2012 Shift-S3ctor Airstrip Attack: A Big Bit of Heaven

Text by Ryan Randels

Coming off of a high note after the SEMA Show in Las Vegas the first week of November, we were almost happy to return home and cash in on a little R&R. But, when our friends at Boulder Nissan labeled the Shift-S3ctor Airstrip Attack as one of the must-attend events of the year, we simply couldn’t pass it up. After a little bit of research, we realized the sold-out affair would soon become synonymous with world-famous events such as the Carabelle Speed Festival or even the infamous Texas Mile. So we packed our gear and shipped out to the West Coast for one last hurrah as the prime-time enthusiast season neared an end.

Upon arrival, we knew instantly we were in the right place. Completely surrounded by mountains, the airstrip seemed to be place perfectly in the middle of a vast expanse. We could see the cars blasting down the runway from miles away.

One of the organizers, Ryan Fisher, brought his car along for the ride. After a couple of days of this bad-boy being planted at the entrance to the "racers only" area, this C6 became a beacon of Shift-S3ctor.

Really wish we asked about these limited-edition Shift-S3ctor hoodies earlier! Unfortunately by the time we got around to it, they were all sold out. Sure would've come in handy with the brisk breeze and the low sixties weather knocking.

Caught you, Mike Garrett of SpeedHunters! Not a bad showing from the BMW crew at 7 AM on Saturday morning.

Shift-S3ctor organizer Ryan Fisher lays down the ground rules for the event. As expected, the event was run super smoothly with little downtime.

You have to admit, automotive enthusiasts are die-hard. Better believe they'll get here one way or another! 

Held at the New Coalinga Municipal Airport about three hours northwest of Los Angeles, it was the perfect venue to host the new location of Shift-S3ctor’s Airstrip Attack. Resembling something out of The Hills Have Eyes, the private airstrip was situated in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by vast expanses of uninhabited land. Almost completely surrounded by rolling mountains, a characteristic of the interior Pacific Northwest, and low-lying cloud cover, the setting provided some truly fantastic photographic content.

It was good to get a little alone time along with this 999whp Ford GT who later became the winner of Sunday's Domestic Car Shootout.

Couldn't help myself. Seemed like it was one of those opportune times to snap a shot!

The only Honda/Acura make we saw all weekend. I was surprised there weren't more high-horsepower FWD vehicles ripping it up.

Shift-S3ctors Airstrip Attack is a high-speed shootout, half-mile rolling drag, side-by-side racing event. With speeds in excess of 210 miles per hour, it truly separates the weak from the strong. Due to various limitations organizers capped the amount of participants at 100 cars per day. Each car was placed into an appropriate class based on horsepower from 400 to 1000+ and increments in-between to ensure even races. Both Saturday and Sunday mornings were dedicated to open-format grudge runs, allowing participants to run whomever they wished. At the end of Saturday, the event changed format to bracketed shootouts, and the winners were awarded trophies based on run groups. Sunday, Shift-S3ctor held its first Airstrip Marquee Shootout, dividing all the groups into three primary groups to determine the fastest American car, the fastest European car, and the fastest Japanese car.

The head-to-head GT-R show-downs were a big theme for the weekend. Everything from stock to 1000+whp came out to show off what they built their car for.

This 900whp GT-R tuned by Jon Drenas from 5150-Racing won Saturday's Unlimited shootout.

All the races were untimed, leaving the drivers to the honor system. For the most part, every race began with a rolling speed 
of anywhere between 45 to 60 mph, and once they crossed the starting cones, they gunned it down the half-mile airstrip across the finish line.

Of the many vehicles that participated in the event, several trends immediately became apparent. What I can only assume is attributable to the fact that Bimmerpost was one of the event’s sponsors, I make a rough estimate that nearly 50 percent of the participants were of BMW descent. The remaining 50 percent comprised a huge turnout of built Corvettes, GTRs, Ford GTs, Porsches, a slew of Lamborghinis, and a handful of other American muscle and Japanese imports. If these vehicles were purely stock, it’s an ordinary day at the track. But with 99 percent of the vehicles doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling their power output, this event is something more along the lines of an enthusiast’s dream.

These two 900+whp BMW E46 M3's were at it all weekend long. Dialing in, tuning and adjusting, they were at the top of the podium for the European segment along side with the Porsche crowd.

Come Sunday, Marcus de-tuned his car so he could hook-up for better passes. 

Ricky Kwan brought out the R's Tuned Ben Sopra 700whp GT-R as well as the gorgeous wide-body R's Tuned M3.

This car was the primary reason we were at Shift-S3ctor in the first place. The guys at Boulder Nissan brought out their Switzer E1K GT-R to show what it could do. Matching wits with Nico's GT-R all weekend, this GT-R was putting down consistent runs all weekend.

AMS, T1, Switzer, SP Engineering and just about every other GT-R tuner had a vehicle at the event.

Hofman's SP Engineering twin-turbo Ford GT was out for the weekend to dial in their vehicle launch and perform some testing. This car exceeded 210 mph on the track, one of the fastest passes we saw. Word on the street - it's built for 310 mph. Keep an eye out for this in the coming Standing Mile events!

This fully-built 5.7L 345CI Charger R/T with a Kenny Bell supercharger running 17 psi of boost was putting down 750whp. Being the only Charger at the airstrip, it was certainly turning some heads.

As expected, a bunch of high-horsepower Supras came out to play as well.

This super-clean sleeper of an RX-7 has a single-turbo setup on an LS swap.

The brilliant bronze '71 Datsun 240Z was stunning. Not only was it hand built by the owner, Mike Garcia, but once the huge single-turbo kicked in on the 2JZ, you could see the entire rear end sway at speed. Couldn't believe he was still running the stock drum brakes in the rear!

SpeedForce's Evo8 was powered by the infamous 4G63 with a Precision 6265 turbo.

During one of their runs the radiator cap popped-off and put on quite a show down the track. Luckily it was just coolant and not something more serious.

Tuned to approximately 900whp, this "Hoonigan" '69 Camaro was a sight as it tore down the runway.

This isn't a joke.

This EVOMS twin-turbo 997 Porsche was one of the highest profile vehicles at the event. With a record to speak for itself, people took notice when this car hit 5th and the turbos kicked in.

Alongside with the EVOMS Porsche, this Underground Racing twin-turbo Lamborghini Superleggera was one of the highest profile cars at the event. Estimated at 1,250whp, it also was one of the main contenders.

During Sunday's event, a few cars had the misfortune of spinning off the track at almost the identical location. Unfortunately for this UGR Superleggera, it was one of the unlucky ones. Upon first inspection, the only thing we could recognize as wrong was that the tire popped off the bead on the HRE wheels. When the owner brought it back to the paddock, they popped the tire back on and drove the car off. Good save by the driver. Also a good thing he was running HREs as the wheel stayed true even through the offroad experience.

With two of these events slated for next year, we can only imagine this event will grow substantially in size and following. Team Revvolution looks forward to more involvement in the event itself and can’t wait to provide further coverage for what is the Shift-S3ctor Airstrip Attack lifestyle.


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Fwifey's Profile Image

awesome show... next time, they must sell beer to keep warm!

Fwifey's Profile Image

but then again im a m3 naturally i loved it...

Rockysds's Profile Image

Definitely one of my favorite events of all time, hands down.

Oaksy5115's Profile Image

Sweeet! Wish I could have been there. They might have kicked me out for drooling on the cars though.

Jp-Edgeautosport's Profile Image

Wow, pretty easy on the eyes huh? Great shots Revv

Superwagon's Profile Image

Awesome!! Wish I was there for that, looks like it was a blast!