Columbus, GA– After several years competing in the FFW Drag Radial class, Erica has stepped up to join the Pro 5.0 ranks with her recent move to a tube chassis Thunderbird and switch to a 500 cubic inch twin turbo program. …
Drag Racing Online featured Horsepower & Heels driver Erica Ortiz and several other ladies among the 8 finalists selected from almost 400 applicants to participate in the ESX Maximum Velocity Female Driver Search in their Agent 1320 article called ‘Fast Women’. Erica and the other finalists flew to Pomona Raceway October 22-24, 2004 to participate in the contest, with the prize being the driver’s seat in the ESX SPT Subaru for the 2005 season in the NHRA Subcompact Sportsman RWD class.
View article: Fast Women | Agent 1320
Horsepower & Heels driver Erica Ortiz is selected as one of 8 finalists in the National ESX Maximum Velocity Female Driver Search, a contest to fill the seat of the ESX Subaru STI racecar in NHRA’s Sport Compact series.
In 2004, Erica Ortiz ran just a limited schedule in the Fun Ford Weekend Drag Radial class. After her runner-up finish for the championship in the class in 2003, she didn’t have many chances to defend her #2 position in the class.
She made brief appearances at Orlando, Atlanta, and Bristol before selling her beloved drag radial coupe to chase her bigger Pro Mod aspirations.[imagebrowser id=21]
The Gainesville Sun newspaper in Gainesville, FL highlights Horsepower & Heels driver Erica Ortiz in their preview to the 2004 Sunshine State Nationals. The article ‘Fun Ford Weekend rolls into raceway’ calls out Erica as a racer to watch in the Drag Radial class in her 1991 turbocharged Mustang LX coupe.
View article: Fun Ford Weekend rolls into raceway
Horsepower & Heels founder Erica Ortiz offers some feedback on the Vortech Mondo Aftercooler for Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords Magazine. Her familiarity with the aftercooler came from her work experience at Lugo Performance in Orlando, FL. Erica was among a panel of 6 well-known racers who offered their technical experience on the application, which included Bob McDonald, Phillip Clemmons, James Lawrence, Shane Hill, and Carlo Catalanotto – all NMRA racers.
Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords
Written by: Dr. Jamie Meyer
Published: March 2004
View article: Vortech Mondo Aftercooler – The Big Chiller
Horsepower & Heels driver Erica Ortiz competes in the Drag Radial class at the Fun Ford Weekend Thunder Valley Nationals in August of 2003. The facility is one of Erica’s favorite racetracks, nestled in the mountains of Bristol, Tennessee.[imagebrowser id=22]
After pulling into a muddy Norwalk racetrack Friday afternoon, Horsepower & Heels driver Erica Ortiz unloads the car to find a leaky head gasket. The team had just replaced heads before the haul and the new sealant didn’t adhere properly. Although she missed Round 1 qualifying, Erica had the car back to running late that night.
In the morning, Ortiz lined up for 2nd round qualifying. But after violent tire shake the first 660 ft, the best she could muster was a 10.03 @ 158 mph. She headed back to the trailer to ponder how to make the car hook, and improved in the 3rd round to qualify in the #3 spot with a 9.325 @ 159.55 mph.
In Eliminations, Erica took the win with a 9.23 @ 160.30 mph against Brad Hevwagen. But in the second round, Erica lost the hook and the round against Randy Haywood, after a close pair of 9.20’s from both.[imagebrowser id=23]
After a disappointing finish in the previous race in Gainesville, the Horsepower & Heels Racing team had only 2 weeks to put together an entire new engine program for the Fun Ford Weekend Old Dominion Nationals event in Richmond, VA.
Friday’s test pass was the first time the new motor had ever been run. The maiden voyage first qualifying run on Friday yielded a 9.38 @ 158mph E.T., with driver Erica Ortiz peddling hard the bottom end of the track to maintain traction. This put Erica in the #4 spot for Saturday’s “Race within a Race” shootout event. The race within a race, sponsored by Innovative Turbo Systems matched the top 8 qualifiers from Friday’s qualifying in a shoot out ladder during Saturday’s qualifications.
Saturday morning, Erica was paired 1st round against rival racer Christina Eldert’s new coupe in a women’s racing battle. After all was said and done, Erica advanced to the 2nd round as the top female with a win on the tree and at the light. But in the 2nd round, Erica spun hard off the line again and was defeated by Norris McKay, who went on to win the shootout event and the Innovative Turbo prize money.
With a final qualifying effort of 9.21 @ 158, Erica was #4 on Sunday’s ladder for eliminations. Her first round match up paired her with Alex Vretto. Unfortunately, Erica had problems on the line spooling up and lost on a hole shot, running a quicker 9.24 to Alex’s 9.44.[imagebrowser id=24]