On Sunday afternoon when the ITP Racecars-prepped Toyota Supra of Jose Jardim rolled into the Albany airport, there was a lot of excited people. A genuine, heavy hitter was ready to rumble. In literally seconds, photos were up on Instagram and Facebook and text messages were flying left, right and centre! There was a huge buzz around the car and Jose’s return.

For Motul Racewars fans, the car needs no introduction. The Supra is practically a hall of fame machine and is one of the fastest rear wheel drive cars in the country. In 2014, Jose claimed third outright up at  Wyalkatchem with a 290.18km/h pass and later that year, he made a massive jump to run 312.6km/h at the Snowy Mountains event – cementing the car as the fastest rear-wheel drive in the country back then.

Leading up to the event, Jose opted to go back to the 2-speed, Powerglide transmission after demolishing his manual ‘box after his effort at Racewars in 2016. “The choice to go back to the auto was a simple one. It was easier and more cost effective than a sequential. The auto is also better for drag racing too, which I love doing,” explained Jose. Before the return to the 1,000m airstrip, Jose ran the car at the Motorplex to get used to it again. “I hadn’t been in the car for a while, so it was best to get some seat time and to get the nitrous set up right. The nitrous is purely used to get the car on boost off the line, nothing more.”

Tuning legend, Ant Scali insisted that the car run some dyno passes before the event too. “Shannon Summers from Tune Corp gave us some time on his hub dyno to get 4 or 5 pulls in. It was just enough for Ant to get the right data so we could head to Racewars with confidence.”

Jose’s first run on the Albany tarmac was probably the most memorable run of the day for the spectators. It saw the Supra spear off the track at a rate of speed and had the emergency crews scrambling! “It was all going well for the pass but it was soon apparent that he had the wick turned up too much. The car overpowered the track with the aggressive tune, getting up on the tyres when the boost hit and then I was just along for the ride. Looking over the data, I was shocked to see that the car was doing 195km/h when I came off,” said Jose.

After that small incident, Jose triumphantly returned to run a solid 321.20km/h pass into that notoriously strong headwind to claim third overall. “You really could feel the wind make a difference. Visually, I could see the bonnet and guards distorting. Without the wind holding me back, the car would have gone much faster and I reckon Eddy Tassone would have punched through the 350km/h wall. It is hard to explain to some people just how much power it takes the get over 300 and then to 310 and 315 etc, etc… Each increment is more power and more power again, it is serious business,” explained Jose.

Congratulations goes out to Jose and the whole ITP crew.