Another awesome HulaCross! The best wheel 2 wheel in a long time!
Written by Administrator Thursday, 24 February 2011 07:38
Once again, HulaCross defined what thrilling motorsports is all about. Another event under the belt, and one that had some great surprises.
Sunday morning broke with a beautiful day coming on the horizon. With it, came some really spectacular, Hula-X prepped vehicles. Of notable mention were Team Randy's Services in their fully gutted and be-decked chariots. They say a sticker adds +5HP and these guys must have been pushing max HP today. They looked professional, with uniform paint jobs, and were straight up race the entire day. We love to see vehicles like this...they're great for the camera and the crowd, and look fantastic. We'd like to thank everyone that came out and put some work into their rides and invite everyone else to join in on the fun!
As we predicted, HulaCross is constantly being modified this year in order to improve the event. This event was modified by shortening practice down by an hour in order to improve the condition of the track during the HulaCross and Hulagan Racing event runs. At the previous events, we found that two hours of straight practice really tore up the track, and made it much more difficult for vehicles to compete fairly due to the rapidly detoriating course. It appears to have worked, as the casualty rate due to ruts and blown tires was much lower than previous events. Practice went on without a hitch, and all of the vehicles made it through to the HulaCross Time Attack portion.
HulaCross kicked off and our guys jumped on the track set, and ready to show their stuff. Unfortunately, a small snafu with the timing system disrupted the first 4 competitor's runs, but soon after we were back on track and everyone reported good times after that. With the amount of people needed to manually time each vehicle, the timer systems are a life-saver when it comes to this portion of the event. Even our dune buggies were able to participate thanks to the clever creation of some protective cases for the timers created by Cliff Wicklund and Cavan Medeiros.
This month's course was fast and furious...and extremely quick in comparison to last month's technical challenge. The times were incredibly fast with the mid-range starting in the 1:15s. Fantastic news for this event was that every HulaCrosser entered was able to compete in Time Attack, which is a first! As the first timers came in, we knew it was going to be a fast day...Peter Crouch popped off a scorching 1:10.10 and we were blown away by his performance in his Suzuki Sidekick. Soon after, the times started to drop even further as our Hula-X regulars began to hit the track.
The top tiers were dominated by the lighter, sportier AWD vehicles such as the Imprezas driven by Mike Ward, Thomas Carter, and Davin Kubo in addition to relative newcomer Landon Paras who blew out a scorching time in his prepped Integra. Steven Oliberos, always a fighter, was right there in speedy fashion amongst the fastest group. David Rodrigues showed that the V8 Cherokees still have alot of spirit, and came in 6th place with a 1:09.58. And what seems like a regular occurrence, Mike Ward blew everyone away with a 1:02.4 which was nearly 4 seconds faster than the closest competitor.
After a short break to tally the results, a quick driver's meeting was held to discuss the Hulagan Racing portion of the event, as well as award our top three HulaCross drivers. Mike Ward, Landon Paras, and Davin Kubo placed 1st, 2nd, & 3rd respectively. Landon was particularly excited by his results after only spending a nominal amount to prep a quickly purchased Integra with a busted motor. We were amazed at his great driving, and the awesome performance of the car, and adivse anyone looking to get into HulaCross, to check out Integras as your base model starting point!
Hulagan Racing got off to an exciting start with the fastest lineup taking the first heat of three. Mike Ward immediately led the charge with Landon Paras, Davin Kubo and Steve Oliberos hot on his heels. David Rodrigues and Peter Crouch were simply unable to catch up, leaving the top 4 free to enter the final main. Gilbert Valdez was excited to race, but disappointed in the performance of his Infinit J30...even with RWD, the vehicle was simply too heavy for the track, causing him to trudge through particular sections of the track. This enabled the remaining field of Heat 2 to advance past him. Cy Thomas, Randall Char, Kelii Pontin, and our HulaBeater rental driven by newcomer Yun Wei were all available to compete in the final heat. Heat 3 was a simple battle of attrition as many of the vehicles entered were taken out by punctures and problems. Making it to the final heat were Alfonso Puma, Hano Campos, Mic Quinn, and John Flores.
For the final heat, 12 vehicles were ready and able to compete. In typical fashion, the drivers drew numbers from a hat to determine their placement. Mike Ward, usual frontrunner of the group, drew a middle of the pack # while Landon Paras, his closest competitor, drew the holeshot with the pole position. The field was set, and with the green flag thrown by Chris Messer, the race was on!
Landon and Cy battled to the first corner, with Landon coming out ahead followed closely by Alfonso Puma and Mic Quinn. Mic was then bashed out of the way by an unforgiving charge by Kelii Pontin, losing his position in the process. Mike Ward wisely hung back through the altercation but took advantage of Mic's spin and passed him on the outside. Mike later was given an extremely nasty broadside by Kelii on the back straight-away during an unfortunate traffic jam but was able to slide past Kelii for fourth place position. Landon Paras took advantage of the situation, putting an ever increasing lead on Cy Thomas who was followed closely by Alfonso Puma. On the following Yun Wei's Honda Accord blanked out on the crowd-side straightaway leading into the first corner. This created a huge traffic jam which allowed several cars to pass.
Yun's dead Accord created a red flag situation in which everyone was brought together for a restart. Landon Paras in first, Cy Thomas in second, with Mike Ward in third...the green flag was thrown again and Mike immediately got the jump on Cy Thomas and passed him on the inside of the first corner. Cy fell back to third to battle it out with Kelii Pontin. What resulted from this pass was one of the most epic battles HulaCross has witnessed thus far. For the remaining 3 laps, Mike Ward and Landon Paras went toe-to-toe. Landon's Integra was remarkably quick, his FWD configured vehicle was able to really take advantage of the turns and proved why in the dirt, FWD is a formidable weapon against AWD. Mike had alot of power, but couldn't seem to make a comfortable pass on Landon. Mike would dip his nose into Landon's path, only to have Landon flip right around the upcoming corner in a muddy powerslide blocking Mike's exit.
It wasn't until the final lap where Landon encountered the lap traffic of #531 John Flores was Mike able to take advantage of the situation for a clean pass on the front straight-away in front of the roaring crowd. Both of our MC's, Rodney and The Kap'N were hooping and hollerin with the crowd at this amazing battle. Mike was able to speed ahead in attempt to put more space between himself and Landon with the passing of #351 Randall Char in his Kia Sophia, whom Landon promptly passed as well in his pursuit. The battle was still close until more back traffic blocked Landon, and allowed Mike to scoot past Hano Campos. Soon after many of our competitors were knocked out by attrition...Kelii Pontin, Steve Oliberos and finally Alfonso Puma broke down on the last lap causing a red flag, and signalling the end of the race. What a spectacular battle this was, and incredible to watch! We were extremely pleased with this event's wheel 2 wheel action, and we can't wait for more next March 13th!
Before closing this article up, I'd like to impart a bit of knowledge about driver courtesy and professionalism. We understand that there are going to be bumps and bruises, and we expect that. It's fun, it's great excitement for the crowd, and our drivers are out there to win. Thats why we encourage everyone to compete with vehicles other than their Daily Drivers. This is not an event geared for anyone afraid of receiving collateral damage. If you are afraid of getting your car dirty, as well as the possibility of going home with several large dents, broken tail-light housings, or lost bumpers then this is simply not the event for you.
Unfortunately, there were several examples in February's event where driver's vehicles were involved in some altercations with other vehicles that were not your normal run and gun. There's a saying that "Rubbing is Racing" and although we do believe in that rule, what we don't encourage or condone is over-agressiveness and rude conduct on the track. Drivers that intentionally ram or blindside opponents during the Time Attack portion will be immediately black-flagged and removed from the course. The HulaCross Time Attack is strictly a no-contact event. Hulagan Racing, our wheel 2 wheel portion, is a bit more forgiving but again, anyone seen intentionally causing excessive damage to another person's vehicle will be black-flagged and removed from the course as well. At our upcoming Driver's Meeting for March, we will be discussing this very topic as we feel it is extremely important.
This last event was simply incredible...it was fun, exciting, and most definetly the best wheel 2 wheel action Oahu has seen in a very, long time. If you have never witnessed or attended HulaCross, we encourage you to check it out. It's an exciting day for the entire family...so bring your coolers, your tents, and your appetite for awesomeness with you to Kalaeloa Raceway Park. Our next HulaCross is on March 13th, so we welcome you to join us! Once again, thank you to all of our drivers, volunteers, and spectators for making this a fantastic event!
As always, you can check out all of the photos from the event at our official Facebook page!
Click the following link to view the results or follow the navigation by going to Motorsports - Hula-X - Results - 2011 - February.
Mahalo until next time!
Kalaeloa Raceway Park
Congratulations to our winners!
Fastest Time of the Day - Mike Ward - 1:02.4
2nd Fastest Time of the Day - Landon Paras - 1.06.38
3rd Fastest Time of the Day - Davin Kubo - 1.07.08
1st Place - Hulagan Racing - Mike Ward
2nd Place - Hulagan Racing - Landon Paras
3rd Place - Hulagan Racing - Cy Thomas