Back in (Matt) Black!
It’s been two seasons since Mike Ellis raced his tough XA Falcon coupe in Enzed Central Muscle Cars (CMC) Group 1, and he’s looking ready to make his return for the 2017–’18 season.
Mike mentioned that, when he was last competing, he would consistently place in the eighth or ninth spot in Group 1, and his hiatus from the series has not been spent with the intention of slipping down in the ranks. Over the past couple of years, the bar has been raised significantly, with huge power now the norm, and Mike has been keeping up by modifying his Falcon accordingly.
The small block Ford runs a Dart block displacing 413ci — which Mike mentioned is the class maximum — with CHI alloy heads and titanium valves, and was good for exactly 700hp before any changes were made. The big power small block is backed by a Nascar-spec Tex 101 four-speed dogbox and Howe Racing diff.
As you may have seen in the last issue of NZV8, Mike recently took the XA down to Sinco to have the team fabricate a set of equal-length four-into-one headers, as well as a seriously pornographic exhaust system. Mike is quietly hoping that this, coupled with a large Braswell carburettor and port-matched intake manifold, will produce around 750hp.
The rebuild of the XA is going to plan so far, and Mike looks ready to make his return for the V8 Supercar round later this year. At this stage, he is looking for a sponsor. With Mike’s experience, the XA should make for a pretty neat rolling billboard — if you’re in a position for something like that, or know someone who is, let us know and we’ll put you onto Mike.
On the road again
Every time the Enzed CMC roadshow heads to the South Island, the drivers come back raving about it, so it’s no surprise that, when they were recently asked to vote on whether they wanted to head in that direction for the upcoming season, the response was a resounding, “Hell yeah, we do.”
Of course, lugging a race car, spares, family, and crew members adds up, so the next task asked of the CMC committee was to make the expedition more effective by combining two meetings into the one trip. That plan has been confirmed, and the first of the two meetings will take place at Timaru International Motor Raceway — aka Levels Raceway — on January 26–29, when the venue celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The second meet is set to be held at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch, on February 2–4, as part of the annual Skope Classic. Both events will be huge, and the addition of the CMC field will just be the icing on the cake of the already impressive line-up.
This will be the first time that CMC has raced at Levels, so the growing contingent of South Island drivers will have a huge advantage. We’re sure we’re not alone in looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.
The Enzed CMC AGM is set to take place soon. This is the perfect place for anyone interested in joining the series not only to meet and greet other competitors but also to find out about any upcoming rule changes that may affect vehicles currently in the build. Scheduled to take place in Wellington over July 8 and 9, the event will have a large social component, including a prize-giving dinner. If you’re keen to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.