Following the successful completion of a nine-year build, Paul and Kylie Langley will be debuting their new LH Torana race car at Whyalla’s Steel City Raceway this weekend.
Saturday October 31 will host the Riverland Nationals and a Test n Tune event ahead of round one of the Steel City Drag Racing Championship on Sunday November 1.
The Torana with PHAT LH plates and affectionately called Molly by the Langleys, has already turned heads with a Best Presented Award at Extreme Auto, and will be piloted by Paul on Saturday and Kylie on Sunday.
“Up until this year we have raced our gold HX Kingswood known as PHAT HX, or as Bessy to our friends. It has full street trim, convo pro wheels and a 308 motor built by Rainbow Motors with 30 thou over bore solid cams, with a strip master single plane manifold and a 750 HP series DP holley, MSD ignition and has run a 7.1s eighth mile when my son Brock took the wheel as part of his 18th birthday present,” Paul explained.
“We have also just finished a nine-year build of our new car, a LH Torana SLR 5000 look alike in red and black which will be known as PHAT LH, or as Molly to us. Molly is a tribute to the race cars of old with weld pro star wheels; no interior; fibreglass boot, bonnet, doors and bumpers; and a chrome molly roll cage. The 304 motor is from Rainbow Performance Motors and has more of a mild build than the HX in that it is a hydraulic cam with VN heads, 650 DP Holley and ICE ignition. It has a smaller stall converter, but is still full manual auto with B&M quicksilver shifter.
“Molly has been a full rebuild project from the ground up and won the Best Presented Competition Car award at Extreme Auto 2019 much to our surprise, as we were only there as part of the South Australia Drag Racing Association (SADRA) display.”
While Paul and Kelly will share the driving duties of this impressive new build at Whyalla this weekend, they have plans in place to share the love around.
“The real purpose of building this car was to enable us to let some of our crew and other people who have helped us to get where we are today to have a go at racing,” he explained.
“I have a few people lined up to have a go and I cannot wait to see their faces after their first run!
“There are so many things to love about this sport. The people you meet become your drag racing family; it can be a real family sport and anyone can give it a go; and you don’t have to have a fast car to succeed, you just need to be consistent.
“The club atmosphere is also great for kids to grow up in, with great mentors teaching them that racing happens on the track and roads are for getting there.
“This weekend the main goal is to get the Torana down the track in a straight line and hope it makes it through Saturday’s Riverland Nationals racing and Test and Tune events.
“Then all being well, Kylie will jump in the driver’s seat for the opening round of the 2020/2021 Steel City Drag Racing Championships so she can have a crack at the title this season, as I prefer to work on the cars and let her drive as I get too excited when driving and don’t work as well on the cars,” he laughed.
“We are very excited that with Molly, we will be able to hopefully share our love of drag racing with some really important people to us.”
The pairs passion for drag racing is a long-standing one.
“Our love of drag racing evolved from owning a pretty cool HX street car. Before Paul and I were married we used to just go as spectators to race meets, because we did not think our car was fast enough or pretty enough. But we soon realised that anyone could have a go as long as your car passes all of the safety requirements, and the rest is history,” Kylie said.
“We choose to compete in the Super Street bracket, due to the fact that this bracket is accessible with a pretty basic setup and a car that is consistent.
“Having said that, over the years Super Street has become very tough, especially with SSTA/B bringing the quicker cars down from other brackets, but at the end of the day it still all comes down to consistency.
“Mind you, the first season when Paul was racing he backed off a bit as he felt he was being a bit too serious about it all and tried to enjoy the sport more, and it was the best year we have ever had and finished with him winning the Super Street championship at Whyalla for the 2018/19 season!
“Whyalla has played a huge part in drag racing for us and even though it is about five hours away from where we live, we call it our home track.
“We first came across Steel City Raceway when we raced the Tri-Series almost 15 years ago and we have continued to go to every meet possible since then.”
Over such a long racing career, it is not surprising the Langleys have a long list of stand-out moments and an equally long list of people they wish to thank.
“One stand-out moment in particular which comes to mind is when our eldest son Brock was racing the HX and Kylie was in her street car which was a VS 304 Clubsport look alike. They had a grudge run and I was on the start line guiding both of them into the burnout area and then watched them both go head to head down the track. It was a very unfair race, but still, what a moment that was,” reflects Paul.
“Another fond memory is when my son and I were both racing at Whyalla, me in the HX in Super Street and Brock in a VT Commodore he purchased for $500 in the Street Car bracket and we both won the respective rounds.
“Of course, winning the Super Street Championship at Whyalla amongst family and great friends is also something we are very proud of.”
“We have nothing but love and appreciation for all the people that are involved in making a meet happen – everyone underestimates the amount of time effort and money that it takes to put an event on,” Kylie added.
“From the Club President Mark Kuhn to the now retired Club secretary Mandy and everyone in between; to the volunteer track staff on race days to the track prep volunteers and the working bee participants week before the meet even happens – everyone gives so much effort in the background to make these events run smoothly and also in the off season to keep the track always improving.
“The people involved in the Club are always welcoming – they are our drag racing family and while they are all about the racer they sill ensure it is a great place to spectate. They are committed to making sure everyone has a good experience at every meet.
“If you break something on your car there is always someone offering you something to help get you back on the track, we have even had a spectator offer us a fuel pump when ours died on the first day of a two-day meet and got us back on the track for the second day and we ended up being runners up – that wouldn’t have happened without the kindness and passionate people involved in the sport.
“We also need to thank Max Cranes, Hi Tech Oils, the Westlands Hotel and The Alexander Motel for their constant support for the club and all other sponsors that if we didn’t have, we wouldn’t have a place to race at, and of course all the people who put in countless hours to many to mention to get the track ready for these events.
“We would also like to recognise our own sponsors who enable us to do what we love: Chris Henderson Electrical, Rainbow Motors, A2D Attention to Detail and Collective Thinking.”
This weekend’s action at Steel City Raceway will include the Riverland Nationals on Saturday the 31st of October followed by round one of the Whyalla Steel City Club Championship on Sunday the 1st of November. For more information, visit www.steelcitydrags.com
For more from ANDRA, visit www.andra.com.au