Four years for four hundredths of a second. That’s what it has taken for Gerry Sarafoglou to improve the record for Australia’s quickest LS turbo, in a quest that has truly tested his resolve.
In 2012, Steve Petrovski ran 6.89 in the CV Performance Holden ute, and it was one of the angriest LS cars on the planet, with a 207mph blast being the fastest LSX run in the world at the time.
On July 24, 2016, Sarafoglou came out and ran 6.85 at the Grudge Kings event at Sydney Dragway to finally put his name on the record.
It was two years ago when Sarafoglou bought the car, admitting he had no idea what was in store for him.
“I bought this race car with zero runs behind me,” he said. “I clearly remember dropping the transbrake for the first time and sh*tting myself so bad I couldn’t hold it flat for more than one second.”
It’s easy to forget just how violent a six second drag car is to a newcomer. Sarafoglou said it took three private track days just to get off the start line properly, while his lack of experience saw him breaking gearboxes one after the other.
“Slowly moving forward it took six months just to get to half track and then I started taking out (timing) cones for the next six months. Mind you my gearbox woes only got worse and on one particular meet I managed to melt a converter on the start line which nearly turned ugly half way down the track.”
Eight months later, Gerry was able to run his first full pass, putting a 7.05/194mph up on the timing boards.
“(I was) still struggling to get my head around so many things, plus with lingering gearbox issues it took a further eight months just to finally get on top of things and run my first six second pass.”
Since then Sarafoglou has not looked back, with 60 passes and five six second runs under his belt. He confessed that it had been hard to keep going in the face of all the difficulties the sport could throw at him, including the ‘haters’ he loves to prove wrong on social media.
“There were countless occasions where I wanted to burn the car to the ground and walk away but I kept pushing forward and never gave in to all the negativity I had to hear on a daily basis,” he said. “The amount of obstacles put in front of me were enough to make anyone crack it and walk away, yet still today I have so much to improve on and to get myself better organised to keep moving forward.
“I am confident one year from now I will be on top of my game, experience is everything and I’m glad to have failed so many times along the way just to slowly move forward in this sport.”
The 6.85 came even with a pedal and at the end of a long week for Sarafoglou, who was also testing his radial tyre Holden Commodore.
“After busting my arse testing two cars since Tuesday things finally came together,” he said. “A fresh set of tyres to put an end to the mid track drifting (and I) couldn’t be happier to set a new record for the race car and a personal best.
“I would like to thank the boys from CV performance for helping me reach another milestone in my race ute, the Moits crew for all their help and support and also my two man crew including Belinda who busted their arses to keep the cars going.”