Brisbane Jamboree 2017 Recap

By Gabriel Ruiz

The annual Brisbane Jamboree is the biggest, slickest, and quickest celebration of small cubic inch Sport Compacts in the southern hemisphere. This year’s Brisbane Jamboree saw competition from four cars of Team Puerto Rico as well as two cars from Team Japan. What transpired during the weekend provided the stage for one of the most exciting and action-packed Import drag racing events in Australian history.

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Right out of the gate during testing, the Mech-Tech 2JZ-powered Scion, El Humilde 2JZ-powered Corolla, and Rafaelito 13B-powered RX8 planted the Puerto Rican flag in Aussie territory. Isaias Rojas (behind the wheel of the Mech-Tech Scion) shattered the Australian Import record of 5.90@239 mph established by Rod Harvey in his 2JZ-powered Celica last June, with a personal best run of 5.83@244 mph. Jorge “Oso” Juarbe (behind the wheel of El Humilde) clocked a 5.96@235 mph and backed it up with a 5.94@242 mph, establishing a new 3/4 chassis World Record. Luis Rivera (driver of the Rafaelito RX8) established a new Australian 13B record with a 6.77@198 mph.

During Saturday’s Factory Xtreme Qualifying Round 1, Rod Harvey sent a clear message to the Puerto Rican upstarts, qualifying in the #1 position with a 6.05@249 mph. However, Team Puerto Rico made it clear that they came to fight and El Humilde qualified #2 with a 6.12@237 mph, and the Mech-Tech Scion qualified #3 with a 6.12@228 mph, proving to Team Australia that the added weight of their cars to be class legal wasn’t going to be a determining factor for them. El Humilde & the Mech-Tech Scion came out swinging during Q2, running a 6.03@240 mph & 6.05@232 mph respectively, while taking the #1 & #2 positions. Furthermore, El Humilde bettered his Q2 run during Q3, lighting up the scoreboard with a 6.01@240 mph, closing qualifying in the #1 position.

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In the Pro Compact class, top qualifying honors belonged to the Rafaelito RX8, which established a new 13B world record with a #1 qualifying run of 6.57@200 mph!!! Makoto Watanabe (representing Team Japan in his 13B powered RX7), established a new personal best record, qualifying in the #3 position with a 7.33@182 mph run.

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Eliminations ladders are setup a bit differently than how we are used to seeing at other events. Instead of the winner of each round moving on to the next round, every car runs 3 rounds and the two cars with the most victories make their way into the finals. This 3 round eliminator is what’s known as the “Chicago Shootout” format, and is setup to be more appealing to the fans as a way to watch every race car make three runs regardless of winning or losing the previous race.

El Humilde won each of their 3 rounds, running consistent 6.0 & 6.1’s, automatically making the Factory Xtreme finals against the Gas Racing Celica which won 2 rounds. El Humilde walked off victorious with a 6.14@204 mph win over Gas Racing’s 6.49@209 mph, firmly planting the Puerto Rican flag in Aussie territory.

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In the Pro Compact class, Kelly Bettes became the world’s 3rd female Import driver to join the 6 Second Club in the Jett Racing 4G63-powered Datsun Ute, and walked off with the finals win with a 6.96@195 mph over Makoto Watanabe’s RX7 8.09@166 mph run.

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The next Jamboree event is scheduled for Melbourne at Calder Park Raceway, on October 28. Although Team Puerto Rico won’t be present, Jamboree never disappoints its fans, and all of the participating teams will be sure to put on a good show.

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