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    The State of Thai Drag Racing

    Every December the Bangkok Drag Avenue hosts the "Souped Up Thailand" race.  It's the biggest drag racing event of the year. I went this year (2017) and was very impressed with the level of technical sophistication .

    Yes . . . there is drag  racing in Thailand.  Real 1/4 mile drag racing on real drag strips.  I know, I have had drag cars here and been involved in setting up a drag strip to near world standard.  This is the view down the racing surface at Bangkok Drag Avenue . . . from the bar.


    "Drag Racing is not a sport, it's a disease,' I used to say.  Yes, this is a blown HEMI dragster . . . in Thailand.


    Adjusting the valve lash on a blown big block Chevy . . . in Thailand.  I never thought I'd see the day!


    Another dragster, this time powered by a turbocharged Toyota 1UZ V8 running alcohol.  The state of Thai drag racing is very high.  Ingenuity everywhere, and outstanding workmanship.


    Some excellent welds on these headers and turbo piping.


    This is a Toyota 2JZ straight six cylinder engine originally found in a Supra.  Amazing headers!


    The same 2JZ dragster showing the turbo set-up.  This dragster ran a 6.61 in the quarter mile on alcohol using an air-shifted 7-speed transmission.  Very good performance from 220 cubic inches!


    A lot of sophisticated race parts are imported from the USA.


    Another turbocharged Toyota V8.  Many home-made parts visible.  Very creative.


    Very high quality preparation on this 1UZ V8.  Turbocharged with NitrusOxide (NOS).  260 cubic inches, runs low 7 second elapse times.  Pretty good!


    Drag racing is a very social sport: you wait around with your friends for your turn on the race track . . . the same anywhere.


    There were a number of world class 'pro stock' type race cars present.


    A beautiful Toyota Celica . . . .


    Incredibly good carbon fibre work on this 2JZ-powered Celica.


    A 4 cylinder Honda engine in a Honda 2000 sports car.  Classified "Pro 4."  More beautiful workmanship.  Interestingly, the trend is to have the exhaust exit through the hood . . . simpler for race-only cars.


    A carbon fibre hood with exhaust . . . race car porn!


    The ubiquitous Toyota 2JZ, bedrock of drag racing and hot street cars all over Asia.  Only 3.0L, but very capable of  900hp++ if prepared correctly.


    The single most popular, and common, combination for drag racing is the Nissan Cifero with a turbocharged Toyota 2JZ engine.


    There were many 4-cylinder cars in several different classes.


    Yes, a front wheel drive drag car . . .  with very sticky drag slicks.


    Some of the 4-cylinder front wheel drive cars were very fast.


    More automotive porn . . . gold plated valve cover.  Nice.


    Another tidy race 4-cylinder.  That cylindrical device on the left is an ice water to air intercooler to cool the hot turbocharger air.


    I love the detailing on this red Honda.


    But by far the most impressive machinery at the Thai drags are the diesel pick-up trucks . . . literally the fastest in the world!


    These amazing carbon fibre diesel trucks run in the low 7 second range . . . with a twin turbocharged diesel on NOS.


    Study this photo for a moment . . . .  yes  . . . . those are twin and compounded turbos on this Isuzu diesel.


    Very clever.  They rev these at the line to crazy RPMs for diesels and then just fly down the track . . . strangely quiet from the two turbos.


    A Thai diesel drag racer awaiting the call.


    There are two diesel truck classes.  This truck falls into a class that requires stock chassis and body (any trans) . . . and the use of only one 'standard-size' turbo.  Still, they run in the high 8 second ET range.  WOW!


    A smaller, single turbo race diesel.


    A couple of race officials waiting out the heat at mid-day.  Most of the actual racing (time trials, at this race) happens at night.


    And so . . . we drag race.  I had a great day, made a few new friends, and caught up with some old racers.

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