Drag is not Dead
For those of you who thought drag was dead-Battle of the Imports is here to call you to the mat. As evidenced by the participation and fan turn-out at BOTI's last few events, drag actually appears to be coming back-strong. Orlando's Speed World Dragway saw sold-out crowds for BOTI's debut event for the 2009 season, and NY/NJ/PA's fastest packed Maryland International Raceway shortly after. Orlando standouts include Luis Ferrer in the Pro Import class, knocking on the eight-second door with his Corolla, Norris Prayoonto and his pretty-damn-quick Insight in Pro Stock, hottie Jessica Barton laying down consistent 9.2-second passes in her Supra in Street Tuner class, while Steve Merman killed Pro Import competition with his 8.3-second EG, and repeat First Place qualifier Jonathan Reynolds continued to reign as crowd favorite, despite losing to technical gremlins in Street Comp (hang in there, buddy!).
CarlislePerformance & Style
Back for the umpteenth year (with small breaks taken in years past for, um . . . "unruly" fan participation) the annual Carlisle Performance and Style show returned to PA's Carlisle Fairgrounds earlier this year, marking the traditional start to the East Coast tuning scene's summer show season. Weary show cars sporting neon paint, Gullwing doors and painted vinyl still dominated the event, but with an increase in cleanly modded and race-prepped rides-and drunken hotel destruction at an all-time low-we find ourselves asking one question: are traditional East Coast import show-goers *gasp* maturing? Check out importtuner.com for complete coverage.
D1GP USA continued its "US vs. Japan"-themed drifting competition first exposed in last month's coverage of their debut event in Anaheim, only this time 3,000 miles away, on the right coast. D1's Miami event proved not only that amateur drifting is alive and well in the South, but that it is becoming quite competitive . . . even if it still has a log way to go before toppling repeat First Place finisher Daigo Saito, Second Place winner Ken Nomura, and Harry Hokkanen, who brought up the last remaining spot on the Miami podium. Check importtuner.com for all the outtakes.
By The Numbers
The number of seconds faster the R35 GT-R is than the Ferrari F430 around the Nurburgring.
Meet Chris Forsberg
Formula D Finals at Irwindale Speedway, CA: drifting on the circle track, the best and most accomplished drifters from around the world, the energy of 25,000-plus screaming fans. Who better to experience it with than repeat First Place finisher and all-around cool guy Chris Forsberg, from behind the scenes of the Irwindale event? Everyone's favorite specialists of all things engine-cooling-related, Mishimoto, is offering one lucky drifting fan, and a guest of their choice, the opportunity to do just that. Visit the company's official website to register for you and your guest to receive free airfare, hotel accommodations, and tickets to the Irwindale event, where you'll be kicking it with the man himself, and sippin' on the two free cases of NOS energy drink you'll also be hooked up with-just don't drink it all at once. Chris doesn't deal with caffeine-induced A.D.D. wig-outs very well.
Now All Hear This
Pioneer Electronics recently announced the winner of its 2009 Pioneer Sound Build-Off competition-the company's annual IASCA-judged piggyback event to the Mobile Entertainment Road Show-as Tucson, AZ car audio gurus The Specialists (www.az-specialists.com), and their 2007 Honda Civic competition car. Flexin' a Pioneer HD Radio tuner, two iB-Flat subs, four 6.5-inch basalt fiber IMX speakers, two two-channel Class FD amps, and an OEL display head unit with built-in Bluetooth, USB and iPod docks might seem like reason enough to win, but every car competing had those goods-The Specialists won on their install merits alone, beating out nine of the hand-picked heaviest hitters in the auto audio scene, and collecting a cool $10K in the process.
Tricks Of The TradeHelping You Wrench
DIY Match Porting on the Cheap!
Match porting is the process of matching an engine's manifolds to its cylinder head ports; making sure both are concentric and that transitions between the two are smooth and even. Match porting increases efficient flow of intake and exhaust, and usually helps create additional power. For DIY garage mechanics looking to take on their first port job, we found a gadget at our local Harbor Freight store that costs less than a full fill-up at the gas station: The Chicago half-inch band-file belt sander. When match porting our Subaru WRX manifolds, we found it to be a great tool for deburring and sanding those hard-to-reach places like exhaust manifolds and intake plenum runners-a task not easily accomplished using a Dremel tool. Just remember: Removing material while porting is easy. Putting it back is the hard part! Take your time.
If you were the head of a multi-million-dollar performance parts manufacturer in the sport compact market, what would you do when not slanging some of the most effective parts to ever help cars run faster and look better? If you're one of the Seibon crew, it's easy-you'd rent a track like SoCal's Streets of Willow, invite all your industry friends (us) and their cars to have some fun . . . and then proceed to show the world the benefits of your products in the process, by smoking the competition ( . . . us) with your fully loaded GT-R and Hachi Roku demo cars. Thanks, Seibon, thanks. Visit importtuner.com for all the pics!