Recently, the inaugural Grudge Kings drag racing event was held at Sydney Dragway. Australia’s first ‘heads-up’ drag racing league, Grudge Kings was conceived with an emphasis on putting the fun back into the sport, doing away with the classes, dial-ins and other red tape of traditional drag racing.
The event was based on the idea that it would be cool to see cars that would normally be separated into their own unique classes lining up against one another for a pure, classic grudge match.
The term ‘grudge’ is very much used figuratively in this setting. The atmosphere of the event was fantastic, and it was obvious that all the competitors are mates.
Determining a winner was simple – the driver with the fastest ET is crowned the Grudge King. As it turned out, the winner was actually the Grudge Queen. The lone female competitor at Grudge Kings was Gina Bullians from MazSport Racing, and she dominated the whole competition.
“As soon as I heard about the Grudge Kings event, I was in,” Gina said. “The RX7 fitted the concept perfectly, and the event sounded like it was going to bring something exciting to our sport.”
The FD RX7 Gina piloted was built by Bill Nabhan at MazSport back in 2004, and it was sold to a customer soon after. When Gina moved to Australia from New Zealand in 2011 and joined the MazSport team, the opportunity to buy back the old car came up again. It had been passed through a few owners and undergone some dramatic changes in the years away from home. When they bought it back, it was painted bright green and lived life as a show car. Now back in the hands of the people who build it, it was time to get the car back where it belonged – on the track.
Gina first drove the car in 2012. It was her first time piloting a purpose-built drag car, but it didn’t take her long to become accustomed to it. In 2014, the car was stripped down once again. It wasn’t until Sydney Jamboree in March 2016 that the car saw a proper drag meet again. Not messing around on the first outing, Gina set a quarter mile PB in the car of 6.91 at 197mph.
The RX-7 is running a 20B triple-rotor engine, boosted by a Precision 98mm turbo, running 40PSI with the help of two Turbosmart ProGates controlling boost. That combination is good for about 1350hp at the wheels.
At Grudge Kings, the winning pass was a 4.62 at 159mph on the eighth mile, a couple of tenths shy of the car’s eighth mile best of 4.4 seconds. That means Gina’s challengers have their work cut out, as the car does have plenty still left in it.
“The event atmosphere was pretty electric and it was awesome to be a part of,” Gina said. “But the very tricky track conditions made our job pretty hard, and dialing in the clutch to suit was our biggest hurdle.”
Gina’s win came after the team almost didn’t even make it to the event, after the bonnet blew open at speed during testing just three days before Grudge Kings, damaging the car’s windscreen and roof. The team called in favours and worked through the nights to get the car fixed.
“With only two days until the main event, we had a lot of work to do. It meant we were going to the event relatively untested,” Gina said. “A new windscreen was fitted on Friday. A new bonnet was sourced, paneled and painted by 2SUS Custom Resprays, the roof was paneled by my amazing crew and then carbon wrapped late on Saturday night by ProSigns. Then we were ready to go racing on Sunday.”
Their marathon efforts ultimately allowed Gina to score the win at Grudge Kings.
It’s not the only Turbosmart product at MazSport. Bill says most cars that leave the workshop are running Turbosmart gear. The workshop was a treasure trove for fans of old rotary-powered Mazda goodness.
This yellow RX2 drag car quickly caught our eye. It was built for a customer who is new to drag racing, and wanted to learn the ropes – mind you, it’s a pretty serious bit of kit for a beginner.
A Turbosmart Race Port BOV sets off that purposeful engine bay nicely.
This gold FB RX-7, ‘7ONSUS’, had a very clean engine bay and sported the full Turbosmart treatment, including wastegate, FPR2000 Fuel Pressure Regulator, Race Port blow-off valve and an eBoost2 electronic boost controller.
The reigning Grudge Queen will be back at the next Grudge Kings event on 25 September to defend her crown against tougher opposition. But we know that Gina and the car both have plenty left in them, so we’ll be watching keenly to see if the Queen can once again reign supreme.
Check out this awesome video of the inaugural Grudge Kings event.