Don Lamana has been locked in full thrash mode since No Mercy 10 working on his 1963 split-window Corvette trying to get it ready for the 2020 Radial vs The World racing season and that hard work is about to pay off. With the help of his team at Pro Fab Performance and many others, Lamana is ready to let go of the button on his Corvette for the first time to see what the Frankenstein Engine Dynamics-built HEMI can do.
After Lamana showed his new car off to the world at No Mercy 10 he took the Corvette to FuelTech for a tuning session the hub dyno to make sure everything was functioning as it should. While the car did make some successful pulls, Lamana and his team found some issues that needed to be addressed before a single pass could be made. Since Lamana was used to running a turbocharged combination he didn’t want to rush anything with this new blower set up and have any issues that could have been prevented.
“We needed to make a stator change in the torque converter because this HEIM from Frankenstein and Brandon Pesz operates at a much higher RPM level than other HEMI-based engines. The stator in the coveter was way too tight on the dyno because the average stator for a HEMI is made for an engine that spins up to maybe 9,500 RPM, we’re spinning this engine up to 10,500 RPM. This is the first HEMI that Frankenstein has been involved with that uses a ProCharger as the power adder so it’s all-new territory for everyone.”
Wade Hopkins from Southern Speed is taking care of the HEMI tuning duties for Lamana on the Corvette since the change has been made to a supercharger. The whole team from Southern Speed has been involved with the car and teaching Lamana’s team what to look for when working on a supercharged car of this caliber.
For Lamana, the experience of stepping into the office of a blower car has been an interesting one that he’s enjoyed.
“I’ve never had a blower car like this before, it’s different, and it’s really loud. My previous car was a stock suspension door car, this is basically a pro mod with radials so the setup side of things is going to be different. The percentages with weight on this car are different so everything we learned on a stock suspension car is useless with this one. Another thing that’s way different is the power application, this car is all in about half a second into a run, there’s no boost controller, timing and fuel is used for power management, it’s more simple but harder at the same time,” Lamana explains.
Since the Corvette hasn’t even done a burnout yet Lamana plans on testing as much as he can before the U.S. Street Nationals. He’s confident that all of the planning and hard work will pay off since the car already showed potential on the dyno. Every pass will be a learning experience for the team since there haven’t been any laps made before with this combination.
“Our goal is to go test and learn as much as we can while keeping it one piece. After that, we’re going to head into qualifying and hopefully, lean on it more to see what the car likes. To do that we must get a handle on the tune-up while also making sure the car itself works. When things are going right these cars go a .913-.940 60-foot time, so until this car is going a sub .950 60-foot time there’s no sense in really going any further down the track. When we get the 60-foot where it works we will start running it further while checking the tune-up,” Lamana says.
You can see Lamana and his new Corvette in action during the U.S. Street Nationals this weekend at Bradenton Motorsports Park. All of the racing will be shown live RIGHT HERE on SpeedVideo starting on Friday. This broadcast is brought to you by presenting sponsor ProCharger along with ATI Performance Products, FuelTech, TCI, COMP Cams, and Whipple Superchargers.