It has been a while since I last hit the Perth Motorplex up for a night of radial racing action, so I pulled my finger out and headed down last night to see what was up.
The balmy night looked promising. There was a line up of the usual suspects as the sun went down but sadly, there were some very noticeable absences too.
With a long list of cars down and out with issues, the huge field advertised was looking a little thin but that didn’t stop the diehards who were there from having a great time and hitting the track for some ‘Red vs Blue’ action.
The radial nights are the brainchild of one Corey Marriot. His idea was to get a group of guys together to race on Wednesday nights with radial tyres, over an eighth-mile and with a pro tree start to boot.
With a set up like that, the action was always going to be fast and furious, with the majority of the cars seeing the better side of 10-second quarter miles.
I was happy to just be out of my office and smelling race gas to be honest – so seeing some cool cars going hard at it was a real bonus.
Not actually racing in the radial class but definitely causing quite a stir was the tough-looking Torana of 20-year old Connor McClure. Under the hood and somewhat out of it, lies a Barra motor with a turbo the size of a Dominoes pizza! That alone had people talking but the rest of the car is pretty radical too.
The McClure family have been a part of the drag racing scene for the better part of three decades, with Bailey’s old man, Al McClure, most recently racing a six-second supercharged altered.
When Al first started drag racing in WA, it was in a bright green LC Torana. So over twelve years ago, he located another LC and put it away in a corner of the shed, waiting for his boys to finish up in junior competition so they would have a car to work on as a family.
“We made the choice to go with the modern EFI Barra motor for a number of reasons and not just because it was ‘trendy’ to do so. We know that the combo is going to be able to make 1200hp easily and it is so cost-effective – that made the choice pretty simple,” said Al.
“Rob Harvey at Monsta Torque has been a massive help with the project and with his support we see some big things happening with the car. We plan on running the car in radial tyre class, and we will also able to run the car in Top Sportsman or Super Sedan fields too. I will be racing the big meetings and Bailey will be the doing test days and Wednesday nights at the eighth-mile drags like tonight.”
Another standout car for me and Holden fans alike was the Sandman Ute of Ben Jansen. Not only does it look the goods with the stunning paint scheme, it also goes like shit off a shovel!
Running a 540 BBC with a Dart block, AFR heads, a solid roller cam and a single 1050 Quickfuel carby, the car is making good power on pump fuel.
“I had a mint time last, the 1/8 mile format, along with the pro tree makes for some awesome racing. My best run last night over the 1/8th was a 6.489 at 106 mph. My best quarter pass has been a 10.002 at 133mph. My goal is to get that elusive 9-second pass, which will be pretty cool for something I built out of my own shed,” Ben said.
Back from his awesome effort on the week-long, Street Machine drag challenge was Aaron James and his staunch-as Valiant sedan. With the car sorted and running better than ever, it looked like it was going to be Aaron’s night.
The first pass saw the car get into some real trouble though, with Aaron reacting lightning-fast to avoid a major catastrophe. “Something didn’t feel right in the front end at all and it was like I had no control over the car. Just before half-track, it got pretty loose! It was a hairy moment facing the wall I tell ya,” said Aaron.
Another bloke that didn’t have a great night at all was Ben Peters who brought his killer Commodore down to the track after recently making 601hp on the Streetbuilt dyno.
“I spun the tyres hard to 60ft but still managed the win which was great but once I got back to the pits I realised that one of the rockers didn’t want to play nicely with the pushrod anymore. My night was over pretty quickly but I will be back,” explained Ben.
This Datsun 1600 only made the one pass for the night. Running a turbocharged 13B rotary, the owner was hoping for low 13s to high 12s on street tyres. Hopefully, he makes it back soon to crack those numbers.
Alex Djuric was pushing his XD hard as usual and he came away with another PB – 6.46 to the 1/8th = 10.07 on the calculator and that car ran 1.40 in the 60ft! He was as pleased as punch with his efforts.
Matthew Gent’s super-sleeper is good for 9.4s at the moment but with a new converter installed the Toyota is headed for the low 9s – what a car!
David Cocciolone celebrated his birthday in style by bringing his award-winning Mazda RX2 down to play.
All in all. it was a great night out for me and fingers crossed, I get down for the next one. Thanks again to Corey and his team for putting on a great show and for giving the racers what they want!