One of the sport’s most exciting “Home Run Derby” performance events, the annual Haltech World Cup Finals at Royce Miller’s Maryland International Raceway, was again awash with staggering new performance achievements. The 27th annual gathering of all conceivable engine and induction combinations again produced a string of the quickest and fastest quarter-mile efforts ever by a six-cylinder automobile.
Caugus, Puerto Rico’s Jesus Melendez wheeled the Virginia-based La Natty Racing 2020 Toyota Corolla XRS of Rafael Famania to a run of 5.546 seconds with a best speed of 264.46 mph using the thirty-year-old but incredibly popular Toyota inline six-cylinder 2JZ-GTE engine with a single Precision turbocharger and a Motec Systems USA Vehicle Management System tuned by Abraham Alba.
The PMS Race Cars-built Corolla was low qualifier for the Mickey Thompson Tires and Wheels Outlaw vs. Extreme Eliminator with the 5.546 at 263.98 mph, the sixteen-car field of which included fifteen five-second entries and had a 6.07 bump spot. That was enough to erase the four year-old six-cylinder record of 5.557 by Arnaldo Santiago’s 2JZ-powered 2018 Scion FRS set at the same event in 2019 and the 262.74 mph speed mark of Jomar Gomez’s 2JZ-motivated Dodge Dart, (both racers also from Puerto Rico), at Orlando (FL) SpeedWorld in 2021.
Melendez, who has held the all-time Rotary-powered eighth-mile speed record for eight years, then hit 5.552 at 264.98 during eliminations. The run was actually the fastest speed ever achieved by any wheel-driven doorslammer in MDIR history! During the event, Melendez also delivered the eighth-mile six-cylinder elapsed time record to the La Natty team with a 3.677 which surpassed Santiago’s 3.693 from 2019 but the Corolla’s best eighth-mile speed of 208.17 wasn’t enough to bump Santiago’s 210.21 to secure all four records.
The 5.546 E.T. moves Melendez into the sixth spot in the DI Top 8 for quarter-mile Turbocharged vehicles and La Natty is now ranked sixteenth quickest for ALL quarter-mile doorslammers of any kind!