The import drag race scene moves faster than a speeding bullet. When someone breaks a record and becomes "King," they are usually dethroned even before they can stand up to take a bow.
This has long been true in the Quick Class, where record setters are bested before the issue where we proclaim the record hits the stands. We got lucky in pegging Team Bergenholtz as the first unibody in the 9s in 1999 and calling Kenny Tran's 9.681 a unibody Honda record in the July 2000 edition.
Both of these cover cars carried blurbs identifying them as the fastest; Tran, for instance, was "The New King." But we don't make such claims too often. With so many brutally fast Quick Class cars in action, it's easy to see why fame is fleeting.
In the Pro Class, you would expect less drama-there are fewer cars. But that's not the case. So, in order to lay claim as having the quickest and fastest Pro Class compact in this issue, we covered the bases by running a feature on both the Siguel Racing RX-7 and Hoyos Racing Ford Focus. (We're nervous; the highly regarded Sakura could easily spoil these plans.) The Focus and RX-7 are two combatants that have traded punches like heavyweight boxers standing in the middle of the ring, neither giving quarter. For instance, at the Nitto Tire/IDRC Summer Slam Nationals Siguel racing broke the record by blasting a 7.440 at 179.90 mph in Day One qualifying last June 30th. Roughly17 hours later, the Hoyos-sponsored Ford Focus driven by Matt Hartford lowered the bar by running a 7.411 at 184 mph. Siguel bested that e.t. about two weeks later, blasting a 7.37 at 180 mph. Hoyos came back with a 7.386 at 189.19 mph and Siguel extended its mark to 7.33 at 179 mph. As it stands ( in mid September), the Siguel RX-7 is e.t. champ at 7.33 and the Hoyos Focus is the trap-speed champ at 189.19 mph.
Hoyos Racing Focus...
The World's Fastest Pro Class RacerIn factory form, the Ford Focus is merely an econobox hatchback that seats five and delivers great fuel economy not bewildering drag strip performance. Unlike a stock Focus, the Hoyos Racing fly yellow Focus is fast-really fast. Unlike its stock counterpart, it only seats one and it guzzles gas faster than a drunken techinical ediddor-I mean technical editor. There is no A/C; the five-point racing harness keeps you more snug than tighty-whities on a hot, humid day and the sound system consists of a 1400-hp powerplant singing at full song through a pair of big hairdryers.
Nelson Hoyos of Hoyos Racing wanted to own the fastest and quickest sport compact racer in the world and whatever Nelson wants, he gets. Many of you might be wondering who is this guy, well learn his name well because we guarantee you will be hearing more of him in the future. The purpose-built Ford Focus racer claimed the world's fastest title at the IDRC Englishtown, NJ event with a scorching 7.41 at 187 mph in the quarter, in only its third event. Pretty impressive. At that race, the Focus was trading punches with our other Titan, the Siguel Racing RX-7 that laid a 7.44 in qualifying.
Unlike most Focus' that are brought to life on the assembly line, the Hoyos Racing Focus was conceived at Art Morrison Enterprises, Inc in Fife, Washington. Since the Ford was built entirely new from the ground up the chassis was designed and constructed to surpass SFI 25-1C specifications for 7.49 or quicker race vehicles. Chrome-moly tubing was bent, cut and welded in place to Morrison's exact tolerances and specifications. Suspension components up front included Art Morrison MacPherson-style race struts combined with Koni shocks and Hyperco springs. The rear shares a similar suspension combination with Strange/Koni rear shocks and Hyperco springs. The combination allows for limitless adjustability that is crucial for repeated straight-line performance.