ADELAIDE-based New Zealander Phil Edmondson did a ripper job at his second Street Machine Drag Challenge, heading home with a PB of 9.018@158mph – oh so close to the magical eight-second mark. Running in the ultracompetitive Haltech Radial Blown class, Phil’s XB coupe placed ninth in class and 12th overall.

He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on at future Drag Challenges.

Powering the coupe, nicknamed ‘the White Whale’, is a BorgWarner 88mm turbo-fed 383ci SVO small-block with CHI alloy Cleveland heads, Diamond pistons, Oliver rods and Scat crank.

Built by Rino Conte at RC Performance Engines, it’s controlled by a FuelTech FT600 ECU and fed on E85. “We had help from Frank Marchese at Dandy Engines with the engine dyno, where it made 1423hp, with 1300ft-lb at 6500rpm on 25psi,” Phil says with a knowing smile.

Getting that huge amount of power down the line is a Reid-cased Coan Powerglide and a 3500rpm Neal Chance Racing converter. This feeds to a fabbed nine-inch with Strange centre, 3.5 gears, 35-spline axles and full-floaters.

replacing a silicone joiner in Swan Hill, the car ran perfectly,” Phil says. “The crank sensor played up on Day Five at AIR, causing a few issues. Fuelwise we had planned on doing the whole event on E85, but our ordered fuel didn’t arrive in Portland.

So we drained the fuel cell, filled it with PULP and adjusted the ECU’s fuel map to suit. We swapped back to E85 in Adelaide and re-tuned it.

“The car did the whole trip really well and made it home in one piece, which is always a great result. I’m very happy with how the coupe placed, although we were hoping to run an eight-second quarter. The plan was to turn it up at Portland, work on the 60-foot and first half, then give it everything on Friday at our home track. I need to say a massive thanks to Outlaw Speed Shop and Adelaide Motorsport Fabrication for all their help in getting the Whale set up.

“I plan to compete in 2018, as long as I can get the leave from work. A second turbo would be nice, but if I can get more seat time and dip into the eights then I’ll leave it as-is.”

All that is well and good for the strip, but how did the road-driving part of the event go? “Other than


Class: Haltech Radial Blown


Engine: 383ci small-block Ford Turbo: BorgWarner 88mm Transmission: Coan Powerglide Converter: Neal Chance 3500rpm Diff: 3.5:1 Power: 1423hp Previous PB: 9.62@142mph Best Drag Challenge Pass: 9.01@158mph


TIM Rhone was in a class of his own at Drag Challenge, competing in his wedding car with his wife Jo at his side.

“And it’s our 16th wedding anniversary on Friday, Day Five,” Jo laughs. It was Tim’s second DC but Jo’s first, and they drove the XP from Castlemaine.

Under the hood is a pair of Garrett GT35/82Rs feeding the 363ci stroked Windsor backed by a C4 with 3200 stall and 9.5-inch diff packed with 3.2s.

Tim chose the K&N DYO comp for ’17, a change from last years’ Radial Blown. “I know I’m not in contention for the RB class, but after this year I think I’ll go back to it. DYO was too hard for me! I planned to give it a go but got distracted and wanted to go fast.”

Apart from an alternator change out in Mildura and a pulley issue heading back to Adelaide, the hardtop remained relatively unscathed. Tim gave it the berries on Day Five for a 9.72@142mph. “It had a little bit more left in the tank but I still had 700 kays to drive so I didn’t push it,” he says.


ride. “It’s an ’05 GT Supercar block and heads fed by a GT51R turbo with 16psi – good for 750rwhp,” he explains. “I’d changed from a ProCharger F-1A to the turbo only four weeks before DC.”

The switch took a bit of getting used to.

“The turbo comes on so quick!” Steve said mid-week. “I hope to do 10.5s, as that’s where it was on the ProCharger.” What he wrangled was a best of 11.34@125mph, a respectable number considering the change in forced induction.

As it was Steve’s first DC, he sensibly trailered the FPV down from Bundaberg in Queensland.

“The radiator split on Day One; I managed to buy the last one in-stock at 4.50pm on Monday,” he says. “If I didn’t find that, I would’ve been out straight away.”

With the new rad plugged in, the ute made it to Day Five without further drama.

“Next year I’m looking to compete in my ’86 Mustang Foxbody. It’s purpose built and will run twin turbs on this motor. It should be good for eights.”

THE bulging steel scoop on Steve Evans’s 2008 FPV ute certainly suggests a DC-worthy s y s r s