HIDDEN away in northern Victoria, about an hour from Shepparton, the Wilby Park Motorsport track has a laidback country atmosphere, and incorporates an eighth-mile drag strip, burnout pad and even an asphalt speedway/time trial circuit.
A larger than usual crowd of onlookers turned out for a day of drag racing and burnouts at Wilby Park on Sunday 5 May. Multiple classes of drag racers fought it out for the trophies, including Motorbikes, Four-Cylinder, Six-Cylinder, Under-5.0L V8s, and Over-5.0L V8s for the heavy-hitters.
Wilby Park is a great place to race; there’s no pressure, just a load of fun for everyone from beginners right through to the pros.
Here are some of the top cars from the day’s action.
1. A Wilby Park regular, Justin Robinson took out the Over-5.0L V8 class in his 555ci big-block Chev-powered LX Torana. Sporting a new Pro Systems SV1 methanol carby, the big-block is backed by a Powerglide feeding power to a sheet-metal nine-inch diff. “Wilby is Victoria’s best hidden gem of a track,” Justin reckoned. “It can be a tricky strip to get down, but I reckon if you can drive a car at Wilby you can drive a car anywhere. Getting the set-up right to get it off the line is the key to it here.”
2. Chris Carpenter’s XC ute, MR GRUMPY, runs a mild 351 Cleveland topped with twin carbs and a 6/71 Fisher blower. The transmission is a modified C10.
“I’ve owned the ute for five or six years now; engine-wise I don’t know a lot about the internals, as I swapped it for my old running gear,” Chris explained. “It’s got cast-iron heads and a girdled bottom end. She’s pretty mild, but tons of fun. Best I’ve run today was 8.30 seconds.”
3. Peter Nusser brought his XR Falcon ute down from Wodonga for some eighth-mile fun at Wilby, running a best of 7.20@105mph. Peter said: “I’ve owned the ute for six years now. The motor is a blown 363ci Windsor that I built in-house at my workshop, Azzi & Nusser Service Centre in Wodonga. It’s backed by a full-manual C9 transmission with a 3500rpm stall converter.”
4. TOEYAS is owned by Bryce Godfrey from Barnawartha. “I’ve owned the car over 21 years now,” he said. “It’s had a few rebuilds during that time but still isn’t finished. The driveline is a Dart Little M-blocked 408ci small-block Chev, running on E85. Up top are AFR heads, a big solid-roller cam and various other go-fast bits, while the trans is a T400 putting the power though to a nine-inch rear end.
“The car’s best time at Wilby is a 7.0sec in full street trim,” Bryce continued.
“I’m just waiting on a bigger converter and a Pro Systems E85 carby to help me get into the sixes.”
5. Jason Ruby from Albury is another regular at Wilby. His Nissan Silvia is one seriously quick sleeper. The street-driven monster has previously run a 5.8sec eighth-mile at Wilby, and an 8.8sec quarter-mile at 161mph.
“It was running a five-speed manual, but has recently been converted to a Powerglide with a TCE torque converter,” Jason said. “The custom transfer-case adapter was fabricated by me at home. I did the whole all-wheel-drive conversion in the shed, with R32 GT-R driveline components. Plenty of hours went into trying to make it fit. I haven’t seen another AWD RB Silvia in Australia completed yet, although I know of a few attempting it.
“The engine is a fresh build; Wilby was the first shakedown run for it,” Jason continued. “It runs an RB30 with a Nitto Performance Engineering 3.2L stroker kit. Up top is an RB25 head with custom MSP camshafts, ETM Turbo manifold and a Precision 7675 turbocharger. There’s a Turbosmart wastegate and a Haltech Elite 2500 ECU controlling it all. The engine’s built and tuned by Matt Sims Performance in Lavington, making 900hp on the four-wheel-drive dyno.”
6. Jason McInerney’s GETMOFF HQ One Tonner came down from Wagga Wagga, NSW for the action at Wilby. “We built it around four years ago purely for skids,” Jason said. “Me and my old man have done everything to it, including building the tray that’s made out of 5mm steel. The old man tells me it will be better for skids, but sometimes I think it’s way too heavy. It even has gas struts on it so we can lift it to fuel it up as well as making it easier to change tyres. The ute weighs 1890kg, so it isn’t the lightest Tonner getting around.
“It has a built 6.0L out of a VE Commodore with new pistons, cam and valve springs,” Jason continued. “It’s fed by a tunnel ram with EFI, and on E85 it makes 460hp to the wheels through a Turbo 400 auto built by Adam Slorach at ATS Automatics. It’s a burnout ’box with all the fruit and a 4000rpm converter. Down the back it’s got a nine-inch rear end with a full spool and 3.5 gears, all built by one of my best mates, Shane Maslin. The quickest we’ve been at Wilby so far on 325/50 semi-slick street tyres is 8.2@95mph.”
7. Mark Woodbridge from Tumbarumba put his shortened-wheelbase One Tonner through its paces all day. ”It’s running a heavily worked Holden 308 with lots of nitrous,” he said.
8. Kyle Bray from Wagga Wagga brought his turbocharged, LS1-powered HK Holden sleeper ute down to Wilby for a play. The LS1 has had a cam and springs upgrade and is backed by a T350 transmission and nine-inch rear end.
“With the 75mm turbo it makes 507rwhp,” Kyle said. “I’ve owned it for about five years and built the whole thing myself from the ground up in my shed at home. Today it ran 7.93@101mph, and that’s the first time it’s ever been down the strip. There’s plenty more in it once I can get it to build boost off the line.”
If you want to join in the fun at Wilby, check out the Wilby Park Motorsports Inc Facebook page for the dates of the next scheduled events.