Daniel Pharris, the second quickest radial racer in the world, has travelled across the planet to compete in the Kenda Tires Radial Riot this weekend at Willowbank Raceway, with a veil of secrecy over what he will be driving.
Pharris, who has an eighth mile PB of 3.64/216mph on radials, said racing in Australia had been on his bucket list. It will become a reality on Saturday, but despite being just days from the event, he remained tight lipped on his ride.
“I am driving something else, it is a bit of a secret,” he said. “There's nothing like it anywhere, it is the only one in the world with this combination in it. I'm very excited about it, the guys have been working day and night to get this thing done for me. It will be faster than 4.0s I can promise you.”
If that is the case, Pharris will be one of the favourites in the hunt for the first three second eighth mile pass on radials in Australia – a mark that is expected to fall at the Riot.
There's a few clues to the car he will be working with, with a green door in the background as Pharris speaks, along with a Noonan Race Engineering hat that gives away the expected horsepower. Pharris has been working with Aussie expat and doorslammer racer Grant O'Rourke recently in the USA as well.
The excitement around radial tyre racing has been growing quickly in Australia, following trends in the USA.
“The radial tyre deal kicked off several years ago over there,” Pharris said. “It is kind of group of family that runs around together, it's all the same guys we race with every weekend.
“The track prep has to be on point, to run the kind of numbers we are running you need to go sub one second 60 foot, pretty much what a Pro Mod can run.
“The tyre itself is really stable, it doesn't wash around like a Pro Mod. The radila tyre itself, the technology in it, has taken off the last few years. It is only going to get faster from here.
“Running 3.6 on the eighth mile calculates to 5.5 or 5.4 on the quarter mile. I'm not saying that tyre won't handle it but no one has had the nerve to do it yet. It's a hell of a ride.”
The Kenda Tires Radial Riot carries a $35,000 total prize pool and is expected to be the biggest event yet on the Australian radial scene. Racing begins from 9am on Saturday, September 1.