For Tommy's first pass, he set the Camaro's two-step to 3,200 rpm and dumped the clutch. Traction from the Mickey Thompsons bogged the engine, but the F-body still ran an 11.187 at 128.26 (1.85 short time). For the next pass, Justin raised the launch rpm to 3,500 and this seemed just about perfect. The car tore out of the hole (1.78 60-ft) and a couple of 6,800 rpm powershifts later, the clocks read 11.139 at 128.16. After a cool down, Tommy raised the launch rpm to 4,500 rpm, but it caused a major spinning problem out of the hole (1.92 short time) and a subsequent slowing at the big end-11.320 at 128.05. All runs were made with 22 psi in the tires, which worked great.
When we switched to the Nittos, we had a bit of a learning curve and the first pass was a tire-spinning mess. We started with 20 psi in the tires and a medium length burnout and got an 11.627 at 127.90 (3,800 rpm launch). Justin dropped the tire pressure for the next pass to 17 psi and the result was nearly identical.
After a brief cool-down, we dropped the air pressure to 15 psi and the launch rpm to 3,500. Tommy also did a longer burnout. We were rewarded with an 11.139 at 128.07, equaling the best elapsed time of the Mickey Thompsons, though the short time was still off, at 1.844.
From watching the car on the starting line, we determined that the sidewall on the Nitto NT05s was stiffer than that of the Mickey Street Radial II tires. As an experiment, Justin loosened the 12-way adjustable QA1 coilover front shocks and took one more psi from the NT05s. This turned out to be the magic formula. With a 3,500 rpm launch, Tommy ripped off an 11.104 at 128.40 (1.94 short time) and an 11.068 at 128.19 (1.779 60-ft). Lowering the starting line rpm to 3,400 (still shifting at 6,800), paid off with another 11.068, this time at 127.80, but with a best-of-the-day 1.770 60-ft).
At this point, Justin and Tommy put the ET Street Radial IIs back on the Camaro. The SS went 11.171 at 127.79 (1.84 60-ft) and 11.110 at 128.29 (1.804)-its best M/T pass-but it could not equal the times achieved on the Nittos.
In the end, the Nittos held the slightest of edges in both 60-ft time (1.77 vs. 1.786) and elapsed time (11.068 vs. 11.110). This gives them bragging rights for this story, but the real battle will be found in actual competition. This will be a war worth following in 2010 and beyond.