Just goes to show, hold the speedsters back for a while and they come out of the gate at full gallop and keep accelerating till they’ve blitzed over the line, to personal bests, in some cases.
Killarney recently saw some blistering runs at the MSA quarter-mile drags, and some new hot metal careening down the track, sure to have wowed the crowds if there had been any.
Hermann Mostert, nowadays the man to beat, came screaming down the track in his 2JZ–powered bakkie (called Jack Russell, go figure) to record a 8.06 seconds run at 298.46km/h. That’s laying down the gauntlet good and proper.
It was veteran Talha Daniels, however, that set the stage for possibly epic battles in the future.
You see, he brought out for the first time, his remodelled chariot, rebranded as a BarrEscort and threw down the challenge with an 8.66 second pass at 243.36km/h.
This remade car, apparently, is the same old school Escort he used to run, but all stripped down and fitted with a four-litre turbocharged Australian made 24-valve straight six called a Barra (short for Barramundi, and originally designed for a Ford Sapphire).
Made at Ford’s Geelong plant from 2002 to 2016, this powerplant is famed for tuning potential and sheer krag. So ja, let’s see what Talha can do with this new monster as he gets the setup more and more refined.
Bobby Nitro spoke to Talha. He says: “So much more potential than the old four-cylinder set up. In PE we had a lot of teething problems, particularly with the diff and gearbox. At the Killarney debut we did our first proper runs.”
Bobby had to ask if Talha reckoned he had a car to go up against the mighty Jack Russell bakkie, and to his credit he was rather diplomatic, saying: “Well, we’ll try to put in the same league as Hermann’s car.
“To be honest, we were expecting a 9 second pass so we very happy with the 8.6 seconds.”
Another personal best came from Rudi Roode in a VW all-wheel drive Mk2 Golf with a 20-valve 2.1-litre modified with a huge turbo, doing a psychological barrier beating 9.48 seconds.
He says: “I’ve done a lot of 9.8 and 9.7 seconds before, but getting faster as we go.
“For this past weekend we upgraded rear suspension, drive shafts, dampening and spring rates.
“So car squats much better on the launch, which helped to give us that extra two-tenths of a second.
“We had anticipated going faster, and a personal best is always a blessing. We work a lot on the car, and this is great for myself and the team.”
Zach ‘Oupa’ Matthys sent his VW Mk1 front wheel drive shooting down the straight to a personal best of 10.8 seconds, piloted by his younger brother. Zach says: “It was an amazing achievement for us. We don’t have the best of the best parts but managed to get the most out of them.”
When you can’t throw heaps of cash at the car, there is certainly an art to squeezing the most out of what you do have.
All four of the bikes in attendance ran sub-10s, with Reece ‘Buddy’ Robertson laying down an 8.64 at 253.56km/h on his Suzuki GSX-R1000, leading the pack.
Heinrich Slamet came a close second on a similar bike, posting 8.655 seconds.
All in all, good to see the drags going full tilt, and can hardly wait till the world opens up and we can all get to be there again.