For those of you who remember Mike Romaine from our 9-10 second power adder track shootout (April '07), you may recall that this New Jersey-based '99 FRC C5 ran quite detuned at our shootout, on just straight 93-octane pump gas, and still managed 9.70s-an easy four tenths off his previous best (of 9.33). At the time, his IRS-equipped remote mounted single turbo setup easily owned quite a number of Internet "fastest" titles, running nines with three different combinations (nitrous, n/a and turbocharged). Next he had his sights on running 8s, so first he switched to a 402 motor combo with TEA-ported TFS 235cc heads, and had Cartek modify the custom STS remote mount turbo setup for a larger air-to-air intercooler and 88mm T6 turbo. The good folks at Mufflex did the pipe bending for the project.
Unfortunately, though, even with RPM Transmissions' stoutly built 4L60E, Mike had no shot at fully ringing out this combo and breaking into the 8s. It was time to step up, as many C5 owners begrudgingly did before him, and retrofit a Turbo 400 or a Powerglide. To Mike's distaste, this would mean many side effects he wasn't prepared to deal with ... keep in mind he not only drives his C5 to and from the track, but also puts a good amount of street miles on it otherwise (about 7,000 per year). Thankfully Mike and RPM Transmissions came up with an alternative solution-retrofitting the baddest electronically controlled transmission GM ever made: the 4L80E.