FOR the Australian contingent, Hot Rod Drag Week got off to be bad start before a single pass was run – with three cars and an engine being stuck in a container and unable to make the event.
Nevertheless, the Aussies in the event performed strongly, with only the POR440 Valiant of Mark Arblaster recording a DNF.
Ben Neal with Toyota Cresta headed out first with the plan to lean on the Barra hard. The boys haven’t had to touch the Toyota at all this week and on the first pass it went 9.66 at 142mph. We reckon there might be a transbrake in the Cresta’s future, but being the last day Benny gave it a couple more cracks with a 9.83, 9.50 and 9.41 at 146mph. They finished up with a mid-nine second average for the week.
Ross and Brenton Gault made it to back to Atlanta with no problems with their 1955 Chev. Brenton reeled off an 11.72 at only 115mph to settle the ledger, but the 540ci big block just didn’t seem willing to repeat the 10sec time slips from earlier in the week. They gave the Chevy one last pass to see if would help, but 11.39 at just 116nph was the best the ’55 was willing to give on Friday.
Jamie Farmer made two passes today with the little blue Mustang. The shifter has been giving them all kinds of problems they decided to change the nitrous plate and that helped the pony car jump into the 11s with an 11.63 at 109mph.
Almost everyone made multiple passes on Day Five, including Robbie Abbott with the Malibu wagon. It may have only been packing a mild 396ci big block with the wrong converter and a Powerglide, but Malibu Stacey did okay. The first run was all about bringing the big girl home, so 14.60 at just 80mph was enough to complete Drag Week, but Robbie knew there was more in it.
He gave it one last hit and was rewarded with a 13.79 at 99.8mph. Not bad for a bits and pieces combo that was just thrown together at the last minute.
Brian Jensen brought home the goods in the LX Torana hatchback. A 9.85 at 137mph sealed the deal, but he headed back out to run a 9.78 at the same mph to take third spot in the Super Street Big Block Naturally Aspirated; the third time Brian has won a trophy in this class at Drag Week.
Harry Haig went one better in the Super Street Big Block Power Adder class with the Aussie Chevelle. An early pass delivered an 8.92 at 155mph, which looked close enough to finish in the top three but the boys knew there was possibly an opportunity to go one better. In the heat of the day the Chevelle went 8.72 at 156mph and that was enough to put them into second place. They cranked up the boost on the last pass to see if would go better, but the intercooler said no.
It seems the intercooler is so restrictive that they’re only getting 22psi boost at the other end regardless of what they feed into it, so 8.82 at 156mph their final pass at Drag Week 2018. The guys didn’t care though because second place felt like they had won Bathurst and the Grand Final on the same day; we reckon there may be some sore heads tomorrow in the Chevelle camp.
John Faraone had his most successful Drag Week ever in his Valiant Charger. After the ignition woes earlier in the Week, Faraone pulled the MSD10 out of his car and put in the old MSD8, “It won’t make as much power, but it won’t blow apart the rotor buttons either, “ John said.
The Charger went 8.28 at only 149mph on the first pass, which was good enough to give him a seven-second average at Drag Week, but a cracked cylinder head had everyone thinking that was it for DW2018. John wanted sevens at every track so he drained the water out of the engine and sent it for one last pass – the result was a 7.93 at 183mph and third in the Unlimited class. What an achievement!
So there we have it, the most successful Drag Week ever for Australian entrants with three class trophies coming down under. Hot Rod Drag Week was brutal this year with temps in the 30s every day and the kind of humidity that made you felt like you were walking around in a swimming pool.
The organisers have already announced where next year’s event will be held and that is in the North East with four totally new tracks again. Stay tuned for plenty more content from Drag Week in the coming days.