Article by Corey Davis. Photography by Corey Davis, Becca Furnish, Chris Daley and Celerity Photography.
There’s a new Rip City in Oregon, and it’s not Portland. The charismatic town of McMinnville was the host of the very first OB Prestige Auto and English Racing Oregon Airstrip Attack presented by Revvolution.com and Shift-S3ctor.
Our friends and partners at Shift-S3ctor have set the standard in one of the quickest growing genres of automotive racing in the industry⎯the rolling half-mile drag race. Cars travel down half a mile of airport tarmac, reaching speeds in excess of 200 mph. from a dig, or a roll and trap speeds are collected. What started in Trona, California, in 2011 has expanded to Colorado and now Portland, and we have no intentions of stopping.
We couldn’t have asked for a better venue for this event. The entire city of McMinnville was amazing, welcoming us with open arms despite already having a huge, well-established event running on Friday and Saturday. For those who don’t know, Dragging The Gut is a two-day cruise and car show paying homage to the old days of cruising, like in American Graffiti. The entire weekend is a petrolhead’s dream watching immaculate classics, hot rods and muscle cars cruise down Main Street. Both sides of the street are packed as spectators line up to cheer and hear the oh-so-iconic rumble of the V8.
With the entire city packed and zero hotel rooms available, we took over the bustling McMinnville Municipal Airport and unleashed some of the fastest, purpose built cars in the country allowing participants to push their cars on a half mile of active runway. Active being the key word, as there were jets and planes landing and taking off throughout the day keeping us on our toes. A logistical nightmare yes, but did it work? You bet. At times, the event seemed more like an airshow instead of an automotive event, and spectators got more than they paid for. There were even helicopters buzzing around offering viewers a birds-eye perspective of the event. We were in constant contact with the airport to shut down races without a moment’s notice, just to get them back up and running as if nothing happened.
With the early mornings looking like an alien planet, and the eerie haze of smoke from surrounding wild fires, we had 120 drivers registered each day, and a sellout crowd ticking in at more than 2000 spectators both days. The home of the McMenamin’s UFO festival succumbed to an influx of automotive enthusiasts. Some could say we’re from another planet, and the peculiar haze that cast a dull red hue on the event certainly supported that feeling.
Two major world records were broken: Gidi Chamdi's Underground Racing (UGR) twin-turbo Lamborghini Superleggera 570-SL trapped 234.86 mph in the half-mile. The fastest half-mile ever recorded.
English Racing claimed the title of the fastest GTR half-mile record in the Extreme Turbo Systems-built R35 GTR, trapping 227.73 mph.
The event went without a hitch, but wasn’t without drama. Cars were pushed and egos were tested at what I was told was "One of the most badass events I’ve ever been to.” Two of the biggest names in Lamborghini modification pitted their cars against one another.
Gidi's UGR Lambo set the tone early on with his insane 234 mph pass, and OB Prestige Auto followed closely with their stable of Heffner twin-turbo Lamborghinis playing catch up. In doing so, their blue car, "Double Trouble,” was put out of commission with a cracked block as it burst into flames soon after crossing the finish line following an all-out pass.
With one car down, OB looked to their red chrome Gallardo, "Don’t Blink.” This car also had issues due to transmission syncro problems that plagued their runs.
The last car they had in their quiver was the grey chrome Lambo, "Bolt.” The rear-wheel-drive-converted Lamborghini ran strong all day and was pushed to the limits as it spun out on a 200+ mph pass; the car, still on all four wheels, spun at least 10 times and came to a dusty stop as the entire crowd watched on. Both the car and driver were unscathed and they continued to run, taking home the 2WD Class Trap Speed trophy.
Reaching speeds of 150+ is a skill and an art form; there are many obstacles to overcome at speed, and each one is magnified exponentially. The car tracks on grooves, and pulls the more it accelerates, braking zones diminish quicker than you thought, as does the runway.
At this event we witnessed something quite special. Our good friend Armik, owner of the well known Ford GT known as "Black Mamba” Amrik’s son Steven, at the age of 12, already with more professional instruction than most of us will see in a lifetime, hit the 160 mph mark in a McLaren 650S. Awestruck, spectators and drivers alike watched a kid, not even a teenager, rip the car down the tarmac all day . . . and he killed it! What were you doing when you were 12?
We would like to give a huge thank -you to all that made the first OB Prestige Auto and English Racing Oregon Airstrip Attack presented by Revvolution.com and Shift-S3ctor happen. Most of all, our sponsors. Without you, this event wouldn’t have been possible!
A HUGE Thanks to our Sponsors & Partners
Oregon Airstrip Attack 2015 Title Sponsors
Oregon Airstrip Attack 2015 Platinum Sponsors
Oregon Airstrip Attack 2015 Gold Sponsors
Oregon Airstrip Attack 2015 Silver Sponsors
All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better event or venue for our first Oregon event. McMinnville was hands-down one of the most welcoming towns and we're more than appreciative of that. From the airport staff, to the locals and spectators, it was an event for the books. To #TeamRevv, driving out 2,500 miles from Denver was a small price to pay for such an amazing weekend. We already can’t wait for next year.