Monday, March 24, 2008

2008 Nopi Qualifier Competition

2008 Nopi Qualifier Arizona

This past weekend I hitched a ride with Team Megan Racing for a hop over to Tucson, Arizona for the 2008 Nopi Qualifier. Even though the closest west coast event the Nopi will throw is going to be in Utah. It makes me wonder why bother licensing if Nopi isn’t willing to even have events this side of the Mississippi River. If you're serious about picking up sponsors and just to show off to your friends. Any type license is a step up to getting any type of recognition to your driving abilities.

On our way, we found Mr.T at a truck stop clearance bin. Unfortunately Mr. T had an encounter with the other Mr.T Taka Aono @ HTM. RIP Mr. T

6 tired souls arrived in Phoenix at 3a.m. stopping by to get waffles at the Waffle House. They were delicious, I recommend them to anyone. Thanks to Aubree (sp?) for helping us out the first day with a place to rest.

Half the group split up to test the Megan car at Firebird Raceway and prepare for the up coming season. While the other half sat around smoking and enjoying the view of some cactus. I was at the latter.

Next day, we stayed at the Best Western. It was nice cause it was walking distance to nearby restaurants.

They also served waffles in the morning, they were delicious.

Also saw a couple of cool cars at the Best Western, an Audi S5 and a Bentley Continental GTC. They’re probably magazine editors doing some test drives. Maybe one day, I’ll have a chance to test cars like that.

The event itself was at a go-kart track out side of Tucson. It's supposed to a replica to the Suzuka west track. It's a very technical track which should bring out the better drivers and leave the rest in the dirt. Cars with power will be able to complete the track, so low powered Corollas may struggle. The venue has never been used before so this will be something new for all the drivers who are competing.

Yes I like Rotella T, so does Cyrus. I feel he's going to have a good advantage over the rest of the field.

There was a total of 37 drivers vying for their chance to get their Nopi license. 2 drivers will be competing in our camp. Cyrus and Jack.

I also met a fellow Corolla owner, i'll call him D.J. Rob. he drives the red coupe. It was one of 2 Corollas competing that saturday. Why do I call him D.J. Rob? Check out his belt buckle.

I was surprised that there were a few people from Southern California.

Me and Naoki seeing another side of Jack we’ve never seen before. I hope it’s just his way of relaxing before a competition.

The competition wasn't spectacular, it was either you were good or you sucked. All I saw was the latter. Though there was some interesting moments, like this 240 SX taking flight. Cars with lots of power were just eating alot of dust. Very few drivers were able to link the course. Near the end many high powered cars just began slowing down before the first turn.

Austin Robison of Megan Racing really laid down some rubber and showed everyone how it's done.

Congratulations to the winners: 1st Jeff Jones, 2nd Arizona local, sorry don't know your name, 3rd Cyrus Martinez. Told you the Rotella T produces winners, at least 3rd place. 2 other drivers were also awarded with Nopi license.

Special award to Colin Frost, Best Drifter Ever.

It was a fun but very exhausting weekend, since we left right after the event. No after party for the hardcore. The following Sunday was an open track session at Horse Thief Mile, which some of us including myself will be participating.

For the rest of the pics click here

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