There will be no shortage of classic cars on track as part of the Kenda Tires Radial Riot on Saturday, September 1 at Willowbank Raceway, but they have been turned into high horsepower monsters capable of amazing performances.
The Holden Torana is a favourite of Australian motorsport fans and two extreme versions (images courtesy dragphotos.com.au) will be on show next month, belonging to Danny Busbridge (Inverleigh, Victoria) and Jason Seng (Toowoomba, Queensland).
Busbridge is looking forward to running his LJ Torana on the sticky Willowbank track, which will be specially prepared for radial tyres on the day.
“The guys in Queensland are very good at prepping the track for radial cars,” he said.
“When I was testing for Radial Riot last year the track was a lot grippier than I was used to, which made for some long wheelies!
“Trying to put a lot of horsepower through a small tyre is the challenge so power management and car set up are critical.”
Busbridge has run as quick as 4.66 seconds over the eighth mile distance (201 metres), putting him among the top contenders for the Gazzard Bros Limited 275 class. With a Dandy Engines-built 400 cubic inch small block Chev V8 up front, equipped with twin 70mm Garrett turbos, there is no shortage of horsepower on tap.
“Winning is great but for me having fun is just as important so I go into the race very relaxed and calm,” he said. “Any of the Queensland boys will be hard to beat on their home track: Matt McCarthy, Brett Benz, Michael Arnold, Steve Bezzina, Tim Cross – any of those guys.”
Seng does not have to travel quite as far as Busbridge but is just as excited for Kenda Tires Radial Riot.
“These are the only events I don’t ever miss,” he said. “Radial racing can be a real spectacle for fans as big horsepower cars try put passes together on small tyres.
“A radial tyre is nowhere near as forgiving as a slick. I myself have Gazzard Bros suspension components throughout my car which work a treat. Everything is on a knife edge when trying to put as much power as the track will take in the tune up.”
Seng’s Torana is also an LJ model, but instead of turbochargers he uses a 150 horsepower shot of nitrous on a 408 cubic inch LS motor.
One of Seng’s biggest battles is trying to keep the front wheels on the track, with the short wheelbase of his Torana meaning he often wheelstands.
“I’ve had to pedal the car (get on and off the throttle) up to three times on occasion to keep the front down,” he said.
Kenda Tires Radial Riot will feature a massive pool of cash and prizes totalling $35,000 for those who can tame their cars and bikes over the eighth mile (201 metre) distance of Willowbank’s superbly prepared track. Classes will include Classic & Muscle Car Imports 660 Radial Rebels, Kenda Tires Radial Riot will also include Gazzard Bros Limited 275, Phantom Performance & Dyno Outlaw 235, Simon O’Carroll Swimming Pools 660 Radial Renegade, All Over Plant Hire 660 Radial Rumble and Pro Cycle Dyno 660 Radial Rockets (Radial Pro Street Bikes).
For more information head to www.willowbankraceway.com.au.