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Putting in work: Masterton Motorplex Test and Tune

23 November 2017



With a total of 156 entries, the Test and Tune event opening the 2017–18 season at Masterton Motorplex wasn’t lacking in numbers. The great turnout included plenty of new cars, ready to see how they’d go. By the end of it all, some were very impressed, while other would be very pissed off.

Johnny Burkhart fronted in his new purchase from USA, a ’71 Plymouth Cuda, but would end the day in the latter camp. The car sounded great but on his third pass going through the traps, a piston decided to let go, spraying oil everywhere. Here’s hoping he can sort another engine and get the car back on track, because this is one car we want to see more of!

The biggest wheelstand went to Kevin McHardy from Dannevirke, in his Topolino altered. He commented that he’s never seen nothing but sky from the driver’s seat, so he should be in for a pretty loose season!

Jeff Dobson fronted with a new ride — a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am, originally built as a Tommy Mauney Pro Mod. The engine is a 509ci big block Chev packing a pair of turbos, and backed by a Lenco four-speed and Mark Williams 9.5-inch rear end. While the team spent much of the day chasing a sensor fault, they still managed to run an 8.40s at 160mph on just 2psi of boost. Look out for big things from this one!

Rana Davis from Wainuiomata has had his tough ’55 Chev gasser out, after purchasing it ex-USA in 2010. His extensive changes include the installation of a 509ci big block, topped with an 8-71 Mooneyham blower and Hilborn four-port injection, and backed by a TH400 and nine-inch diff. Problems with the good old Chev starter motor stopped him from getting in any more than one run, but he’s sure to have it out again soon!  

Chris Anderson has been running his ’93 Ford Courier for a few seasons, and his old work hack has sure gotten a lot tougher! It’s powered by a Toyota 1UZ quad-cam V8, with a pair of Garrett GT3582 turbos, and runs a Lenco five-speed and four-linked Strange nine-inch diff. When he and the crew get this thing sorted, it’s going to fly, if the very impressive burnouts were anything to go by.

Ben Morris has jumped straight up to the number three spot on our NZ’s Quickest Streeters list, after a lengthy absence as he gave the trusty ’69 Camaro a major overhaul. His F3 Procharger feeds a 580ci big block based on a Dart Big M block, and the addition of an in-car water-to-air intercooler has clearly helped, with Ben dropping his previous PB of 8.76 at 160mph to a very rapid 8.37 at 168.67mph.

Tristan Teki was another one making up the ’69 Camaro brigade, with his latest toy — a full-on ’69 Camaro drag car imported from the USA. Powered by a 570ci big block, and backed by a Powerglide and nine-inch diff, it’s got everything it needs. Once Tristan has ironed out all the gremlins present in any new vehicle, this thing is gonna haul arse. 

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And we can’t overlook the achievement of Bert King in his Top Alcohol dragster, who has blitzed into the fives with a  5.96s at 229.16mph — a fantastic effort!

Hopefully that Test and Tune will have provided enough racers with enough information about their current combinations, that they can get stuck straight into the next Masterton Motorplex drag event — the NZDRA Central Nationals, to be held over December 9–10.