Giant Killer: The Rusty Bullet Vauxhall Astra Takes Down A GTR

David versus Goliath battles happen at drag strips every weekend where you see two cars line up and expect one to win handily. If you saw a Nissan GTR take a lane against a Vauxhall Astra GTE you would probably assume the GTR’s near-supercar level of power would quickly dispatch the Vauxhall. But Carl Hartley’s Astra GTE isn’t your average Vauxhall and it makes enough power to take down a GTR with ease.

Hartley’s Astra GTE, known as the Rusty Bullet, is a nasty little car that puts down over 740 horsepower to the front tires. ADE Tuning makes sure the boosted C20LET four-cylinder engine stays happy when Hartley flogs it at the track. Inside the engine is a set of Wossener pistons, steel rods, and loads of other goodies to help it make power. This front-wheel-drive animal has been in the low 10-second range at the track, running in the 140 mph zone.

In this video from VeeDubRacing, it looks like the GTR driven by Steve MacMaster has more than enough all-wheel-drive power to squash Hartley’s Astra GTE. What actually happened during this race at Santa Pod Raceway is the exact opposite — the little Vauxhall put some bus lengths on the GTR. During the pass, you can see the Rusty Bullet laying down some prominent patches of rubber as the front tires claw for traction on each gear change. The end result is a win light for Hartley and a 10.42 E.T. at almost 147 mph, sending the GTR back to the pits with its tail squarely between its legs.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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