AN 11 is the quickest I can go with no ’cage,” Melbourne’s Andrew Grimes said at the start of Street Machine Drag Challenge 2017. Many of us have heard those words around drag racing before, but adding a twist of humour here is the fact Andrew was leaning against a two-tonne, family-grade Ford Territory!
“I’m just running it in,” he said of the engine that was put back in the car just days before Drag Challenge. “So it’s only running 23psi boost.”
Based on Ford Australia’s stout standard Barra block, the donk in Andrew’s fast family funster includes forged JE pistons and tougher rods on the standard crank with ACL bearings. The head and cams are standard but there’s a ProCharge GTX35 turbo strapped on. The Ford engine management is tuned with HP Tuners software and it runs E85 on-track. Not yet dynoed, Andrew reckoned he has around 470kW available at the wheels.
Ford’s ZF-type six-speed auto ’box isn’t real common in competition, but RVO Autos in Dandenong knows how to keep them alive behind big-boost Barras. The Territory is all-wheel drive, but usually wastes valuable tenths by spinning the front wheels for the first few car lengths after launch, effectively ‘leaking’ power. “I reckon with better suspension set-up and good tyres I’d solve that and run it to 10.5s,” Andrew said. “There’s no room inside the front diff housing for an LSD.”
Despite the traction issues, Andrew’s Territory ran an 11.0@131mph best at Drag Challenge.
Last month at Calder Park, Andrew managed to go even quicker, running his first ten-second pass with the new setup! With a clean launch and minimal wheel spin from the front wheels, it went through for a 10.70 @ 132mph, without any changes from the Drag Challenge setup. Previously the Territory had run a PB of 10.9 @ 132mph.