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Battle Of The Imports meets Formula D in Las Vegas - Going Heads Up: Vegas Style

Scene: Battle Of The Importsmeets Formula D; Las Vegas, NV

Scott Kanemura
Nov 21, 2008

In what can only be described as the ultimate Super Tuner Battle was the heads up meeting of two very different racing series: drag veterans, Battle of the Imports, and drift phenoms from the Formula D camp - and all the drivers involved threw it down for their side to bring spectators an event to kill all events. Scores of people braved the July heat to check out the cream of the crop from the tuner world. With the purchase of one ticket, you had freedom to watch the best in drag and drift.

With the recent announcement of NOPI throwing in the towel for the rest of the season, the Battle boys stand as the last gladiators in the sport compact drag racing arena, right in the position they were in when they first started it: number one. With more than 18 years of experience, BOTI had a stacked event for the Vegas locals. There was a jet-powered funny car exhibition, dozens of heads-up Pro-class racers and an extremely new form of drag racing called "The King Of The Hill" grudge matches.

In many of the Sportsman classes, there were dozens of people vying for the limited eight-car field and in the Pro Import class, there were 14 cars competing in the qualifying rounds for their chance at the Battle purse. This meant all of the racers were going all-out which resulted in some very exciting racing.

The Pro Stock class had a full eight-car field. Being close to the West Coast allowed Jeremy Lookoffsky in his DVS Honda Civic to make his first appearance in the 2008 BOTI series, and came out swinging when he qualified his Civic as the number one spot, banging his way through the elimination rounds. His final round opponent couldn't start his car and gave Jeremy the bye run for the win.

The Pro Import class had a full field, which included some very impressive air-cooled VWs that held their own against this FWD-dominated class. One of the biggest upsets was the number one qualifier Kenny Tran losing in one of the semi-rounds because his car couldn't move on the starting line. In the finals, it was a match up against Brian Jimenez in his Your Mortgage Chevy Cobalt against Jake Montgomery in his 2WD converted Mitsubishi Eclipse. Jake experienced a rear differential failure earlier in eliminations and solved the problem by converting his AWD car to a FWD car. But Jake's luck quickly ran out when Bryan took the win and the paycheck at the end of the day.

In the Pro FWD class, there were only two competitors: Ed Bergenholtz in the Bergenholtz Racing/Mazdaspeed Mazda6 against Chris Rado in the World Racing Scion tC. Rado experienced a steering linkage problem during one of his qualifying rounds, leading to the overall win, leaving Ed as the sole representative for the import scene for all three of the "King Of The Hill" challenges. Never the less, the Mazdaspeed Mazda6 came out victorious in all three of the matches and left the PSCA cars going home with their tails between their legs in a humiliating defeat. The scoreboard now read Imports: 3;V8 heads: 0, and we can't wait to see more in the future.

Over on Formula D's side, drift teams came from as far as Australia, New Zealand and Japan to compete in the heat. One of the most notable contestants was the legendary Manabu Orido, who is credited as being one of pioneers of drifting in the mountains in Japan and Las Vegas was the place for his Formula D debut. Unfortunately, Orido was eliminated in one of the semi-final rounds, but will be back for the last remaining West Coast events. The final round was an all-Japanese affair with Daijiro Yoshihara in the Bridgestone/RMR Pontiac Solstice GXP against Toshiki Yoshioka in the ASpec/Works Bell-sponsored Toyota Sprinter. After the rubber and the dust settled, it was Yoshioka with his "little engine that could" AE86 that claimed the victory.

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RESULTS
PRO FWD
DRIVER CAR E.T. MPH
01 ED BERGENHOLTZ ’08 {{{MAZDA6}}} 10.218 142.49
02 CHRIS RADO ’08 SCION {{{tC}}} 11.543 91.58
>>   PRO IMPORT    
01 BRYAN JIMENEZ ’07 CHEVY COBALT 8.283 166.19
02 JAKE MONTGOMERY ’92 EAGLE TALON 10.864 9.00
>>   PRO STOCK
01 JEREMY LOOKOFSKY ’06 HONDA CIVIC 9.636 139.46
02 MIKE MICHELSON ’89 HONDA {{{CRX}}} DNF  
>>   STREET TUNER
01 CODY PHILLIPS ’94 TOYOTA SUPRA 10.209 135.13
02 MATT LEWIS ’92 EAGLE TALON 10.864 48.56
>>   STREET COMP
01 ANTHONY DI NALLO ’94 HONDA CIVIC 9.450 156.30
02 CORTNEY GREEN ’95 HONDA CIVIC 9.598 159.78
>>   STREET PERFORMANCE
01 BEN TRAN ’05 HONDA INSIGHT 11.460 117.74
02 JOHN SAURO ’92 HONDA CIVIC 11.771 114.24
>>   STREET STOCK
01 EDWIN ARGUETA ’98 ACURA INTEGRA 13.251 103.56
02 DAVID ARELLANO ’96 HONDA CIVIC 14.213 97.88
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>>   QUICK 16
01 JUVENAL SANTANA ’94 HONDA CIVIC 13.315 98.66
02 SEAN KAY ’03 MITSUBISHI EVO 14.765 97.36
  >> SPORTSMAN
01 KRIS HEIKES ’92 HONDA CIVIC 16.521 67.22
02 VICTOR SIGUENZA ’95 HONDA CIVIC 16.873 82.93
>>   DRIFT RESULTS    
01 TOSHIKI YOSHIOKA ASpec/Works Bell {{{Toyota}}} Sprinter    
02 DAIJIRO YOSHIHARA Bridgestone/RMR Pontiact Solstic GPX    
03 SAM HUBINETTE Nuformz/Mopar/BFG {{{Dodge Viper}}}    
By Scott Kanemura
18 Articles

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