PAUL HAMILTON

FORD XA FALCON GT SEDAN

Class: Turbosmart Outlaw Blown

SPECS

WI N N E R – TURBOSMART Engine: 601ci big-block Ford OUTLAW BLOWN Turbo: Twin Garrett GT45 Transmission: Powerglide Converter: Dominator 3000rpm Diff: 3.5:1 Power: 2100hp Previous PB: 9.0@153mph Best Drag Challenge Pass: 8.61@163mph

A DRAG Challenge first-timer in 2016, Paul Hamilton obviously enjoyed himself, because he arrived this year with a pair of hairdryers installed in his already-tough XA Falcon GT.

The Tasmanian farmer ran nitrous last year, but since then he has had Melbourne’s Competition Engines strip and rebuild the 601-cube mill to suit turbos. It’s built on an Eliminator block with Ford Motorsport A460 heads. The engine’s prior compression ratio was 14:1, but that’s been pulled back to a boost-friendly 9:1 to take the breeze from the new pair of Garrett turbos. CE handled the intercooler and piping tasks too; it’s a water-to-air unit in the passenger front footwell. The car now has its power steering plumbed from an electric pump in the boot.

Power from the boosted and roller-cammed big-block is a considerable 2100hp at the flywheel, and Paul spins it to 6800rpm. Behind the donk is a Powerglide with a Dominator 3000rpm converter, running to a spooled nine-inch with tough 35-spline axles and 3.5:1 cogs on a CalTracs-style rear end. “There’s nothing real fancy about it!” he laughs.

Paul started his week with a leisurely 9.97 at Adelaide. “For my first runs, I wasn’t going to go too hard,” he said on the Monday. Apart from popping his bonnet to help shed some Falcon cruised well all week.

“It cruises along nice at 90-100km/h at about 2700rpm, which is doable,” he says. “We only stopped for a wee and some fuel! I’m actually surprised at how well it went – particularly the transmission temps and how well it coped with driving back into Adelaide with the stop-start traffic.

Okay, it’s not quite like a late-model car, but for what it is, it’s terrific. It behaves.”

Paul loves the new combo, built to drink pump 98 juice.

“That makes the logistics easy,” he says. “There’s less mucking around. Sure, I could turn the wick up with race fuel, but you can run a reasonable number all week on pump fuel.”

Paul’s best time was an 8.60@163mph at Swan Hill on Wednesday. “There’s bit more [potential] in the car’s 60-foot,” he says. “And of course I can give it a bit more top end, too, by sneaking the boost up to 25 pounds and running race fuel.”

Paul completed DC 2017 with a win in the Turbosmart Outlaw Blown class. “I’m stoked! But to be honest, I didn’t think I had a hope in hell of winning!” heat – as did many participants on the transport stages between Adelaide, Mildura and Swan Hill – Paul says the