Vince Belladonna secured his first WA Supercharged Outlaws championship last season and with the new season starting fresh in October he is hesitant to make any changes to a proven car.
Belladonna’s Holden Torana made three finals across the State series, with a win coming at the Grand Final event and providing him with a healthy buffer over second placed Tracey de Jager.
Despite the success, Belladonna said more experience in drag racing at this level is always valuable.
“We are still learning about this new supercharged car and have had lots of help along the way,” he said. “Our goal was to keep the car as simple as we can and try go out every pass and run consistently; in Supercharged Outlaws it’s not about how fast you can go it’s about consistency.
“In the end we had a great time, not only getting the championship, but also winning the last event of the season.”
Belladonna’s Torana features an original steel body made slightly lighter with carbon fibre doors and a fibreglass front. The chassis is a custom built right hand drive model built by local outfit Race On Customs (many drag cars are left hand drive) and uses a 526 cubic inch (8.6 litre) Hemi topped with a Kobelco supercharger and attached to a B&J transmission.
Belladonna said the handicap-style racing of Supercharged Outlaws suits his team well, versus the outright expense of something like Top Doorslammer.
“Supercharged Outlaws is a nice bracket for supercharged cars to run in where we don’t have to run to the limit,” he said. “All the racers are very nice people; we are all there to have fun and do what we love best.”
Slowly but surely Belladonna has been ticking off goals he listed when he built the car. First was to cover the quarter mile (402 metre) drag strip in under seven seconds at over 200mph (320kmh) – he has since been as quick as 6.63sec. at 217mph (349kmh), ensuring those goals were not only reached but blown away.
The team also won the Westernationals in 2013, earning the coveted Australian National Drag Racing Association gold Christmas tree trophy, based on the iconic drag racing starting lights.
Belladonna said he would like to step up the car to run in the Competition category one day, but until then is happy to repeat his success in Supercharged Outlaws.
“The car will be the same as it was last season because it was so consistent that we don’t want to change much,” he said. “Maybe we can get a nice sponsor one day that can help us get the car to run at its potential in the AA/AP class of Competition.”