In the grand scheme of things, a tenth of a second isn't a very long time. In fact, when you say it out loud, it almost seems silly that we even concern ourselves with such small numbers. Of course, to a real drag racer, a tenth of a second can feel like an eternity and it can often times be the difference between winning and losing. In the first 60 feet of a drag race, this unit of time becomes even more relevant, with each tenth of a second resulting in almost two-tenths of a difference on the big end of the track. As such, it should come as no surprise that people are willing to pay big money to drop these times, often at the cost of some other comfort. For Vengeance Racing, where both sales and customers can be lost in a tenth or two, the stakes are even higher. So, when it came time to take an already fast 10.89-second '11 Camaro SS, owned by Bill Mallett, even deeper into the 10s, they weren't planning to mess around. Enter Pfadt Race Engineering, a company founded on building quality high-performance suspension parts for late-model Corvettes and Camaros.
If you're thinking Pfadt Race Engineering is more of a handling company, you're right, but suspension experts can make anything work properly given enough information and knowledge. Thus, when it came time to sit down and build a drag racing specific coilover, the engineering team at Pfadt had to take a step back from the twisty stuff, head to the 1320, and get serious about digging deep for the first 60 feet. After "hundreds of hard drag launches" the team began to narrow in on a drag race specific design, with spring rates and damper lengths tuned to both the fifth-gen Camaro chassis and the needs of aggressive drag racers. First and foremost, the front coilovers were redesigned, adding softer springs (even softer than the stock units) to help induce lift, and custom damper curves to control the shock throughout its travel range. With the front dialed in, the Pfadt crew turned to the back, optimizing the rear coilover design to control the weight transfer and plant the tires hard into the ground without any wheel hop or tire spin.
And while much of the drag race specific coilover design is unique to these units, they do still feature many of the things we have come to know and love about the Pfadt coilover units. Both front and rear struts feature Pfadt's unique inverted monotube design, which provides strength and reliability, while reducing un-sprung mass. Additionally, the inverted design allows for a bottom mounted damper adjuster knob, which controls all 20 damper adjustments, changing both rebound and compression with a simple turn. Lastly, both the corner carving and drag racing offerings ship complete with everything you would need to bolt them directly to your Camaro and head out on track, which makes them perfect for back-to-back comparison testing. In our case, it was as simple as following along while Charlie Hill of Vengeance Racing tackled the install, swapping out a set of stock struts wrapped in Pfadt Race Engineering lowering springs for a set of drag race specific coilovers and a new adjustable drag bar, in place of the company's street style sway bar. The results speak for themselves, which you can read about below.