RADIAL MOTION

VICTOR BARALOS’S VL COMMODORE IS DOING AMAZING THING ON A 235 RADIAL, AND THERE’S MORE TO COME

MARK ARBLASTERM

URBAN WARFARE

IT’S hard to believe the numbers that are being run on drag radials today. In the States, mid-three-second passes over the eighth-mile on a 315 are not uncommon, while in our own backyard, the race is now on to do similar things on a 235 radial. There have been a number of mid-eight quarter-mile passes and a few cars in the low nines, but the storm is only just brewing for this class.

One of the greatest recent accomplishments in this regard was the 4.9-second eighth-mile of Victor Baralos’s RB30-powered VL Calais.

Justin from Brisbane’s JW Automotive – who had his own mid-seven-second radial ride some years ago – has turned this car into a missile. The goal for the build was to run a seven-second pass in an untubbed car with a pretty-much factory rear end and 235 radials. Well, a 4.90 equates to a 7.60 over the quarter, so mission accomplished, but the craziest thing was the 60-foot time: 1.118 seconds on a 235! Insane!

The car is no featherweight either. Sure, the interior is sparse, but it’s a steel-bodied sedan with a 3.0-litre six-banger up front choking on 50lb of boost.

The engine is pretty mild with the exception of Argo rods, custom JE pistons and a Cometicstyle head gasket, and even though they turn this car to 9500rpm, it still runs a wet sump with an ASR drag pan.

On the hot side is a 6boost turbo manifold with an 83/85 Precision turbo and single 50mm wastegate. Intake is a JPC manifold with a Plazaman throttlebody and a 100 Pro Series intercooler. An M&W CDI fires it up, and there are six 2400cc Siemens injectors hosing E85 down its throat.

Justin has done plenty of work on the car, from the engine to the manifolding to the race car-spec wiring that he tells us is very intricate. All the pressure pipes use the Plazmaman clamping system, which is basically like a V-band with an O-ring. Kyle Hopf at 6boost supplied the exhaust system and the T4 manifold for the mid-frame turbo.

The rear end still has all the factory suspension mounting points, rubber bushes and standardlength (albeit braced chrome-moly) control arms. Even the sway-bar is factory-sized and in the stock location.

So what’s the secret to 1.118sec 60-foot times? Well according to Justin, no one part is responsible on its own.

“The shocks we run are a custom deal; I get asked all the time by people wanting to buy them,” he says. “But we don’t sell shocks, we sell a package: diff ratio, front and rear shocks, converter, tune. There is no one thing that makes the car work; it’s a package deal.”

While Justin was understandably secret squirrel about many of the car’s specs, he conceded the shocks and converter were sourced from overseas. Other goodies include sourcedfrom overseas Other goodies include a tweaked Powerglide and a Link Thunder ECU that monitors everything from wheel sensors, EGT and multiple pressure sensors, to all the usual engine vitals.

With 9500rpm and 50lb on the engine and a 1.118 60-foot already in the bag, one has to wonder what’s left in the tank.

THE GOAL FOR THE BUILD WAS TO RUN A SEVEN-SECOND PASS IN AN UNTUBBED CAR WITH A PRETTY-MUCH FACTORY REAR END AND 235 RADIALS

“There’s always something,” Justin reckons. “We have some converter changes happening in the near future and possibly we can look at a new engine program. We actually started this journey on a 255 radial, and we ran 7.83@178mph. We got a baseline with that tyre, so we knew we would be close when we swapped back to the 235.”

While the boys are rightly pretty chuffed with what they have achieved, there’s still a long way to go to meet their ultimate goal of 7.50s and 180mph. But one thing’s for sure: we’ll be keeping an eye on this weapon.

> ARBY CHAT

STOUT HATCH

WAGGA Wagga local Brett Piltz is nearly finished his 434ci Torana hatch after a pretty serious undercar rebuild. The new engine combo was built at Vintage Racing Services and made just shy of 870 ponies aspirated – pretty stout for an aspirated small-block Chevy, but it will also cop some spray for good measure.

The original TH400 has been ditched for a Mike’s Transmission Ultra Glide with a Gear Vendors overdrive for Drag Challenge duties.

ProFlo Performance knocked up a trick set of pipes and full exhaust, and the car has since been returned to Vintage Racing for a sheet-metal rear end, 275-tyre clearancing and custom rear suspension set-up.

Stay tuned for more on this one.

SUPER SLEEPER

JM AUTO Repairs in Wollongong has a pretty cool sleeper in the build. The car, a Hyundai iLoad van, belongs to Tony’s Prestige Smash Repairs, with the JW boys ditching the stock diesel in favour of a turbo LS with 4L60E transmission and nine-inch rear.

The engine is basically stock with the addition of aftermarket rings, cam, head gaskets, lifters and valve springs. The BorgWarner S300 turbo, good for up to 800hp, is mid-mounted near the gearbox, and the boys from Speedy Diffs crafted a Strange nine-inch rear with Truetrac, 35-spline axles and Wilwood brakes.

Con from Wollongong Automotive is going to tune the combo, with the lads hoping for around 500rwhp. Should be a blast!

BRASHERNATS IS BACK

BRASHERNATS 2018 is set to go off at Sydney Dragway on Sunday 10 June and promises to deliver 12 hours of high-intensity burnout mayhem. Burnout entries sold out in 12 hours, and why not, with the burnout qualifying session paying prize money for first to third in blown and V8 classes and first and second in the four/six and rotary classes. The top 20 scores across the board will then battle it out in the final, with prize money paid for the top five places.

There will also be 19 trophies awarded in the show ’n’ shine, which you can enter on the day, though it’s probably advisable to send your entry in earlier.

Gates open to all at 6am, with tickets $30 for adult spectators. This truly rates as one of the best burnout events in the country, with non-stop action all day. For more info check out ULEGAL on Facebook or brashernats.com.