Hermann Mostert and his 2JZ-engined Nissan Champ bakkie ‘Jack Russell’ laid down the fastest time of the day at the MSA Drag Racing event at Killarney on Saturday 18 September with a superb 8.06317 second run at 298.46km/h, but he no longer has the eights to himself.

Veteran straight-liner Talha Daniels, out for the very first time with the aptly named BarrEscort, threw down the challenge with an 8.66488 second pass at 243.36km/h, setting the stage for some epic confrontations in the near future as he gets the new car dialled in.

For those of us who don’t speak Australian, the car is a based on a first generation made-in-England Ford Escort, fitted with an Australian turbocharged four-litre, straight six “Barra” engine (short for Barramundi, the code name for the second-generation Ford Falcon it was designed for). The 24-valve DOHC Barra six was produced at Ford’s Geelong plant from 2002 to 2016 and is renowned for its reliability and tuning potential. We think there is lots more to come from this unusual challenger – watch this space!

The only other four-wheeled competitors to run under 10 seconds on the day were Rudi Roode’s all-wheel drive Golf Mk2 at 9.48536 seconds and 248.35km/h, and Mostert (again!) in his Toyota Corolla ‘Poodle’, with a slightly disappointing 9.96705 second run at 167.07km/h. Mostert explained, however, that he’d made some major changes to the 2JZ-powered Corolla, and that the car still needed some sorting out.

Nevertheless, MSA rules do not allow a drag racer to compete against himself, so the Corolla was non-scored as a secondary vehicle.

In sharp contrast, all four of the motorcycle entries ran under 10 seconds, led by Reece ‘Buddy’ Robertson’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 with a best effort of 8.64710seconds at 253.56km/h. Heinrich Slamet was a very close second on a similar Suzuki, posting 8.65504 seconds and 249.73km/h, followed by Irrvinne Bruinders (BMW S1000 RR, 9.50461 seconds at 239.36km/h) and Bradlee Kiviets (Kawasaki ZX14, 9.72974 seconds at 219.47km/h).

The biggest class on the day with 25 entries, Class OA for naturally aspirated competition cars was topped by Saud Bassa and his Volkswagen Golf Mk1, with a very respectable 11.60649 second run at 184.42km/h. Second was Jarryd San Giorgio’s VW Golf Mk2 (11.83825 seconds at 185.66km/h) and third went to Washief Hendricks, in another VW Golf Mk1, who ran 11.90246 seconds at 180.14km/h.

There were only two entries in the premier Street category, Class 6S for force-fed sixes, each in a BMW M3. On the day Ejaaz Majiet posted the better run with 11.04855 seconds and 197.39km/h to Yaseen Ebrahim’s 12.28012 seconds and 167.86km/h.

Class 4S for boosted fours was led by Devlin Padayachee’s Honda Ballade at 11.37850 seconds and 164.82km/h, ahead of Wesley Manuel (VW Golf Mk1, 13.58549 seconds and 167.60km/h) and Charl Victor (Subaru WRX, 13.94897 seconds and 169.21km/h.

Jamie Titus Class 4A and his Nissan Sentra took Class 4A for naturally aspirated fours with a best effort of 13.68346 seconds, followed by Gideon Dickson’s Honda Civic on 13.80748 seconds and 154.78km/h and Yusuf Sulayman in another Sentra at 13.86566 seconds.

The Street Legal Class was won by Qashiem Louw in a BMW 135i, who posted a 12.33034 pass to beat Kenny Rinkwest’s 2JZ-powered Toyota Corolla – there’s nothing in the rules to say that a street-legal car has to have its original engine, as long as it has all its interior and exterior trim and will pass a roadworthy inspection! Rinkwest got down to 12.88251 seconds at 167.64km/h, well ahead of third-placed Nadia Ho-Kim VW Golf 7R (14.37652 seconds at 161.46km/h).