Burning rubber on the runway in the Rock Race

  • 2004-07-15
  • By Andrei Tuch
TALLINN - Parnu Airport will cease flight operations on July 24 and welcome a multitude of magnificent racing machines, which by all rights should almost be able to take off themselves. The Rock Race, which is being held on the runway of Parnu Airport, will be the biggest and most spectacular drag racing event of the season.

Acceleration competitions have gathered more and more popularity over the last few years. What started out as one or two separate events has now blossomed into a full season, with the fastest cars in Estonia traveling on straight roads and runways across the country, competing with each other over a quarter of a mile at a time.
While the most accessible event has always been the SpeedEst, which is held once a year in the middle of Tallinn's biggest residential area, its track - a stretch of urban freeway - is unable to accommodate the best of the best in Nordic speed freaks. The Rock Race features a full-length 403-meter drag strip, and the runway of Parnu Airport is in good enough condition to attract some truly impressive competitors from neighboring countries.
Estonia's speed heroes have so far been the two Chevy Camaros of Taavo-Erkki Vitsut and Lauri Kuriks. The national record holder at this moment is Kuriks' black coupe, repaired and rebuilt time and time again with nothing but straight-line speed in mind. His 7.6-liter V8, aided by nitrous oxide, puts over 800 horsepower to the rear wheels, which has allowed him to cover the quarter mile in a mere 10.3 seconds.
Yet this is nothing in comparison to the anticipated demo runs of Finland's Seppo Seppola, head of the fastest family in Europe. His 2,000 horsepower Oldsmobile has recorded a time of 6.7 seconds, and is capable of the landmark Single Second Standing Start - accelerating from rest to 100 kilometers per hour in just one second.
And the competition runs should not be any less exciting. The greatest drag racers from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland are coming to the Rock Race to find out just who is the king of the runway.
Remember the Fiat Maluch, the funny little runabout that people in Poland love so much? Come to the Rock Race and you will see one with over 600 horses under the tiny hood. Have a passion for really rapid yank tanks? A variety of New World iron will be there, sporting every known means of forced induction. Turbocharging, supercharging, nitrous oxide injection - if it makes the car go faster, it will be present at Parnu Airport on July 24.
And if you think that your daily driver is good enough to run with the big boys, then 300 kroons will get you a spot on the starting line, as well as access to the action for a support vehicle and a pit crew of four.
Any car can compete, as long as it has passed its last checkup and is registered with the Autoregisterikeskus (the Estonian authority issuing car license plates) or an equivalent institution abroad.
The person behind the wheel will need a valid driver's or competition license. A helmet probably wouldn't go amiss either. See the Rock Race Web site for more details.The organizers of the Rock Race have put a lot of love and care into giving you your euro's worth of extreme entertainment. Let's wish all the competitors good luck and drive over to Parnu on the 24th to cheer them on - at legal speeds, of course. o

The Rock Race 1/4 mile drag racing event, car audio
and tuning competition
July 24, Parnu Airport
Check www.rockrace.ee for directions
Tickets 100 kroons (6.4 euros) for grandstand seats
50 kroons for tickets at the venue on the day