Shift S3ctor: Exotic Airstrip Attack 2016 [Gallery]
I can remember my first engine build like it was yesterday.
It was a high-compression Honda B18C with nitrous (this was the late ‘90s), and the forever-long months that elapsed while ordering parts, waiting on the machine shop, assembling and swapping it into my Civic were simultaneously spent dreaming about punking drivers of high-dollar European and domestic makes at the local dragstrip, and in the occasional street blast. But once it was complete, those fantasies gave way to meticulously checking spark plugs and compression, changing oil way too frequently, and worrying incessantly that every new tick, noise or vibration I imagined hearing might be signifying of its eminent demise.
Built for the Elite
Anyone who has ever spent hard-earned cash on something they’ve really looked forward to can tell you know how strong the drive is to keep it in perfect shape. It takes a special kind of person (carefree or just well-funded) to treat a hard-earned possession casually, enjoying it fully with caution thrown to the wind. But that’s the kind who become high-profile builders, the fastest guns at the dragstrip, and – for the ultra-baller among us – those who take part in events like Shift S3ctor’s first-ever Exotic Airstrip Attack.
Based on their proven-successful recipe of providing enthusiasts a way to engage in legal, side-by-side, 1/2-mile trap-speed racing (elapsed times aren’t clocked, so it really shouldn’t be called drag racing), whereas their traditional Airstrip Attack events offered classes for most capable cars, their first-ever Exotic Airstrip Attack limited to eligible models to those that offered at least one trim at a minimum $150,000 MSRP when new.
Like some of their past open-to-all events, this one was also held at the New Coalinga Municipal Airport; for all intents a very small, desolate airstrip in the middle of nowhere, central California. If the aural, surreal experience of dozens of six-figure exotic and supercars converging on a dilapidated desert airstrip wasn’t surreal enough, seeing them take the small town of Coalinga by storm one sleepy winter Saturday added an element of entertainment to it all.
Gallardos – the "Civic" of Exotic Airstrip Attack
As for those cars, a quick look over the entry list show that while the $150K minimum MSRP was in effect, most every car competing originally sold for well north of that figure. Lamborghini Gallardos were commonplace and might even be called the “Civic” of the event. Murcielagos, Aventadors and Huracans were less common, but still occupied several spaces each in the pits. McLaren MP4s and 650s were two more surprisingly common models, attending in stronger force than their Ferrari rivals (about one each: F12, 458 and FF).
Comparatively less expensive were the many Porsches present, which rode in on the coattails of various 911 models that ranged past $150K when new. One of them – Nigel Colon’s modified and tuned, 650hp 991 Porsche Turbo – even blasted the fastest pass of the day, at 175 mph at the end of the half.
But cheaper and more powerful still were the handful of Nissan GT-Rs present, eligible for competition thanks to the 2015 GT-R NISMO and uber-rare GT-R NISMO N-Attack that could’ve been optioned past $150K from the factory. A Visconti-tuned GT-R (not a NISMO edition) stole that scene from my yesteryear fantasies and walked past all European and domestic machines in attendance, blasting through the 1/2 at a record-setting 208 mph on Sunday.
There was also a $1.5M, 1,100hp, 2011 Bugatti Veyron in attendance. It only went 171 mph.
Starting With Straight Shooters
One observation: Of the more than 50 $150K+ exotics in attendance, nearly all were modified very lightly or not at all. A handful boasted ECU tunes, some added a suite of power/sound-enhancing bolt-ons, but only a few saw upgrades past that. And while Shift Sector’s first-of-its-kind event (for them) could undoubtedly be hailed as a success, we hope to it’s enough to attract the real rockstars of the exotic world – those Internet-famous dyno-maxing, engine grenading, 2,000hp, carefree brawlers – to the tarmac.