March 13-17, 2020, at Houston Raceway Park is where it happened. What is it you ask? It is the premier streetcar automotive event in the country. It was founded back in 2000, when Peter Blach was in his last year in college. There was a Toyota Supra event in Las Vegas that he really wanted to go to, but with being in college, he didn’t have enough money. At the time, it was 40-50 friends and pizzas were delivered to the track for them to eat. It grew from there. It was started as a Toyota Supra event. It has since kept the Supra tradition but introduced the GTR. This event has given street racers a safe and legal way to drag race each other. They have the roll race which is as close to street racing as you get in a track environment. They also have a car show, with some of the best-looking street cars imaginable.
Now today, in 2020, there are many different categories: Exhibition, A90 MK5 Supra Class, 2JZ Class, DCT Class, GTR Class 1, GTR Class 2, GTR Class 3, GTR Class 4, GTR Unlimited, Street Car Class, Stick Shift Class, Heavyweight Class. Each class is broken down into 4 more classes in each category: ELITE, PRO, CHAMP, and SPORT. Each class has 64 cars, which would mean ELITE is cars 1-16, the fastest cars, PRO is 17-32, next 16 fastest, CHAMP is 33-48, and SPORT is 49-64. With the exception being Stick Shift and Heavyweight only offering ELITE and PRO.
This year with the coronavirus rearing its ugly head, they were unable to have any spectators at this event. Normally, it would bring in an extra 30,000 people plus all those racing and their team members. They were disappointed a little in the turnout because all classes were not able to be filled with this scare and of course, the fans could not be there to cheer on their favorites, as they have in years past.
To begin Thursday, they had what they called a Roll Race. It is as close as you can get to street racing on a VHT surface. VHT is the tack they use to help keep control on the track, so it is safer. Last year Coy Christmas was crowned the ELITE 8 Champion. This year Kevin Howeth took the win running 8.030 @ 230.88. In the Unlimited class, Christine Dodworth took the win in 2019. This year Jan Buhler stole it running 9.016 @ 197.88. The Winner last year for Super Sport was Steve Tasca, but this year Sabastian Robles came in with the win with 9.051 @ 193.60. The last class is Sport with last year’s winner Daniel Garcia, this year being taken by Jon Cretella 9.030 @ 180.07.
Exhibition Class is an unregulated class for people who are coming to run record ET or MPH sometimes both. The main idea for this class was for shop cars, big builds, and high-profile cars that are out to set records without the eliminations.
Heavyweight class is the minimum weight of 4200 lbs with driver and 1 power adder or minimum weight of 4400 lbs with driver and 2 power adders. Each car must have current registration, plate and insurance. They also require headlights and taillights to work and be able to return to pits under their own power. This year’s winners of Heavyweight ELITE was Rick
Crawford. Crawfords winning pass was 8.855 @ 154.35. Heavyweight PRO’s winner was Marcelo Duran’s winning pass 9.531 @ 134.04.
The Street Class is made into 4 classes. The rules are simple. It will include GTR, Vettes, Porches, Vipers, Supras, Camaros, Mustangs, etc. Any car can run this class as long as it meets the following: Current registration, plate and insurance, no full tube frames, headlights/taillights must work, able to return from under own power from pass, functioning coolant system, tires must be DOT approved. This year’s winners are as follows: Streetcar ELITE, Ivo Jurisic with a winning pass of 7.304 @ 187.65; Streetcar CHAMP, Michael Chambley with a winning pass of 8.679 @ 158.80; Streetcar PRO, Christian Morillo with a winning pass of 8.135 @ 169.21; Streetcar SPORT, Davis Van Voris with a winning pass of 9.381 @ 133.95.
The 2JZ class is all 2JZ powered engines. They must have factory front suspension, no wheelie bars. This year’s winner was Larry Ramoth with his winning pass of 6.568 @ 202.21.
The Stick Shift class must run H-pattern factory-based transmissions, no automatics allowed. This year’s winners were: Stick Shift ELITE, Jonathan Atkins winning pass 7.283 @ 196.56; Stick Shift PRO, Justin Siemens winning pass 9.561 @ 143.14. This pass for Atkins was his personal best to date.
The next class was DCT. DCT is dual clutch transmissions, which means there is two separate clutches. One clutch is for odd and one clutch for even gears. You qualify for this class if the car comes with a DCT from the factory. It must be all stock OEM unmodified variant, GTR turbos allowed and all stock OEM unmodified variant 911 turbos allowed. This class was designed for Porsche 911 Turbo, McLaren, Huracan, R8, and GTR. It must have full interior, no mechanical fuel pumps, no methanol fuel, and no nitrous. Slicks are allowed. This year’s winner was Daniel Secondino with winning pass 9.037 @ 160.50.
The GTR class is separated into 5 different classes. Class 1 is any stock manifold turbo using the stock compressor cover. They may not use methanol fuel or nitrous. It also has a 3900 lbs with driver minimum requirement. This year’s winner was Brooke Berini with a pass of 8.990 @ 152.52. Class 2 is any stock location turbo kit with 58 mm compressor inducer maximum. They cannot use methanol fuel or nitrous allowed. 3750 lbs with driver is the minimum weight limit. This year’s winner was Jesse Frymyer with a pass of 7.844 @ 179.06. Class 3 is any stock location turbo kit with 68 mm compressor inducer maximum. They cannot run nitrous. 3600 lbs with driver is the minimum weight for this class. The winner of this year’s class was Mac Brosnan with 8.104 @ 166.62. The Class 4 is any turbo kit allowed and 76 mm compressor inducer maximum. No nitrous is allowed and no weight limit. There was not enough in this class this year to have an actual race, unfortunately. Unlimited class is R35 only with GR6 transmissions only. Again, unfortunately there was none to race within this class this year.
The A90 MK5 Supra class is the newest platform in this race. The rules are simple. It must have an A90 Supra chassis and have a B58 engine. The plan in the future is to have more classes as this one grows. The winner of this class this year was Ashley Papa with a pass of 10.159 @ 136.17.
Another great accomplishment this year was the EVOX of English Racing. They have set a world record of being the first EVOX to ever go into the 7’s. Miles Kerr went into the race and laid down a 7.934 @ 185.00. After a day with all low 8 passes as it became dark and cooler, it seems that the car a 1300 hp with 70lb boost took it down the track to grab that world record.
They are grateful to all those that came out to the event this year. Though the turnout wasn’t quite as it had been many years before. This would be a great race to attend if this is your kind of racing and cars. They plan on holding it again next year. So why not join in all the hype and get your tickets and packages early. Support Peter Blach and the TX2K.
Photo Credits: Phillip Kinney 📸
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