On March 18, 2001 racers from West Coast, Mid West and East Coast came out to tear up the 1320 at Texas. Come race day, Sunday, Mother Nature decided to put an end to the festivities. Since racers from around the nation and a few from Japan came to do battle, the IDRC staff decided to hold the race on Monday to satisfy the racers' needs.
We arrived in San Antonio early and decided to give APEXi technician, Jensen Oda, a call to see if they were going to shakedown our June 2001 cover car, the APEXi tube-chassis Integra, before the event. It turned out that the team was at the track getting ready to make its second pass of the day when I called. Right off the trailer, the H22-powered Integra laid down an 8.97 pass--this being babied out of the hole. Seeing how we were minutes away, we decided to high-tail it out of there. Upon arrival, we heard the Integra roaring down the track--we missed its last pass. However, we were able to see the clock flash an 8.86 at 163 mph.
The race day rainout was catastrophic for the APEXi team; keeping its 20-man crew in Texas for additional time was too costly.
The new race day had track officials sweating up a storm trying to prep the track for record runs. When the call to the staging lanes came up Quick, All-Motor, Street, Outlaw and Pro cars were ready for some long awaited drag racing.
In the Import Tuner All-Motor Class three West Coast racers were able to better their e.t.s. Jarrod Silvers piloted his Westside-sponsored CRX to a 10.91 in competition but was able to run a 10.74 the previous day. Bisi Ezerioha raised the bar on SOHC performance. His car not only proved that you don't need two cams to run in the low 11s, it also proved that fuel injection isn't a necessity on a Honda. Not only did the RS Motorworks CRX better its time to an 11.24, it backed it up with an 11.29 and 11.35 while taking home a second place trophy in the class.
A newcomer to the All-Motor Class, Andrea Whitfield out of California, piloted her Hook Ups-sponsored CRX into the mid 11s, running a stock bottom end and factory ECU.
The APEXi Outlaw class was made up of two cars Stephan Papadakis' AEM-Sponsored Civic and Christian Rado's IS 300 rental car on a 200-shot of nitrous. Rado would have won a burnout contest, but the surprising news in the Outlaw Class was Steph's time of 8.57 at 174 mph. Not only does this smash Steph's old time the effort places him as the first front drive to break the 150, 160 and now the 170 mph marks. As far as Chris' standings in Outlaw, he earned some points that he should be able to use when his tube chassis Celica is unveiled not to mention $500 spending money.
The Turbo Magazine/Nitto Tire Quick XVI Class was packed with excitement and Hondas. Ten out of the 11-car field were Civics or CRXs. Number one qualifier was Lisa Kubo out of Rosemead, CA who ran a controversial 9.14 at 152. (Refer to Side Bar for more information.) With an 11-car field the first round had one heads up match and seven BYE runs. After the first parade round things got more serious for the rest of the race.
The semifinals had Colorado racer J.J. Olson, who was greeted with BYE run after BYE run, finally meeting up with a heads-up match in the semifinals against Lisa "Man Killer" Kubo. Lisa got very lucky in that match. As the lights turned to green, Lisa snapped an axle while J.J. suffered engine failure at the line. It became a race of who could limp to the finish line the fastest. In the other semi match, Kosuke Kida met up with Brent Levistad. Kosuke piloted the Signal Auto Chop top to a 10.69 but red light in its effort while the PFI/Holley sponsored CRX broke at the line.
The new radial rule in Street didn't stop Ari Yallon from picking up another Street VIII win. Now that IDRC has implemented a radial tires-only rule in the street class, one would think this would lead to times falling off their normal mark. With two 10-second cars and a few 11-second racers qualifying in the eight-car field, there was still plenty of action to be seen. One car that we were very impressed with was the Mazda Miata piloted by Rick Stephens. The car qualified with a 12.0 e.t. but ran 11s in competition. The big surprise came but the end of the day when the turbo four busted a 10.9 on an exhibition pass.
It should be noted that this is not a rotary conversion but a turbocharged 1.6/8-liter piston-pounding four cylinder that sees quite a bit of road use.
The big rotary vs. piston, RX-7 versus Supra, rivalry was in full effect during the finals. Ari who was running mid to low 10s was matched with a Supra that was breathing down his neck. Sriyantha Weerasurim out of Austin, Texas was hitting high 10s. Ari ended up shifting his way to victory with a 10.30 to Sriyantha's 10.91.
Toyo Tires Pro Class was more of a battle between Venom's new Tacoma Pro Truck and Abel Ibarra's R100 piloted by Efren Vasquez. The Venom team is still working the bugs out of the Tacamoa but was able to turn back to back 8.4s the previous day. Race day the Tacoma seemed to experience shifting problems that kept it from making a solid pass. Efren, on the other hand, was able to dial the number 8 all day, putting himself and the Toyo-sponsored R100 at the top of the Pro Class list
Abel's injury at the IDRC...
Abel's injury at the IDRC opener didn't stop him from towing the R100 to the event. Efren Vasquez was at the controls of the short wheelbase rotary and brought home a first place win.
Colorado local J.J. Olson...
Colorado local J.J. Olson had his hands full in a heads-up match with Lisa Kubo in the finals. Although Lisa took the victory, J.J. is within striking range on the points board.
Before the race, Team Matrix...
Before the race, Team Matrix stated that the CRX should be able to post a personal best and estimated something in the 11.3 range. In qualifying, Bisi Ezerioha's D-series SOHC-powered CRX blasted down the track in 11.29 seconds. The run was later backed up with an 11.24 and 11.35--all at more than 120 mph.
Steph came home with another...
Steph came home with another record run--a blistering 8.57 at 174 mph. He now has the distinction of being the first front drive to eclipse 150, 160 and 170 mph.
Local hot-shoe (or is it hot-boot?)...
Local hot-shoe (or is it hot-boot?) Rick Stephens turned a 12.0 in his Mazda Miata while qualifying in the Street VIII. What was most impressive about his car was the fact that it took an 11.3-second Supra to knock Rick, who ran an 11.4 out of the competition. After the race Rick made an exhibition pass that landed a 10.9 e.t.
Jarrod Silvers recently joined...
Jarrod Silvers recently joined the 10-second all-motor club. Not only did the car enter the club with a 10.91 the Westside-sponsored CRX came within one tenth of a second away from capturing the title with a 10.74.
Marco Acosta sporting the...
Marco Acosta sporting the new sponsors.
The All-Motor Class had its...
The All-Motor Class had its share of 10-second and 11-second terrors. Even though these three cars have different sponsors, different builders and different tuners they pitted together and helped each other out.
The man behind the machine--Gary...
The man behind the machine--Gary "Mr. Meticulous" Kubo.