EVEN when he was up to his elbows in grease helping his mate Louis Younis overcome obstacles both many and varied, Andrew Natoli couldn’t wipe the smile off his dial all week. “I absolutely loved the event,” he says. “All the camaraderie with the boys and all the other entrants; it was a heap of fun. There’s lots of cruising and long road trips, and having a few drinks in the caravan park at night was great, too.”

The ignition barrel on his VK packed it in on day one, but once that was sorted the little 333ci Holden stroker purred along without so much as a single issue. Try as he might Andrew couldn’t get it to run a 10, but it reeled off bottom 11s all day, every day.

One of the most memorable moments during the event was at Mildura on day three, when Andrew and Louis rolled into the pits with just minutes remaining before the lanes closed. Andrew had hung back with Louis to help change an engine at Portland and, aware of what they’d been through, everyone in the pits stopped what they were doing and gave them a standing ovation as they rumbled in. You couldn’t have scripted it, but they both made it into stage in the nick of time. It was a moment that was decidedly Drag Challenge!


Class: Castlemaine Rod Shop DYO


Engine: Holden 333ci Transmission: Turbo 400 Converter: 5000rpm Diff: 4.11:1 Power: 530hp Previous PB: 11.1@121mph Best Drag Challenge Run: 11.22@120mph


Dom Usino, Wayne Grima