ROLL OUT THE BARRA

FORD’S TRUSTY DOHC INJECTED SIX POWERED SEVERAL SWIFT DC RIDES

JASON WAYE

JASON Waye from Tuff Mounts/Muscle Garage got the Drag Challenge bug after sponsoring the event last year, building his Barra-powered VS ute as a 10-secondsfor-$ 10K challenge (SM, Sep and Nov ’17). And he wasn’t just an entrant; Tuff Mounts sponsored the Outlaw Aspirated class in 2017.

Jase spent the first couple of days knocking on the door of a 10, but finally broke through after pulling the passenger headlight. “I was chatting with Steve Grima after running an 11.0, and I was really happy but really pissed off with that as I could taste the 10,” he says. “Steve suggested taking the headlight out as he’d picked up a tenth doing that with his car, so we did that and ran a 10.54!

“Well, the thing that really made it happen was my 60-foot time,” he clarifies. “The best had been a 1.77, but that run was a 1.54 60-foot. Our 60-foot times averaged out at 1.6-1.7, so we were quite happy with them.”

The boys backed up that with a smokin’ 10.50@129.98mph on Day Five before rain cut the track time short, which Jason says shows the potential of the ‘Barrahore’.

“It’s got the mph to go a low 10, so there’s more in it,” he says. “However, my co-driver loved the ute so much he bought it! He’s probably going to bring it back for Drag Challenge next year.”

HOLDEN VS COMMODORE UTE

Class: Haltech Radial Blown

SPECS

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-cam Ford Barra six-cylinder Turbo: Garrett GT3540 Transmission: BTR four-speed Converter: Stock BTR Diff: 3.45:1 Power: 485rwhp Previous PB: 11.6@124mph Best Drag Challenge Pass: 10.50@129mph

WARWICK MELDRUM

WARWICK Meldrum arrived at Drag Challenge in this VP Holden Commodore Executive, complete with Ford 4.0-litre Barra XR6 Turbo power!

“It was bought in June with the intention of doing the Barra swap for Drag Challenge,” Warwick explained at the beginning of the event. “We got it running a couple of weeks ago but really only finished it Friday night.”

Prepared by Dandy Engines with forged pistons and rods, a balanced stock crank and a fistful of ARP bolts and studs, the FG-spec straight-six was dropped into the second-gen Commodore engine bay with a slightly modified BA Falcon sump. The turbo is a modified Cummins Holset HX40 – according to Warwick, it’s used on garbage trucks – pumping 20psi, and the management is Haltech Elite 2500.

There’s a return to GM in the driveline, with a tricked TH400 (manualised, reverse-pattern, transbrake) and an SDE 3500rpm converter. The Executive retains its twopiece prop shaft and BorgWarner live rear axle, but it’s been cogged down to 3.46 and spooled.

“We fared pretty well,” says Warwick of the road-trip with his mate John Urquieta. “We broke an O2 sensor and had a wire fall off the back on the alternator.” The car suffered a little in the heat, too. “We popped the grille out to help keep it cool.”

Although set up for flex-fuelling, the 350rwkW Barra drank 98 juice, and with the car uncaged, Wazza stayed above 11 seconds (quicker cars need a rollcage to meet ANDRA rules), except for one 10.6@129mph last blast on Friday. ump. C su a pump

ANDREW GRIMES

but adding a twist of humour here is the fact Andrew was leaning against a two-tonne, family-grade Ford Territory!

“I’m just running it in,” he said of the engine that was put back in the car just days before Drag Challenge. “So it’s only running 23psi of boost.”

Based on Ford Australia’s stout standard Barra block, the donk in Andrew’s fast family funster includes forged JE pistons and tougher rods on the standard crank, with ACL bearings. The head and cams are standard but there’s a ProCharge GTX35 turbo strapped on. The Ford engine management is tuned with HP Tuners software and it runs E85 on track. Not yet dynoed, Andrew reckoned he has around 470kW available at the wheels.

Ford’s ZF-type six-speed auto ’box isn’t real common in competition, but RVO Autos in Dandenong knows how to keep them alive behind big-boost Barras. The Territory is all-wheel drive, but usually wastes valuable tenths by spinning the front wheels for the first few car lengths after launch, effectively ‘leaking’ power.

“I reckon with a better suspension set-up and good tyres I’d solve that and run it to 10.5s,” Andrew says.

“There’s no room inside the front diff housing for an LSD.”

Despite the traction issues, Andrew’s Territory ran an 11.0@131mph best at Drag Challenge.

AN 11 is the quickest I can go with no ’cage,” Melbourne’s Andrew Grimes said at the start of Drag Challenge. Many of us have heard those words around drag racing before, wheels ew s.