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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”

2018 Street Racing Made Safe Rule Book

2018 Street Racing Made Safe Drag Rule Book & Auto X Rulebook

The 2018 Street Racing Made Safe Rule Book and standards for vehicles permitted at our events were created with one goal in mind. To keep the true street car segment 100% true to the people of the streets. If your vehicle doesn’t fall into our class then please visit your local drag strip for drag racing format events near you. We cater to street cars and street cars only.

 

PLEASE BELOW TO VIEW THE DRAG RULEBOOK

 

 

 

 

Auto X

Our new segment for Auto crossing also pushed us to create a segment that caters to the true street car enthusiasts by eliminating a race car class and keeping the competition strictly to a street car format.

CLICK BELOW TO VIEW THE AUTO X RULEBOOK

***Press Release : IRGSE and SRMS Sign 3 year partnership at 4 facilities for 100 events!!

See the link below for the press release on IRGSE website which was announced at the PRI show on 12/8/16.

http://irgse.com/press-releases/irg-sports-entertainment-and-street-racing-made-safe-announce-multi-year-partnership/

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SRMS Web Series Episodes!!!

The Street Racing Made Safe Web series was created with one thing in mind to show the public the roots of the program and the battles we see on a monthly basis for the fastest of the fastest true street cars……

Episode 1!!! ” Different Worlds”

Episode 2!!! “Serious Black”

Episode 3!!!! “The rise of Frustrate”

Episode 4!!! “The sum of all fears”

Street Racing Made Safe and US131 Motorsports Park

Street Racing Made Safe & 131 Motorsports Park Takeover Michigan in July 2017

 

Illegal street racing is an epidemic that plagues communities across the United States. Since 2011, Street Racing Made Safe (SRMS) has delivered South Florida communities relief by providing a legal solution to illegal street racing. Every month, street racers from across the country travel to SRMS roll racing events. These events capture the same racing structure and excitement that’s experienced during illegal street racing, but in an safe and controlled environment. Not only is the racing safe for the drivers, but it’s safe for spectators as well. You can watch the race from the comfort of the stands without worrying about traffic or being injured!!

US 131 Motorsports Park is the perfect venue for Street Racing Made Safe. Located in Martin, MI. It services many major US cities (Detroit & Chicago) as well as smaller markets (Grand Rapids, MI / South Bend, IN / Toledo, OH).  Built in 1962, this legendary ¼ mile dragstrip has been home to some awesome record breaking racing which has earn it the name of “The Fastest Track in Michigan”.

Teaming together, 131 Motorsports Park & Street Racing Made Safe will provide a safe & awesome roll racing experience to the Midwest!! Visit Street Racing Made Safe on Facebook & Instagram or visit their website www.StreetRacingMadeSafe.com. In addition, you can find 131 on Facebook & Instagram (us131mp) or visit their website www.us131msp.com

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