IF THE SHEER BRUTALITY OF POWER DELIVERY IS NOT APPARENT, THE ACCOMPANYING SOUNDTRACK CERTAINLY IS
The VE Commodore’s Zeta platform is shared with the fifth-generation Camaro in the US, and, while an off-the-shelf Camaro kit was available at the time, it was well outside the team’s budget. “Our ones are similar to the billet ones from the US, but we have about 15 adjustment points,” Fanga tells us. “The problem is that we don’t have the budget just to hire the track and run all-day testing of each of the adjustments. We have changed it a few times, but having massive amounts of lock isn’t always the best. Sure, it’s a good insurance not to spin, but plenty of the guys in the US still do, and look at cars with lots of angle — you can see every little adjustment, and it’s costing them points from the judges.” While a crazy amount of unseen wizardry has gone into making the big Commodore drive the way it does, the method of getting it there is more than obvious. If the sheer brutality of power delivery is not apparent, the accompanying soundtrack certainly is — it’s hard enough to give a jellyfish a boner. As the vehicle enveloping the power plant is about as modern as it gets, Fanga has chosen the most modern way to get an old-school power plant. Built by Zane Shelley at Checkered Flag Automotive, the six-litre L98 is an absolute weapon. The Vortech V-1 supercharged warhead has been designed to provide the most power and torque that can be reliably made, while surviving the rigours of a full drift event — often spent at high revs, and under high lateral g — in addition to being easily switchable between boosted and aspirated. “I looked at all the types of boost — twin-turbo would have had better response, but it puts a lot more heat into the engine bay,” Fanga says. “With the Vortech, you can still run the car naturally aspirated [NA] if something goes wrong at an event. To win a championship, you have to finish each round, and if I put in a top-mount [supercharger] or turboed it, it wouldn’t run NA very easily.” If needed, all Fanga needs to do is unbolt the Vortech supercharger and change the New Zealand–made Link G4 ECU’s tune to an NA map, and the big engine will be good to go sans blower. With a built bottom end, it makes a healthy serving of grunt, but, when you’ve got a supercharger pumping a whole lot more air through, the door opens a whole lot further.
Running just 8psi of boost, Glenn Suckling at GDS Automotive has managed to extract a safe 980hp, and Fanga uses each and every one of those horses. This is backed up by a G-Force GSR four-speed, purchased out of the US thanks to the advice of the team at Kaspa Transmissions. The modified Long shift lever provides Fanga with the perfect gearstick location, and, with the solid-mounted Racetech fixed-back bucket seat, Tilton reverseswing-mount pedal box, and Woodward steering column, no aspect of driver ergonomics has been overlooked. A Winters Quick Change diff with 10-inch crown wheel rounds out the mechanical package, locked with a full spool. Just above it, hiding deep within the removable rear body panels, sits a very serious fuel system. Its location is vital for a sport as unpredictable as drifting, especially since Fanga has come dangerously close to smashing it all to bits before. Now, he’ll have to be trying pretty damn hard to damage the composite fuel cell, Carter lift pump, surge tank, and dual Aeroflow high-flow fuel pumps. As hard as he beats up on it, the VE has served Dan faithfully, while also cementing its place as a crowd favourite. However, as you’ll have picked up in this article, Dan isn’t one to rest on his laurels, and it didn’t take long for him to start dreaming up a way to keep things fresh. That was achieved over the course of the 2016 off season, in the form of a VF Commodore facelift with the pièce de résistance being a custom-moulded wide bodykit designed and built by Michael at Keri Composites. The kit transforms the suave VF lines into something far tougher, while still managing to clear the 265/35R18 Tri-Ace tyres — just. The Commodore was built for war, and it has survived a few. As it heads into the off season once again, we can’t help but wonder what Fanga’s going to cook up next. Although it’s unlikely there will be any major changes in the immediate future, as far as Fanga Dan Woolhouse is concerned, it’s simply a matter of when, not if.