The Samsung Race and Rave garnered the most number of drag race participants with 156 cars competing until 7am of Sunday, June 16. With the most entries coming from the Street Stock and Hot Street brackets. The long-running race succeeded in everything with the exception of disappointing the crowd. They were entertained with loud engine roars, turbocharger blow-offs, screeching tires, fast cars, and energetic music from the live band and techno tracks.
An impressive lineup of Quick-8 runners was put up into a showdown. A complete slate composed of two 10-second qualifiers, five 11-second qualifiers, and a lone 12-second qualifier, thrilled the crowd's senses. "This is one of the fastest Quick-8 lineups in Philippine drag racing history! I can't wait to see them run!" exclaimed a jubilant spectator as the Quick-8 heads up started.
The Quick-8 class was headed by top qualifier Ken Kepner of the Angeles Hot Rodders Association with his 'Big Red' '69 Chevy Camaro SS powered by 377 cubes plus nitrous oxide juice. Team Autoplus' Raymond Go made the second-fastest time of the day with Arch. Jun Go's "White Samurai" running 10.90+ seconds. But Go's woes were starting as the clutch was showing signs of slipping after the qualifying runs. "The clutch is not in tip-top shape, I can't make powershifts anymore, I'll just have to do what I can," said Go. Sel Yulo, an old and familiar face in drag racing made a comeback run with an exclamation as Mark Onrubia piloted Yulo's silver Lancer Evolution V scorching 11-second runs, running a best of 11.1 seconds. Prodrive Cagayan De Oro's John Mark Padero piloted 'The Scorching Egg' Civic Hatchback powered by a Turbocharged 1600 engine running low 11s. John Rizya's 'Thunder' Camaro also made 11-second timeslips. Jeff Estela finally piloted Frank Wilson's 'Tire Smokin' '67 Mustang 429 to the 11's making it one of the Quick-8 contenders. Matonetics' Ogie Mamuric's 11-second blasts qualified him in the heads up. Last on the list was Rob Hyde who had a few problems with his 'Viper' (12.112 seconds) not running like it used to. "I'm having problems with my nitrous system, my car's virtually running all-motor today," said Hyde.
In the final showdown, AHRA's main man Ken Kepner pulled out a [email protected] mph to trailer Autoplus Sportzentrium's Raymond Go's [email protected] top-end charge piloting Arch. Jun Go's TM Evo VI with all 4 Nitto drag radials smoking off the line. Ken Kepner set the Fastest V8 and Fastest Chevy records, while Raymond Go reset his Fastest Mitsubishi record.
Ken Kepner earned himself another trophy as he mowed down ten other serious contenders in the Pro class. It was already apparent from the start, that it would be Kepner's race. When one racer sets low ETs and bags the top qualifying position, you sure don't need a wall to read the handwriting on. His wicked '69 'Big Red' Camaro, with all of its 377 cubes, ran flawlessly except for an early drained out supply of that precious nitrous oxide juice. Raymond Go deserves a big hand for insisting a rerun against Kepner when he discovered an error in their timeslips. That's fair play and sportsmanship in motion! "Win, yes, but win clean," said Go, the Fastest Car record holder. Ken Kepner also took away the bragging rights for Fastest V-8 (and Chevy) from teammate Rob Hyde.
Mark Onrubia piloting Sel Yulo's Evo-5 dismissed Cagayan de Oro City's pride Team Prodrive's 'Scorching Egg' Civic hatchback in the second round. Dondi Montecillo piloting Racing Zone's 'All-Motor' Civic Hatchback bowed out against Ernest Bato's blown RWD San Jacinto Auto Group Celeste and Jeff Estella in Frank Wilson's Mustang 429 (the lone Ford entry) which finally landed in the 11s. Ernest was taken out by Ken Kepner in Round two. Going into the semis, Matonetics top bet Ogie Mamuric removed Rob Hyde's nitrous-fed Camaro from competition but was taken out by Kepner on his way up to the ladder. John Rizya's Thunder Camaro failed to run after being plagued by ignition box woes. Onrubia campaigning under the Autoplus banner pulled Yulo's silver Evo-5 into the beams alongside Ken's Camaro in the Pro bracket final round but the Big Red's top-end charge would not be denied. Sel Yulo's comeback to the drag racing scene, after more than two decades, was fruitful with a runner-up win. Victory tasted sweet for Ken Kepner as he rocketed past everybody. "I couldn't do any better without some serious tuning and was short on NOS", he said.
Action star Ace Vergel running under Matonetics with his Honda S-2000 may have been the top qualifier of the Sportsman class at 13.02 seconds. But it would be San Jacinto Auto Group's Richmond Vizconde who took home the plum in the ten-car field of 13.00 to 14.49-second SPORTSMAN bracket with his Civic's consistent arrow-straight high 13 second blasts. RevSpeed's Bong Rambuyon, settled for runner-up, while Batangas AutoKeep Racing's Marc Buquid settled for third place. For cutting a perfect Reaction Time of 0.500, StripTeasers' Bobot Manuel won P2,000. He was the only driver with a perfect reaction time.
Artie Lopez, one of the last registrants at number 154 running a 3SGT-E powered Corona under the banner of Wheels Auto Performance literally handed over the Hot Street win to Gilbert Uson when he red-lighted his start. Uson won the top prize for his Hot Street bracket win, Lopez settled for runner-up. Bernard Sy of Goodwrench Performance settled for third spot with his wide tired Dodge Colt. Matonetics' John D. Chua was the fastest 15-second qualifier clocking in at 15.009 seconds with an All-Motor Civic Hatchback.
RAMM-Mach2's Mike Tejero proved that good things come for those who wait. For the second time, Tejero emerged Street Stock champion. Tejero piloted his Mitsubishi Lancer GLX to a mid-17-second run beating G.M. Bugayong's low 18-second City, putting Bugayong in second spot. May 11 winner Jeffrey Pesigan dismissed Pinggoy Roa to take third place.
Of the 156 participants that signed up for the SAMSUNG Race and Rave, nineteen failed to see action; ten suffered mechanical problems, four went home early and five were not used to seeing the dawn. Fifty-three Hot Street competitors and 63 Street Stockers stayed on, patiently waiting for their runs.