FuelTech Attack !!!

(by Yariel Rivera)

To be the best you must beat the best. In the drag racing world, many companies come and go as their products stop becoming competitive or they simply stop innovating. One company whose red backed logo continues to be a mainstay at drag races worldwide is FuelTech. Their performance engine management systems have been around for a number of years; with a noticeable increase in popularity a few years back as FuelTech-powered cars began to not only win, but set records while doing it. FuelTech’s engine management systems do some heavy lifting across many different platforms, especially so with Sport Compact racers. Here we take a look at the top 10 FuelTech-powered Sport Compact racers and their records.

After acquiring the now famous white GT-86 formerly owned by Ekanoo Racing, the Titan Motorsports team quickly made some changes to get it to their liking. A FuelTech FT600 was added to reign it all in. Their time with the fabled machine hasn’t been long, but they have quickly shown that this team can make the car compete at the highest level. Not long into it, they quickly dipped into the 5 second zone. While looking to make the car competitive (while also making it to the starting line round after round), they found time to chase the overall Import record. Their best efforts so far have netted them a 5.76@244 MPH, placing them 5th overall within the World’s Quickest Imports and 1st in the Top 10 FuelTech cars. No doubt some hundredths will be shaved off that as the team continues to fine tune the machine.

Gabriel Rodriguez emerged as a front runner within the ranks of the Extreme Sport Compacts with his previous iteration of La Criatura Racing. As they reached the limits of what that chassis was capable of, they partnered with Titan Motorsports to get the car to the next level. Extensive changes to the whole chassis were made along with the newest iteration of the FuelTech ECU. This new combination has been on the car for almost two years, and there is no denying the results. The new version of La Criatura Racing has been competing at the top of its class since they first brought it out, even achieving multiple 5 second passes in the same event. While 2018 was not the best year for the team, their best efforts over these past two years have left them with their quickest time of 5.79@248 MPH; enough to be 6th overall and 2nd in the Top 10 FuelTech cars.

El Jerry has been around for a few years, boxing at what sometimes seems to be a bit above their weight class. The car itself is a bit older compared to some of the others in its class, but the construction of the car and the team surrounding it are proof that when something is done right the first time, it will last. The team has been through a few different engine management systems, but their current FuelTech FT600 has proven reliable and consistent. On any given weekend, El Jerry will shoot off a 6.1 or a 6.0 run while advancing round after round, proving what many in racing know to be true: that consistency is key. Earlier this year, the team managed a run of 6.05@241 MPH, providing a glimpse of what’s soon to come. El Jerry currently sits at the 3rd spot in the Top 10 FuelTech cars.

Coming in 4th is a bit of an oddball entry. The team known as Stenstrom Racing is based out of Sweden, and have been part of the European drag racing scene for a long time. Their ’94 Volvo 850, powered by a BMW Inline-6, is a beast of a vehicle. They’ve managed a best time of 6.72 with the Volvo, but their attention for the past few years has been devoted to a black and orange RWD Ford Escort. The Escort, powered by a Chrysler Hemi based 4-cylinder, made some waves when it debuted with this engine setup. With deep 6 second passes being fired off by this team, the world took notice. Last year, they managed to fire off a 6.23@226 MPH blast, in the process briefly becoming the World’s Quickest 4 cylinder powered car.

A car raced and based exclusively out of Puerto Rico, King Racing comes in at the 5th position. This simple bodied Extreme Sport Compact, powered by the venerable 2JZ, is a mainstay at Salinas Speedway in Puerto Rico. The legendary Chivy King race team decided that it was time to upgrade from racing in the Modified class and jumped to a full tube chassis car back in 2014. In order to race the car at its highest potential level, they went with a FuelTech FT500 as the brain controlling the horsepower. Over the years they have waned down the car’s appearances at the track, but not before establishing a best time of 6.28@223 MPH.

PPF Racing out of Sweden is one that leaves many people scratching their heads as soon as the fiberglass nose comes off the car. It is a bright red 68 Chevy Camaro body now powered by a billet Toyota 2JZ. The PPF Racing Team has had lots of success with their ProLine powered Chevelle and decided to make the change to the 2JZ for another car within its stable going with FuelTech for their management. The car made its official race debut in early 2018 and is already on its way towards the top. The team managed its personal best of 6.35@214 MPH, amazingly while splitting the block halfway down the track. They’ve made the switch to a billet 2JZ and are looking to continue to improve their numbers. Their current efforts have them at 6th place on the Top 10 FuelTech powered cars list.

Next on the list is a class of racecar that basically doesn’t exist anymore within the Import Drag Racing world. Delirium Motorsports’ La Prieta, is a 2004 Mazda B2300 Pro-Mod truck powered by a 2JZ. The history of this truck goes way back into the early 2000’s, when Imports raced in the NHRA. Fast forward a decade, and we land at Boris Rojas from Delirium Motorsports piloting the machine, once again on the 1320. Within a few short years under his ownership, the truck has become an entirely different beast. The upgrades done to the machine have brought it up from running high 6 second passes to low 6 second passes, its best so far sitting at a 6.37@214 MPH. The worlds quickest Import truck currently sits at number 7 on the Top 10 FuelTech cars.

Number 8 on the list is Gas Racing out of Australia. They are one of those teams that doesn’t need much of an introduction within the Import world. For a long time, the shiny bronze Gas Racing 2JZ Celica was plastered everywhere, always running at the top of its class and shooting off low 6 second passes round after round. On a couple of occasions in the past few years, the car even held the record for the outright World’s Quickest Import, running a world record time of 6.30 and a few hours later breaking their own record with a 6.26 back in 2012. A couple of years back, the team decided to perform an overhaul on the car, even losing the iconic bronze color for a more low-key black and red livery. The team made a few more changes in addition to going to a FuelTech FT600. As they sort through all the new changes, the team has been slowly getting back to the numbers it ran, their quickest so far being a 6.41@222 MPH.

Delirium Motorsports, the only team with 2 entries in the Top 10 FuelTech list, comes in again at number 9 with another reincarnation of a bygone era. The nostalgic feelings were strong amongst Import Drag Racing fans when news came out that the team was working on bringing back the Streetglow Toyota Solara. The iconic purple and black livery would once again be at a racetrack, driving down the 1320. Boris Rojas made sure that the car would be up to spec with a complete restoration of the chassis, body, and drivetrain. Once out on the track, the team showed that they were not about to baby this machine. 2017 was the last time the machine was active but, while it raced, the numbers were descending quickly. The 2JZ (paired with a FuelTech FT500Lite in the Streetglow Solara) was good enough to blast off a 6.43@217 MPH.

Squeezing in at the last spot is Krister Adeen Racing’s Volvo S70 Import racer. The second team on the list based out of Sweden, this is a racecar that would probably never be seen in the States. The bubbly body of the family-oriented Volvo sedan has been made into an inline-4 RWD beast. Although it may be strange for the US, Adeen Motorsports is no stranger to racing Volvo’s. Their previous iteration of this car was using an older Volvo body, still with the remarkably strong 4 cylinder engine. They piloted that car to a best time of 6.84, but their new car came out the gates swinging with a run in the 7.6’s on its maiden test voyage. Within a short few years, the team has managed to eclipse the best time of their previous car with a 6.44@216 MPH, becoming the 2nd Quickest 4 cylinder in the World at that time. While others have jumped past their quickest times since then, there’s no doubt that the team has the car to get back on top.

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