RYAN HUMFREY dabbled in Speed and Regularity events around Western Australia – until the super reliable SIXPOT blew its first ever head gasket after 10 years of abuse.
“So I had to decide on what donk to go with, as I had outgrown the 220hp NA 6cyl. And having built Ford V8s over the years I knew they were way too expensive to build a reliable power plant. Initially thinking of a Bara 6cyl turbo, I found out they were too big for Sports Sedan category rules.
“I also looked to the dark side and found a few good-priced Chev race engines, but settled on an even darker side – the super-cheap LS combo that I still run today. I went about fitting the L98 with a Mall Wood T56 Magnum, engine plates, Daily dry sump, Dick Savy Penske Coil Overs and a custom built 9” from Final Drive.
“Some good mates Chris Stevenson and Ronny Silva help build the custom extractors and, with some great info from Shannon Summers at Tune Corp, I got the Motec ECU and Dash all wired up.
“After many late nights, the car having never started, it arrived at Hyperdrive’s Dyno a few days before the 2011 Wanneroo 300 in October. Having never even seen the car, my co-driver Andrew Stevens got it up and running with a healthy 300hp, considering it was a completely stock engine with 80,000kms, straight from the wreckers.
“I finished assembling the car and got it scrutineered the actual day of the 300. I had never circuit raced a car at all and, Andrew had never driven the car, which hadn’t travelled more than a few hundred metres since the build.
“Andrew had his own car for many years, but I had never circuit raced – while I had run Regularities and Sprints, they aren’t counted as racing – you don’t need a Race licence, only a Speed Licence. And, as I soon found out, door-to-door racing was a much more full-on experience.
“To top it off, it was the day after a good mate’s wedding, so as a bit of an understatement we weren’t expecting much from the day!
“To our surprise the only issues the car gave us was a slightly over-full diff. But she purred all day, finishing second Sports Sedan and sixth outright against a good field of healthy competitors while dropping down laps in the mid-60s.”
WHOOPS. An expensive trip to the Mountain. Image: TBC
Ryan took the car to the 2012 Bathurst Easter Festival, back before he upgraded the aero. “It remains the most exciting and scariest time I have had in the car,” he said. “Including putting it in the wall the first session I went out!”
“The late Wayne Draper from HO Phase Autos hooked me up with the Phase 6 kit, including flares and wheels etc. He also certified my car as a Phase 6. Racecar Fibreglass in Maddington have been super helpful and patient making up several custom molds allowing the car to lose weight, while increasing downforce.”
Ryan has competed in all WA300s since the event was reintroduced at Barbagallo in 2011 with one DNF – a total of six Enduros and five full seasons.