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SRMS in West Palm Beach on March 24th, 2018
Story | Phillip Pratt
Photos | Phillip Pratt & Gerry Burke
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.
On Saturday 2/10/18 during our event at Palm Beach International Raceway we were featured as the solution to illegal street on CBS Channel 12!!!
See the link below for footage and the Article on Street Racing Made Safe!!!
EVOLUTION OF THE BEAST
Fr8train’s journey from contender to king and back.
Story | Phillip Pratt
Photos | Phillip Pratt / Gerry Burke
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Behind the Wheel with Juan Burgos
From daily driven to passion project.
Interviewer | Clifton Hernandez
Photos | Phillip Pratt
Where does the admiration of an inanimate object come from? What drives (no pun intended) us to keep a pair of shoes or hat way past it’s prime? Sure, we could take a ride down to Foot Locker and buy a fresh pair of Nikes and probably a new snap-back, of course. But we know what’s good when we get back home. When it’s time to jack the car up and get to work, we know what’s going to be on our feet and absorbing the latest batch of sweat off our head. We sat down with Juan Burgos to talk about his car, racing, and… other stuff, to answer this question.
Street Racing Illustrated: What got you into cars?
Juan: Honestly, ever since I was little, 2 or 3 years old, my parents always told me I had a fever for cars. I always had little toy cars. My grandma, she used to take care of me a lot, she’d be the one playing cars with me. Back in Colombia (where Juan is originally from), I used to fight with my parents to stay home from daycare to go with my dad instead. I used to put nails in his tires just to see how it would get fixed.
SRI: So, you were definitely a @#@$# kid… How old are you now?
Juan: I’m 23 about to turn 24.
SRI: When did you come here?
Juan: I was about 4 or 5 years old when I first got here.
SRI: What was your first car? The one you learned to drive in, doesn’t have to be yours-
Juan: It was always a Honda. I had multiple ones, including this one, my 94’ EG 4-door, I bought it to fix up and sell. It was originally meant to be a project for a class in high school. I was going to fix the head gasket and then sell it. It was my senior year project to graduate from technical school. It was a single-cam [back then, of course]. I loved it so much, ended up keeping it as a daily, but the fix didn’t last. I blew the motor.
SRI: This is the car you have now? Your first car is the still the car you have now?!
Juan: Driving, driving, like taking it out to get registered legit, yeah. I don’t daily it anymore, I’ve got a truck for that. But this was basically my only car under my name until I got my truck.
SRI: This is interesting… If I gave you an unlimited budget to build anything you wanted, it’d be…?
Juan: I’d probably stick with this same car. My same Honda. It’s been a long process. Honestly, [with this car] there’s never any end to it. Even now, there’s not that much to it. I’m not fast enough to make it to the [Street Racing Made Safe] Top 10 list, as is, but if I had the budget I’d go K-series. Right now, it’s got a B-series because it’s within my budget. The Ks can be a bit expensive; like, I’d have to go with a Dog Box because the transmissions never hold up…
SRI: Are you saying your dream car is the car you’re driving?
Juan: I’m not saying [the Civic] is my dream car, but with an unlimited budget, it’s the one I’d continue with.
SRI: How old were you for your first race?
Juan: Probably 17 or even earlier than that. My parents don’t know but I used to drive without a license.
SRI: Well, there’s no way they are going to read this… What was the race?
Juan: Me and my friend’s car, another EG 4-door, but automatic. It was his sister’s car. Just the two of us going down the block, neck-to-neck the whole way, bone stock cars! I don’t think we even made it to 70 [MPH]. But it was entertaining!
SRI: What’s the best race you’ve had so far, since then? I don’t mean that stock foolishness. I mean a real race?
Juan: I like going up against high-end cars. When I’m at the track for an event I go to like GT-Rs and stuff. Try to find one as stock as possible and put them to shame. My favorite race though was against this blue GT-R. It was pretty close. His trap speed was about 128, mine was 121. My goal right now is to beat one.
SRI: How does that go down? When you’re approaching these hundred-thousand-dollar cars and asking them to race your Civic? I mean they really have more to lose than to gain going up against you.
Juan: First thing they ask is ‘what’s done to the car’. I tell them it’s a 2.0 bottom with a 1.6 head (B20) on 8lbs of boost. They call me a liar and say I’m making five or six-hundred horsepower. Right now, it’s only making around three-hundred to the wheels. I offer to show them a dyno-sheet and everything. It’s hard to get a race.
SRI: Are you like the only gear-head in your group of friends?
Juan: Nah, I have a lot of guys around me that are into racing. Mostly people from my neighborhood. Ever since we were teenagers. There’s a group of us called Four-Seven Built. Daniel is one of my friends I hang with the most. He’s got an S10 with an LS swap. He goes to track with me every time.
SRI: So, who’s car is faster?
Juan: I’d say mine… when he’s off the juice. All-motor he’s not faster, but on the juice, he’s got me. [laughs]
SRI: What’s your favorite aspect of the whole hobby? Is it the racing, the satisfaction of building something you know can compete?
Juan: I just love the adrenaline you get behind the wheel. The car isn’t all that pretty on the outside-
SRI: Been meaning to ask you about that. Is there something you want to do to it…?
Juan: I sent it to get painted once. Some guy in Hialeah that knew my dad. The biggest mistake I’ve ever made [with the car]. It’s why it looks the way it does now. The car was beautiful for like two weeks, shinning. I’ve got one video and one picture of the car when it first came out. After that… the paint just went to crap. I paid the guy $900, just for the labor. It was a learning experience. Once I’m done with the new motor set-up, I’ll get back to making it look pretty. Not into body-kits so much anymore, but I want to make it clean. As OEM as possible.
SRI: What magazines were you into coming up? Did you have Super Street posters on your wall and stuff like that…?
Juan: Every time I’d go to the grocery store with my parents I’d go over to the magazine rack and get Lowrider, I always liked that-
SRI: So, boobs, then.
Juan: [laughs] I guess you can say that!
SRI: I’m sorry but, ten-year-old with a Lowrider magazine, you aren’t looking at no damn cars… I’m kidding.
Juan: If it were in my budget to do it, I’d build one [a Lowrider] today. A 59’ Impala. Hydraulics, clean undercarriage, sound system… But it’s expensive.
SRI: Don’t hear Lowriders around these parts too much. What got you into that?
Juan: I don’t know, I just like them. I used to watch a lot of West Coast Customs-
SRI: Just say it, you watched Pimp My Ride! Say it, you like goldfish in cars!
Juan: I watched it! [laughs]
SRI: The guy that wants to keep his Civic was OEM as possible on the outside, is also into Lowriders with all their elaborate, deep paint jobs?
Juan: I want to keep it [the Civic] as factory looking as possible. As of today, the car has full interior, everything still. I don’t think I’ll ever cut up the car to save two-hundred pounds or so. I want to keep it fun and safe.
SRI: Well it’s been real Juan, got anyone you want to shoutout?
Juan: I’d like to thank my wife Julissa and my brother Alejandro for helping me work on the car and getting it to where it’s at. She doesn’t mind getting dirty like other girls. And last, my friend Daniel for helping me out on the build as well.
The beginning of Season 2 for the Street Racing Made Safe Top Ten List was very competitive with plenty of surprises amongst the competitors!!! Now with 2 seperate classes for the Top Ten List there are different oppurtunites and different competitors we’ve never seen before.
Below are the standings for the 40MPH Top Ten List Class which had more than 20 challengers:
- Sergio Solis – BD Performance GT-R
- Daniel Rodriguez – Frustrate Turbo EG Civic
- Jonathan Clavijo – Black GT-R
- Daniel Lezcano – Black 93 Toyota Supra
- Adam Jimenez – 98 Bumble Bee Civic Turbo
- Yu Sheng – White GTR Nismo
- Mike Moretti – Purple 240 2jz
- Aj Holti – Gray 335i EMP Tuning
- Javier – Red Neon SRT4
- Tikishi Rampersad – Red Evo
The Dig List brought cars weve never seen before and racers that were and are pre-paring their cars for the list moving forward. The Dig List is done via a 4/10 Pro-Tree with standard 7 second delay as well as a waterbox. We will be adding crew member tickets to the POS system at the track for Dig List crew members only moving forward.
Below are current standings of the Dig List class:
- Eddie Miller – 73″ Plymoth Duster
- Mike Moretti – Purple 240 2jz
- Daniel Rodriguez – Frustrate Turbo EG Civic
- Thomas Berret – 93 Honda Civic Green
- Tareque Aqumed – 16′ White Viper
- Phil Habbock – 16′ Blue Viper
- Jason Marshack – 10′ White BMW 135i
- Takishi Rampersad – Red Evo
- William Orton – 08′ White BMW 335i
- Josh Lear – 00′ Pontiac Firebird
We return to the regular ladder style format of our Top Ten List on October 21st at Palm Beach International Raceway. Good Luck to our current list members We will see you in October and we are sure the list will be much more competitive as vehicles begin to climb to the top!!
Now you can save 20% on all your Turbo Wax orders for all our Street Racing Made Safe Supporters!!!
Use the Coupon Code: SRMS to get your discount!!
DRIVE-BY – Reyana Lobban
A chat with Rey on life, racing, and her DC2 Integra
Interviewer | Phillip Pratt
Photos | Rafael Gabaldon
Name: Reyana Lobban
Car: 1997 LS Acura Integra
Nationality: Jamaican American
City of Residence: Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Age: Finally 16 lol
Engine Mods: B20Vtec (B16 head, B20B block), B16 Transmission, Type R Cams, Blox Intake Manifold, Mugen Headers, Forza Exhaust, AEM Fuel Rail, 40 shot of Nitrous
Suspension: Function and Form Type 2
Wheels, Tires: USDM Integra Type R wheels with Falken Ziex ze950 tires
Street Racing Illustrated: When did you get into cars?
Rey: I’ve been around cars my whole life being that my dad was a mechanic and is a car enthusiast but I wouldn’t say I was always like this lol. I’d go to the race track with my dad all the time but it wasn’t until we went one evening and I saw a Supra on the way back home. It was the first time I’d ever actually paid attention to a car like that, I was about 9 or 10. I’ll never forget the sound of the car, hearing the blow-off valve oh my gosh, and the cleanliness of it. From then on, I knew what I wanted to do.
SRI: How long have you had your Integra?
Rey: The Integra and I have been through a lot. Back in 2014, I got my first car; a white GSR in which I had the B20V originally. Then I sold the GSR shell and decided to start over, so I got a Red LS Integra with a Jap front so I could go LSVtec. However, In the end, I just decided to put on the Type R wheels, Brakes, Valences, Side Skirts, put in some Sparco seats that were given to me as a gift, drop the B20 back in it and call it a day lol. To put it shortly, a very long 3 years.
SRI: What’s your favorite upgrade you’ve done to it thus far?
Rey: Honestly the favorite upgrade I have done to the car, is putting it on Nitrous lol. It’s like Vtec x2!
SRI: Outside of cars, got any hobbies?
Rey: When I’m not working on my Teggy or at the shop, I enjoy doing things other girls do pretty much lol. I like having sleepovers, doing my nails, shopping in expensive stores, etc. I also enjoy reading and competing in medical competitions.
SRI: If you didn’t have your Integra, you’d be driving a…?
Rey: This is honestly my favorite question because everyone always assumes I’ve been about Hondas since the beginning lol! If I did not have my Integra, I would definitely be driving an all-black 1998 S14 240sx with a 2JZ.
SRI: Track or show?
Rey: Track. I’ve got the need for speed.
SRI: Describe the feeling of your first race at PBIR.
Rey: My first race at PBIR was definitely nerve wrecking. I raced a Yaris… and I missed 3rd gear and lost! LOL, I cried when I got back to the stands. But then I realized that I’m not going to always win and I got over it.
SRI: Day meet or night meet?
Rey: Being that I’m still under my parent’s supervision, no night meets for me, haha. But I like day meets, that way I can actually see the cars. Artificial light does no justice.
SRI: How important is your date’s car?
Rey: As long as it’s clean and low, I’m good with it.
SRI: What would be your last meal?
Rey: Fried Chicken and gravy from Barbican Square. It’s all I ever want.
SRI: Who is the biggest influence in your life, right now?
Rey: Roger Lobban, my dad, my old man, the real papa bear lol. I would be nothing that I am today without the guidance of him. I wouldn’t even have the amazing opportunity of answering these questions with you guys.
SRI: You get one superpower, what is it?
Rey: To remember everything I read, I’d pass my exams with flying colors.
SRI: Favorite TV show?
Rey: Adventure Time
SRI: One thing you couldn’t live without is…?
Rey: My Cell Phone. I go crazy even when it’s only dead.
SRI: Favorite cruising song?
Rey: Fake Love- Drake
SRI: Last movie you watched?
Rey: I watched “Sing” with my best friend.
Don’t get too comfortable with this set-up. Rey and her pops have something cooking on the horizon. Expect her Teggy to be a whole new animal the next time you see it at the track! Big thanks to Rey for making time with us.
SRMS is about getting racing off of the streets but the friendships we made are equally important. Benjamin Reyes, aka Arctic Fox Mustang (#8 on the Top 10 list) crashed his car at our last event and we want to help him get back to racing. Anything will help…. even if it’s kind words. #StreetRacingMadeSafe #iLoveStreetRacing #TakeItToTheTrack #SRMS#RollRacing #Streetracing
March 16 @ 5:00 pm - 11:59 pm
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