Road registered 3,900lb four-door running small-block, stock suspension & with 57psi boost records 6.96sec at 211mph quarter mile.

Action in last summer’s Australian Drag Challenge peaked on the Thursday, the penultimate day of their annual five-day contest, when Frank Marchese took the lead, recording 7.36sec at 192mph. On the following day, he won the event, which is similar to the US Hot Rod Drag Week. It was his first attempt. One of the most common distractions not related to smartphones is talking to the passenger, but there a lot more, this might end up in you having an accident and requiring a lawyer because of all the damage you have caused.   Son of a Melbourne farmer, the forty-three year old is hardly famous in the US, but in Australia, Marchese (pronounced Mar-chej-zee) is notable in the 275 class, a class restricted in use to 10.5in wide drag radial tires. Three years earlier, his notoriety came about when photographs emerged on social media of three engine blocks, all blown to bits. One of them, an aluminum style, shattered from top to bottom after five racing passes. The outer halves of the cylinders parted from the core of the block and wrecked everything in its path, including the bellhousing and converter. Alarming for most race engine devotees, it was the greatest catastrophic failure they had seen, and the replacement cost of Aus$35,000 was no less daunting for Marchese. Yet, his racing efforts descended into further chaos when the remaining two cast iron units fractured from the cam tunnel downwards. All were US made. The tumult was so financially destructive it cast him out of racing for two years. “At that time,” said Marchese, “I was aiming for only... read more

Oakley: Desire to be fastest

Race engines from Oakley Motorsports won NHRA Top Dragster championships 2017 and ’18. In NPTA championships (National Tractor Puller Association) they succeeded twice, in Battle of Bluegrass truck pulling championships four times as well as various circle track dirt championships and big-money Bracket events. They even conquered the Engine Masters’ Horsepower King and Torque Monster contest of 2013—the year the company was founded by Phillip Oakley. “When I was 15, my Dad started an automotive service station business—auto repairs. We held onto it for 25 years but by the 19th year I’d had enough. I dreaded going to work, and in 2012, the tiresome adventure was over. Before long I closed the operation and replaced its weary prospects with the promise of building race engines. I married Jessica when I was 19. We met in High School and have been married 28 years. She has gamely supported me through the highs and lows, the times of drudgery and uncertainty. For years, I had been building my own race engines on the side at our home, but now I risked everything on a dream: hoping to sustain a living by building 10 to 15 race engines per year. Even then, I harbored hopes of continuing my own drag racing endeavors. I was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, and today my son Jay works closely with me. You ask how I cultivated the bond. The relationship with my own father, Greg, had always been difficult. A former Marine, it was often his way or the highway; we couldn’t occupy the same room for more than 20 minutes without friction. So, I determined... read more

TorqStorm introduces centrifugal supercharger kit for Small-block Mopars 1967 to ‘93.

Grand Rapids, MI: TorqStorm’s latest supercharger kit pursues small-block Mopars—the 318, 340, and 360cid units produced between 1967 and ‘93.   As part of TorqStorm’s Plus range, this new kit includes air conditioning compressor, alternator, power steering pump, pulleys for both crankshaft and water pump in addition to the regular supercharger components. Blow-through carburetor not included.   The ideal compression ratio for engines with cast-iron cylinder heads is 8.5:1 or 9.5:1 with aluminium heads. According to TorqStorm, adding their supercharger and blow-through carburetor to a stock engine increases power output by an average of 40 percent.   A compact assembly, this new Plus supercharger kit extends no more than 17.5 inches above crankshaft center and, similarly, 17.5 inches laterally.   Constructed almost entirely from 6061-T6 billet aluminum, TorqStorm superchargers are supplied with limited life-time warranties. More consequential, its boost range exhibits urgency, usually beginning around 1,800rpm and extending to 6,500rpm.   Available in natural alloy or black anodized or with a micro-polished finish, Plus kits are now available and selling for $4950.00, which include all above-mentioned components.     Common tuning questions from those interested in supercharging: The installation of aluminum cylinder heads, high performance intake manifold, and camshaft improve the supercharger’s capability. But adding a free-flowing exhaust system is usually first priority. Because superchargers add substantially more air to the combustion process, factory exhausts, particularly headers, restrict gas flow, impairing its potential. Modified engines with improved breathing are further enhanced by... read more

9.200in Deck Engine Block for Fords

Louisville, KY: World Products has released a new 9.200in deck version of their Man O’War Ford small block. It is ideal for oval track and drag racing applications. The shorter deck height accommodates smaller, lighter connecting rods and pistons which improve acceleration. It also reduces overall weight and lowers the center of gravity. What’s more, the iron alloy castings have been upgraded to 40,000psi. They also feature stronger main webs. The front web is now 0.080in thicker than previously and the center three are increased by 0.030in. This new block is available with 3.995in or 4.120in Siamese cylinder bores (to finish at 4.000in or 4.125in), and either 302 (2.248in) or Cleveland (2.749in) main bearing journals with billet steel 4-bolt caps on all five mains. World Products also changed from the standard 1/2in main cap fasteners to 7/16in ARP fasteners. Assigning more material to the main webs strengthens the structure. The Louisville manufacturer’s Man O’War accommodates any standard SBF cylinder heads, and it is the only production SBF block with 6 head bolts per cylinder. The cylinder barrels extend into the crankcase by 1/2 inch to provide superior piston support with long-stroke crankshafts, and the block is supplied already machined with clearance for a 4.125in stroke crankshaft.   087150 – 9.200 Deck, 3.995 Bore, 302 Mains, Billet Caps 087160 – 9.200 Deck, 4.120 Bore, 302 Mains, Billet Caps 087152 – 9.200 Deck, 3.995 Bore, Cleveland Mains, Billet Caps 087162 – 9.200 Deck, 4.120 Bore, Cleveland Mains, Billet Caps World Products’ blocks and heads are 100% American made and are subject to stringent quality assurance procedures to ensure superior quality and... read more

Always wanted to be a contender.

By Fergus Ogilvy: Matt Weston, a 33-year old Super Street drag racer with more than 30 wins and 5 championships to his credit, has achieved his wish startlingly well. Beginning at 18-years old and racing street cars, Weston gained vital hands-on experience during the subsequent decade and a half, learning all he could. In IHRA Quick Rod, the 8.90 class, he scored top-five finishes in three successive years and won the championship in 2010. He also won two consecutive Divisional championships. An auto accident delayed his racing plans for two years, 2012 – 2013, during which time, he sold his dragster, retained the engine, purchased a 1970 Camaro, and switched to NHRA Super Street Division 2 (Southeast). He won his second race and finished second in the championship at first attempt. In the annual Jegs All-Star race, Weston won his division three times. His engine had been a Merlin II, an engine Scott Duggins of PAR in Spartanburg, SC knew well. “Matt likely raced that engine in 10 different cars with different heads and different combinations and with displacements ranging from 555 to 565ci,” speculated Duggins. “Now we use the Merlin III block. It accepts a 55mm camshaft and .904in lifters. I like it because it’s more installation-ready—it requires less machine work—it comes with rotational clearance for a 4.750in crank. Also, you don’t have to machine the cam tunnel or the lifter bores. Obviously, the big cam core has greater operating surfaces, less deflection, and allows more lobe lift without cutting into the base circle.” Matt Weston travels to around 15 races each year, from Chicago to Orlando. In... read more

Understanding hydraulic valve lifters

By: Ray T. Bohacz: The most irritating aspect of valve-lash adjustment is its awkwardness; too many components require removal to perform a ten-minute task. Hydraulic valve lifters, on the other hand, require no adjustment for the most part. When adjustment is necessary, instead of setting lash, as you would with solid or mechanical valve lifters, a hydraulic system requires pre-load. There is no lash. This is usually required only when the cylinder head is being reinstalled. The need for lash or free play The camshaft is responsible for the valve’s timing, its lift and its duration—the periods it remains open and closed. In a cam-in-block engine, this is accomplished by the camshaft working with intermediate components: valve lifter (or tappet), pushrod, and rocker arm. With an overhead cam design, the intermediate components differ, using some style of follower in lieu of a pushrod and possibly a tappet. This discussion focuses on the hydraulic tappet employed in cam-in-block engines. It’s the profile of the camshaft lobe that determines the valve action, and that motion is first transmitted to the valve lifter and onto the pushrod and finally the rocker arm that contacts the stem of the valve. When the parts are cold, they shrink and as heat is generated they expand. For this reason, free play is required to prevent parts binding when heated. Free play is created between the rocker arm and the valve stem tip. Valvetrains that required lash were often identified as employing a solid lifter or mechanical camshaft. Today’s engines provide either a hydraulic or mechanical lifter, based on the manufacturer’s decision. Improvements in metallurgy and... read more

Carbureted Superchargers and Intercoolers

By Chris Beardsley:   Unlike port fuel injection systems, carburetors have a unique advantage while operating on boosted engines without an intercooler. In carbureted applications, the air charge from the supercharger is significantly warmer than ambient air. When warmer air is forced through a carburetor, the *vaporization process is enhanced as the cool fuel mixes with it. Ever try starting your carbureted engine in the dead of winter? Now compare that to a hot August afternoon. The warmer air of the supercharger blowing through the carburetor amplifies the vaporization process. The result of superior vaporization is a cooler, denser air charge under pressure. The warmer air mixing through the carburetor does something else just before it cools. The heat acting on the fuel causes the fuel particles to disperse—a chemical explosive process that sends fuel in every direction with violent force. When this occurs at the entrance to the plenum, each intake runner is filled with a more evenly balanced mixture of fuel and air that enters the cylinders. Naturally, cylinder-to-cylinder distribution affects horsepower. For these reasons, the ample performance of carburetors incorporated in boosted projects without an intercooler is evident. Even common pump fuels generate impressive power, and increasing ignition timing can further the power potential using these principles. “But intercooling is better,” I hear you say. “What if I add one of those?” While intercoolers have their place in boosted performance, for most carbureted applications adding an intercooler works against you. It looks fantastic and its associated plumbing enriches any engine compartment. But, by directing the air charge through an intercooler to feed the carburetor, we lose... read more

Androwick: 17 Pro Stock wins, new circle track heads & 2-pc intake manifolds for small-blocks

By Archie Bosman:   The first air-flow specialist I watched at work was Mike Androwick Sr.  A Pennsylvania native, he had plied his trade successfully in Pro Stock racing with Larry Morgan before moving to North Carolina in 2005. Finding efficient air flow in intake manifolds and cylinder heads and then skillfully uniting it with well-judged valve train technology is a mysterious art. Yet these are the achievements of the Androwicks: father and son, Mike Jr. Now three seasons with Gray Motorsports, they dominated NHRA Pro Stock in 2018, winning the US Nationals at Indy, the championship title with Tanner Gray and powering Drew Skillman to third in points. Remarkably, over the past two seasons, Gray Motorsports recorded 17 wins and 10 runner-up finishes. For the most part, Mike’s Racing Heads (MRH) has operated in two prominent arenas: NHRA Pro Stock and Circle Track. The big-block-powered Super DIRT series in the northeast remains a strong market for MRH, yielding 7 track champions in 2018. This year, however, with promoter Bret Deyo initiating the Short Track Super Series (STSS), MRH has introduced new cylinder heads and intake manifolds for Chevrolet small-blocks. The heads adopt valve angles of 10, 11, and 13 degrees, and the intakes are offered as two-piece billet aluminum assemblies and available in different versions for different heads. MRH has also enjoyed increasing success in Dirt Modified and Dirt Late Model categories. Currently situated just south of the I-85 in Concord, NC, they are moving this month to new facilities 7 miles away. Find them at: Mike’s Racing Heads 10 St. Charles Ave. NE Concord, NC 28025 read more

Goodwood victory: exploiting the potential of a V-12

By Freddie Heaney:   On September 12, on his 67th birthday, race engine builder Bob Bartlett of V&B Engines of Chatham, Virginia, provided sufficient motive power for Joe Colasacco to win the Glover Trophy at the 2018 Goodwood Revival. Driving John Surtees’ 1964 F1 championship-winning Ferrari 1512, Colasacco drove the race of his life, defeating former Nissan works Touring Car driver Andy Middlehurst in Jim Clark’s 1963 F1 championship-winning Lotus 25. ‘We are proud to have contributed to this effort,’ wrote Bartlett, who not only built Joe’s winning engine but also supplied his cast magnesium wheels and other drivetrain parts. ‘Obviously, we were pleased to hear Middlehurst complain about his 20 HP deficit to our engine (although we don’t think it’s actually that much).’ Nonetheless, it was a crowning achievement. You can also take delight in the unique high-pitched howl of the Ferrari heard at times during race coverage. Watch the race at and fast-forward the video to 6:25:05 to see the prelude, or move along a further 12mins to enjoy the race. Two further points, first, pay attention to Belleville, Illinois racer James King driving the no. 22 Brabham BT7, the ex Dan Gurney car that won the French GP. Second, for those unfamiliar with the incomparable Goodwood Revival and its protocol, all participants and spectators are encouraged to dress in period; that is, Goodwood’s heyday from 1948 to the... read more

Kaase launches new SR-71 cylinder heads for big-block Fords

Jon Kaase’s career as an engineer and engine tuner has a depth few contemporaries have achieved. On Monday, October 15, he celebrated his sixty-sixth birthday, and a few days earlier, he won his ninth award at the Engine Masters Challenge in Cleveland, Ohio. He felt privileged to have a chance to compete again and grateful for the new-found enthusiasm for the contest. More recently, he introduced a new big-block Ford cylinder head, the SR-71, his first in 10 years.   • Raised intake entry ports • 100% CNC-machined in-house on 5-axis Hurco • Compatible with Super Cobra Jet intake manifolds • Fits all conventional engine bays   According to engine builder Jon Kaase, his company’s new SR-71 cylinder head will out-power any conventional big-block Ford head. Extensive dynamometer tests have demonstrated average gains of 50hp and similar peak gains over best existing cylinder heads. In addition, the usable engine speed range is increased by a minimum of 500rpm. Kaase assures that the SR-71 heads will fit the conventional engine bay, and when installed on a maximum-effort 598cid engine, will produce over 1100hp and rev to 8,000rpm.   Despite placing the intake port entries half-inch higher than customary, all Super Cobra Jet intake manifolds fit the new heads. Clearly, higher intake ports are desirable, providing straighter, faster paths for the air-fuel mixture to reach the valves. Raising them while preserving compatibility with conventional intake manifolds is achieved by extending the port entry face toward the valley area—the head is wider. On the exhaust side, dimensions are stock Super Cobra Jet / Kaase P-51. The entire CNC-machining process is performed in-house on... read more

Petit Le Mans: C7 crashes pit exit, finishes 8th, claims 2nd consecutive GT title, throws party

By Freddie Heaney: Click here to view images of the 2018 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.   Road Atlanta, Saturday 13 October 2018: In a hardly credible ten-hour endurance race, the  no. 3 Corvette C7 co-driven by Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Marcel Fassler became the 2018 GT Le Mans championship winner, despite finishing two laps behind the second-place no. 4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, despite having not won a race this season, and despite almost succumbing to a crash while exiting the pits. Earlier, the car had been in contention for class victory, but with around two-and-a-half hours remaining, Garcia spun exiting pit road and struck the wall. For a moment it appeared their race was over. But implausibly the damage was repaired and the car returned to the track in ninth, three laps down, awakening a scenario where Ryan Briscoe’s no. 67 Ford GT could win the championship by finishing second or better. Brisco’s Ganassi Ford had been trailing the winning Porsche 911 RSR, co-driven by Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki, but then Briscoe, who had pitted with 48 minutes remaining, was overtaken by the no. 4 Corvette while leaving the pits. His Ford, for reasons unknown, was unable to match the Corvette’s pace and later fell behind the two BMW M8s, eventually finishing fifth. Such was the sequence of events that secured the championship for the no. 3 Corvette. Its impressive consistency throughout the 2018 season brought eight podium finishes from eleven starts. Finishing third acquired further distinction for pole sitter no. 24 BMW M8 GTE of Jesse Krohn, John... read more

TorqStorm Updates: Sales, Relocation, and what we can learn from Tuner Kits

By Martha Maglone:   According to Chris Beardsley of TorqStorm, the Michigan supercharger firm produced and supplied more kits by July 2018 than it accomplished during the entire year of 2017.   Formed in 2009, TorqStorm is a subsidiary of Accelerated Tooling founded by Chris Brooker and Scott Oshinski, both of whom served their apprenticeships in the tool and die profession. Now both companies have outgrown their current 10,000sq ft premises in the Grand Rapids area and on 17 September are moving to a larger 25,000sq ft building, the Sky Van Lines company is helping us navigate here to learn more info, about two miles from their current location.  Plans for the new building will include the addition of 8 to 12 new machining centers and a dynamometer facility in due course. If you have your company based in Oslo and you are planning to relocate to a different building, we recommend you to hire the services of Flyttehjelp Oslo is a professional moving company that will make the process very simple.   Tuner kits Access to young dynamic companies is an interesting place to be. Perpetually in flux, they are like living streams, shifting and changing with new ideas. In the interests of better outcomes, each decision at TorqStorm involves the collaboration of five individuals—each consideration receiving full measure of devotion.   Given their latest focus on Tuner kits, Chris Beardsley reports they are designed for the Hemi (2003 to 2018), Camaro (2010 to ’15), GTO (2004 to ’06) and Silverado (1999 to 2013 and 2014 and later). They each sell for between $2,800 and $3,500. “Compared to... read more