In typical Import Face-Off style, they kicked off 2012 bright and early, not to mention warm with their Gainesville event. Also not a surprise, this is the kind of grassroots drag event that pulls in more of the underground you’re not likely to recognize, but their efforts at the track are no less impressive than ones you will know—so props to these racers. In the FWD class, sponsored by SPEC Clutch, Christian Gomez faced Benjie Rodriguez for the second time in the finals, breaking off a 9.308 e.t. at 159.72mph in his Acura Integra against Benjie’s 9.336 pass. Navin Marios came to the Forced Induction Pro match with a unique setup—a 2JZ-outfitted R32 Skyline—which was able to lock down an 8.093 at 169.27mph. Team Kindred Impulse won both Best Club Participation and Representation, while Tony Hicks’ Mitsubishi Eclipse took home Best of Show honors.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch—and by ranch, we meant to say the dragstrip at Baytown—it was more fast action. Ross Baird drove his Supra to the Outlaw class top prize with an ultra-low 8.608 run at 162mph. Aaron Lopez’s H22-swapped Civic was the victor in the SPEC Clutch FWD class; he was able to clock in a best time of 9.528 at 157.96mph. In the All Motor Pro class, the 2010 champ, Jason Lumpkin was back, using his B20/VTEC CR-X to run a 10.732 at 126.78mph. The winners of this event’s show portion are: Chris Shively for Best of Show (Nissan 350Z), Strictly G’s (Best Club Participation) and Team 16Niss (Best Club Representation).