TThe Szabolics-Marchese Racing outfit have fired a warning shot for the rest of the Drag Challenge competition, with Daniel Szabolics piloting his HQ Monaro to an eye-watering PB of 6.78@200mph at last night’s Drag Challenge Term at Willowbank. 275 Radial during testing in Canada.
With the Drag Challenge just a few weeks away, Dandy Engines’ Frank Marchese says the test in Canada was one last chance to dial in the big qui before the drag ‘n’ drive event. “Ideally we’d be testing at one of the Drag Challenge tracks (Heathcote and Mildura), but over time we came here to get some hits in before the event,” he says. say
Last time we profiled the HQ and the biggest difference now is the powerplant, gone is the old 632-cube twin-turbo big-block shave, replaced by a fresh 540ci Brodix unit.
“After Drag Challenge 2019, someone wanted to buy a 632 engine,” says Frank. “It was also too much to manage on a small tire car with standard geometry suspension, so we sold it and built this 540 cube engine for the car.”
The Fueltech FT600 ECU and 94mm turbos were carried over from the last combo. The 6.78 at 6.98@204mph is a further improvement on the car’s run in Sydney last year, and the scary part is that there’s still quite a bit left on the table.
“On this 6.7 pass, we could see in the data log that Daniel left near the 1,000-foot mark, so he didn’t make it out the back door,” Frank says. “The whole purpose of the test was to correct the injectors for spark plug health, because that wasn’t something I wanted to chase in the drag challenge.”
It’s not just a six-second car for Drag Challenge, as Mark Drew’s Christy LH Torana ran 6.98 in Sydney in July, so rest assured there will be plenty of speed at the top end of the field this year. .
You can see both cars in action at the Drag Challenge in Victoria on October 25-29 in just a few weeks.
Here’s the story:
October 2020: Daniel Szabolics’ epic twin-turbo big-block HQ Monaro broke Street Machine Drag Challenge ET and MPH recorded twice on the first day of DC 2019, knocking out two epic 7.35@197mph passes to pip the previous record set by Frank Marchese at Swan Hill in 2018.
“It was unreal; I’m still shaking a bit,” Daniel said back in the pits after his first pass. “I had to drive it from the top end, because the track was a bit tough today at 197mph. I think I actually paddled it, so Frank will probably yell at me once he sees the log.
Powered by a Dandy Engines-built Dartbug M 632ci long-deck big-block, HQ uses twin 94mm Precision Pro Mod turbos to make over 2500hp at the hubs at 28psi, controlled by a FuelTech ECU. Sucking methanol at the track and pump fuel on the road, the 3800lb monster is all steel except for the fiberglass reverse-cowl bonnet, and retains a full interior.
“I picked up a couple of times today, because the car felt like it was just going to come loose,” Daniel said. “We have a lot more in it, but we have to take it as it comes.”
275 radials returned meant that Daniel found himself leading the highly competitive Haltec Radial Blown class at the end of day one, before completing day one of the long drive to Mildura via Swan Hill. could
The Sunset Strip on days two and three at Mildura and the South Coast Raceway on day four at Portland proved less fertile hunting grounds for the big silver coupe, with its set-up full-length rather than half-distance eighths. Quarter mile track preferred. Mile Still, Daniel put on a show, running 5.29@134mph on Day 2, 5.17@139mph on Day 3, and 5.58@130mph on Day 4 to lead the Haltec Radial Balloon.
Sitting third overall coming into day five at Calder Park, Daniel was keen to push hard and try to overtake Brendan Cherry for second. “The weather was against us, really,” he sighed Friday. “We’ll get the car ready to pass on the stage; then it’ll rain and we’ll have to wait. That heats up the ‘box and converter, which is no way to go fast. 7.48 @ 189 mph. The hourly pace he eventually ran was very fast, but not enough on a day where most flying cars set PB times.
Still, in his first attempt, Daniel finished third overall at DC 2019 and topped the Haltech Radial Blown, scoring a seven-second Club Red Hat, winning the Quickest ET and Fastest MPH trophies, and the Received one of the most coveted awards: The Spirit of Drag Challenge. Giving a rocker arm to a guy who might eventually beat you isn’t a ticket to winning many events, but it’s a great way to win everyone’s respect, and Daniel gifted Harry Hague with a rocker to keep him in the game. can stay A killer event is DC.
“It was surreal,” Daniel said after the racing ended Friday night. “The car has been absolutely flawless over the week and it’s been an amazing time.”
Winner – Haltec Radial Blown
Seven Seconds Club
Spirit of Drag Challenge
1971 Holden Headquarters Monaro
Class: Haltec Radial Blown
engine: Dart 632ci big block
Turbos: Precision 94mm Pro Mod
transfer: M&M TH400
Converter: M&M’s bolt together
Difference: 9in, 3.23:1 gears
Previous PB: 7.37 @ 194 mph
Best DC 2019 Passes: 7.35 @ 197mph