As always, the Englishtown Raceway dragstrip was the scene of continuous action during Waterfest. There were some familiar faces as well as some new machinery to keep everybody on their toes.
The main attraction was the cage match in the Outlaw class, pitting the ultimate modified VWs and Audis against one another. Our friend Marc-André Hubert from AutoXtrëm made the journey from Quebec, Canada with his brand-new car but ran into numerous problems and was eventually eliminated by a part failure (see sidebar).
In the Outlaw final, Todd Pavics' 683whp '94 Mk3 GTI with its ABA 16v turbo engine set a time of 11.244sec at 135.04mph to beat Anthony Thompson's '01 Audi. Todd had consistently been fastest throughout the elimination rounds and deserved the victory.
In the naturally-aspirated elimination class, Chris Almorian took the win with a very respectable 11.893sec run at 113.51mph in his '95 GTI, beating William Mison's '97 GTI. It certainly seems like the Mk3 chassis continues to dominate drag racing...
While both the preceding classes offer heads-up racing; first across the line wins, there are three classes of bracket racing where drivers have to match their dial-in time.
Bracket 1 only had two entrants, and Jesse Farquhar's '99 Jetta 2.0 beat Wayne Farquhar's '00 Jetta 2.0 in a family showdown on Saturday. However, the tables were turned on Sunday when Wayne took the win.
Bracket 2 saw Joe Vassallo's '07 GTI win on Saturday, while James Harper won on Sunday.
Bracket 3 went to Steve Youyloukilis on Saturday in his '91 GTI, while Anthony Manser won on Sunday in his '80 Caddy.
Congratulations to everybody. We hope to continue our drag racing coverage through the 2010 season.
Following a best quarter-mile time of 9.237sec, Marc-André Hubert's AutoXrëm Mk3 GTI was ranked seventh fastest FWD VW in the world, third fastest using gasoline and number one in Canada.
For 2010 he's built a new car with a Mk4 front-end so it's instantly recognizable. The 62 lb body is heavier than last year's Mk3, but overall the car is 130 lb lighter (2150 lb with driver).
The same 20v turbo engine has new rods and pistons, a new turbo set-up and a better manifold design. However, a ban on leaded fuel in Canada meant it had been running E85 ethanol and only making 35psi boost pressure rather than its normal 42 lb.
During its first dyno runs, the engine suffered a lack of oil pressure, so changes were made and subsequently the team experienced engine failures from valves hitting the pistons. This was eventually traced to excessive oil pressure and has since been remedied. However, the car continues to suffer teething trouble and the team is wracked by misfortune.
On the way to Waterfest, for example, a strap broke in the trailer, allowing the car to move, breaking the parachute mount and cracking the nose.
Once repairs were made, the car ran 10.6sec at 132mph on its first run but "felt very flat," according to Marc. On the second run it had a terrible misfire and only recorded an 11sec time. And for its third run in the first round elimination, it broke a driveshaft flange on a hard start and retired.
With custom flanges coming from Australia and problems with the new gearset overcome, AutoXtrëm is hoping the difficulties are now rectified. "At every event this year we've done three shit runs and gone home," Marc lamented. However, he's confident it's an 8sec car and will keep pushing to prove it.