Nitto Tires Quick Class Presented Byturbo MagazineStill the crowd favorite is the Nitto Tires/Turbo magazine Quick class. The Quick Class is also another class dominated by Honda-powered racers. Of the 16 car field, 15 of the racers were Honda-powered. To ruin all the fun, Joel Tanzman's Supra claimed the number one qualifying position by blazing the only 9-second time in qualifying with a 9.895 at 137.01 mph. With early morning showers, track conditions were far from ideal and two of the top five qualifiers decided to call it a day. Lisa Kubo in the Nitto Tires Civic and Jimmy O'Connor in the Venom Civic decided to pack up and head home. With two potential 9-second racers already out, the door was wide open for the rest of the qualifying field. The surprise of the day was number 12 qualifier Heather Zender, who made it all the way to the finals to face off against Kosuke Kida and the Signal Chop Top No. 2 racer. The two battled side-by-side with both screaming to low-10-second times, but Kida was able to edge out Zender for the win 10.377 to 10.496.
APEXi Outlaw VIIIThe APEXi Outlaw VIII was filled with an armory of top-class racers. Racers included were Stephan Papadakis, Ray Lochhead, Craig Paisley, Christian Rado and Minoyama Takeshi. The quickest and fastest qualifier of the day was Minoyama Takeshi in the Signal Auto Nissan Skyline. Takeshi scorched a sub-9-second run with an 8.911 at 158.15 mph.
The top four of the qualifiers advanced to semis. Papadakis took on Craig Paisley, while Takeshi battled against Lochhead. Paisley experienced mechanical problems, giving Papadakis the easy win, while Lochhead pulled a wheel-standing 8.915, taking out number one qualifier Takeshi. In the finals, Papadakis and the AEM Civic pulled a rabbit out of the hat and tore off an 8.987 wonder, beating Lochhead, who was only able to manage a 10.601.
Toyo Tires Pro ClassIn the Toyo Tires Pro Class, the crowd got a sneak preview of three teams to watch in 2001. The Area 51 racing team campaigning a Lexus SC300 powered by a twin-turbo 2JZ powerplant and the Venom Racing team's Toyota Tacoma also powered by a turbocharged Toyota 2JZ engine. Ron Lummus, a legend in the ranks of VW enthusiasts, also brought his 2001 VW bug. This trio faced the pair of rotaries from the Toyo Tire Racing team.
The semis were scary; Abel Ibarra's Toyo Tire RX-7 lost a driveshaft and hit the retaining wall. Ibarra had to be airlifted to the hospital from the track. He suffered a cracked rib and punctured a lung, but we've been told that he is doing fine. We wish him a speedy recovery. We are sure Ibarra will have his car fixed in no time and will be out racing again. On the brighter side, Abel's R-100, driven by Efren Vazques, took the win in the Toyo Tires Pro Class.
Although the IDRC West Coast Nationals was a wet-n-wild affair, the racing was top-notch and spectator turnout was impressive, considering the event was nearly canceled. If the West Coast Nationals served as a preview, the 2001 season is shaping up.