Racers hunting for high fives
High-fives is the performance target for two new and very different quarter-mile racers that debuted at Meremere Dragway's season-opening competition meet last weekend.
The Christchurch-based Alsop brothers have re-engineered their record-breaking small-block Chev supercharged altered into a Top Alcohol class contender in search for five-second passes and Waiuku's Gubb Racing has joined the ranks of teams adopting turbocharged performance for a new rear-engine dragster.
There were some debut teething problems for both cars last weekend, but early signs of their performance potential.
The winter rebuild for the 6.3secs/217mph 41 Willys Coupe bodied altered of Nigel and Johnny Alsop has seen the car evolve into T bodied Top Alcohol Altered.
With about 200mm added to the wheelbase, the change of body style achieving a 120kg weight reduction and increased supercharger boost from the Marsh Motorsport prepared small-block Chev, the goal is high fives.
"We are having some issues today but we have something to work with," said driver Johnny Alsop.
"We've already got good tyre pressure and wheelie bar settings and it's doing really good 60-foot times. But we haven't run all the way down the track so the biggest difference for me driving the car so far is how much easier it is to see the lights."
The team plans to contest the Spring Nationals at Meremere later this month, before taking the car to a meeting in Christchurch and then to Masterton before returning to Meremere in the New Year.
The Gubb family team already had a couple of private test outings with its rear engine dragster, which has a 530-cubic inch V8 derived from a big-block Chev and fitted with twin Garrett turbochargers.
"It's an American chassis that Rod Harvey brought in and we bought it off him," says car owner Kevin Gubb.
The new car ran a 6.47secs pass early on Sunday that gives some clues to its potential.
"I don't really like to talk about big numbers but we should get about 2500 horsepower, although that's hard to measure. It should get into the fives but we'll just work away steadily at that.
"I feel a dragster is the best way to develop a new engine because you are not chasing some of the handling problems which come with a short wheelbase car."
Raymond Gubb and Russell Christofferson will share the driving, having previously campaigned the team's naturally aspirated rear-engine dragster.
"We are a local team and a family affair with three generations of us at the track. We do just about everything on the car in-house," says Gubb.
The car has a unique look for a rear-engine dragster, with the twin turbos sitting low on either side of the engine rather than having a high-rise injector and supercharger stacked on top. It will race in the Competition division because its electronic fuel injection makes it ineligible for Top Alcohol.
Opening meeting winners last weekend included Ryan Sheldon, who beat Michael Henry in an all-Camaro final of the Top Comp division while Matt Kriletich (XA Falcon) won the Super Sedan final against the turbo V8 powered Corolla of Tim Hawke.
The next competition meeting at Meremere is the IHRA Spring Nationals on November 20.