The Fifth Annual Import and Sport Compact Challenge at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, is one of the largest all-import and sport compact events in the state. One of the best aspects of the event is that car owners can both show and race on the same day. The races are geared for racers of any skill level in amateur, pro-am or pro race classes. The show has eight classes plus specialty classes for paint, interior, in-car electronics and performance mods.

Rows and rows of Asian, European and domestic compact cars greeted us above the racetrack nestled in the Rockies on a warm Sunday in June. Among all of the cool customizations, one of the most unusual was a ’95 Mitsubishi 3000 GT VR4 Spyder. This Spyder model has as many moves as Ms. Import with its rare hardtop conversion that can retract halfway or fully into the trunk. It’s one of only 877 in the world, says owner Heinrich Dinsmore.

When not checking out the show, spectators turned their attention to the racetrack, which was busy from morning though late afternoon. In addition to the races, spectators saw what a Lear jet engine can do for the performance of a 2001 Ford Focus. Rick Schroeder’s Focus practically flew down the track. The Burnout Contest was definitely smokin’.

The many booths along the vendor’s midway were filled with the sounds of on-stage DJs Dragon and Trajikk. The Ms. Import contest involved, as usual, a lot of crowd participation. As soon as she was awarded her trophy, Tania Koyanagi got busy posing with car owners and their cars.

When it was time to hand out show trophies in the Honda class the Two-Door trophy went to Jason Wilson’s ’99 Honda Civic. Four-Door honors went to Tom Vo’s ’93 Honda Accord. In the Acura class, Tang Nguyen’s ’95 Integra brought home the goods. The top Asian entry was Hector Navarro’s ’02 Toyota Celica GTS. European honors went to Tom LaCrosse’s ’95 Volkswagen GTI VR6. Lisa Struck’s 2000 Ford Focus took home the Domestic trophy. The Diamond Star trophy for Mitsubishi’s Eclipse or the Eagle Talon, went to Sean Howard’s ’98 Eclipse. Best Performance Modifications went to Johan Hybinette’s ’97 Lotus Esprit. Heinrich Dinsmore’s Spyder was Best of Show. In the specialty classes, Gabe Vigil’s ’95 Civic EX took Best Interior honors, Will Bermudez’ ’99 Integra GSR had Best In-Car Electronics and Best Paint went to Dan White’s ’94 Dodge Stealth.

Coy’s Custom Wheel and Tire in Denver has co-sponsored the event for the past two years. In addition to its huge inventory of wheels, the shop can modify wheels for most any car. Khumo Tires also co-sponsored. With 141 cars in the show and 497 entries in the race there was a lot of action for the 5,891 spectators on hand. It was definitely a day of rockin’ in the Rockies. For more information contact Bandimere Speedway at 303-697-6013 or visit the Web at www.bandimere.com