Tarmac Twisters: A term not normally used to describe the essence of Corvette, but rather brutish old-school cars swilling 116-octane leaded gas and tearing up the drag-tracks of this fair land. But do superb handling and a refined driving experience necessarily mean that a Vette can't excel at drag racing? We think not, and to prove the point, we issued a shout-out to Texas-area tuners and enthusiasts to bring out their high-powered late-model Vettes and turn them loose on the 1,320. The venue for the event was Lone Star Motorsports Park in Sealy, Texas, located just west of Houston alongside I-10-squarely in the epicenter of the state's notorious C5 and C6 horsepower wars.
A total of seven Vettes accepted the challenge, four of which remain. In our second installment, we'll turn up the power numbers and ratchet down the e.t.'s to show you an eclectic mix of brutal late-model builds. Diversity is evident in the alphabet soup on LS-series blocks on hand, with LS3, LS7, LSX, and Warhawk all represented. Twin-turbos will battle it out against heavily juiced cars and even a single naturally aspirated entry. How will the foes fare against each other, and will they put down impressive numbers or simply obliterate their tires? We're about to find out.
Author's note: LSMP is located 185 feet above sea level, and on a cool day the track can support record-shattering runs. Unfortunately, ambient temperatures on this day topped the century mark, and the combination of barometric pressure and dew point made the air similar to racing at 3,000 feet. Although we won't "correct" the e.t.'s to reflect sea-level conditions, suffice it to say that with these corrections, the runs that follow would have been notably quicker.
We'd like to thank the crew of Late Model Racecraft and Lone Star Motorsports Park, who made this event possible, as well as the great group of volunteers who kept things running smoothly throughout the day.
Peek beneath the hood of R.C. Cox's screaming-red Z06 clone, and it's obvious that the car is a technological wonder. With street-legal power as his goal, the self-employed electrical contractor teamed up with Late Model Racecraft (LMR) in Houston to put together one unique boosted warrior.
The stock LS2 was replaced by a World Products Warhawk LS7X aluminum block displacing a gargantuan 440 cubic inches. All Pro LSW race heads offer tremendous flow while dropping compression to a boost-safe 9.2:1, allowing the intercooled APS twin-turbo system to cram in upwards of 20 psi of boost. An RPM Transmissions 4L80-E automatic and a full Pfadt suspension makeover help keep the power in check. After some initial teething problems, the combo put down more than 1,030 hp on the LMR chassis dyno on a mere 15 psi of boost.
For obvious reasons, Cox and the LMR crew were concerned that traction would be the limiting factor at LSMP. Simply stomping the go-pedal off idle resulted in a 60-foot time of 1.73 en route to a jaw-dropping 9.40 at 155.23 mph. A second off-idle run brought another 9.40. With those numbers in the books, Cox decided on his next pass to release the trans brake at 2,500. Things were looking great, with a 60-foot time of 1.66, before the drag radials lost purchase and spun. The car eventually recovered to run a 9.79 at 153.58 mph.
With the heat of the day taking over, and track temps soaring, Cox would prove unable to better his first three passes. Still, it's worth pondering what his C6 would be capable of with a pair of slicks and some cool, dense air.