9.002 @ 160.40 mph
Picture a pair of frenzied, muscle-bound pit bulls shedding a helpless poodle in a tug-of-war struggle and you get a quick glimpse of what it's like going to battle in the NHRA's Street Tire Class.
The two steroid-boosted canines in question are Mark Mazurowski's Titan Mostorsports Supra and Ari Yallon's Rotary Performance RX-7 and the poodle represents everybody else in the class.
Ari was absolutely unstoppable in 2001. He won every race, the first and only racer in NHRA history to go undefeated for an entire season.
But the Titan Supra laid down the challenge at the 2002 season opener in Gainesville, Fla.
Coming from well off the radar screen, the never-before-seen Supra made a big impression, running a class record 9.52 at 156 mph in qualifying. It later went 9.93 and 9.83, but rookie jitters got the better of Mark and he spun the tires in the final against Ari and posted an off-pace 10.53, allowing Ari to extend his winning streak with a 10.18.
However, with the Toyota flexing consistent 9-second capability, a new dominant male had come to power in Street Tire.
Titan Motorsports is the brainchild of owner Nero Deliwala, who has gone all-out to break into the ranks of elite Toyota tuners.
As with many success stories, it almost didn't come to pass. "I was into late-model Camaros and, in late 1996, I was eyeing a Camaro Z28," says Deliwala. "I had the color, the options and every little aspect picked out. I put a deposit on the car I wanted on a Friday but come the next week, the car I had selected from another dealer was sold over the weekend. At this point, I was furious and just decided to wait a little longer. Then the 1997 Z28s came out; still interested, I just kept looking around and was in no major hurry. Then I came across what I really wanted-the Toyota Supra."
After looking around Florida for used Supra twin turbos and missing out on cars because they sold so fast, Deliwala struck gold, finding a Black six-speed at the local Toyota dealer less than 5 miles from his house. It was all good for more than a year. Then Deliwala ran into some street racers. "I was quickly invited to the street races and I was hooked. I did get spanked a few times as I had no clue on how to get every little bit out of the car. Just like in the movie, I wasn't clutching right, I wasn't shifting high enough, my shifts were slow; it goes on and on."
Says Deliwala, "After multiple trips and lots of advice at the street races, I got faster and faster. Then I started surfing the internet and participating in the SOGI e-mail lists (Supra Owners Group International; www.Supras.com). This is where I found the modifications to make the car faster. I started with the basic modifications, downpipe, intercooler pipes, exhaust, fuel cut defense, bleeder T, etc.
"Then, in 1998, I blew the clutch out in a highway race. This is when the racing started to get serious. I bought an OS Giken twin-disc clutch and all my problems were solved. I continued to modify and race throughout the year and in early 1999 I upgraded to a big twin-turbo kit and put down 623 rwhp which made the car one of the most powerful Supras in the country at the time. Now 600 rwhp is pretty much commonplace for Supras."
Like the pressure in a volcano building to a full-blown eruption, Deliwala was pushing the limits of his street car and he knew something had to give. He had learned a great deal about the quirks and strong points of the Supra and its 2JZ-GTE powerplant and in 2001 decided to "take the quantum leap and put every penny I had into modifying the car for serious racing. I wanted one of the fastest six-speed Supras in the country. I purchased the Motec system, found a fresh block, got new drag wheels, seats and harnesses."