Joined: June 24, 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
|Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:11 pm Post subject: 2006 Silver Dollar Showdown (BRE vs Paradise)
|On Sunday March 12th, 2005 history was made in Reynolds, Georgia. Keith Bumgarner and Kathy Jacobs with K & L Motorsports and South Eastern Volkswagen Association (SEVWA) brought the first ever match race with the 2 fastest Vw dragsters in the world. The first is from Southern California and is a turbo charged dragster called Paradise Express. Driven by Kris Lauffer this dragster has been tearing up the west coast for years. This dragster was built by the team at Vw Paradise located in San Marcos, California. Kris alongside his brother Jason and father Scott truly have a top notch team and their success speaks for itself. Their competitor is hailing from the east coast located in Southern Florida. This particular dragster is of a totally different nature; it is not turbo charged, it is not naturally aspirated, it does not have nitrous. The Billet Racing Engines (BRE) Dragster is a Top Fuel Dragster fueled by 90% nitro methane and 10% methanol alcohol. Almost everything that you would find on a 7,000 horsepower Top Fuel Dragster in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) you will find on this BRE Top Fuel Dragster, except one thing. This dragster is powered by only 4 cylinders, and still manages to produce 4 foot header flames at the hit of the throttle just like the boys of NHRA do. These two teams have dreamed of match racing many times throughout the years and have even attempted to meet each other halfway across the United States in order to complete this one of a kind match race. On March 12th at the Silver Dollar Raceway that dream came true.
The weekend's event started with a test and tune session on Saturday evening. Many of the bracket racers and spectators for Sunday's event were already on hand to witness the Paradise Express and BRE Top Fuel Dragster make their test runs in the evening lights. Paradise Express was up first for his solo pass and clicked it off at the 1/8th mile and posted a 4.474 @ 161.98mph. Kris could have easily posted a 4.20 pass in the cool evening air but unfortunately at half track the dragster got out of the groove and Kris was fighting traction for the remaining portion of the run. A few hours later the BRE Dragster was in the staging lanes and the spectators were lined up at the fences at the start of this monster engine. The sound and feel of this nitro methane dragster made you think you were at a NHRA National Event with Tony Schumacher doing a 100 foot burnout. Driven by Roger Tanenbaum the BRE Team only decided to make a run to the 60 foot marker to see how the track was holding up. As a crowd of photographers lined the wall and hundreds of spectators watching in anticipation, Roger hit the throttle and took off like a rocket. In just 60 feet and in one second the BRE Dragster let everyone within 20 miles know that he had the baddest hot rod in town as he shook the ground and had 4 foot header flames burning nitro methane and methanol alcohol.
Both teams packed up for the evening and began to enjoy their evening over some food and for some, a relaxing beverage or two. On early Sunday morning the Silver Dollar Raceway was lined with cars, trucks, trailers, and most of all people. By 12:00pm over a thousand spectators were in the gates and standing at the fence as the Vw Paradise team and the BRE team staged their dragsters in the burnout box. With both dragsters doing side by side burnouts the ground was shaking, the crowd was cheering, and for some that were in the vicinity of the BRE Dragster their eyes were watering due to the nitro methane fumes coming from the exhaust. Kris staged first and Roger slowly moved his way into the staging beams. In less then 5 seconds history was made, Kris was out of the gate first with a .239 reaction time to Rogers .482 reaction time. Kris never looked back but he surely heard Roger coming, Kris took the win with a 4.520 @ 152.71mph and Roger posted a 4.425 @ 135.31mph. Team BRE was unable to make it to the 2nd run due to parts breakage and Team Vw Paradise ran a solo pass and posted a 4.630 @ 158.13mph in the 1/8th mile and a 7.073 @ 201.58mph in the ¼ mile. The third and final session both teams turned up the wick and went for broke. Vw Paradise smoked soon after they left the line and Team BRE was on a run until around 90 feet out; the engine gave and a huge fire ball was trailing the dragster as parts scattered in the left lane and Kris was driving through the wreckage. Kris got out of the throttle and coasted to a 5.70 @ 147.37mph. The first ever match up lived up to its expectations and the spectators would surely love to see more in the near future.
In the Pro Stock Class (3) cars made the trip to Georgia. Warren Skaggs from West Virginia, Alan Fore from South Carolina, and with the long haul David Delaney from Texas. Warren qualified #1 posting a 6.21 @ 109.33mph. Alan Fore qualified #2 and David Delaney had engine problems on his first qualifying pass and was unable to return. In the finals Warren Skaggs took the win with a 6.20 @ 109.42mph over Alan's 6.43 @ 108.55mph. In the Super Pro Class Mike Gagnier from Troutman, North Carolina took the win over Oscar Verdsjo-Batista. Mike dialed in a 7.10 and ran a 7.195 @ 88.77mph against Oscars dial in of 7.28 and ran a 7.418 @ 91.30mph. Mike Gagnier starts off the 2006 season with the SEVWA Points lead for the Super Pro Class. In the Pro Category the reigning champion Mel Shealy started off the 2006 season right where he left off in 2005, in winners circle and with the points lead. Mel was paired up against Larry Tucker in the finals with Larry dialing in a 8.69 and ran a 8.895 @ 74.46mph to Mels dial in of 7.94 and posting a 8.058 @ 73.58mph. Mel hasn't missed a beat since the 2005 season and looks to become the two time champion in the Pro Category. 2005 champion Tim Strickland looked to take the win in the Sportsman Category but a red-light start in the 2nd round took him out and Johnie Walker from Asheboro, NC took the win over Jim Skelton out of Georgia. Johnie dialed in a 10.55 and ran a 10.599 @ 61.28mph over Jims 9.95 dial in and posting a 10.192 @ 64.97mph.
In the Vintage Performance sponsored Street Car Challenge Showdown Mike Marchese took the overall win posting 3 consistent runs in the 12 second barrier. His 1966 beetle powered by a 2332cc weighed in at 1875lbs with the car and driver. His first run posted a 12.750, his second run was a 12.785, and his third and final run was a 12.908. Mike won the showdown on his overall average of 12.814. With over 13 entrée's in this first Vintage Performance Street Car Challenge this class was a success. K & L Motorsports looks to bring this class out again later this year. Stay tuned to www.sevwa.com for more information.
As the sun was setting and all the spectators left the track all that was left were Team BRE and Team Vw Paradise. As everyone got together to reminisce over the days activities both teams were presented with plaques from Keith and Kathy from K & L Motorsports to thank them for their participation in Silver Dollar Showdown and making history for their first ever match race. The next race for the South Eastern Volkswagen Association (SEVWA) will be at Farmington Motorsports Park on April 2nd.
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