Imagine seeing a bright orange Nissan GT-R lined up next to a Porsche 911 Turbo all ready to let loose the moment the lights on Christmas tree go off. It’s a battle every car enthusiast would give an arm and a leg for. And that was just one of the epic battles lined up throughout the day at the 2013 Valley Run.
So what are these drags about? If you think it’s just about two machines lining up at the start line and going all guns blazing till the finish line, you couldn’t be any more wrong. What it takes to get to that finish line in the quickest way possible is lightening quick reflexes when the lights go off, some extremely precise gearshifts and last but not the least, a decent amount of horsepower to carry you through.
Now there have been quite a few drag events in Mumbai and down south as well and what has been noticed is that there is quite a fan following for the sport. With international tuners coming down to tune our humble sedans and hatchback thereby turning them into speed demons. Bikes of all kinds right from the humble Yamaha RX100 right to the likes of the Suzuki Hayabusa lining up to get their share of the quarter mile rush. Off late however, due to space constraints thanks to concrete jungle sprouting up in the least expected places, the drag racing scene had been lying dormant for quite some time. That’s where Elite Octane Inc. decided to step in and stir up the scene.
With an endless strip of well laid tarmac, more than adequate parking space, the location simply couldn’t have been better. The Aamby Valley airstrip at Lonavla is pretty much any draggers delight. The only problem was that it took quite a bit of travelling especially from Mumbai and other farther places. However, such is the draw of Drag Racing that the Valley Run saw as many as 70 enthusiasts from Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad travelling all the way to be a part of it.
Conditions were dusty and there was quite a gust of wind which didn’t affect the cars as much but with the superbikes cracking the whip at over 200 km/h it was getting quite hairy by the end of their runs. As a result the best time was managed by Sundeep Singh Sokhi with a blistering 10.2 seconds elapsed time on his BMW S1000RR. While these times are expected by these bikes, even the Indian 2-strokes of yesteryears like the RD350 and the RX135 and the likes managed to clock sub 14 seconds easily which says a lot about the tuning done on them. In fact ZigWheels very own Varad More claimed top spot in the 650 cc Twin cylinder 4-Stroke foreign class with a blistering 12.8 seconds on a GT650N. While that time is quick for a motorcycle in that class what is surprising is that the time was just marginally higher than some of the liter class bikes which says volumes about how much difference a good rider can make.
Talking about bikes, there was more for bike enthusiasts in the form of Ricky Gadson, the 10 time World Drag Racing Champion who was here in India to promote the event. Ricky wowed crowds with some blistering quarter mile runs and set the best time of the day at 10.088 seconds on the event organizer, Rongom Mukherjee’s monster Kawasaki ZX-14R. The much hyped MTT Y2K was also present at the event and despite some minor glitches managed to perform some demo runs. While it wasn’t anywhere close to what the bike is actually capable off, just seeing the Y2K start up and run was an experience in itself.
Coming to cars, there was everything from the humble Tata Nano (which managed a third place in its category) right upto a very orange and not to mention fast Nissan GT-R. While the cars looked slow after the bikes, it was the exotics that managed to keep the cars pride intact. The Audi R8 V10 Spider, a Lamborghini Gallardo and a scorching Porsche 997 Turbo which set the ball rolling for some of the best time set by cars. From the local sedans, Joel Joseph’s Honda City 1.5 VTEC set a brilliant time of 13.5 seconds in the Indian Prostock class. The Indian cars with foreign engines was another interesting category where you had Honda City’s and Mitsubishi Lancer’s in their best sleeper avatars running monster turbo engines. Jitendra Suri took top honours here in his B18 Honda City clocking a best time of 13.008 seconds. By the end of the day there were a lot of happy winners while the others were just happy they gave it their best shot. The camaraderie and the spirit of the sport was pretty event with all the participants cooling their heels and not to mention their engines together post the event. While everything wasn’t perfect and there were minor glitches. But then this was Elite Inc.’s first such event and we hope they have a lot more coming with all those minor glitches fixed. Here’s to more Valley Run’s in the future!
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