The WannaGOFAST event in Clayton, Georgia, last weekend brought 125 awesome cars together to put the pedal to the metal for a full half-mile on a private runway. Racers arrived at Heaven's Landing Airpark before sunrise on both Saturday and Sunday, and had to pass tech inspection and attend a drivers meeting before lining up to try their luck. While it was cold and in the low-40s when we arrived at the track around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, by midday it had warmed up into the high-70s and the sun heated up the track. A standard tree set-up at the beginning of the track was familiar to most racers, while a display of bright-yellow cones at the trap signaled drivers to let off and apply brakes after passing through.
The day started slow - some didn't even get one run in before lunch for drivers was provided by Chick-fil-A. Small airplanes landed during the hour break, providing a spectacular show to unwind. Once racing reconvened, wait-time decreased drastically. The issue seemed to be a lack of a return road; this is an airport after all (not a drag strip). Drivers had a half-mile shutdown area and had to turn around at the end and come back up the runway to exit safely before the next pair could launch. Of course, in the event of an equipment failure, tow-trucks and a medical crew were on-hand to come to the rescue.
The beautiful setting between the Blue Ridge Mountains added to the adrenaline-charged atmosphere. There was an abundance of Chevys, but we also found a Pontiac and a couple of Cadillacs as well! There were classics and late model specimens going all out to achieve the highest trap speed possible, and we brought along our own 2012 Camaro SS Project car. The STI Killer (2001 Camaro SS) made an appearance as well!
Our 2012 Camaro SS project equipped with the new ProCharger i1 supercharger, Weld Racing wheels, and handling upgrades from Phastek Performance and LSR Performance turned in an impressive 138 mph trap speed, crossing the line in fourth gear. Safety equipment provided by RaceQuip kept our drivers, Rick Seitz and Patrick Hill, safe.
"Personally, I had a blast driving the Camaro down the airstrip," Seitz said at the weekend's close. "I've done sanctioned drag racing at eighth-mile and quarter-mile drag strips alike, and racing in something like this doesn't even compare. It's not a test of how quickly you can reach the finish in a certain amount of time, but rather, it's all about the actual top speed of your car in a relatively short amount of distance. Running door handle to door handle against a Viper ACR that was formally owned by Rick Hendrick was pretty cool, too."
When asked how racing on a half-mile track was different from the usual quarter-mile, Hill said, "There wasn't much of a difference, feeling wise, in driving the half-mile versus quarter-mile. The one thing that I did notice was focusing on speed more than anything. Urging the car on, literally trying to shove the gas pedal through the floor to coax every mph from the car possible before going through the traps. I wasn't focused on anything else except how fast I could get the car to go."
The STI Killer, which put down 426 horsepower and 399 lb-ft of torque on our Dynojet previously, features a Crane 228/236-duration cam, beehive valve springs, BBK headers, Vengeance Racing exhaust, SLP air lid, 160-degree thermostat, BBK throttle body, and AEM AQ-1 data logger. Weld Racing 18-inch wheels wrapped in Toyo R888 R-compound tires stop on a dime thanks to 2010 Camaro SS Brembo front brakes, and the car is also equipped with BMR suspension, Strange S60 rear end with 4.10 gears, S-Trac differential, and a D&D T56 transmission. A custom roll bar with 5-point Corbeau harnesses and racing seat provided a safe atmosphere for driver Justin Cesler during the shootout.
Take a look at our gallery and look to the captions for more driver information and trap speeds!