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S2000 at SRMS' Cars, Coffee, and Racing

Street Racing Illustrated | Cars, Coffee, and Racing 08/12/2018

“Auto-Xing actually becomes more fun when it’s raining!”- Mario Ojito

Story | Phillip Pratt

 

SRMS Cars, Coffee, and RacingStreet Racing Made Safe’s inaugural Car, Coffee, and Racing was everything that SRMS President, Mario Ojito, said it would be. Even a massive speed trap on the turnpike and forty-five-minute downpour couldn’t stop the meet and races. Despite the wetter circumstances of the end of the day, the beginning was effing flawless. The racers were blessed with sunny, clear, skies as prep began and walks of the track were allowed. This isn’t a go-kart track with a tiny lane and nearly unreasonable amounts of hair-pins. AMR Motorplex supplied racers with lots of stretches to open those throttles up and get some speed going. The rain that arrived halfway through the event slowed down the meet-section, but unlike on a drag-strip, water just makes the racing more engaging. It was easy to tell the first time Auto-Xers from the seasoned vets, but as this event grows, I expect to see skills and car engineering do the same. Auto-Xing times can be viewed here. Next event will be held on September 9th, 2018 at AMR Motorplex.

 

SRMS Cars, Coffee, and Racing

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne 07.29.2018

Street Racing Illustrated | Car and Coffee Key Biscayne 07.29.2018

Cloudy weather made a chill meet, hot.

Story | Phillip Pratt

 

 

Miami is known worldwide for its amazing beaches. When you take this aspect and apply to it something like a car meet, it becomes a potent mixture that’s hard to top. Because of this, CLRDHOT/ Street Racing Made Safe’ Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne rarely disappoints. However, there is a downside to being so close to the beach. The weather. Luckily, it held up long enough for the event to thrive while keeping the blazing Miami sun at bay. The event brought in a vastly diverse crowd of Domestics, Europeans, Japanese (both legal… not so much), Classics, Exotics, Rat-rods, and bikes. This is due to the crowds drawn in by both the likes of CLRDHOT Motorsports and Street Racing Made Safe. There really is nothing like spending a couple hours appreciating some fine automobiles and then heading into the city for lunch with the same breathtaking waterfront views… even when the storm finally rolls in and nature behaves as if the world is about to end.

 

Mighty Car Mods | Marty and Moog breaking down the S30's journey

Street Racing Illustrated | Mighty Car Mods’ RB26-powered S30

The guys at Mighty Car Mods get ready to transplant the heart of a beast into a legend.

Story | Phillip Pratt

 

Mighty Car Mods | The MCM S30

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods

 

With well over 2.6 million YouTube subscribers, you’re probably aware by now that the guys, Marty and Moog, over at Mighty Car Mods recently got their hands on a beautiful Nissan S30 (or Datsun 240z… or Nissan Fairlady Z, whatever you like best). After purchasing it online, they flew to Japan to check it out, whip it around on a track and ship it back home to Australia. I think there are a lot of folks out there that would have been fine to leave it in its original gorgeous form, but like many great things in life, there was a catch. The original motor that rested within the Fairlady held components that weren’t allowed in the country due to some of the materials they were constructed of, mainly asbestos. Trying to get it in the country legally would have, in their words, potentially costed ‘tens of thousands of dollars’. That doesn’t sound like much fun, at all. Not letting little things like importing regulations stop them, they stayed true to their names and decided to swap in another power plant. Namely, an RB26 sourced from the S30’s relative, the almighty GT-R.

 

Mighty Car Mods | Putting the car through its paces in Japan

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods

 

The original engine that was removed from the S30 was a 1,998 cc, inline 6-cylinder, single overhead cam, and sported a casted-iron block with a 12-valve, alloy head. It was good for about 143 HP or 107 kW of power. Not bad for the engine size in its day. However, the guys will be bumping up the power, as we all know the RB26 out of the GT-R was substantially more powerful. Like the L20 that this S30 formerly owned, the RB26 is an inline 6-cylinder engine. But outside of also having an iron block, that’s about where the similarities end.

 

Mighty Car Mods | The first of several test fits for the RB26 transplant

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods

 

The RB26 is a 24-valve, dual overhead cam, twin-turbo heart of a legend. It pumped out about 276 HP (206 kW) from the factory but it’s been known to do a whole lot more than that once modified, even if just turning up the boost on the stock set-up.

 

Mighty Car Mods | The RB26 that will power the MCM S30

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods

 

If you’re not indeed caught up with the guy’s current endeavor, you’ll be happy to know that there is not one, but two episodes up on their channel at the writing of this article. So go carve out a nice 40-minute chunk of time from your busy day and enjoy!

 

Mighty Car Mods | Test fitting a plenum from Hypetune on the RB with Turbo Yoda

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Street Racing Illustrated | Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne 03.25.18

Beautiful weather and an awesome locale make Cars n Coffee Key Biscayne a ‘must go’.

Story & Photos | Phillip Pratt

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | Majestics reppin’ at C&C Key Biscayne

 

There really is no backdrop like the aqua-color waters of Miami Beach on a clear morning. Even with the controlled vehicular chaos that was created by the Miami Open Tennis tournament taking place just across the Causeway, it was hard to let the laidback vibe be diluted. Outside of the beautiful location, the biggest standout was the eclectic mix of cars, bikes, and enthusiasts in attendance. It was impossible to say what kind of meet it was; import, domestic, classic, bikes, exotics… but I guess that’s the point of a Cars n Coffee meet. It’s intentionally nondescript by design, in turn, draws in a vastly diverse crowd. From the custom hot-rods, pocket bikes, modern muscle cars, to the rows of GTRs (both old and new) and the random bicycle hooligans; C&C Key Biscayne doesn’t disappoint. If nothing else, the view coming over the bridge is almost worth the drive by itself.

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | Crew of Pocket Bikes showed up in mass

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | Classic and Clean

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | Hoods up

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | Beauty in motion

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | A Bug done right

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | Everyone is a Hoonigan

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | Some mean muscle in attendance

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | When the wheels match the backdrop

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne | Cars even love the view

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

 

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Cars and Coffee Key Biscayne

Street Racing Made Safe 03.24.18

Street Racing Illustrated | SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS in West Palm Beach on March 24th, 2018

Story | Phillip Pratt

Photos | Phillip Pratt & Gerry Burke

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | The always fast DentPros 911

 

On a perfect weather night where we saw the return of Rob and his thousand-plus horsepower Supra to Street Racing Made Safe, MPI’s GTR making a 195 MPH pass and Frustrate running something close to eight seconds in his AWD EG hatch; you’d think it was a night the racers and spectators won… but no. With well over 15 broken axels on both front wheel and rear wheel drive cars, the biggest winner was Palm Beach International Raceway’s freshly paved, professionally prepped (perhaps a bit over-prepped?) track. It conquered both the amateur and the experienced, built and daily-driven, leaving some to load up their trailers earlier or call for a tow truck. We all love the action, but racers, seriously… if you drove to the park from a great distance, perhaps it’s best not to dig in the car that got you there? Despite the spattering of hold-ups due to having to push crippled cars off the track, it was still a great night of power. While they weren’t able to get too much into the Dig List Top Ten, I think everyone in attendance did learn a valuable lesson; while building your racecar, don’t neglect your axels.

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | The MPI GTR before it made a 195MPH pass

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Daniel Frustrate lining up for a call-out on the Dig List

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Digs in high demand

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Cousins

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | The view most see of this car

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | MPI GTR sitting scary

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Perfect FWD burn-out. Think it broke too.

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Mustang warming up the rubber

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Beautiful weather

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Rob in the lanes alongside the MPI GTR

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Javi’s RSX

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Lanes were jam-packed

 

SRMS 03.24.18

SRMS 03.24.18 | Some of fastest Bikes in SoFlo

Photo Courtesy of TX2K & 1320 Video

Street Racing Illustrated | We, the “unsavory” – TX2K18

Harris County officials attempt to sully the intentions of the annual TX2K racing festivities.

Story | Phillip Pratt

 

Photo Courtesy of TX2K & 1320 Video

Photo taken by Zachery Muddiman for TX2K and 1320 Video

 

Before we start, we’d like to set something straight about what we’re about here at Street Racing Illustrated and subsequently SRMS. We do not condone, promote, or try to justify, illegal street racing of any kind. Our primary focus is and always has been to journalize our culture in its many facets including the drivers, builders, tuners, cars, bikes and legit events where our talents and passion can be safely put on display.

 

Photo Courtesy of TX2K & 1320 Video

Photo taken by Zachery Muddiman for TX2K and 1320 Video

 

TX2K is an annual event that is currently held at the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, a city that resides in both Harris and Chambers Counties. The massive event draws in racers for hundreds and even thousands of miles away. Like other events of its ilk, TX2K provides enthusiasts with a safe outlet where they can go W.O.T. (wide open throttle) without worrying about something or someone getting in between them and the finish line. The latest iteration of the event was held this past weekend from the 15th through the 18th of March. It’s also the same weekend that law enforcement in the area decided to launch an operation which netted at least 42 arrests of people participating in illegal street racing activities of various degrees.

 

Photo Courtesy of TX2K & 1320 Video

Photo taken by Joshua Hopson for TX2K and 1320 Video

 

Now, this isn’t an article defending anyone that found themselves in trouble. If you got roped, you know what you were doing. It comes with the territory. The larger issue with this is the connotation some choose to pin to the entire culture. Prosecutors involved with the cases claim; “the TX2K drag racing at Royal Purple Raceway brings in an unsavory crowd into our area…” This is what we call throwing the baby out with the bath water. Instead of praising TX2K for attempting to provide an option, they are demonized and accused of creating the problem.

 

Photo Courtesy of TX2K & 1320 Video

Photo taken by Joshua Hopson for TX2K and 1320 Video

 

In the Channel 13 report that broke this story, it’s said that the event attracts participants from “as far as Ohio”. Something I do not doubt. But to say TX2K “brings in an unsavory crowd into our area” infers that this crowd doesn’t exist year-round (I’m not calling our kind “unsavory”, chill). Let’s be honest, even if a track was open every day and every night of the week, there would still be some form of racing happening in our streets. It’s an activity that’s been around since people began using engines instead of horses to get around. Despite what doomsday screeching, Fast and Furious watching, news anchors would have you believe, it’s not some kind of new fad that started in the early 2000’s.

 

This is the official response from Peter of TX2K Enterprises:

Royal Purple Raceway and TX2K have always been committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment [for] racers and fans alike. TX2K is a track-focused event that gives racers a chance to race one another at the most premier race track in the country. Neither the track nor the event condone street racing and plan to continue to offer a street car event in the [safest] place possible…the race track.

 

Photo Courtesy of TX2K & 1320 Video

Photo taken by Zachery Muddiman for TX2K and 1320 Video

 

Problem is; tracks are disappearing around the country. Most drag strips are built miles away from residential areas. Even then, they have strict ordinances placed on them in terms of what hours and days they can be in operation. More often than not, what gets tracks shut down isn’t the street racing that happens around the area, as we saw in Texas this past weekend, but the noise it creates for nearby residents… which is the reason they are built so far into the sticks, to begin with. This problem only presents itself once developers start to buy up land near these establishments, and then build multi-million-dollar homes for people with deep pockets that have the resources to apply pressure to officials to have the nearby noise machine closed for what they eventually cite as, “safety reasons” (yeah… right).

 

Photo Courtesy of TX2K & 1320 Video

Photo taken by Cody Carey for TX2K and 1320 Video

 

Allowing words such as unsavory to be associated with racers and legitimate, structured, events like TX2K, damage the entire culture and makes it easier for lawmakers to take away the very tools that help prevent what they claim to be fighting. While there were 2 deaths attributed to street racing in 2016 (unrelated to TX2K), there has never been a death on the streets during a TX2K event. A simple Google search of DUI deaths in the same area and you’ll wonder why lawmakers are not more concerned about that statistic.

 

Photo: Harris County Precinct 8 Constable's Office

Photo: Harris County Precinct 8 Constable’s Office

 

In fact, in 2015 Harris County ranked among the highest in the state for substance-related deaths while driving (149). This is not to diminish someone losing a loved one to street racing, but it puts in perspective what this is truly about; quite frankly, it’s about noise, not public safety. Which leads one to wonder why officials don’t just partner with TX2K and present a united front instead of threatening to shut it down. There’s nothing wrong with shining a light on something that is a legitimate concern, not just in Texas but across the country, but to denigrate something that is actually helping to stem the tide is short-sighted and ultimately, irresponsible.

 

Photo Courtesy of TX2K & 1320 Video

Photo taken by Cody Carey for TX2K and 1320 Video

Street Racing Illustrated would like to thank TX2k for sharing their thoughts with us and 1320 Video and all their gifted contributors.

Street Racing Illustrated | SRMS 2.10.18 “Grudge Night”

SRMS Grudge in West Palm Beach Florida.

Story & Photos | Phillip Pratt

 

Nothing like perfect weather to drive a great night of grudge racing. Despite an unfortunate setback with a Mustang spilling its guts halfway down the track, creating an hour and a half long “wait and see” situation, we were treated to a plethora exciting races from some of South Florida’s fastest cars. Atop of a night where we saw local tuning guru, Javi Bastista of “Javituned”, and his wicked fast, turbocharged RSX move from the 7th position to the 3rd in a single night on the 40mph roll list, Daniel “Frustrate” Rodriguez debuted his AWD set-up on his K-powered EG hatch (also tuned by Javi). Javi was able to defeat Frustrate in the tuner vs builder clash, but time will tell if he’ll be able to hold on as I suspect Frustrate is only going to get faster as he gets used to his new set-up. Due to the aforementioned Mustang evacuation, the Dig list wasn’t able to pop off, however, those that stuck around while the track got cleaned up got to see Frustrate take on Dig-King, Eddie Miller, in his 73’ Plymouth Duster with a pro-tree. Frustrate was able to pull out a victory as Eddie let off the throttle quarter of the way down the track giving up at least a car length’s lead and ultimately the race. If you missed it, I wouldn’t worry. They’ll do it again, soon.

 

SRMS Grudge Night

SRMS “Grudge Night” | BD Performance GT-R

SRMS Grudge Night

SRMS “Grudge Night” | Daniel “Frustrate” Rodriguez and his AWD K-series EG

SRMS Grudge Night

SRMS “Grudge Night” | Dentpros 911 staging up with a Camero

SRMS Grudge Night

SRMS “Grudge Night” | Javi and his RSX and Carta Performances’ Foxbody Mustang

SRMS Grudge Night

SRMS “Grudge Night” | Javituned’s own creation

SRMS Grudge Night

SRMS “Grudge Night”

SRMS Grudge Night

SRMS “Grudge Night”

SRMS Grudge Night

SRMS “Grudge Night” | Eddie Miller and his 73′ Duster getting ready to run Frustrate’s AWD EG

SRMS Grudge Night

SRMS “Grudge Night” | Frustrate and his family back in the pits after his win over Eddie Miller

Street Racing Illustrated | Evolution of the Beast

EVOLUTION OF THE BEAST

Fr8train’s journey from contender to king and back.

Story | Phillip Pratt

Photos | Phillip Pratt / Gerry Burke

 

Evolution of the Beast | C&S Transmissions in Miramar, FL

Carlos’ Firebird “Fr8train” | Home at C&S Transmissions in Miramar, Florida

 

When the word “evolution” is mentioned, at least in the circles we run in any way, most immediately relate it to other words like “Mitsubishi”, “Lancer”, the engine code “4G63”, or, if you’re a die-hard Subie driver, “@#$% you!”. But to the rest of the sane world, the word “evolution”, derived from the word “evolve”, is the gradual development of something, especially from a simple form to a more complex one. It’s typically a slow process that begins to help an organism survive in whatever ecosystem it lives within, as the environment or other organisms around it change. Some develop rock-hard shells or the ability to change their color, maybe even to secrete venomous slim from their skin; it’s all done to better their chances in a world that’s out to kill and probably consume them.

 

Evolution of the Beast | Twin-Turbo LS

Carlos’ Firebird “Fr8train” | Original Twin-Turbo Set-Up, utilizing the stock ECU

 

Carlos, owner of the Trans Am named “Fr8train”, and the former king of the SRMS (Street Racing Made Safe) Top 10 List down in South Florida, knows this process all too well. Anyone familiar with the SRMS program in SoFlo knows his tenuous rise the top of the pack. The low-profile Firebird went from contender to top dog defeating every challenger put in its way. Having anywhere between 700 to 850-wheel horsepower, provided by a twin-turbo LS powerplant would generally make this a reality. That power combined with a rock-solid transmission built to necessity, in-house, by C&S (Carlos’ transmission shop) in Miramar, led to several run-ins with the ever-popular Danny “Frustrate” Rodriguez and his then B-Series powered, EG Civic. Losing to Frustrate during that friendly rivalry was enough to trigger Fr8train’s growth, but it most definitely wouldn’t be the last.

 

Evolution of the Beast | Carlo's Twin-Turbo Firebird

Carlos’ Firebird “Fr8train” | Party’s Over Indeed

 

The car wasn’t purchased as we see it. It was acquired by Carlos’ father as a mere shell. From there, they decided to drop in the 5.7L LS V8 that’d you’d typically find in a WS6 but built it out with forged internals stroking it out to a healthy 393. Instead of going down the familiar avenue of a bottle nitrous (something they were used to) and calling it a day, they decided to go turbo. And not just a single snail either, two big boys. Utilizing the stock ECU (yes, the stock computer) and manual boost controller, they tuned it out to a ripe 711-wheel horsepower on only 3lbs of boost! That was enough to get him into the top five, and on the way, set up dances with several impressive contenders including a couple ridiculous Fox Body Mustangs, big power Supras and a wicked Evo or two. By the time Carlos was ready to challenge for a top-three spot, he’d turned up Trans Am to about 8lbs making more than 900-wheel horsepower. Finally, he was set to face-off with his target; Frustrate, and his boosted EG, who much like him had fought his way up the list over the last few months and wasn’t interested in letting go his crown. It was a close race, but Frustrate held on and did so for several months and just as many races. It forced Carlos to take his Firebird back into the lab.

 

Evolution of the Beast | Carlo's Twin-Turbo Firebird

Carlos’ Firebird “Fr8train”

 

The next time we saw Carlos, a couple things had changed. At a Super Chevy show, he snapped the timing chain on the Trans Am. It turned out to be a blessing-in-disguise as it led him to switch from a hydraulic to a solid roller which allowed the car to shift at higher RPMs and make a little more than 150 extra horsepower. This pushed the Trans Am well into the 1k+ club. That, combined with some needed track testing, was enough to dethrone the “People’s Champ”, Frustrate, at the next event and hold onto the #1 spot for quite some time. He even took the show on the road with a trip to Orlando Speed World. After some heated back-and-forths and the changing of the day (the race happened several minutes past midnight, in front of a handful of people), Carlos and Fr8train walked a local LS-powered Fox-body, with no more than two wheels on the ground for half of the 1320.

 

Evolution of the Beast | Firebird Vs Civic

Carlos’ Firebird “Fr8train” | Facing off against “The People’s Champ”, Daniel “Frustrate” Rodriguez

 

Carlos’ success didn’t go noticed, however. There were several groups from around the area that wanted a shot at him. Even Frustrate returned with a new set-up. This time utilizing a fully-built turbo-charged K-series motor. He was most certainly faster than before, but it still wasn’t enough to dethrone Carlos, who since their last meeting, had pushed the Trans Am to hold more than 1200 horsepower, converted to an automatic tranny and by then was consistently popping up on two wheels… and still had A/C. It wasn’t until weeks later, when Miami Performance Inc. and Fabshop Miami (no relation) showed up with their frighteningly fast GTRs, was anybody able to contend for Carlos’ crown. Ultimately, the younger, more advanced cars proved too much for the Trans Am and both, at one time or another, bested Carlos, controversy on roll-speeds and jumps notwithstanding, mind you.

 

Evolution of the Beast | Carlo's Twin-Turbo Firebird

Carlos’ Firebird “Fr8train” | Warming up the tires on a cold night in Orlando

 

With all that behind them, the boys at C&S are looking forward. They hadn’t originally built the Trans Am to be a “world-beater”. It was a passion project. Something to play around with on the weekends. Even after the big pressure contests, he endured against his friend Frustrate, it was just always just about fun at the end of the day. Now it’s a little different. During Carlos’ bouts against the MPI (Miami Performance Inc.) GTR there were a couple of dust-ups between the two crews. Ok, maybe more than a couple. Just about every time these guys got near each other there were most certainly words and always the chance of an altercation or two. I don’t want to claim it’s “personal” but I’m also not going to assume it’s just about going fast anymore.

 

Evolution of the Beast | Carlo's Twin-Turbo Firebird

Carlos’ Firebird “Fr8train”

 

With the intention of making a comeback, C&S have completely torn down the Trans Am; A stiffened-up chassis, a completely new rear-end, and a more advanced, substantially larger engine that will put out more than 2000-wheel horsepower (shhh…). The only thing that will remain from the previous power/drivetrain is the tranny because you know… C&S is a tranny shop. Carlos doesn’t plan to be present at the beginning of the new season of races in West Palm Beach. However, he does plan to be offer takers both rolls and digs, and promises “When I do come, they’ll know.”

 

Evolution of the Beast | Carlo's Twin-Turbo Firebird

Carlos’ Firebird “Fr8train”

Street Racing Illustrated | Wekfest Florida 2017

Wekfest Florida 2017

Event coverage from the Wekfest show hosted in West Palm Beach

Story | Phillip Pratt

Photos | Phillip Pratt

 

If you’ve ever been to a Wekfest car show, you know it’s just that. A car show. Not a 2 – step competition, B-boy contest, freestyle rap battle or a “fashion show” (which inevitably involves bottles of water. Cold bottles of water). It’s an event that puts the cars at the center of attention at every step of the way. It’s become a yearend show in South Florida that brings in cars from all over the state, and from each subculture within the hobby. Enthusiasts break themselves for days in preparation and it shows as each vehicle on the floor is lovingly and meticulously detailed until the convention center’s LED lighting fixtures blindingly glisten off fresh paint and the well-oiled surfaces of low-profile tires. This year’s offering wasn’t anything less than awe-inspiring as the room was crammed wall-to-wall with some of Florida’s (and beyond) best.

 

Toyota Supra

Ultimate Performance EG Hatch

Wekfest merch table and DJ

BMW

Nissan Z

Disruptive RX-7

S2000

Old School

Skyline GTR

RB26DETT

Nissan Silvia S14

DC2 Integra

Lexus IS300

Lexus Row

Aisha’s 97 Hatch

Blob-eye STI