JULY 201 8 : ALL THE NEWS THAT MATTERS STORY SIMON TELFORDPHOTOS CHRIS THOROGOOD & NATHAN JACOBS
OUR Aussie take on Hot Rod’s iconic Drag Week event will come of age this year, with 270 entrants set to roll into Calder Park Raceway in Victoria on 11 November for Street Machine Drag Challenge 2018.
The event started with just 18 cars in 2014 and has grown each year, but this year’s field is simply massive. We’re not sure why this year’s entries have jumped so high – compared to 150-odd cars entered last year – but it may simply be that the car/family/finances planets have finally aligned for those who may have wanted to enter in the past, but couldn’t quite make it happen.
In any case, we’re stoked that so many folks have made the commitment to enter Australia’s toughest street car event. Tough? We’re talking five days of racing with over 1500km of travel between tracks, following a road course that will test both the street credentials of the vehicles and the sanity of their occupants.
When you include the pre-event registration day, that is a fair chunk of time and a bunch of dollars in terms of fuel, accommodation and all the rest – not to mention the added risk that your car may not make it through the week with all its rods in place and its transmission fluid on the inside.
And some folks are travelling a long way to take part. Just over half the entrants are from Victoria, but there are racers coming from every state and territory, including 10 from Tassie and four from West Oz. That is a monster effort! And remember, some of these maniacs will drive over 1000km from home before the event even begins.
As usual, the mix of cars is something to behold. Our entry stats tell us that 45.33 per cent of the entries are turbocharged, 35.56 per cent are normally aspirated, 10.67 per cent are blown, and 8.44 per cent are nitrous-assisted. Entries include chrome bumper muscle cars of all kinds, a large handful of hot rods, and more engine swaps than you can poke an engineer’s certificate at.
If you’d like to spectate at any or all of the days, we’d love to see you! The final days’ racing at Calder will finish in the evening, giving those who have to work a chance to see the action.
And thanks to our class sponsors, because we couldn’t do this without their support, namely Tuff Mounts, Haltech, Turbosmart, K&N and Pacemaker Headers.
MAIN: Building an XY GT replica is a well-trodden path, but here’s one that’s executed so well that you can’t help but take notice. Peter Hara’s weapon is powered by a monstrous C400 Kaase-headed 440cube small-block Ford, topped by a HRE EFI tunnelram. It’s almost too neat to take on a rough-andtumble adventure like Drag Challenge, but we’re so stoked that it’ll be there!
DAY ONE CALDER PARK 12 Nov
DAY TWO SWAN HILL 13 Nov
DAY THREE MILDURA 14 Nov
DAY FOUR SWAN HILL 15 Nov
DAY FIVE CALDER PARK 16 Nov
01: It seems like Kris Velkovski and his brother Rob have been playing with Nissan RB-powered Toranas since the dawn of time. Kris’s RB30-powered LC has been a fixture on the Melbourne street scene for an age, and Rob’s twin-cam RB-powered LX hatch featured on the cover of our June 2014 issue, so they’re all about Nissan’s venerable inline six-pot. But they’ve stepped out of their comfort zone with Kris’s most recent project – this killer twin-turbo small-block powered HT ute. It’s an exceptionally well put together car, and we can’t wait to see it do battle at DC
TWO important pieces of Street Machine history were set to go on the auction block just days after this mag went to bed. Up in Queensland, the Castrol A9X – a genuine GMP&A car that was never raced – was up for grabs. We gave the Torana away in 1987 with just over 13km on the clock and it has been preserved in that state. And at the other extreme, the chassis from Alan Cooper’s SMOTY-winning BLOBAK ute was being auctioned by the estate of the late Fred Burgermeister. Fred (pictured here on the left, working on the ute with Alan back in the day) was an automotive engineer, credited with getting BLOBAK’s unique twin-engine set-up running smoothly – you can read more about both auctions at whichcar.com.au/streetmachine.
THERE has been a ton of news out about Street Machine Summernats 32 (Jan 3-6) of late. For starters, the organisers have announced a new feature we’re calling Skid Row (see Telfo, page 5) and there will be a fresh attempt at the Guinness World Record for the most cars doing a simultaneous burnout. We Aussies set the record in 2015 with 103, only to have the Saudis take it back last year with 119 cars. But in the meantime, the Yanks have also thrown their hat in the ring, with another official Guinness Record attempt set to happen at Mid-South Dragway in Tennessee just days after we went to print. And the Swedes are having a go too – at Malby Airfield on 28 July. The Swedish attempt is run by a mob called Burnout War Sweden and will also be a Guinness-officiated deal.
IN THE August mag, our intrepid photographer Chris Thorogod takes the wheel of a ‘65 Ford pick-up – complete with ancient six-pot and three-speed ‘box combo – and cruises from Geelong to Queensland to check out Cooly Rocks On and the Winternationals. If he makes it that far! And after the Holden Nationals, it is only fair that we returned to Heathcote for the Ford Forum Nationals – to watch some racing and maybe do a little ourselves. Tech-wise, we delve into a blown-LS-into-sleeper-Kingswood swap with the Castlemaine Rod Shop boys, and features? We’ve got the best of the best for ya. On sale 19 July.