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SKF Lancer turns heads at Moroso Raceway, Florida, USA.

Article by Rawle Francis
Photo Copyright respective owner.

Team SKF turns heads in Florida.To be at the top of your game is a hard feat no matter what you do. In any
sport, there are parameters that have to be beat in order to be considered the greatest, the best, or in the case of import drag racing, the quickest and the fastest.

The long arduous road to glory began on August 12th for Trinidad's very own Ryan Garcia and his team, SKF Racing. Renowned locally for producing stunning 8 second times on the 1/4 mile from a 2000cc engine in his SKF Mitsubishi Lancer. Ryan's current goal is to make us Trini's proud, by posting a high seven-second pass and being as competitive as possible within the pro-import category.

Even with the odds against him at the First Annual Hurricane Internationals at Moroso Speedway in Florida last weekend, Ryan managed to create quite a stir. He earned himself a 4th place finish in his class while producing a 8.890 @154.63 mph E.T. Much to the delight of the American fans, his right-hand drive Diamond Star was rumoured to have been shipped from Japan not Trinidad! Even more amazing however was the fact that his car is 400 pounds heavier than the heaviest car in his class and it is powered by the only gasoline fed 4G63 2000cc engine, all others being alcohol burning machines.

On interview, Ryan stated that he felt his car was at 70% peak performance and he would improve his tuning between events. "Time was definitely against us and due to the minimal test runs we got to work with before race day it was a relief to even post an 8 second pass."

And a relief it was, I later learnt that a track official by the name of Jim Sherry was doing everything in his power to send team SKF home. On arrival at Moroso's track he did not want to let the SKF Lancer make any passes because a rocker panel bar in the mild steel chassis was 1/16th of an inch below requirement, and the car was without a window net, and battery box.After getting two hours of sleep that night, and working all day to meet Sherry's requirements, the SKF team rushed to the track to face the peak of their frustration. While inspecting the car, Jim Sherry with a smile on his face spitefully said, "Oops! I forgot to tell you guys about this bar," pointing to a cross bar on the chassis. "Sorry, you can't race unless this is changed." Sherry verbally stated that he is already fed up with the 'spics' and now it's the 'island boys' that he has to deal with. The team was outraged. Alas! Had all this effort gone in vain? No. As the Lord would have it, the car was approved thanks to the main man behind the SKF Team, Mr. Brendan Garcia, who negotiated with the track manager (Frank). The car was issued a temporary grant to race and Ryan tore up the tracks at Moroso.

Unfortunately for the team the semi-final race proved to be an anti-climax as the starting system was not in Ryan's favour. His opponent, a 3rd gen RX 7, had already pre-staged, staged, and was fully loaded up before Ryan even pre-staged. By NHRA ruling, the RX 7 would have been automatically disqualified for his actions. However, IDRC does not abide by that rule. Futher more, the light was a .4 second pro-light, (all ambers light at the same time), and as Ryan staged his car the light immediately fell green with his RPM's at approximately 3000, whereas his opponent's launch rpm was at the desired level before Ryan had even pre-staged. The SKF Lancer was bumped into 4th place.

I reassured Ryan by telling him that by going to the USA to represent Trinidad was like Ato Boldon going to the Olympics and that we are very proud of him. Now, with some solid runs under his belt, and with some more testing and support, I expect low 8's from the SKF Lancer.

On behalf of Team SKF, we thank newfound friends Mike and Frank from IDRC, veteran Trini drag racer, Vijai "Big Daddy" Ramkisson for providing materials for the car and Chris Anderson and Frank Smith for helping Ryan get his NHRA license renewed. A special thanks to the team's sponsors, SKF Ball Bearings/United Bearings, Parts World Ltd., and United Coatings. Most important, we'd like to thank Mr. Brendan Garcia for all his love and support. Without him there would not be a fighting chance for the SKF Lancer in the import arena.The SKF Lancer is scheduled to compete again on the 8th & 9th September in Houston, Texas for the Toyo Tire NHRA Import Nationals.

For further updates on Team SKF's quest visit www.SKFracing.com.


Manager:- Brendan Garcia
Chief:- David Andrews
Daryll Gittens

Fastest E.T @ Moroso 8.890 @154.63 mph

Click here to read more about the record breaking SKF Lancer


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