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The Automotive Playboys - 2013 Texas Invitational

 
Text and Photos by Ryan Randels

This past weekend we once again ventured down to the Lone Star State for something we've heard much about—an event that is held in such high regard that it's invite only, and we as media had to be vetted to be accepted into the circle of trust. This event, known as the Texas Invitational, is something many enthusiasts only dream of participating in—an event where the top vehicles of other high-profile Texas-based shootouts merely hope to maintain a position on the lower rungs in this bracket.

Let us try and put this into perspective for you. Imagine all the automotive playboys of Hollywood gathering around a table of high-stakes hold 'em and sipping on their Vodka Martinis (shaken, not stirred). Frank Bullitt, James Bond, Memphis Raines, and Frank Martin all sit with their heads held high, shoulders rolled back, and each with the vision of walking away from this table the victor. They eye their opponents, sizing them up, attempting to read their cold, blank stares. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife. On the outside, they all come across as stone cold. But inside, the butterflies are vying to make their way out, and each believes he holds the hand that could take this pot. They each take their turn laying down their cards face up to reveal their hand. The tension slowly builds to a climax, as they all hold their breath while they calculate who has won. Realizing that he just took this showdown, one stands up, smiles, nods to the others in satisfaction, and walks away from the table with his pockets full.

But this isn't Hollywood, and they're not playing poker. This event is being held in the rural outskirts of Dallas, and instead of sipping lime-infused tonics, their vehicles are gulping down gallons of VP race fuel with a blip of the throttle as they blast down the tarmac toward the finish line a half mile away. And one more thing—money isn't what's on the table here—it's reputation and above all else, pride.


 
As the name implies, the Texas Invitational isn't an open-to-the-public affair. You literally have to be invited to participate or even watch! Not only do you have to have a car worthy to turn the heads of event organizers, you also need the reputation necessary to warrant an invitation.





Some of the industry's biggest names in automotive performance were invited. Underground Racing, T1 Race Development, Switzer Performance, Dynosaur Performance, Lethal Performance, EVS Motorsports, and others were all there.



Underground Racing was present in full effect. It's not every day that you see a half-dozen twin-turbocharged Lamborghinis all in one place. What's more impressive is when they congregate to compete and prove their dominance on the street.



One of our field favorites, T1 Race Development, also showed up packing a serious threat. With more than six fully built and tuned GT-Rs, they were a formidable force to reckon with.


Even the Boulder Nissan Switzer Performance E1K+ GT-R made it all the way from Boulder, Colorado, to compete.


Some of the biggest contenders were the German vehicles. Big names in the Porsche tuning community each brought a few cars to battle for victory.


We absolutely loved the tips on this 964 C2 exhaust. We also hoped it would have the power to really back up that awesome license plate.



This being Texas, we expected some serious American Muscle to make the roster.



Lethal Performance showed up with some serious firepower by means of the C5 and C6 Corvettes.




How could we forget the Supras? We knew that we could expect a handful of high-horsepower MKIVs to make their way onto the airstrip. With giant single snails, these 2JZ-wielding icons gave some of the newer-gen platforms a run for their money.

Participants, spectators, and the media came from all corners of the States to experience this event. It's certainly arguable as to how many automotive hot spots there are in this country, but what isn't debatable is that the Dallas and Houston metro areas are considered two of them. When you have that solid of a scene in one general vicinity, you can expect a lot of gripe between enthusiasts. What better way to settle those tensions than a heads-up, half-mile rolling race to settle the score? The Texas Invitational is a proving ground for both your vehicle's build and your skills as a driver.


Not only did the participants require an invite, so did the spectators. Each participant was allotted a certain number of spectators. With such a high-profile event, every spectator spot was taken.


Some of the spectators couldn't help but bring their own vehicles. I bet the owner of this Superleggera went home and contacted UGR almost immediately for a twin-turbo upgrade!



AutoSource Dallas brought part of their collection for display, including exotics, American muslce, JDM, and even Luxury.


During the respective drivers meetings during the two-day affair, the organizer, Amar, stood in front of the participants and laid down some ground rules about how the event would work.


Day one was considered the "shakedown,” with participants running solo and grudge-style races all day. This helped get the butterflies out, so when it came to day 2, the main event, everybody was ready and prepared to race.






 
The contestants all gathered at the grid at one end of the airstrip. With their individual matches selected, each approached the starting line. They lined up next to each other at a standstill. Once approval was given, they both "slowly” came to a roll, matched speed, and gunned it down the tarmac.



During an event down in Texas about a month ago, 1320Video commented on their Facebook page that they were going out "Lambo hunting.” Naturally, UGR's response was that there was no such thing. And, we are confident to report, UGR was right.






Some of the races were so evenly matched that they came down to less than a single car length as they crossed the finish line.

 
 
 

This fox-body Mustang was one of our favorites (not only because we got a chance to ride in it but also because of his awesome "Spaceballs”-style helmet and the four-figure torque numbers this thing put down).

 
All weekend rivals paired up and ran in hopes of claiming victory for themselves as well as for the shops and individuals they represented.

 
 

The main event (as if this event weren't already competitive enough!) was a bracketed shootout between everybody involved for the title King of the Street and the 6-Speed Challenge. Quite literally, the winners of these two classes are in contention for the quickest street cars in America. That's quite the title!
The results?

King of the Street:
First Place: #44 Bill's UGR Twin-Turbo Lamborghini Gallardo driven by "Tag"
Runner-up: #61 Cody Whitehead's UGR Twin-Turbo Lamborghini Superleggera

6-Speed Challenge:
First Place: #19 Eddie in his Twin-Turbo Porsche 964 C2
Runner-up: #44 Bill's UGR Twin-Turbo Lamborghini Gallardo driven by "Tag”


The awesome carbon trophies provided by the trophy sponsor, BRM Chronograph.


The other prize? How about a diamond-encrusted oil cap for your Lambo? Just kidding. We're pretty sure that Jason "Mullet” Steven wouldn't give up his bling for anything!
Behind these closed doors, a handful of the major players in the automotive performance industry come together and put it all on the table. As their reputation and pride hang in the balance, they're all given an opportunity to prove their worth at an event we hope we can continue to cover for years to come.
 
The organizing body, Texas Speed Syndicate, would like us to recognize all the awesome sponsors that helped make this event happen:
Momentum BMW
AutoSource Dallas
Underground Racing
Boulder Nissan
T1 Race Development
Dynosaur Performance
Servelite Solutions
Lethal Performance
DataStream
RPSMedia.com
Racing Solutions
Advance Diesel and Motorsports
Spec Clutch
Nitrous Express
 
Check out the high-resolution Revvboard @ https://revvolution.com/account/albums/TeamRevvolution/5627/

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Ben Sherrod4/17/2013

Congrats on another successful event, Amar and crew. Thanks for bringing competition back to Caddo.