OZ NATS – FIRST TIME AROUND

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Back in February, a new show rolled into P town, well Barbagallo Raceway, up in Wanneroo to be exact. Oz Nats, was the latest venture to use the track and by all accounts, it was an awesome day. I shot up there myself to grab some photos but my prime objective was to get out in some cars and have a run around the track for once. I haven’t done that for a while, so it made a change from the usual hustle and bustle I have at car shows around the country.

OZ_30Luke Jones’ HQ One Tonner is as savage as they come!

First on my list for rides was the insane, Toyota Corolla of drifting legend Adam Monck. We featured his turbocharged, LS powered Nissan in the first issue of Forged and since then, he has upgraded that car and created the Corolla for nothing more than shits and giggles. I always told him that I would eventually for a run in one of his cars.

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Adam Monck’s little Corolla is rough and ready

The AE71 Corolla is powered by a big-cammed LS1 with ported and shaved heads. The donk is good for 445hp on a hub dyno. Backing the V8 is a Rip shifer-equipped T56 ‘box and after watching him on the track, I could see he knew how to make the most the machine.

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You would be smiling too if you were killing tyres all day!

After Adam strapped me into the passenger seat it was mere seconds before the car was fired up and headed to the track. After knowing Adam for well and truly over ten years now it was great to be finally in a car of his. I was excited more than nervous but to be honest I didn’t know what to expect.

The first thing that actually impressed me besides the incredible sideways action and angle of drift into the first few corners, was just how smooth the car was on the track, both in terms of ride and power delivery. It was pretty bloody good!

Things got very interesting when we got to the straight heading down the hill when Adam went lock to lock about 4 times before the turn and we were moving! That blew me away. He made it look easy, the steering, the gear changes and the use of the hydraulic handbrake too. The speed and manouvers were full-on.

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Adam likes to do things differently and makes the most of all of the track

Half of the reason why the car handles so well was because of the Nissan S13 IRS and coil overs  in the arse and the S14 front suspension arms and matching power steering set up. What makes the car swing so wide and far are the cut and shut knuckles that provide the extra steering lock.

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The tyres on the Corolla don’t last that long at all

Adam took the pedaling thing in his stride, at one stage we have ‘fat arming’ it out the window as we drifted up the hill at full noise! To say I was impressed is an understatement. Adam had time to talk to me during the runs, explain stuff and even wave as I filmed on my iPhone. He made it look all too easy.

We even copped a solid bump from Brendon Greaves who had snuck up on us on the straight. With his tyres failing hard and with limited grip, Adam had nowhere to move so Brendon collected us hard and the poor ‘Rolla now wears a big love tap from the Green Nissan.

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Never shy, Adam loops the car around and around at full speed

After three massive laps, the rear tyres finally let go and it was all over. We rolled back to the pits one bump at a time. I was wearing a smile a wild wide and had the time of my life. It was going to be super-hard to top that ride!

My first run in the LS-powerd Corolla – damn was I impressed!

Onboard with the mad man Adam Monck when we got slammed into by a fellow drifter

It wasn’t long after I crawled out of the little Toyota, that the event was in full swing, with plenty of cars cruising the track and having a ball. One of the real benefits of shows like this is having the chance to take your family and friends out for runs.

When it came time to be competitive, the Powerskids were where the action was! Matt James dominated in the mighty UNWANTED Commodore ute with Justin Pitsakis coming in second with his 9-second street car and Craig Harris did a stellar job to take third in his tough-as nails Holden sedan.

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There is no stopping Matt James in UNWANTED – he snared the win in the powerskids

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Justin Pitsakis is a talented bloke. He grabbed second in the powerskids and then kept the wheel spin to a minimum to win the Pro Class in the off-street drags

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Craig Harris was just third in the powerskids and then went out later onto the pad where his day was cut short by a small engine fire

After the action of the powerskids, I got to go for my second run for the day, this time it was in Stephen Molson’s insanely fast HZ Holden ute. The car is good for 8.8s over the quarter and recently returned from the Street Machine Drag Challenge over east, where it was deemed then 10th fastest overall.

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Stephen Molson’s HZ is all business

Stephen runs S&E Automotives in Maddington and specialises in LS conversions, so it comes as no surprise that the HZ has one very-serious LS under the hood. The 6-litre wears a BorgWarner 83mm turbo and pumps out a reliable 950hp at the rears.

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What started as a mild combination soon blew out to a 950hp, 8-second turbo combo. Some people just can’t help themselves

Rolling around the track, Stephen had to pick his spots to test the acceleration of the beast and I am glad that he did. The acceleration and wheel speed, all whilst turning the tyres, was incredible. On boost, the car stood nose up and just destroyed the rear bags, somehow still pushing the car to a ridiculous speed. I was sure glad that brakes has been upgraded with Wilwood components!

One thing you can’t escape in the HZ, is the noise, but I hear you telling me that turbo cars are quiet, well they are unless you have a 5-inch exhaust exiting your front passenger side guard, along with the wastegate venting out there too! The noise and pressure was obscene! I have no idea, how Stephen managed to drive allover South Australia with the thing and not wear ear plugs!

With speed being part of the action, the inclusion of an off-street drag racing comp was well received. It was another Drag Challenge competitor that won the street class, Dylan Murphy had his Monaro hauling ass and in the Pro Class, BYE Performance head honcho, Justin Pitsakis just edged out the car I was lapping in, Stephen Molson’s LSPWR ute.

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Dylan Murphy has a real knack to getting the power to the ground in his tough Monaro. His efforts saw him take out the Street Class in the off-street racing

Of course there were skids for the kids and after the daytime qualifying sessions, the cars that won in the finals were Jake Higgs in the Street Class and Anthony Page in the Pro Class with his trusty tonner!

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‘Pagey’ romped it in to take first place in the Pro Class skids. It was good to see the man back at the top of his game

For their first attempt at putting on a show in WA, the organisers did super-well. A massive thanks to Matt Purnell, one of the guys behind the show for inviting me down to check out what Oz Nats had to offer – I had a blast.

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This neat VL Turbo had no dramas frying tyres

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I think all of us have ‘hated’ our car more than once

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Aiden Stampalia boils the hides in his WRECKAGE Commodore

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Freddy James managed to keep his Stato straight in the powerskids

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Luke Jones’ BLK MRKT Tonner went up in flames almost instantly

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Rob Frasor took it to the burnout brigade with his LS-powered drift car

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Falcon Hell! A manual in a powerskid comp? Yep, it was a brave move!

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Dean Irvine likes nothing more than putting on a show

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Nelg Taylor’s BARK dropped a cooler pipe and then a cylinder mid-skid

OZ_19.jpgMitch Larner is a hard working man – drifting and then skidding on the pad

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Claude Nandes put his pickup through hell during qualifying

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Craig Harris pushed his WPN GTS a little too hard. Things got hot!

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Cruising the pits in style

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An old school Commy packing a blower and some decent power

YEP

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