THE 2015 Australian Pro Street Association season kicks off 21 February, at South Coast Raceway in Portland, Victoria. One of the hottest classes at the moment is X275, which sees a great variety of toughies competing, all on 275 radials and running on an 8.5-second index.
One bloke who will be travelling all the way from Queensland for the first round is Tony Webb, and he’s bringing his stealthy LJ Torana with him. Apart from the car’s grandpa-spec theme, there are a couple of things that make it a little different to most. For starters, instead of LS or small-block Chev power, Tony has opted to stay with the venerable Holden V8. And instead of mounting his turbo in the engine bay, it is relegated to the rear of the car. It is a pretty neat combination that has run a best of 8.45@163mph.
BRINGING UP THE REAR
The car’s current set-up is the work of Matt Marsh from Pro Street Industries. Matt mini-tubbed the car, did a great job of tucking the ’cage in as tight as possible to the pillars, and bolted the turbo up the back.
“I had been looking at a lot of the American race cars with turbos down the back and it just made sense to me to do it that way,” Tony says.
Naturally the fuel tank had to be replaced with a fuel cell, intake and exhaust pipes made to run from the engine to the rear, and a small oil-pump recirculating system to return the oil back to the sump.
A better engine was built, but on just the second pass at Willowbank it lunched itself, so Tony talked to Mick Voase, who put him on to Dandy Engines, and they put together a decent 355ci donk. As far as engine combos go, it’s pretty basic. They’ve fitted a VT block with four-bolt mains on the three centre caps, and a COME crank with a Torrington bearing upgrade on the thrust side. Throw a set of factory heads, Precision rods and Diamond pistons into the mix and you’ve got a tough but simple set-up.
“The first STS turbo set-up was terrific down low and almost lagless, but overall it wasn’t going to make the big numbers.” They upgraded to a BorgWarner 80mm, and it’s almost impossible to see tucked up under the rear.
“It was a good compromise for the radial-tyred X275 class,” Tony says. “I knew the motor would make about 400+hp aspirated, and that was enough to get the car rolling until the turbo started to come on at about 3000-3500rpm.
“When I took the car to Sydney to get some tuning work done by Kon at Wollongong Automotive, we worked out the ECU I had bought in Queensland was junk as well, so we fitted the Haltech 1000, and that has been a great unit.”
PLENTY OF POWER
They haven’t got an exact power figure, but they estimate it’s making around 1000hp at the flywheel. Because it’s a street car, they’ve set it up to run on 98-octane, with a maximum 20psi of boost, and they reckon it doesn’t need a front-mounted intercooler seeing that the intake temperatures are pretty good by the time the boost hits the manifold. And best of all, the Torana has so far racked up 5000km of road miles. Love it!