GRUDGE QUEEN!

> GINA BULLIANS BEATS THE BOYS TO WIN THE FIRST GRUDGE KINGS EVENT AT SYDNEY DRAGWAY

STORY ROY VELARDI PHOTOS DRAGPHOTOS.COM.AU & GRANT STEPHENS

THERE have been plenty of cool new events for Pro Street-style cars popping up across the country over the past 12 months, and the latest is Grudge Kings, dreamed up by Sydney racer Po Tung. Po ran his first event at Sydney Dragway in late July, attracting over 100 heavy-hitters – and good crowds despite the cold weather.

As the name suggests, the bulk of the racing was done in ‘call-out’ style, with cars racing over a quarter-mile for the pure hell of it – no finals or overall winners. The grudge element of the event was divided into Pure Grudge, for any car with swinging doors and slick tyres, and Street Outlaws, for street cars that were driven to the track and racing on street rubber.

Headlining the event though was The List, loosely modelled on the Street Outlaws TV show. To be eligible for The List, cars were limited to a three-quarter chassis with factory steel bodies and retaining factory appearance.

Other than that, you could bring what you liked!

Over 30 cars signed up to have a go at The List, racing over an eighth-mile distance. The racers were then put through a punishing threeround format. To win, a racer had to win all three rounds, with the overall winner determined by the best elapsed times in the third round. The final Top 20 list was likewise determined by that final-round ET.

“The original aim was to find the quickest 20 street-style cars in Sydney,” Po said. “But it grew into a monster!”

The top spot on The List was claimed by expat Kiwi Gina Bullians, who has been racing since she was 16 years old. After meeting her partner – Bill Nabhan of Mazsport fame – Gina converted to chook-cookers: “My first rotor was an 808 wagon that had a 13B turbo built by Bill and it ran 9.80@134mph,” she said.

In 2012, the pair had a chance to buy back Bill’s old KILRB RX-7, so they quickly snapped it up and transformed it back into a serious race car. These days it runs a 20B with a 98mm Precision turbo pumping 40psi, swapping gears with a Liberty five-speed. That lot has so far been good enough for a best of 6.91@197mph.

Gina had a rough lead-up to the Grudge Kings meeting: “The bonnet pins failed at speed and it crashed up onto the windscreen and roof,” she explained. “We had to fix it overnight and pulled a heap of favours to get it back on track looking as though nothing happened.”

Despite the scare, Gina won all three rounds and ran a 4.62@159mph pass to put her at the top of the list, claiming the $1000 prize money and ownership of the billet Grudge Kings crown – for now!

“I couldn’t believe that I had won the crown and taken out the number one spot,” she said.

“The racing was awesome and so too was the atmosphere on the track and in the pits. I’ll definitely be back again to defend my crown.”