If you love fast cars and if you love see them go screaming down an airstrip, then you have definitely heard of Valley Run. The drag racing event run by Elite Octane has been a haven for all like-minded enthusiasts who love to see and experience drag racing. Now in its 6th avatar, Valley Run 2018 was yet another adrenalin fueled, fun packed weekend. We had a great time last year and you can read about our experience here. For 2018, we decided to make things even more exciting by entering two cars in different categories.
A3 Street Stock class 1450 – 1650cc
For the Street stock class, we decided to go in with a 2012 Honda City i-VTEC. Now this is my personal car and it is completely factory spec. This would give us a good idea about how a completely stock car would fare with the slightly modified cars. So the category had the likes of the first gen Honda City VTEC, older Maruti Suzuki Baleno’s and similar Honda City i-VTEC’s. We wanted the car to be as factory spec as possible so we did not even remove the rear seats. The only weight reduction done was removing the spare wheel from the boot and the tools.
Coming to the car, the City even by today’s standards is pretty powerful. The 1.5-litre engine pushes out 118PS and the i-VTEC unit even though tuned for economy is a pretty rev-happy one. Getting the launch right was priority and during the first practice run, I did manage to get it right. Slick gearbox meant I went through the gears quickly and managed a very decent time of 17.4 seconds. However during the final run, I tried launching the car at lower revs in a bid to minimise wheelspin off the mark, but that led to the car bogging down as I shifted into second thereby losing precious seconds. And it showed with the final run timing coming in at a way slower 18.04 seconds. We managed 4th place with just 0.109 seconds separating us and the car in third place.
I1 (Pro Stock, cars up to 4000cc) & J (Unrestricted Class, Foreign and Indian)
Last year we had taken the VW Polo GTI to the strip, so this time we decided to take something a little more powerful. The BMW 3 Series 330i GT fit the bill well. The only problem was that since it was a 2-litre turbo which means the engine cc is multiplied by 1.7 as a result of which it got classified against the big boys like the BMW M3, a souped up Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 and the likes.
Even with 250bhp on tap, the BMW was way down on power when compared to the competition. But the 330i did have an ace up its sleeve…launch control. Yes in case you didn’t know, the 330i which is primarily a corporate saloon, is also a very fast sedan that gets launch control to exploit all those horses. With the 330i lined up against a highly modded Polo GTI, I enabled sport plus mode, turned the DSC off and enabled launch control as the staging lights went on. With a reaction time of 0.7 seconds, the BMW shot forward as I kept the throttle buried into the carpet. The Polo GTI with almost 250bhp and weighing a lot less did catch up and pass the BMW towards the end. The 330i with all its heft still managed a 14.4 second run which is extremely impressive for a luxury sedan. What was also impressive is the way the car went about its business with absolutely no drama. In fact it was so civilized even under full bore acceleration that I thought I should have a worn a tux while driving it.
In the next runs, the BMW took on a highly modified 500bhp Honda City and an Audi R8 and obviously lost, but for its purpose and being down on power compared to the competition, the 330i did a fantastic job.
The 2018 Valley run was a job well done and kudos to the managing team who despite the obstacles managed to make the event happen. Hopefully next year the event happens in a cooler climate and we manage to hop in a faster car!
Photography by Ara Alexander & Bilal Firfiray