The 23rd annual Haltech World Cup Finals – Import vs Domestic is an event that requires an immense amount of preparation if you want to make the field of 32, let alone go rounds on race day. Carlos Sobrino knows what it takes, as he’s been to the final round of the WCF twice and visited the winner’s circle once. This year Sobrino has to overcome some big adversity to be ready to race against the best in the world and he has a plan of attack ready to execute as the WCF kicks off at Maryland International Raceway.
Normally you will find Sobrino near the top of the leaderboard of the NMRA Coyote Stock class in the points standings and on Sunday when eliminations are being contested. The 2018 season, however, has been a challenge for Sobrino both on and off the track and that has limited his ability to get laps in racing his infamous Mustang known as “The Joker”.
“I’ve only been able to make a few events this year because I had a mechanic at my shop for 15 years that helped me run the business leave. When he left I had to start working seven days a week and couldn’t shut the shop down, so keeping the business going had to take priority and racing took a back seat. After I got a new person in the shop and ready I have finally been able to get out more and test,” Sobrino says.
Another big setback for Sobrino was his forced migration to the new Gen2 Coyote engine platform that is being used in the Coyote Stock class.
“I went to Bradenton and was able to qualify number two in Coyote Stock and was the fastest car during eliminations. In the semi-final round, a rod decided it wanted to exit the block and that was the end of that engine. It owed me nothing, it had 520 passes and won a lot of races, so that’s what forced me to the Gen2 engine.”
Since his move to the new engine, Sobrino has struggled to find his groove with the new mill and hasn’t been able to lay down the same elapsed times he did with the first generation engine. The Coyote Stock class is a sealed engine eliminator, so Sobrino can’t open the engine up to see what’s going on to improve the car’s performance.
The engine issues haven’t deterred Sobrino one bit in his quest for another WCF title. Using what spare time he has, Sobrino has been working diligently to try and get his car into fighting shape for the All-Motor class.
“In the past it has just been a matter of taking the weight out of the car, putting a Palm Beach Dyno tune in it, and changing the fuel to make the car go fast. This year we’ve had about 10 different tunes in the car, different gear ratios and the car’s just not fast. I’ve been testing as much as I can for the last month to figure it out with four different gear ratios, the different tires, and nothing has really worked so far. I’m hoping we have it figured out after the last test session with what we learned, but we won’t know how the changes will work until the World Cup.”
One of the hardest things about the WCF is the amount of racing that is done during the course of the event. With four qualifiers and then a 32-car field to blast through it can be difficult to stay focused and keep your car running as it should to win against difficult competition. Sobrino’s high level of experience at the WCF could be what pulls him through to another victory in 2018.
“It’s just the survival of the fittest — the Hondas are usually quicker than the domestics but they can’t go rounds. From a strategy standpoint during the race I just tune the car with the clutch. The track is always on-kill but you still need to make adjustments. If you’re fast and consistent you will win the race; you also have to be able to cut good lights and not get caught sleeping like I did last year in the finals,” Sobrino explains.
You can see Carlos Sobrino try and win his second World Cup Title during the 23rd annual Haltech World Cup Finals – Import vs Domestic. All the action will be broadcast live from Maryland International Raceway on Speedvideo.com RIGHT HERE. This broadcast is brought to you by presenting sponsor ProCharger, along with Strange Engineering, Driven Racing Oil, Ferrea Racing Components, Race Star Industries, Miller Electric, OSTAR Motorsports, GFORCE 1320, McLeod Racing, ATI Performance, Blow-By-Racing, Hot Shot’s Secret, and Firestone.