Tony DeFelice’s collection of performance vehicles is a truly impressive sight.
Inside a storage unit in the Australian city of Melbourne, he keeps several powerful drag racers, a Ferrari 458 GT3 racer, a street-registered Ferrari and, to transport his racing fleet around, a bright red Scania R 730.
DeFelice’s Vicious Rumour Racing team competes in Australian GT racing events as well as events for Top Doorslammers, a class of drag racing vehicle. While the two styles of racing are radically different, the vehicles in which the team competes share several attributes – they are all powerful, eye-catching and built with precision.
The trailer used to transport vehicles for the team, which includes Tony’s brother-in-law Barry and race engineer Phil Hughes, is luxuriously fitted out with a lounge, briefing room and sleeping quarters.
The trailer is overshadowed, however, by the fire-engine-red Scania tractor unit used for transport. Its entire engine grille, door handle panel and window surrounds are finished in the carbon fibre covering, as are the 710-litre left-hand and 320-litre right hand fuel tanks. Setting off the glowing red paint are matt black wheel rims with yellow race logos spray-painted onto all six tyre-walls.
“The Scania drives like a European luxury car,” says Barry. “It is comfortable, quiet and an awesome experience. I like the Downhill Speed Control and the Retarder. Coming down (steep hills) is a breeze, and so much quieter inside the cab without the noisy engine brake. You can have a normal conversation without getting out with a sore throat. The seats are good too, so you arrive feeling fresh which is a good start to a race weekend.”
DeFelice says he was astonished at the performance of the Scania R 730 the first time he drove it. “If I hadn’t seen the trailer in the mirrors I would not have believed it was hooked up. We’re about 30-tonnes all up on a race weekend, so not that heavy by industry standards, but the V8 makes the trip effortless.”
DeFelice says he loves the truck. “It is effortless to drive and feels like an Audi A6 inside. It’s so luxurious and very prestigious, and it doesn’t squeak, rattle and roll like our previous truck, which fell apart after 80,000 km. I like the aero-look of the Highline cab as well.”