Article by Dave Stevens. Photography by Dave Stevens and Mark Laster.
As the end of the motorsport season draws near, we had the opportunity this past weekend to head out to the famous Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, for an event known as Import Face-off. With more than 40 national stops in the series, it’s becoming known as an automotive lifestyle staple. Import Face-off has established itself as the benchmark of import drag racing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and it certainly lived up to the hype.
Whether it’s the drag racing, car shows, drifting, car audio, or the model expos that you love, this event provides a true taste of the automotive enthusiast lifestyle. Since performance is a cornerstone of Revvolution.com, we’re making a point to focus on the quarter-mile action that has made this event successful.
We are astounded every year by how much technology is driving the performance scene. If you had told us ten years ago that all your vehicle’s power would be made through a laptop, we would have called you crazy. Today, after every run, teams use laptops to check their data logs, compute fancy algorithms, and try to squeeze every possible last ounce of power out of their cars.
The dominant platform on the drag strip, which is becoming a common site at most motorsport events, is the Nissan R35 GT-R. Quarter-mile times were ranging from a very respectable 12-second pass all the way down to Tony Palo of T1 Race Development blasting out an 8.7-second pass in his beastly "GT1R.” The GT-R has proven time and time again to be more than capable of handling everything you throw at it (to a point, of course). We love that you can take it to the track and run 9-second passes all day and then drive it home with the stereo cranked and the A/C blasting. It’s a true testament to the high level of engineering that Nissan applied to this platform. Such outfits as T1 Race Development and Jotech Motorsports are taking that engineering to mind-blowing levels with every one of their builds.
An age-old saying in motorsports goes, "No matter how fast your car is, there is always someone faster.” Ross Baird of Dynosaur Racing proved that to be true as he beat Tony with a personal best 8.28-second ET (1/4 mile elapsed time) in his Mark IV Toyota Supra in the finals.
The car show portion of the event didn’t disappoint either. Everything from Civics with every JDM part ever made all the way to amazing VIP Lexus builds were there. It is also cool to see these people push the boundaries of aesthetics and personal expression with their cars.
The drift scene was out in full force, and they did something that I have not seen at any other event. For only $10, you could ride in one of the drift cars that were piloted by pro-am drivers. I did not participate, but it looked to be quite the ride.
As the sun dipped below the massive Texas Motorplex grandstands, the event slowly started to wind down. Import Face-off, a nationally acclaimed automotive lifestyle event, started packing up, with sights set on their next location. With remaining stops in Baton Rouge, Las Vegas, and then back to the Lone Star State for this year’s final two showdowns, we are excited to see what’s in store and what massive builds will be brought out to define their performance prowess.