They've been called liars, banned from web forums, stoned in the public square, and even scalded with boiling oil (okay maybe not the last two), but Dr. Robert Zona and the Anger Management crew are here to prove their 9-second heads/cam C5 ZO6 is legit. Though Dr. Zona may administer plenty of laughing gas in his dentist office, you will find none administered to his stock bottom-ended LS6. Technician Tommy Michalkowski assures us the Trick Flow Specialties 215cc heads, prepped by Total Engine Airflow, and a custom hydraulic roller from Anger Management are the LS6's only means of aspiration, aided of course by a FAST LSX manifold, stock LS2 90mm throttle body, VaraRam intake, American Racing 1 7/8-inch headers, X-pipe and GHL catback.
Though the stock pistons have been notched and a set of ARP rod bolts have been added, most would still see fit to call the C5 the fastest heads/cam LS1 anywhere, despite its IRS. The Brick, NJ-based shop has the ZO6 cutting 1.41 short times with only a hardened left output shaft and DTE brace strengthening the stock IRS rear, which has been outfitted with a 4.10 gear. Pfadt urethane bushings and rear sway bar as well as QA1 adjustable shocks aid the suspension in providing remarkable weight transfer to Hoosier 255/50R16 radial slicks mounted on lightweight Bogart D-10 16-inch rims that actually fit over the stock brakes. For additional weight savings, Moroso DS2 skinnies and Strange front drag brakes adorn the front end on the street-driven two-seater. A few minor weight-savings measures including a Corbeau race seat (and removed passenger seat) help offset the East Coast Supercharging rollbar, keeping the Vette at a svelte 3,188 pounds.
Perhaps the biggest trick piece on the whole car is the adjustable clutch and faceplated trans setup-a first for the transaxle C5s. Tommy at Anger Management dismantled the stock T56 trans, ground down the teeth on First through Fourth gear, welded on faceplates, added a special mainshaft and added a syncro in place of a slider. This enabled a larger "window of engagement" and took the soft parts out of the equation for better longevity. The adjustable McLeod Soft Lok optimizes both the initial hit to the tires and top-end e.t. as Tommy or Robert (both pilot the Z) row all the way to Fourth as the LS1 eclipses 7,100 rpm prior to an initial launch at around 5,800 to 6,200 rpm thanks to a Lingenfelter Launch Controller.
"The biggest advantage we've had is the teamwork and attention to detail. Everything works in sync as a combination. It doesn't hurt having a meticulous ECM tuner in Troy Nikola and a GM/Vette Tech with over 10 years experience (me)," said Michalkowski.
"I've always been goal-oriented, I see a record and say let's go for that. I knew when building the car we would go faster than anyone, but I didn't know we would go 9s. I knew we'd be close when I ran a 10.4 the first time out with this combo, and then it was, 'whatever it takes.' I think with the same setup it will go a couple tenths faster, we may do something a little different and shoot for a lower time-like a ported intake and throttle body."
Whatever road Zona and the New Jersey crew may take, no doubt it will be a quick trip to the heart of admiration in the LS1 community. In the meantime, Robert will continue to try his hand at bracket racing in the local Corvette Challenge 10.0 index class. Perhaps his victorious habits will cross over.