‘I Survived Drag Challenge’ stickers.
XR6 TURBO DEVELOPMENTS SIX-CYLINDER CLASS - FULL RESULTS