David Reese rattled a lot of cages with his “El Diablo” Camaro in the no-time world and then he shocked the class racing universe when he revealed the blistering 3.69 that he recorded on a 275 radial — but that was just the beginning. Reese is now set to unleash El Diablo 2.0 on the Radial vs The World-class and the devil is really in the details with this new Camaro.
Chassis work is truly an art form and Reese brings his creations to life at his shop, Reese Brothers Racecars. Reese has been building and racing cars at a high level for many years, and that experience has taught him how to make a car fast. His skillset has attracted other racers looking for help over the years, so when veteran racer Rick Thornton needed some assistance with his program, he came to Reese. The time spent tuning on Thornton’s car is what led to the El Diablo 2.0 build.
“I had been testing behind the scenes with Rick as he worked on his Camaro and the small-block combination he had in it. We were trying to make some progress with that setup so the program would be more competitive in Radial vs The World. The car weighed in at around 2,400-pounds, and with the performance it was achieving we felt it was just tapped-out on potential. I ended up selling El Diablo and I told Rick that I wanted to build a car we could get lighter and he offered to put his engine program in the car I was going to build — that’s how it all started with El Diablo 2.0,” Reese says.
The nasty 4.6-inch bore space small-block that will power El Diablo 2.0 was built by Reher-Morrison specifically for Thornton. A set of Chevrolet-based Wedge heads will move the boosted air from a PSI C-rotor screw supercharger into the engine. Power application to the Mickey Thompson radial tires will be handled by a Liberty transmission and Ty-Drive.
Using different cars as testbeds over the years, Reese built a nice database of knowledge. His infamous blue Corvette was one of the cars he built and that helped pave the way for the success of El Diablo. The Corvette ran in different configurations so Reese was able to learn a lot, including how to build a car that could run on both big and small tires. All of that information was used to create the improved chassis that both El Diablo cars are based on.
“El Diablo and Timmy Meissner’s Mustang are carbon copies of the Corvette; both of those cars have performed at the track, so that proved the design works. This new car uses the same chassis design, but it has a lot more weight savings built into it. The tail section of the car is all titanium, so we can take extra weight out without really affecting the chassis design. We also moved the engine location on this new car based on what we learned with other builds. By changing the engine location we hope to keep this car from trying to wheelie and that will let us throw more power at it and do it quicker,” Reese explains.
A new car of this caliber takes careful testing to get ready for competition, so Reese and his team are heading to the U.S. Street Nationals to begin the process. They plan on testing the entire week before the race to make sure it can go from A to B down the track without any issues. After the bugs are worked out, Reese is going to turn El Diablo 2.0 all the way up to max effort mode to see what it can do.
There is a method to the madness for Reese — all of this testing is being done so El Diablo 2.0 will be ready for Radial vs The World racing at Lights Out 11 and beyond in 2020.
“If we can go bottom 3.60s consistently I think we will be able to win in Radial vs The World at any event. I think it’s going to take a 3.63 to win Lights Out, but I think if you can run 3.63 to 3.67 in any set of conditions you’re going to be in the hunt. Every race that Duck [Donald Long] puts on is a war of attrition — you have to just survive what’s thrown at you. There are times to go fast, like in qualifying, but you need to go as fast as the track allows during different times of the day,” Reese says.
El Diablo 2.0 represents the next step for Reese, and he has some exciting things on the horizon with his chassis-building operation.
“The big thing I want people to understand is that Reese Brothers Racecars can build competitive cars in a timely manner, because that’s important to racers. Besides what’s going on at the shop, we’ve also created a partnership with Rick Thornton and FFI. There will be some great things coming from this partnership that’s based on a combination that’s light and uses a max-effort small-block engine,” Reese says.
David Reese has proven he can build race-winning cars that have an innovative design — El Diablo 2.0 is part of the next generation of machines that’s rolling out of Reese Brothers Racecars that will make an impact on radial tire racing.