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DTE Track Day - A Day At The Races

Corvettes Tear Up The Strip At DTE's Inaugural Track Day

James Miles May 1, 2008
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Not too long ago, we stopped by DynoTech Engineering (DTE) in Indiana to view the creation of the company's latest Viper-spanking monster, a C6 convertible fitted with an early-production APS twin-turbo system. Capable of putting a smile on the face of even the most jaded pedal-pusher, this E-Ticket ride served up serious power in a package that looked, sounded, and felt like a stock C6.

During our time with DTE proprietor Phil Rickard, we got word of an upcoming track day to be held at the O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. Although Rickard had originally planned to spend the day testing out the capabilities of the company's new turbo toy, he decided to go all-out and invite friends and customers for a full-fledged drag session.

The weather was hot and dry for a late-fall afternoon. Under constant threat of a brewing thunderstorm, the Corvettes held their own, pulling down respectable quarter-mile times despite the building humidity. How well did they do? Read on and find out for yourself.

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Don Coleman
Cincinnati, OH
Best Time: 10.89 at 129.23 mph

Those of you who are unfamiliar with Don Coleman's C6 need look no further than our Mar. '07 issue, wherein we detailed how DTE turned the then-nearly-new convertible into a forced-induction monster that sounds, looks, and feels completely stock. That is, until you give it some gas.

The engine itself has little more than some beefed up internals that include Comp Cams pushrods and valve springs. The real show stopper comes in the form of an APS twin-turbo system that blows through a Magnaflow exhaust. Out back, you'll find a DTE Stage 2 rearend. All in all, the C6 now puts out at an impressive 552 rwhp and 573 rwtq, leaving the initiated to ask, "Why?" Answers Coleman, "For the fun of it." Is there any better reason?

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Jim Ross
St. Marys, OH
'04 Convertible
Best Time: 12.452 at 113.81 mph

Insurance salesman Jim Ross had a dream that he shared with the DTE crew. That dream? To fit a new LS2 under the hood of his '04 vert. Three years after its creation, the Gen IV-powered droptop still gets regular use, playing daily driver to Jim and his wife, Teri.

The 364ci engine uses ported heads, a custom DTE cam, a FAST intake, and Dynatech headers to churn out a heady 425 rwhp and 410 rwtq. Fitted with a DTE-built 3.73-geared rear, the Vette has traveled as far as Niagara Falls and Texas since the Indy track event took place.

"I loved the structure of this event," enthused Ross at day's end. "You got to run, and then go, and go, and go! The track was high-quality, and you can't get any better than that.

"My Corvette didn't do exactly what I thought it would. But when I asked Phil to do the work, I told him my top priorities were reliability and durability-and that's exactly what he delivered."

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Bill Aksamit
Fort Wayne, IN
'04 Coupe
Best Time: 12.139 at 121.19 mph

Bill Aksamit isn't interested in bling-just going fast. To that end, he has fortified his '04 coupe with some of the most powerful performance parts on the market. Although it came ready to rumble with a Z51 suspension, the car was quickly lowered an inch to give it better handling in the curves.

Under the hood you'll find an engine that displaces a whopping 427 ci and spins the rear wheels to the tune of 492 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. How did he achieve such a powerful package? A FAST intake brings in the air, while a DTE custom cam, Crane top-end pieces, AFR heads, a Callies crank, and Lunati 11:1 pistons keep the torque tube turning a 3.73 DTE-built rear.

Aksamit had this to say regarding his Corvette's performance: "I was pleased with it," he said. "I didn't do any special tuning. It's basically in the same configuration as when I drive it on the street. I'm pretty happy with how Jenny [Rickard] and Phil went out of their way to put on this event for everyone. I only wish it had lasted longer!"

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Bob Ueber
Fort Wayne, IN
'02 Convertible
Best Time: 12.261 at 118.21 mph

As a dentist, Bob Ueber has an uncanny knowledge of how to take care of your smile and the teeth behind it. As the owner of this '02 Corvette convertible, he also has an uncanny ability to make your smile go from ear to ear when you hear the deep bass rumble from his Vette's 427ci engine. Ueber was a little sketchy on the details of what makes his Corvette run as well as it does, but one look under the hood revealed a FAST intake, AFR heads, Dynatech SuperMaxx headers, and a Vortech supercharger.

What did Bob have to say about his 15 minutes of fame? "Well, my Vette had some trouble. It was sucking oil from the PCV, so it was bogging down a lot. I only got a few runs before I retired for the day. Otherwise, it was a pretty fun event. I enjoyed watching it and the other cars."

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Jerry Locke
Bargersville, IN
'99 Convertible
Best Time: 11.759 at 116.28 mph

Jerry Locke's philosophy is a simple one. "All Corvettes are fast," he told us, "I just wanted mine to be faster." With that in mind, Locke and his wife, Kathy, commissioned the construction of a 395ci stroker engine for their '99 convertible. With a rousing 420 rwhp and with 418 rwtq on tap, the car is ready to prove its point at a moment's notice.

Inside the heart of the beast, you'll find a Lunati crank and pistons with a compression rating of 10.5:1. MTI Stage 2 heads hold Crane springs, lifters, and pushrods that are bumped by a Lunati cam. A FAST intake fitted with an LS2 throttle body makes sure the C5 can gulp as much air as it needs to pound some sense into would-be challengers. Once ingested, all that air flows out through Stainless Works headers, SLP pipes, and Corsa mufflers. Like so many of its cohorts at Indy, the car employs a DTE-built, 3.73-geared rear.

"I thought my car performed really well considering how hot the day was," Locke told us. "I also really enjoyed the event. I only wish there had been more cars. But it was a good deal, and I appreciate being invited."

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Dave Sachman
Indianapolis, IN
'02 Coupe
Best Time: 12.431 at 111.66 mph

Truck driver Dave Sachman and his wife, Colleen, took the cost-conscious approach to upgrading their Vette, netting impressive results along the way. The part-time cruiser, part-time drag car started its non-stock life with the addition of a Z06 manifold, ported heads, and a Cam Dynamics shaft. Throw in a set of LG Pro headers and a Z06 air cleaner and oiling system, and you've got a killer ride that won't break the bank. Dyno'd prior to the track meet, the car's output checked in at an impressive 392.89 rwhp and 375.60 rwtq.

"I thought [the car] performed well, but the tires gave it a lot of slippage," said Sachman. "The track, though, was fabulous. I had a great time."

Since the event, Dave has upgraded his C5 with a Halltech Warhead intake and AFR heads, bumping rear-wheel output to 415.73 hp and 401.30 lb-ft.

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Steve Dager
Indianapolis, IN
'99 FRC
Best Time: 13.401 at 108.56 mph

As a retired sales engineer for International Truck, Steve Dager knows a good deal when he sees one. He and his wife, Pam, started with one of the best deals on the market-a '99 fixed-roof coupe. Stripping off the original manifold and replacing it with the Z06 version was the first order of business. Further enhancing the air flow are a Donaldson Blackwing air cleaner, Dynatech headers, and a Corsa Indy exhaust. Additional mods include Z06 front and rear suspension bits, brakes, and body upgrades. Judging by the results-344 rwhp and 342 rwtq-we'd say that Dager achieved his goal of, as he put it, "maximizing the car's potential."

"I was really pleased with the car, but a little disappointed in the wheelhop," said Dager of his track experience. "I'm working on getting a head-and-cam package next, as well as some Bilstein shocks. That should get me almost where I want to be.

"The track was super-wonderful, even. I can't say enough about the condition. It had some of the best traction I've seen in a long time."

Paul Gomez
Bloomington, IN
'03 Coupe
Best Time: 13.221 at 112.49 mph

Program manager Paul Gomez's '03 coupe serves mostly weekend duty, seeing semi-regular action at local track days. Not happy with the output of the stock motor, Gomez had DTE bump up the power with a custom cam and supporting valvetrain hardware. After all was said and done, the 25,000-mile engine cranked out 368 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels-pretty peppy for a weekend warrior.

"My car did great-though it wasn't me behind the wheel," Gomez told us. "I had Phil drive it so I could videotape its performance. I liked what I saw. It had a real easy take-off, and that impressed me the most. Overall, I had a great time, and I'm amazed by how well this [event] was run. It's great to have a firm that involves you in the buildup as much as [DTE does]."



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