PAT O’Shea knows how to make an entrance, wheel-standing his immaculately presented XR on its DC debut. The XR ran consistently throughout the five days, running solidly in second behind Alon Vella’s Capri in Pacemaker Radial Aspirated. While Pat’s business Pat’s Pro Restos is known for top-level show cars, to back this up with a serious Drag Challenge ride is a big feat.
“I finished the car the week before DC,” says Pat. “It had no road miles and had never towed a trailer so I’m stoked with how the car went.”
Mechanically the car is brand new. Beneath the two-tone maroon and gold lies a stout 440ci mill with a C4, 6500rpm stall and nine-inch packed with 4.3s. On Day One Pat said, “It has 874hp, it should do 9.4s. It ran a 9.49@142mph last week at Willowbank.”
On Day Five he backed that up. “I ran a new PB of 9.47@140mph after running faster than 9.57 all week.” And the wheel-stand? “I wasn’t really surprised as it carries the wheels a little every pass – that time I hit the throttle harder than normal. Eventually it should run around the 9.2s once we’re on top of it all.”
AFTER getting oh so close to competing last year, Jason Walter was stoked to get his XY ute to Day One.
“I drove the car from Colac, it was a 3000-kilometre round trip and it’s still running fantastic,” he says with a grin. Jason’s XY runs a Dart-based Windsor with alloy AFR heads and a 150hp shot of nitrous on board. That’s all backed by a C4 with transbrake and nine-inch packed with 3.9s.
“Out on the track I kept PBing,” he beams. “Day One was 11.012@124mph; Day Two with the nitrous I ran my first 1.4 at 60-foot. Swan Hill saw a 10.774@124mph then on Day Five I got temp in the bottle and ran 10.583@123mph and a 1.451 60-foot.”
Yet it wasn’t without its hiccups. “We had a battery issue before we started, then on Day One we had to use torches as headlights! During the drive to Portland it developed a misfire from a broken Posi-Lock connector.”
To cap it off, on Friday arvo Jason was stuck fixing a head gasket. It was promptly remedied for the 700km journey home, which provided plenty of time to think about future DCs. “I’m looking forward to the next one. Let’s see if we can make it a nine-second, genuine street car.”
PLACING fifth in the Pacemaker Radial Aspirated class was first-time DC competitor Jarrod Wood in his stout silver XT sedan. The tough 688hp aspo 408ci Clevo is carby fed and backed by a C4 with massive 6300 stall.
At the rear is a nine-inch packed with 35-spline axles and low 4.56 gears.
“I use huge 30-inch tyres for driving, so it sits on 3200rpm at 95km/h,” Jarrod explains. “The PB for the car is 10.06@133mph, which I ran at Calder Park two weeks before Drag Challenge.
I backed that up with a 10.194@130mph on Day One, in 36-degree heat. It ran consistently at every track within one tenth every pass. I was planning to use the transbrake on the last day but the rain beat us.
“I can’t believe how good the car went, it was faultless. I didn’t put a spanner on it all week.
But I knew the car had to make the journey as it was my daughter’s formal ride two days after DC.”
As reliability is key for DC, Jarrod may well be a future podium placer. “I’ll be going next year for sure, unless it clashes with the iconic Bright Rod Run. It was an awesome experience.” e s e t
TWINS Josh and Justin Ede were dead keen to complete in Drag Challenge after last year’s disaster: Justin’s Falcon was hit by a drunk driver. But despite the lads’ good prep – the car has been rebuilt from front to back over three months – and positive vibes, problems began even before they trucked north from Melbourne, with the XY’s C10 auto blowing up on Friday evening.
Built for nitrous but running naturally 383-cube Cleveland-powered XY, laying down an 11.1 on Day One.
Then more problems. “We used two secondhand bits in the whole car,” Josh says. “And they both let us down!” The first was the distributor drive pin that sheared on the way to Mildura; it was fixed in the dark by the roadside. The next was the fuel pump, which went AWOL on the aspirated and in DYO this year, Josh made a good start with the easy-breathing CHIheaded – Josh and Justin decided to skip the washedout Portland check-in and scoot straight back to Adelaide where the car happily laid down another 11.1.
“I reckon I would’ve been right up the pointy end of DYO if I’d finished,” Josh claims. “Bring on next year!” way into Swan Hill and required a great ‘bush fix’ to continue. But with a lack of confidence in the car – and the weather looking fairly crap