The vibe at the recent Battle of the Imports at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., had a nostalgic tone. Of the field of qualifiers in the event, a scant three hailed from out of state. E-Z Up canopies had sprouted like wildflowers in the pits, U-Haul trailers were in abundance and piles of seats were scattered about; all reminiscent of Battle back in the day.
The Battle's strength in recent years has been its all-motor Pro-Street Class and the Hondas that have dominated it. At the 2005 event some of the big Honda-heads were out in force and atop the qualifying ladder.
Leading the charge was Jeremy Lookofsky (10.11) followed by 'Bisi Ezerioha (10.34), Shawn Hillier (10.35) and Erick Aguilar (10.36). Of the eight spots on the grid, six were Hondas and two VW Bugs rounded out the field. The Bugs were out of action in the first round so the race would be decided among the Hondas. In the end Erick Aguilar came out on top, beating Norman Aubry in a thoroughly exciting showdown with a time of 10.22 to Aubry's 10.47.
It was a different kind of exciting in Pro Import where Ron Lummus and his Garrett Turbo-sponsored Pontiac Sunfire (8.39) held a 1.77-second advantage over the second place qualifier and proceeded to crush all comers as he bull-dozed to the winner's circle.
The Street-Tuner division was attractive based on its diversity. There were a pair of Supras, a pair of WRXs, an Audi A4, a Nissan Skyline and a '95 Eclipse all mixed together. Top qualifier Ali Afshar (10.24) advanced his Easy Street/SPT-backed WRX into the finals but broke just off the line, which opened the door for David Jusko and his hard-charging Supra.
The Battle has managed to morph with the times, offering an elaborate lifestyle element to attendees. Along with the track action there was a Finest Women bikini contest, Finest Talent dance troop competition, Finest Model model search and a mega car show with a grip of categories as well as a dB sound drag competition. This event got the attention of local racers and there was a good-sized crowd taking in the spectacle. We look forward to next season's So. Cal. stop.
|PRO STREET |
|Winner ||Erick Aguilar |
|Honda Civic ||10.228 @ 130.99 |
|Runnerup ||Norman Audry |
|N/A ||10.471 @ 128.04 |
|PRO IMPORT |
|Winner ||Ron Lummus |
|Pontiac Sunfire ||8.484 @ 178.47 |
|Runnerup ||Bryan Bridges |
|Honda Civic ||Foul |
|STREET TUNER |
|Winner ||David Jusko |
|Toyota Supra ||12.545 @ 116 |
|Runnerup ||Ali Afshar |
|Subaru WRX ||Broke |
|STREET COMP |
|Winner ||Elton Lo |
|Acura Integra ||10.855 @ 137.41 |
|Runnerup ||Kevin Cudal |
|Honda Civic ||12.276 @ 120.01 |
|STREET PERFORMANCE |
|Winner ||Mike Escamilla |
|Honda Civic ||11.785 @ 114.68 |
|Runnerup ||Alex Keleman |
|Honda Civic ||Broke |