BLUEBIRD TAKES FLIGHT

URBAN WARFARE

MARK ARBLASTER

> MATT MCCARTHY HAS BEEN TAKING MODIFIED STREET BLOWN BY STORM IN HIS SIX-SECOND, 200MPH BLUEBIRD

OVER the past 10 years the Modified Street Blown class has seen some hard-hitting, bad-arse cars, and for a long time Wollongong racer Joe Gauci pretty much dominated in his twin-turbo 360ci Cortina, which has run into the bottom sevens.

Well, theres a new kid on the block by the name of Matt McCarthy, who has already run a staggering 6.96 at over 200mph in his twinturbo SBC-powered Bluebird. All he needs to take the crown is to run that number at an APSA meeting.

Running a six-second pass in any type of race car is one hell of a feat. It usually requires some solid pretty experience behind the wheel, a team of experienced helpers ranging from engine to suspension gurus, a lot of dedication and perseverance. Most importantly, it requires a huge financial investment to develop a car to the point where it can do it time and time again without spraying its guts down the track.

But Matts no dill; he has 15 years experience as a CNC programmer and has done the rounds with some of the best performance outlets in Australia, including a long stint in V8 Supercars.

He does all his own spanner work, from engine to transmission, and even does his own CAD drawings whenever he needs something like a diff housing built.

I sat on the sidelines for a long time watching the rules in Mod Street getting shuffled around, and finally, after watching Joe take the lead in MSB I decided it was time to build a car, Matt says. I had always been into Bluebirds and this car was my everyday driver. Its previous life was with a CA18 and a big-arse set of Supercars brakes. I got out the tape measure one day and worked out that a small-block Chev was a good fit, and it all went from there. The engine has now been in the car for over three years without a hiccup.

From an engineering standpoint, the car is an absolute credit to Matt. Everything has been meticulously designed and built

I GOT OUT THE TAPE MEASURE ONE DAY AND WORKED OUT THAT A SMALL-BLOCK CHEV WAS A GOOD FIT, AND IT ALL WENT FROM THERE

to make it easy to work on and as practical as possible.

The engine combination is pretty straightforward, with a Little M block, Callies crank, Oliver rods and custom JE pistons.

Heads are a set of hand-ported 13-degree sprint car items with T&D rockers, Jesel lifters and a custom roller cam.

From the time I set my sights on the build it took three years to run faster and quicker than Joe, Matt says. I wasted almost 18 months chasing a miss that ended up being a faulty ignition lead. I changed everything from injectors to the ignition system. I thought I had my tune wrong, and sent parts back to the States to have them tested. Then one night after racing, I drove the car back in the trailer and noticed the lead shorting out under the dash where the coils were mounted.

Once he got that fixed, it was full steam ahead. How much steam? Try 37psi from the twin Garrett GTX42/92 turbochargers with twin 60mm Precision wastegates.

2016 has been amazing, Matt says. I started the year running 4.75@156mph over the eighth, and now its running 4.51@167mph. At Grudge Kings it went a 4.58 and then a 6.96 out the back door.

Since then Ive found a few little other problems; the CO2 system, for example, hasnt been putting pressure on the wastegates for the first 1.5 seconds of the pass, so its just been gate pressure. We fitted a set of turbospeed sensors, which got us better data. Data acquisition is what its all about.

Everything on the car reflects Matts exposure to touring cars and top-level racing, like the fivestage dry-sump oiling system. As soon as they let dry sump systems in MSB I fitted one, he says. I got tired of seeing the oil pressure light on each time I pulled the chute over the finish line.

This 400ci motor is making 2100hp, so everything needs to be A-grade. A massive Kinsler 1300 belt-driven fuel pump is gravityfed by a single 20L fuel cell in the engine

compartment. The engine uses roughly 4.5L of fuel per pass via a single set of 7000cc Moran injectors, which are running at 80 per cent duty.

I run it really rich, Matt says. We have not had the opportunity to get aggressive with timing and fuel yet, as its been a struggle to get it down the track on 37lb. Im currently spinning the motor to 8800rpm and have not had to touch the valve lash for three years.

Like the engine, the trans was built by Matt, using mostly ATI components and a Coan 10.5- inch converter with a billet rear plate. The rear end is also Matts handiwork, and includes predominately Strange componentry with 3.5:1 pro gears, Penske four-way shocks and a 10.5x29.5 tyre.

Incredibly, the car is running 1.16 in the 60-foot.

Matt says that now that the rear-end mounting points rules for suspension have been relaxed, he will move the floor mounting points by 80mm to get a greater spread on the rear suspension for better separation.

Like any huge build, the project required the help of mates and local businesses, including Warwick Panel & Paint; Mick Arnold; Kyle Hoft; Dave Hillman of MPP Race Fabrications; Mark Jacobsen of Godzilla Motorsport; JW Automotive; and Matts daughter Madeleine.

With Matt now opening his own performance business, Next Level Racing, he intends to push the car even further, and 6.80s at over 210mph are on the agenda.

> CALENDAR

WILLOWBANK

01 FEB Test n Tune 04 FEB Test n Tune 11 FEB Street Series 15 FEB Test n Tune 18 FEB Test n Tune 24 FEB Test n Tune 25 FEB Qld Drag Racing Championships www.willowbankraceway.com.au

SYDNEY DRAGWAY

01 FEB Race 4 Real 08 FEB Race 4 Real 09 FEB Bike Night 10 FEB Full Throttle Friday 11 FEB Test n Tune 15 FEB Race 4 Real 18 FEB State Championships 22 FEB Race 4 Real 26 FEB Street Meet www.wsid.com.au

CALDER PARK

28-29 JAN ANDRA Nationals 10 FEB Fast Friday 24 FEB Fast Friday King of the Hill IV 25 FEB APSA Round 1 www.calderpark.com.au

PERTH MOTORPLEX

03-04 FEB Goldenstates 08 FEB Whoopass Wednesday & Hour of Power 15 FEB Whoopass Wednesday Commodore Night 17 FEB Shannons Fast Series Speedway & Drags 22 FEB Whoopass Wednesday Boost Night www.motorplex.com.au

ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

03 FEB Street Wars 11 FEB Summer Slam Burnouts www.adelaideraceway.com.au