With the limited number of venues capable of providing a full mile plus shutdown area for standing mile racing, the folks at WannaGOFAST have managed a much more inclusive program of ½ mile events throughout the country. Georgia and Florida were among the first events held at private airports, Heaven’s Landing (Clayton, GA) and Jumbolair (Ocala, FL) respectively. Meanwhile, Virginia, Indiana and Texas are all on the docket for 2016. The Florida ½ Mile Shootout is typically the first event of the year, and was held January 23rd and 24th, 2016. Normally this is a very pleasant time of the year to be in Florida, but Winter Storm Jonas had other intentions. While Florida did not receive the massive blizzard, the cold front blew in thirty- and forty-degree temperatures across the state. While the natives were unhappy, out-of-towners were just glad to not be shoveling over two feet of snow. Racing was a bonus.
On Saturday at Jumbolair Airport, the day started at about 39-degrees and overcast as the racers checked in and warmed up their cars. This event sold out online in 12 minutes, so excitement was palpable despite the cold. As the day progressed, the ambient temperature stayed in the forties and hit a max of 53-degrees, while being overcast and windy. The combination of wind (up to 13mph) and a cold surface made traction difficult. It also rained a bit at the end of the day. Sunday proved much better for setting records, as there was little wind, plenty of sunshine, and a high of 61-degrees. The DA was negative all weekend (-2,215 ft. on Sunday), so this provided some great air. Vengeance Racing’s orange twin-turbo C6 Z06, aka “Fat Man,” seemed to be the most powerful Corvette at the event, but struggled to put down over 2,000hp – even with the ProEFI traction control. Perhaps the real surprise of the event was a couple C6 ZR1s pushing 180-190mph with nitrous and other modifications. Several twin-turbo entries from Mayhem Motorsports and a supercharged C6 Z06 from Florida Speed topped 180mph. LSXperts broke in a new twin-turbo C6 Z06 build with a handful of 170+mph runs, and Vengeance Racing brought out Eddie Blackwell’s all-motor C5 Z06 that also topped 176mph.
Aside from the 230 and 232mph passes of OB Prestige Auto’s and Underground Racing’s Lamborghinis, Corvettes were easily among the fastest cars at the event. The combination of aerodynamics and powertrains capable of over 2,000hp makes them a force to be reckon with and a site to be seen. But don’t get the impression that there weren’t plenty of less modified or even stock examples in attendance. The Florida ½ Mile Shootout is a great opportunity to get your speed fix without many of the negatives you might associate with drag racing. There are unlimited runs available throughout the day, the launch and reaction time aren’t critical, and going flat-out for a ½-mile in nearly any car is thrilling. The approachability of the event combined with the high-end demonstrations of speed makes it a great choice for racing or spectating.
The crowd gathered eagerly at the starting line to see who would top 200mph on the cold tarmac of Jumbolair Airport in Ocala, FL for the 2016 WannaGOFAST Florida ½ Mile Shootout.
Vengeance Racing was one of the event sponsors and typically brings some of the fastest Corvettes including “Fat Man,” a twin-turbo C6 Z06 that makes 1,380-rwhp and has a direct-port nitrous kit to boot. Traction issues kept Vengeance from turning up the boost, and the car ran 192mph on just 14psi. This car has topped 200mph in Georgia.
Eddie Blackwell’s C5 Z06 has won the fastest naturally aspirated title at many events, thanks to its Vengeance-built tall-deck combination. It went 178mph on Sunday, while fellow C5 Z06 racer Norm McClung hit 173mph with a supercharged combo. Vengeance had three other Corvettes top 160mph, including Slavko Puzic – a first-time ½ mile racer – and Brandon Hutton in his blown C7.
Carlos Rios built his 2014 Corvette Stingray himself, installing an air intake, headers and a direct port nitrous kit from Nitrous Outlet. The car makes 470-rwhp with E85 on motor and 620hp thanks to the 200-shot.
Former feature car, Brett Linville recently wrapped his twin-turbo C6 Grand Sport. He put on an impressive showing, battling a fellow Mayhem Motorsports product and going 184mph.
Tim Dunn’s C5 Z06 runs a similar turbo setup from Mayhem, but it runs on E85. It didn’t like cold start-up on Saturday morning, but still busted out a 182-mph pass.
That isn’t going to help your speed, but we like the enthusiasm.
Speaking of tires, check out the 15-inch wheel conversion on this ZR1. This was one of several very fast C6 ZR1s at the event.
This ZR1 later went 190mph thanks to a healthy shot of nitrous, cam, and supporting modifications.
Brian Babernitch’s C7 Stingray came to play with its fresh wide-body conversion. Unfortunately it had clutch issues all weekend, along with traction issues in 4th and 5th gear that made for a scary ride. It went right back to Florida Speed after the event for a new Mantic clutch, ProCharger F-1X, and LME billet intake with supplemental port injection.
Kooks Custom Headers are the official headers of the WannaGOFAST ½ Mile, so, of course, they were in attendance with a boatload of products and even a yellow C6.
Speaking of exhaust, check out the tailpipe on the LSXperts-built C6 Z06. A set of twin 70mm turbos hidden in the fenders boost a 402-cube engine with LS3 heads and intake. It was previously a supercharged combo, and is just getting broken in with the turbo kit. The strategy this weekend was to take it slow – race gas and all the meth they could throw at it. It ran 178mph in its first pass.
While some brought professional race trailers and a full pit crew, others made out just fine turning their own wrenches.
Florida Speed is another event sponsor that usually brings quite a few Corvettes. Co-owner Matt Sorian was behind the wheel when a mechanical issue caused the CTS-V in the right lane to cross in front of him at over 100mph. We should be talking about how this supercharged C6 went 180mph, but we are just glad this was a near miss and not a hit.
Fairly stock C6 Z06s were going in the 140mph range, while more modified examples exceeded 150mph. So it stands to reason that you don’t need a 2,000hp Corvette to have an enormous amount of fun.