Vette enthusiasts light up at the sight of a ZR1, so imagine the look on Andrew Alepa's face when his fiancée, Kim Amador, presented him with the keys to a brand-new black Z as an early birthday present! After driving the ZR1 for less than 200 miles, Alepa called up LMR to turn this viciously fast Vette into a bona fide supercar killer.
After a couple of quick pulls on LMR's chassis dyno, it was determined that the stock Z was putting out just north of 530 hp at the wheels. To up the ante, LMR put on the first stage of its ZR1 Street Stalker package, replacing the exhaust manifolds with American Racing Headers 17/8-inch long-tubes, performing a pulley swap, and doing a custom ECM tune. When the rollers stopped spinning, 602 rwhp registered on the dyno readout. But even stock ZR1s are infamous for their tire-melting tendencies, and without having had a chance to get comfortable with the car's freshly engorged output, Alepa looked to have his work cut out for him at LSMP.
As expected, the combination of insufficient wheel time and tremendous instantaneous power conspired to shred the stock tires, even launching at a paltry 1,000 rpm. By the time the car finally gained a foothold in Third, a poor 2.347 60-foot time had swelled the e.t. to 12.95 at 124 mph. When LMR offered up its spare set of drag radials mounted on CCW wheels, Alepa quickly jumped at the offer. By adjusting his launch rpm to 3,500, he knocked down a 2.02 60-foot en route to a much-improved 12.27 at 126 mph. For his next run, Alepa decided to raise his launch rpm again, this time to 4,500, to prevent the car from bogging at the line. But it seemed the stock clutch was a tad too warm from the previous run, as evidenced by the sickening smell of burnt lining that filled the air on the One-Two shift. Although an 11-second e.t. wasn't in the cards for Alepa this time around, it certainly didn't affect his upbeat attitude or his penchant for speed.
A few months later, the ZR1 was promoted to Reaper status with a cam, ported heads, a blower-snout upgrade, and a Spec twin-disc clutch-upgrades that registered 800 rwhp on LMR's chassis dyno. With Steven Fereday rowing the gears on a cool winter day, it ran an electrifying 9.93 at 140 mph.