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IDRC/NHRA GR8RIDE.com West Coast Nationals

Season Opener Draws Crowd To Pomona Raceway

Robert Choo
Apr 25, 2007 SHARE
0006_turp_01_z+1994_toyota_supra+side_view Photo 1/1   |   IDRC/NHRA GR8RIDE.com West Coast Nationals

The Import Drag Racing Circuit (IDRC) kicked off its 2000 import drag racing season with the GR8RIDE.com IDRC/NHRA West Coast Nationals held at Pomona Raceway. Even with the possibility of rain over the February 26th & 27th weekend the IDRC went ahead and let the racers loose. We talked to IDRC National Race Director Peter Hipolito to find out the real deal. Peter responded "The racers are true diehard enthusiasts and so we went ahead with the event inspite of the weatherman. We feel it is better to have one good day of racing than no racing at all!" Words of a true racer. A record Saturday crowd of more than 8,000 turned out to see an exciting round of qualifying.

Saturday's qualifying round brought out the legends of import racing. Abel Ibarra, Adam Saruwatari, Stephan Papadakis, Ray Lochhead, Lisa Kubo, Ed Bergenholtz, Jojo Callos, James West, Myles Bautista, Christian Rado and many more were all primed to stand on the gas. Q

JE Pistons IDRC Pro IVIn the Pro Import Class Ben Ma and his Ford Focus were the center of attention. On his very first competition pass in the Focus the car got sideways at about mid-track causing it to cross the center line before rolling and crashing into the retaining wall. The carbon-fiber body exploded as it contacted the concrete barrier. Luckily Ben walked away from the crash unhurt, however such was not the case for the Focus. Besides the shredded body panels, the Ford suffered some serious damage to the front-end. Track announcers interviewed Ben after the crash. Ben explained "The car never really got loaded (suspension) on the line which caused it to hop off the starting line without ever having a chance to build boost. As the boost came up the car got a little sideways and when I corrected the wheel the car swung the other direction and rolled over." He assured us that the car would be back together in no time and back at the strip. Abel Ibarra also had some difficulty with his tube-framed RX-7 as it also got a little sideways at mid-track, however he was able to control his Mazda as it coasted through the lights at 13.803-seconds at 88.14mph. Rounding out the other two qualifiers were Larry Kelley from Yorba Linda, California in his '57 Volkswagen and Dave Lemon from Signal Hill, California. They qualified in the number one and two positions, respectively.

A'PEXi Outlaw VIIIComing out with a vengeance was Adam Saruwatari in his 1993 Mazda RX-7. Adam blasted a 9.34 at 140.86 mph right off the trailer taking the number one qualifying spot. At last year's IDRC season closer Stephan Papadakis beat Adam in the Outlaw finals taking the $1000 payout and the coveted Wally trophy. Adam was out for blood, ready to take Stephan down. Stephan and his Nuformz Civic also had some problems during qualifying. While racing against Ray Lochhead his Civic violently jerked to the left crossing over the center divider barely missing the timers and Ray's RX-7. However he was able to redeem himself by qualifying second with a 9.55 at 155.14 mph later in the day. Ray Lochhead in his 1995 Mazda RX-7 qualified in the three spot with a 10.057 at 135.27. Unfortunately, on his final qualifying run on Saturday he lost control near the finish line and impacted the outside wall. The Mazda suffered heavy damage to the front-end but Ray walked away unscathed. Jose Vidal and Rene Franco rounded out the qualifying tree taking the number four and five spots.

Nitto Tires Turbo Magazine Quick XVIQuick XVI competition is the most heavily contested class with over 30 cars trying to qualify for one of the 16 spots. In the end, the cutoff time for the Quick XVI was a blistering 10.821. More impressively there were over 20 racers who ran 11.00 or quicker. This was a first time in import drag racing history that a 10-second e.t. didn't guarantee a spot on the Quick XVI. As usual, Hondas dominated the Quick XVI nabbing 13 of the spots, but to our surprise two of the top three qualifiers carried the Supra badging. Russ Matusevich and his 1985 Toyota Supra tore up the track with a 9.841-second run at 140.15 mph bettering his previous nine-second pass and giving him the number one qualifying position. Quick XVI Queen Lisa Kubo qualified a close second with a 9.888 at 148.73 mph. A surprise to the Quick XVI was Steve Dunn and his 1982 Toyota Supra who grabbed the number three spot with a 10.059 at 127.56 mph. Team Bergenholtz and their highly anticipated new suspension tweaks did not perform to the team's expectation. They still were able to capture the number four qualifying spot running a 10.069 at 139.47 mph. Ryuhei Kida and the Signal Auto chop-top Civic grabbed the number five spot with a 10.088 at 139.47 mph. The top five qualifiers in the Quick XVI qualified with a scorching 10.0 or quicker. Jojo Callos and his JG Engine Dynamics sponsored 1994 Honda Civic claimed the number six qualifying spot. Adrian Sabori in his Pit Crew-sponsored Civic was one of the few qualifiers still using an LS powerplant. Many if not all Quick XVI racers have switched over to VTEC-powered engines. Adrian and his LS-powerplant nabbed the number seven spot with a 10.540 at 134.50 mph. Who ever said a four-door isn't a good race platform should talk to Manuel Jaramillo. Manuel and his four-door 1989 Civic clawed down the 1320 stopping the clocks at 10.610 with a terminal velocity of 136.11 mph giving him the number eight spot. The only single-cam in the Quick XVI field was James West and his 1990 Honda CRX. The 1.6-liter single-cam VTEC powerplant screamed down the track clicking off a 10.655 at 129.87 mph.

The other notable qualifiers included Joey Dalton (10.667 at 130.11) and Dave Hickman in his newly redesigned Civic landed the number 11 spot with a 10.711 at 130.37. James O'Connor driving the 2000 Venom Racing Civic ran a 10.725 at 134.30 while Joe Morgan in a 1976 Ford Pinto captured the number 14 slot with a 10.775 at 124.72. The number 15 and 16 qualifiers were Myles Bautista (10.804 at 135.68) and Francisco Blanco (10.821 at 133.76).

Toyo Tires Street VIII presented by Sport Compact Car MagazineThe Street VIII class qualifying on Saturday was action packed with Christian Rado in his RPS-sponsored 1994 Toyota Supra stealing the spotlight. Five out of the eight Street VIII qualifiers were driving late-model Supras, proving that our February issue, which touted the Supra as "the next big thing," was right on the money. The JZA80's rigid chassis combined with the powerful 2JZ powerplant make for a nearly unbeatable combination and a heavy weight contender in the Street VIII class. Christian Rado captured the number one position by bettering his previous best of 10.47 with a 10.44 at 135.89 mph. Coincidentally his 10.47 run was accomplished at the 1999 IDRC finals held at the same racetrack. We've seen Rado's timeslips continue to drop throughout the 1999 season, with a little more seat time he should be in the low 10s soon. Huntington Beach, California native Rhys Millen hot shoed his way into the number two spot with a 10.807 at 137.95 in a 1995 Supra. The last 10-second qualifier in the class was Ryan Woon and his 1994 Supra. Ryan drove his Supra from Tucson, Arizona and qualified with a 10.929 at 131.40 mph. Northern Cali resident Todd Chiamparino was a force to be reckoned with, his 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse stopped the clocks at 11.098 at 131.88 mph and landed the number four spot. Long distance traveler Jason Siebels of Council Bluff, Idaho made the trip to Pomona qualifying his 1993 Mazda RX-7 in the number five spot. The number six spot was also occupied by an RX-7 with Robert Liugs Jr. at the helm. His first-generation RX-7 broke off an 11.452 at 128.90 mph. Ryan Carwin with his 1971 Celica and Fullermo Polo with his 1994 Supra grabbed the final two spots in the Street VIII.

DC Sports All Motor VIII presented by Import Tuner MagazineThe All Motor VIII has definitely gained in notoriety over the last season. More and more racers are building vehicles specifically for the All Motor Class. With every race a new face appears busting out amazing times with all-natural power. The All Motor Class gives enthusiasts an option between all motor or force induction. Like the Quick XVI the Honda badge dominates the All Motor VIII. Seven out of the eight qualifiers were front-drive Hondas but the number one qualifier was Scott Kelley in his 1969 Volkswagen. Scott claimed leader of the pack status with an 11.214 at 107.60 mph. Max Ha driving the Silvers Racing CRX claimed the number two spot with an 11.487 at 118.87 mph. Erick Aguilar and Chris Sharma were the last two to qualify with sub-12 second e.t.s running 11.888 and 11.966 respectively. Bisi Ezerioha represented single-cam power with his dual-carb D16ZY 1990 CRX grabbing the number five spot with a 12.280 at 104.46 mph. Adam Delam, Doug Jenkins and Brian Cremorosa filled the last three spots.

Championship ImportDrag RacingFor its 2000 race season, the IDRC has taken its program up yet another notch with the addition of a $60,000 Championship Points Series. This series delivers some serious dollars to the winner and runner up from the IDRC's most competitive classes. Pioneered by Turbo Magazine, the Nitto Tire Quick Class offers the highest payouts with an extra $15,000 available to the season champion and $5,000 available to the runner up. For those on street tires, Toyo Tires has sweetened the pot of the Sport Compact Car-presented Street VIII with an additional $7,500 for the winner and $2,500 for the season runner up. Apex Integration and JE Pistons have also stepped up to the plate for 2000 and offered identical payouts ($7,500 winner, $2,500 r/u) to the Pro and Outlaw class champions and runner ups.

Understanding the challenges presented to today's import racers, the IDRC has structured its championship program to fit within the budgets of today's racers. Since this sport is young and major corporate sponsors have not jumped in yet, the IDRC believes it wouldn't be fair to the racers and teams if the competition points from all 10 races in the series were scored. Instead, the competition points from the best four finishes (three finishes for Outlaw and Pro class) are totaled along with only the qualifying points from every event attended to establish the winner. In theory, a racer could win the series by only attending four races (something that would fit much better into most racer's budget) instead of all 10. For the die-hard teams and racers that make every race on the 2000 series, there is still the reward of earning qualifying points at every event that is attended.

At the GR8Ride.com IDRC/NHRA West Coast Nationals, Sunday's rain cut the competition rounds short as showers hit when the Quick VIII competitors came through the staging wall. Although everyone still earned qualifying points, the IDRC decided that the only fair way to award competition points was to double the number of competition points earned by each of the qualifiers at the next IDRC event that they attend. With the Houston event just two weeks after, a number of the points leaders have packed their bags for the Lone Star state. Check here next month for Texas results.

JE PISTONS PRO QUALIFYING TREE
1. Larry Kelley, Yorba Linda, CA '57 Volkswagen 10.265 129.55
2. Dave Lemon, Signal Hill, CA '85 Mazda RX-7 11.097 119.52
3. Abel Ibarra, Riverside, CA '98 Mazda RX-7 13.803 88.14
4. Ben Ma, San Diego, CA '99 Ford Focus ntr nsr
APEX INTEGRATION OUTLAW VIII QUALIFYING TREE
1. Adam Saruwatari, Arroyo Grande, CA '93 Mazda RX-7 9.342 140.86
2. Stephan Papadakis, Huntington Beach, CA '99 {{{Honda Civic}}} 9.552 155.14
3. Ray Lochhead, Brentwood, CA '95 Mazda RX-7 10.057 135.27
4. Jose Vidal, Los Angeles, CA '83 {{{Toyota}}} 13.106 74.22
5. Rene Franco, Los Angeles, CA '73 Mazda RX-3 ntr nsr
NITTO TIRES TURBO MAGAZINE QUICK XVI QUALIFYING TREE
1. Russ Matusevic, Northridge, CA '85 Toyota Supra 9.841 140.15
2. Lisa Kubo, Rosemead, CA '92 Honda Civic 9.888 148.73
3. Steve Dunn, Sherman Oaks, CA '82 Toyota Supra 10.059 127.56
4. Ed Bergenholtz, Westminster, CA '90 {{{Honda CRX}}} 10.069 139.47
5. Ryuhei Kida, Osaka, Japan '98 Honda Civic 10.088 142.67
6. Jojo Callos, Long Beach, CA '94 Honda Civic Si 10.352 139.38
7. Adrian Sabori, Los Angeles, CA '94 Honda Civic 10.540 134.50
8. Manuel Jaramillo, Whittier, CA '89 Honda Civic 10.610 136.11
9. James West, Long Beach, CA '90 Honda CRX 10.655 129.87
10. Joey Dalton, Hesperia, CA '88 Honda CRX 10.667 130.11
11. Dave Hickman, Lancaster, CA '95 Honda Civic 10.711 130.37
12. James O'Connor, Los Alamitos, CA '00 Honda Civic 10.725 134.30
13. Leevon Eisele, Quartz Hill, CA '98 Honda Civic CX 10.759 132.04
14. Joe Morgan, Corona, CA '76 Ford Pinto 10.775 124.72
15. Myles Bautista, North Hollywood, CA '99 {{{Acura Integra}}} 10.804 135.68
16. Francisco Blanco, Torrance, CA '92 {{{Mitsubishi Eclipse}}} 10.821 133.76

BFGoodrich Ultimate Streetcar ChallengePutting Driver And Car To The TestThe BFGoodrich Ultimate Streetcar Challenge was contested on three separate fronts requiring a high degree of performance in each. The arenas of confrontation were the drag strip, the autocross and the car show. The performance of the cars in each arena was tallied to determine an overall winner. McMullen Argus used the event to help promote its three-pronged attack in the import field, namely Turbo & High Tech Performance magazine, Import Tuner magazine and Sport Compact Car magazine. Each magazine oversaw the competition in a separate venue-Turbo drags, Tuner show, SCC autocross.

The rules called for all entrants to be street registered, running muffled exhaust systems and riding on DOT-approved tires. The entire competition must be contested on the same set of tires. All entrants had to meet NHRA and SCCA safety requirements and run pump gas. There were three classes in the competition. The FFA class was for four-cylinder, front-engine, front-drive cars. The RA4 class consisted of rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive cars powered by four-cylinder or two-rotor engines. Cars motivated by three rotor or six-or-more cylinder engines battled in the RAS class.

The competition was heated as tire pressure gauges got a real workout as drivers tried to make the best cone carving adjustment then later the best bite adjustment for their tires. The event was a big hit among competitors as there we many smiling faces as racers went from one venue to another. A full rundown of the action can be gleaned from the accompanying charts.

OVERALL RESULTS
FFA CLASS
Winner Mike Kojima 95 {{{Nissan 200SX}}} SE-R
Runner-up Mark Allen 00 {{{Acura}}} {{{Integra}}} Type-R
3 Branden Matulich 97 {{{Saturn}}} SC2
4 Kevin Roebke 00 Honda Civic Si
5 Tom Smith
RA4 CLASS
Winner Hung-Jen Hung 93 Mazda RX-7
Runner-up Mike Croutcher 91 {{{Eagle Talon}}} TSi
Runner-up Ryan Nufable 95 {{{Mitsubishi}}} {{{Eclipse}}} GSX
4 Scot Gray 94 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
5 Non Fujita 97 {{{Nissan 240SX}}}
RAS CLASS
Winner Craig Lieberman 94 Toyota Supra
Runner-up Mani Jayasinghz 94 Toyota Supra
3 Shinab Alfaheem 99 {{{BMW}}}
4 Larry Evans 95 BMW 840
4 Sam Ahdost
DRAG RACE RESULTS
FFA Winner-Mike Kojima 2-Mark Allen 3-Braden Bergher
RA4 Winner-Mike Croutcher 2-Max {{{Cooper}}} 3-Ryan Nufable
RAS Winner-Mani Jayasinghz 2-Craig Lieberman 3- Shinab Alfaheem
SHOW RESULTS
FFA Winner-Mike Kojima 2-Mark Allen 3-Kevin Roebke
RA4 Winner-Non Fujita 2-Hung-Jen Hung 3-Ryan Nufable
RAS Winner-Craig Liberman 2- Shinab Alfaheem 3-Larry Evans
AUTOCROSS RESULTS
FFA Winner-Tom Smith 2-Mark Allen 3-Mike Kojima
RA4 Winner-Hung-Jen Hung 2-Mike Croutcher 3-Kevin Lakkis
RAS Winner-Mani Jayasinghz 2-Craig Liberman 3-Sam Ahdost
TOYO TIRES STREET VIII QUALIFYING TREE
1. Chris Rado, Reading, Pa. '94 Toyota Supra 10.440 135.89
2. Rhys Millen, Huntington Beach, CA '95 Toyota Supra 10.807 137.95
3. Ryan Woon, Tucson, AZ '94 Toyota Supra 10.929 131.40
4. Todd Chiamparino, San Carlos, CA '90 Mitsubishi Eclipse 11.098 131.88
5. Jason Siebels, Council Bluff, Idaho '93 Mazda RX-7 11.449 120.78
6. Robert Liugs Jr., Chatsworth, CA '83 Mazda RX-7 11.452 128.90
7. Ryan Carwin, Poway, CA '71 {{{Toyota Celica}}} 11.792 121.96
8. Fullermo Polo, Chandler, AZ '94 Toyota Supra 11.836 119.95
DC SPORTS ALL MOTOR QUALIFYING TREE
1. Scott Kelley, Anaheim, CA '69 Volkswagen 11.214 107.60
2. Max Ha, Agoura Hills, CA '88 Honda CRX 11.487 118.87
3. Erick Aguilar, Los Angeles, CA '88 Honda Civic 11.888 114.18
4. Chris Sharma, Torrance, CA '86 Honda CRX 11.966 114.64
5. Bisi Ezerioha, Gardena, CA '90 Honda CRX 12.280 104.46
6. Adam Delam, Huntington Park, CA '93 Honda Civic 12.521 107.39
7. Doug Jenkins, Fountain Valley, CA '87 Honda Civic 12.563 107.52
8. Brian Cremorosa, Sun Valley, CA '94 Acura Integra 12.735 104.{{{62}}}

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IDRC CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS
JE PISTONS $10,000 IDRC PRO CLASS
1 Larry Kelley Yorba Linda, CA Volkswagen 3 pts
2 Dave Lemon Signal Hill, CA Mazda 2 pts
3 Abel Ibarra Riverside, CA Mazda 1 pt
APEX INTEGRATION $10,000 IDRC OUTLAW CLASS
1 Adam Saruwatari Arroyo Grande, CA Mazda 4 pts
2 Stephan Papadakis Huntington Beach, CA Honda 3 pts
3 Ray Lochhead Brentwood, CA Mazda 2 pts
4 Jose Vidal Los Angeles, CA Toyota 1 pt
NITTO TIRES $20,000 IDRC QUICK CLASS
1 Russ Matusevich Northridge, CA Toyota 16 pts
2 Lisa Kubo Rosemead, CA Honda 15 pts
3 Steve Dunn Sherman Oaks, CA Toyota 14 pts
4 Ed Bergenholtz Westminster, CA Honda 13 pts
5 Ryuhei Kida Osaka, Japan Honda 12 pts
6 Jojo Callos Long Beach, CA Honda 11 pts
7 Adrian Sabori Los Angeles, CA Honda 10 pts
8 Manuel Jaramillo Whittier, CA Honda 9 pts
9 James West Long Beach, CA Honda 8 pts
10 Joey Dalton Hesperia, CA Honda 7 pts
11 Dave Hickman Lancaster, CA Honda 6 pts
12 James O'Connor Los Alamitos, CA Honda 5 pts
13 Leevon Eisele Quartz Hill, CA Honda 4 pts
14 Joe Morgan Corona, CA Ford 3 pts
15 Myles Bautista N. Hollywood, CA Acura 2 pts
16 Francisco Blanco Torrance, CA Mitsubishi 1 pts
TOYO TIRES $10,000 IDRC STREET CLASS
1 Chris Rado Reading, PA Toyota 8 pts
2 Rhys Millen Huntington Beach, CA Toyota 7 pts
3 Ryan Woon Tucson, AZ Toyota 6 pts
4 Todd Chiamparino San Carlos, CA Mitsubishi 5 pts
5 Jason Siebels Council Bluff, ID Mazda 4 pts
6 Robert Liugs Jr. Chatsworth, CA Mazda 3 pts
7 Ryan Carwin Poway, CA Toyota 2 pts
8 Fullermo Polo Chandler, AZ Toyota 1 pts
MANUFACTURER POINTS (PRO/OUT/QUICK/STREET)
Ford - - 3 - = 3
Honda/Acura - 3 102 - = 105
Mazda 3 6 - 7 = 16
Mitsubishi - - 1 5 = 6
Toyota - 1 30 24 = 55
VW 3 - - - = 3
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Import Drag Racing Circuit, Inc.
Irvine, CA 92606
By Robert Choo
118 Articles

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