Today is the height of the muscle car era! With the advent of supercharging, many of today’s performance cars are eclipsing the performance of race-only counterparts from just a decade earlier. Companies like ProCharger are helping enthusiasts build boost and horsepower with the proper combination of parts and assembly and, as a result, records are falling almost monthly.
Recently, the folks at Late Model Racecraft went back to the track with this updated 2014 C7 Stingray in search of record-setting e.t.’s. Through proper tuning and a score of heavy-duty components, they earned the right to hold claim to the “Fastest and Quickest C7 Corvette” with a 7.55 at 186 mph.
Some will state that there’s a certain C7 that has previously turned seven-second e.t.’s, but keep in mind that LMR’s C7 still features all the creature comforts that it left the factory with; air-conditioning, radio, etc., as well as all of its body panels. Of course, when you’re putting down that much traction and horsepower, many of the factory drivetrain components would be found wanting in durability. That’s why there’s a laundry list of go-fast components that are just as important as the power-makers under the hood.
Building For Boost
The factory 8L90-E 8-speed automatic transmission was dumped for a super-beefy RPM Transmissions two-speed Powerglide driven by a ProTorque 4,000 rpm stall converter. Beyond that, a trusty 9-inch differential gives all that torque a 90-degree turn to each of the Drive Shaft Shop shafts which power those Mickey Thompson 275/60/15 Pro tires on Weld Racing wheels. As you watch the video of the car’s launch, you’ll see that building such a bulletproof drivetrain was a necessity. To keep the sixty-foot times in check, a set of Menscer Motorsports coilovers control the weight transfer.
Supercharging and nitrous are great ways to improve the power potential of any engine, but as with everything, you’ve got to have a combination of things to make parts last. The proper tuning, choice of components and a quality assembly are all necessary if you’re looking to drive home from the track intact. To start, the quality assembly began with a Late Model Engines’ sleeved 427-inch LT4 with ported LT4 heads. Internally, a Cam Motion low lash roller camshaft designed specifically for this level of boost is stabilized by an LME VVT-delete front cover. The entire assembly is topped with an LME billet intake manifold, to which a shot of power-inducing, charge-cooling N2O is added, thanks to a Nitrous Express nitrous oxide system. To further keep that boosted engine cool, an LMR-customized, ice-wielding intercooler system is mounted in the rear of the vehicle.
They are keeping the F-1X in its intended usage range and letting the blower do most of the work, then using the N2O system to add that little extra ‘spice’ on top. –Erik Radzins, ProCharger
Supplying the necessary C85 fuel to feed all those horses is thanks to the factory direct injection system and, an auxiliary port-fueling assembly that also provides fuel for the nitrous system. At that point, the folks at LMR fine-tuned the factory ECU to trim the fuel flow to match the additional boost as well as train the computer to work nicely with the new Powerglide transmission.
We spoke with Erik Radzins at ProCharger about this setup that is surely pushing the limits of performance. His reply, “What LMR is doing with this street car is really smart. They are keeping the F-1X in its intended usage range and letting the blower do most of the work, then using the N2O system to add that little extra ‘spice’ on top. Using the N2O system not only adds some extra HP, but also helps cool the air charge even more, which makes an engine very happy. Using this approach will keep the blower in its usable range, inlet temps down, and allow massive power to be made.”
Supercharging and nitrous are both tested ways of building horsepower, but when you’re going with this much power, a mixture of both can be just the right recipe. Starting off, the F-1X Procharger puts out about 23 pounds of intercooler-assisted boost into the engine. From there, a shot of nitrous also helps to cool the intake charge while providing more power-enabling oxygen to the mix. In the video, Steven Fereday, owner of LMR, states that he thinks the car will go 7.90s with blower only, but, they “don’t want to wait. So, they’re putting nitrous in it, and we’re gonna send it!”
Now it’s time to fine-tune it a little and go even FASTER! – Steven Fereday, Late Model Racecraft
Cutting Down The Tree
They clearly ‘sent it,’ as the first run puts the car solidly into the sevens. Steven, who also does the driving chores, predicted a 7.79 for the first run with nitrous. They were all pleasantly surprised to see a 7.74 at 163 mph. The 1.27 60-foot times shows that the Mickey Thompsons are keeping their grip on the track and the view from the rear shows the path of the tires as the car gets infinitely smaller.
We asked what kind of horsepower the car was making but of course, that line was left blank. With our handy-dandy calculator, and assuming the car weighs 3,600-3,700 pounds with the additional power adders, we surmise the car was making around 1,650-1,700 horsepower on that first run.
Steven and company are rightfully pleased with the numbers, and after studying the timeslip, he exclaims, “I just wanted to run a seven! Now it’s time to fine-tune it a little and go even FASTER!” After a little tuning session, it was again, time to set a new record. The second run started out looking for “a 7.69, possibly a 7.59,” but when all was said and done, the report was far better than anyone anticipated. The flash of the boards gave the news, this vanilla-white Corvette had just set the bar for C7 performance at an unbelievably fast 7.55 at 184 mph!
With that, the white-out poured over the record books, rewriting this C7 as the fastest and the quickest in the land. Of course, the team is ecstatic over the new numbers and Steven took the opportunity to highlight that this car still retains its power steering, A/C, radio and all. In fact, he exclaims that he felt like “driving it to Oklahoma!” When we asked if he really considered doing it, he replied, “If someone feels like they have a chance against us we will.”
We asked what it’s like driving a C7 Corvette that is capable of going this quick. He replied, “Amazing! There’s nothing better than sending a car you put tons of time and effort into and breaking records over and over.” We asked him what he thought this car is capable of with a little more fine-tuning, “In perfect conditions, who knows! Might even hit 6.90!” Keeping in mind that all his other predictions were shown to be conservative, it should get quite exciting the next time this snow-white C7 steps up to the line. We’ll keep you posted.