Petrolheads. A single word which defines an entire community of people who have high octane fuel running in their veins; who prefer burning rubber to most other aromas, and those who love their machines more than anything. We love speed, power, and the crazy noises that go with it. We love the fire-breathing beasts that reside in our garages. For there is no place where we could unleash them given that the roads are filled with pedestrians, animals and public transports, all coming together as one large congested chaos. We are forced to live in a world where the cars´performance are rated by fuel efficiency and safety rather than adrenaline-pumping speed; where people are more bothered about 'kilometre per litre' rather than 'power-to-weight ratio'. By now, you might have guessed that we too are among the petrolheads mentioned above. Not for us the banality of a life where a car´s sole purpose is to transport people from point A to B. So where do we go to push the limits of our beloved machines?
Welcome to The Valley Run (TVR). In its sixth edition now, the 2018 TVR has been a safe haven, a temple of speed for the thrill-seekers to rev their engine on a quarter-mile drag strip. There are no pedestrians, no unwanted potholes and no restrictions. Just a bare strip of tarmac to test the limits of man and his machine.
CarWale was part of the 2018 TVR with not one, but two cars. You can read about them over here. Organised by Elite Octane, the 2018 Valley Run also saw many sponsors in the form of Pirelli (tyre partners), Motul (lubricant partners). along with pace cars sponsored from Mercedes-AMG. The co-sponsor was Nissan and we saw the GTR go down multiple times on the drag strip in all its glory as a part of Nissan GTR Experience. Also on display at the event were Jeep, Suzuki Motorcycles, Kawasaki, MV Augusta, Norton, BMW Motorrad and Nissan Terrano.
Action packed weekend
Our action began on day two since day one was all about highly modified entry level bikes with unbelievable outputs. Meanwhile, due to Aamby Valley’s ownership disputes and permission delays, this year’s Valley Run was a tad short of participants compared to last year’s, owing to short notice. All the same, that didn’t stop the purists and the regulars from turning up with even better machines and more experience than ever. Spectators too enthusiastically turned up, braving the heat of an Indian summer, to witness these fast cars and bikes in action.
We saw a wide variety of cars in these categories including Maruti Zen and Esteem, Honda City VTEC, Skoda Laura, few Maruti Swifts and many Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. Our very own Honda City entered the A3 Street Stock class of 1450 – 1650cc and managed a respectable time of 17.4 seconds. The A4 category was dominated by the high performance Polo GT TSI cars. Following closely in their wake were Mitsubishi Lancer, Skoda Octavia, Skoda Laura, and the likes.
In the highly modified categories, as the tradition goes, it has always been about buying older cars and tapping into their hidden potential. So the racing cars in the Pro Stock Petrol categories were primarily the stripped down and boosted variety from Maruti Zen, Esteem and MkI Honda City. The highlight of the second day was the Stage 3 Skoda Laura and the Esteem which was running a NOS-fed engine.
Day 3 kicked off with an amazing show by litre class and above motorcycles. It was followed by the Open and Unrestricted categories. Burning wheels on the drag strip were a 600bhp Honda City, the famous TVARA (mid-engine Skoda Laura), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo followed by the supercars. Our second car, the BMW 330i GT, entered in the I1 and J category where it recorded its best time of 14.4 seconds. It was running against some serious competition like the Audi TT, Lamborghini Huracan, and Lancer Evolution.
We also witnessed the exclusive battle of the “GTR” on the day 3. On one corner was the ‘Beast of Green Hell’ Mercedes-AMG GT R. And on the other end, was ‘The Godzilla’ Nissan GTR. However, the showdown left us wanting more as the Nissan was slow to react off the line. After that, it was an intense battle between the two iconic Lambos – Huracan Performante and Gallardo Super Trofeo. There was also an interesting bout between the Porsche 911 GTS and the Performante.
What grabbed the most eyeballs on Day 3 was the supercharged Ford Mustang. The American muscle car was putting down 700bhp at least. It had a Shelby GT500 body kit with flared up wheel arches and stylishly large wheels. It must have felt at home on the drag strip but since it was still running on stock brakes it wasn’t fully unleashed.
Winner takes it all
Winning on the drag strip pretty much gets you unrivalled bragging rights. It not only proves that your machine is the fastest, but also that you´ve got the nerves to wield it. Overall there were 25 categories. So instead we’ll directly jump to the special prizes awarded at the end of the weekend. The mid-engine Skoda Laura from Vizag finished in an elapsed time of 13.366s taking home award of the ‘Fastest Indian Car of the Event’ and the ‘Best Tuner’ award. The Lamborghini Huracan Performante did a time of 10.849s making it the fastest car of the event. The Skoda Laura TDI (13.963s) from Tune O Tronics took top honours for diesel-powered cars.
The supercars like the Audi R8, Huracan Performante and Porsche 911 GTS set the ball rolling setting some of the best time for cars. The Porsche Cayenne also set a blistering time of 13.626s, which is quite impressive. In the F category of ´Indian cars with a foreign engine´, the B18 600bhp Honda City clocked the best time of 13.638s.
The fastest weekend of the year
It is not every day that you get to witness seriously fast cars and motorcycles going flat out on a quarter mile run. The TVR is all about that and it was a job well done even after all the obstacles. As it is, another edition comes to an end and we can’t help but wait for the next year’s festival of speed. Next time, we hope to get us an even faster car with more cylinders and maybe bring home a trophy as well.
Photos by - Ara Alexander Photography and Bilal Firfiray