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Abel Ibarra Interview: Part 1, Background
Submitted by Berny Herrera on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 10:01am

RotaryNews.Com finally caught up with Abel at his Flaco Racing garage this last weekend. We sat down and got a little look into what makes Abel tick and what keeps him motivated to stay on top in the Rotary game. He also patiently and honestly answered each and every question put forth on the RotaryNews.Com site.

This article goes in depth to who Abel is, and is quite long, so sit back, relax, and stay for a while. Click through to read The read is well worth it.

First off, the Flaco Racing garage...

Although the Flaco Racing garage is a place where Rotary dreams are made, you'll also find a collection of very nice American iron, both classic and contemporary. Abel, his brother Chato, and father all keep very clean rides at the garage, and one can't be but struck that this family are not only Rotary lovers, but car enthusiast period! The garage impresses with the collection inside, and we understand that there are a few more rides at Abel's house. We'll stay on the garage because this is what we enthusiast really car about, right? Some feel a man's rides tell much about him.

The garage includes an extremely low mile black El Camino SS, another low mileage Chevy Monte-Carlo, Abel's Buick Grand National, and few classic Impalas, and a very nice classic Ford Torino. On the Rotary side, Abel had his freshly built, bridge-ported and supercharged, street RX-2, his personal Turbo-II FC that is receiving a few street upgrades, and a very nice customer 3-rotor FD conversion. Chato's awesome NHRA modified-class FD was also under-wraps in the garage, and to our fortune, they took it out and started it up. This is the cleanest import drag car you will ever see! See pics for a few snaps of these rides that are about the garage.

As for gear in the garage, one only need look around at the machinery placed around the place, to see that some serious R&D and prototyping works goes on here. Once the exclusive domain of the Flaco Racing team cars only, the garage has now been opened up for services to anyone with the same high level of commitment and standards as the Flaco Racing team. Abel is now applying his years of race tuning and experience to customer cars and OEM prototyping. Flaco racing can help you tune, design, build, prototype your Rotary project. Flaco racing has experience with all RX vehicles, including the RX-8., so if you feel that Flaco Racing can lend you a hand in with your special project, please feel free to contact us, and we'll put you in touch with Abel.

Abel: Our impressions....

In talking to Abel, we immediately knew that family is very important to him. The 34 year old has been with his girl Esther for 15 years, and has two beautiful daughters, Stephanie and Jennifer. It's been this support from, and commitment to, family that has helped Abel get to where he is today. When asked how he first broke into the higher levels of racing, with his first really recognized Rotary racer, the R-100, he was quick to answer that the support of his father, family, and friends helped him to accomplish that goal. He stated that at the time the R-100 cost just under $30K to build, and get on the track, and the support he received from everyone made it possible for him to break-out from the street game. Also, in the last few years, anyone who meets, or sees Abel around, knows that his brother Chato is never from his side. The family is really a key in the success of one of the most recognized Rotary racer out there.

In observing Abel on projects around the shop, and by knowing him for sometime now, one gets the sense that he is never satisfied with his accomplishments. He seems driven to be the best at everything he does, including his other passion, Birmingham Roller pigeons. In the shop Abel will try so many combinations and parts that it seems obsessive. Ask him about porting configurations, and you get the sense that he's tried and used every single combination ever invented. But still he says there is more to learn. This kind of dedication and drive is what has brought him up, and kept him, at the top of the Rotary game for so long. He feels that there are still things that he needs to prove and accomplish.

We asked Abel what he does outside the shop and racing. He told us that his day job is tending to animals at the family's property and raising his birds. Who would've thought that this legend of import racing was also a good old country boy that raised and tended to animals? It was another fascinating side of this simple, but complex guy from South Central Los Angeles.

Abel grew up and cut his teeth in the streets of South Central Los Angeles. All of his schooling was done in his South Central neighborhood, but more importantly, so was his street racing education. At the time, the mean streets of South Central included some heavy hitters in the Rotary street racing game, and at one time or another, Abel took out all challengers. He did start in a piston vehicle, an old Capri, but quickly learned that Rotary was the way to go. He bought and tuned an RX-2 and made a name for himself on the street. He's never looked back since. A true Rotorhead for life!

Abel's and his Birds....

If there is one thing that gets Abel talking faster than his race cars, it's his birds. Abel breeds and raises Birmingham Roller pigeons. This is a breed of pigeon that is bred for its performing abilities in the air. During flight, and at the right moment, the bird will go into a series of rapid, backward somersaults. It is actually "rolling." At the same time, the bird loses altitude. It will then put the brake on the roll, fly back up and do it again. They are not taught to do this. They are bred for their abilities to roll. If you have never seen these birds do it in the air. They are fun to watch as they fly. Abel competes and shows-off his birds with great pride and professionalism at the highest levels of the game. Again, his drive to succeed and be recognized can't be hidden.

Well, we want to thank Abel for allowing us to spend a day with him, and for letting RotaryNews.Com get some true insight into who this Rotary personality truly is. If you see Abel around, at a local track near you, or on the street, don't be afraid to say hi and ask him a thing or two. Although he seems quite and reserved, once you get him talking Rotary, he won't shut up!! Enjoy his answers to your questions, and Abel said to thank everyone for their time and effort with their questions, and if there were anymore questions, to please feel free to do so, and he would answer them.

3 Rotor Project FD

Chato's New FD

Project FC

Mario's Chop top R100

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