HEADING into Drag Challenge, the ‘Farm Ute’ became something of an internet celebrity, with its bulk sleeper appeal. “It’s pretty basic really,” owner John Di Mauro says.

“It’s an LQ9 block with a turbo, standard LS crank, rods and pistons, standard LS3 heads, a Keith Neal ’Glide and a 31-spline nine-inch. It’s not rocket science.”

It might not be rocket science as such, but the Farm Ute certainly goes like a rocket. Due to the fact that it’s un-teched, John ran the ute in the Dial Your Own class and buttoned off early to avoid getting booted from each track, but at Calder on day five he drove it out the back door for a blistering 9.98@137mph from the stock-looking Quey.

It was a bit of a wild ride, though. “It blew a cooler hose and ripped off a brake line and I had no brakes!” John says. “I pulled it down gears and pulled the handbrake on a couple of clicks, but at that stage it was the fastest pass the car had done, so it was sketchy.”

Just to prove it was no fluke, on the way home to Toowoomba the day after Drag Challenge, John fixed the brake line then pulled into a Wednesday night street meet at Sydney Dragway and backed it up with a 9.87@138mph Hollywood pass.


Class: Castlemaine Rod Shop DYO


Engine: LQ9 364ci Turbo: GTX42/GTX45 hybrid Transmission: Powerglide Converter: 3800rpm Diff: 3.5:1 Power: 750rwhp Previous PB: 10.22@114mph Best Drag Challenge Run: 9.98@137mph


James Cornford, Ben Anderson