On February 19th, 2014 we gathered some of our latest hardware to hit the dragstrip and road course at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR). Below is what happened, sorted by each car, and attached above is the video of that day. We’ll be going back to PBIR much more in the future, and we’ll be bringing you more and more video coverage in the coming weeks!
GMHTP’s 2012 Camaro SS
As much as your author would love to have this as his personal car, it’s actually owned by GMHTP’s parent company, Source Interlink Media. It’s essentially a rolling test bed of the latest and greatest hardware we can get for a 5th-Gen Camaro; ranging from ProCharger’s i-1 supercharger, to Weld Racing’s immensely popular black anodized, 5-spoke RT-S wheels. Unfortunately, the tires we had mounted to our RT-S’ were absolutely destroyed from the last time we were at the track, and the new tires we had ordered were on backorder, so we went with a set of 20-inch Billet Specialties wheels that we still had from a previous iteration of the car. The next time you see this car, the Welds will be back on it with a set of super sticky compound at all four corners.
Dubbed, “Project GMHTP,” your author is fairly new behind the wheel of this car, and brand new to the PBIR circuit and road racing in general. However, one lap around PBIR, and I’m hooked – I will definitely be taking this car further, perfecting my laps, and putting in tons of seat time behind the wheel of this Camaro in the coming months.
DJ Randall’s 2012 Camaro ZL1
We can’t be satisfied with just one project 5th-Gen Camaro around here, so GMHTP Contributor, DJ Randall, traded in his 2012 BMW M3 for a Camaro ZL1 of the same vintage. Dubbed, “Project Apex Assassin,” this car’s sole focus is the road course. While bone-stock at the time of this video, other than EBC Brakes cross-drilled slotted rotors and Yellow Stuff pads, the ZL1 performed flawlessly around the circuit – resulting in a 1:30 lap time hitting upwards of 130 mph on the long back straightaway.
But since we had full access to the PBIR dragstrip, DJ made a few passes for S&Gs. The heat and humidity resulted in a fairly slippery dragstrip, however, despite the best efforts of the amazing PRIR track officials. The best time DJ clocked was a 13.10 at 111.85, and if you’re familiar with the weight of a ZL1, and drag racing, then you know that speed is an indication of it’s low-12 second capabilities – we’ll get ‘er next time out! We look forward to returning with this car with upgraded suspension, increased power, and perhaps, some stickier rubber for even quicker times!
Brian Sexton’s 2008 Corvette Z06
By the time you read this, “Project Track Attack” will have officially launched. This 2008 Z06 owned by one of our own “Mad Men,” is already sporting a set of MTI Racing brake lines and heavy-duty differential. While we plan on bringing you the install story of the MTI diff (and DSS CV axles) in the July issue of GMHTP, you’ll have to wait for the info on the brake lines when we completely upgrade the entire brake system in a future installment.
Brian clicked off 1:38 around the road course, and a 11.85 in the quarter – although he has gone as fast as 11:62 in his previous outing at PBIR in the car. Like we said previously, the track surface, along with that brutal South Florida humidity wasn’t cooperating that particular day. Even so, we still had a lot of fun, and we have a better idea of what we’re working with. The next time this car will be at PBIR, it will be sporting a new clutch, a top-end engine package, and a whole host of bolt-ons!
Greg Lovell’s 2000 Corvette
Technically, this should have been labeled, “Greg’s Wife’s 2000 Corvette,” but close enough. Greg was on hand that day to put his wife’s recently acquired toy to the test, and we’re happy to report that this cafr seriously surprised all of us, running a 12.78 at 111 mph with nothing more than an ’04 GTO LS1 crate engine a fresh 4L60E, a set of 3.42 gears from a 6-speed Vette, and a set of off brand headers.
As good as it had run on the dragstrip, Greg’s luck ran out on the road course, as the torque clutch converter solenoid had overheated, giving Greg trouble nailing down a solid baseline. It has since been fixed, and you’ll see this car again back on the track soon. We haven’t officially given this car a name yet, but Greg’s goal for this Corvette is to make it compete side by side with a stock, non-Z51 C7. We think with his mechanical ability and tuning talents, he can pull it off.
Billy Matull’s 2004 Silverado
In a field filled with Corvettes and Camaros, Matull’s truck was definitely the oddball. Despite it being a pickup truck, and being the slowest of the bunch, Billy is definitely at a good starting point with this 5.3L-equipped Silverado. It’s the lightest, and therefore, the quickest combination you could have ordered in terms of a Silverado pickup truck in 2004. It’s regular cab, short bed, two-wheel drive, and thanks to it being the base trim level, no weight-adding nonsense like power leather seats or a sunroof have been added from the factory to slow this thing down. His long-term goal is to have it in the 12s on motor, and in the 11s on spray.
During our shoot, it was already equipped with a K&N air intake, a ZEX Nitrous kit, FTI torque converter, and a tune from Greg at AntiVenom. With a set of offbrand street tires installed on the stock steelies, and the track temps being what they were, he was stuck clicking off three consecutive passes of 15.1 at 88-89 mph on all three runs. A stock Silverado isn’t exactly built to handle from GM, and since Matull has no plans to road race or autocross this truck, he skipped the road course that day. As much as he wanted to, he held off spraying on this track outing trying to break into the 14s on motor, but it’s pretty much guaranteed that he will on the next visit to PBIR.