The Calm Before The Storm:
Onward To Florida:
After 20 minutes of no-doubt-about-it- put-your-ass-under-the-jail activity, we arrived at the fountain. It was at the entrance to a really nice community. We parked all of the cars along the curb and I whipped out the D-80. I got some good shots and we sat there talking until the guard walked up to tell us that we had to leave. I made sure to rev Big Red pretty loudly as we were leaving.
We were going to stay in the rig for the night, but Ward invited us to stay at his place. We stopped by Heffner’s to load up Big Red and Big Bird in the stacker. The guys were still working on cars at 1am trying to get them ready for the event. We locked down the rig and headed for Ward’s in the Gallardo.
Twenty minutes later we arrived at casa de Ward. I don’t want to go on and on about it, but it was stunning! He showed us the guest suites that were just off of the game room. It was around 3am when we finally settled down. Ward’s game room is badass with billiards, pinball machines, arcade games, five plasmas, a kitchen, etc. etc. I had to show off the billiards skills for a few games before it was time to call it a night. I think I finally nodded off around 4:30am.
Jason looked at me and said “hold on to your ass!” He nailed it in second and that’s when I experienced something totally new to me. The car exploded to life making all kinds of wonderful and intoxicating noises. Turbos spooling, blow off valves cycling, an exotic v-10 screaming to 8,000 rpm’s. The car made instant boost and immediately annihilated all four tires in an incredible display of forward propulsion. The car screamed through the power band so quickly that Jason briefly pinged the rev limiter at the top of second. As he quickly grabbed third, I experienced another incredible automotive first. The car lightly hazed all four tires through third gear! I could feel the car slowly shift around in the lane as the tires attempted to put the power to the pavement. For the first time in a long time, I was truly in awe of a car’s performance.
Clash Of The Titans:
I decided to line up next to it. I was in the left lane and Jason was in the right lane. We slowed to about 30mph or so. We didn’t really plan this out, so I wasn’t sure how we were going to start the race. After a few seconds Jason nailed it lighting up all four tires in second. Things weren’t quite as eventful for me. Big Red was a little low in the power band (still sporting the long 2.72 gears from the Texas mile) and it took a moment to spool the big 76mm turbos. By the time I got into boost, the TT-G was about a car out and pulling HARD! Big Red came into boost and pulled hard through 2nd gear. I efficiently grabbed third and the power started to pour on. At the end of third, about the time most cars would be getting a royal ass whoopin’, I was shocked to see the G still well out in front. I quickly grabbed fourth and the full 1100rw came on strong. We both let out around 130mph or so with the G still several cars out. In that race, on that night, Big Red fell to one incredible Lamborghini!
Would it have been closer if he had not been given the hit? Yes. Could my car have performed better if we had started at a higher speed so I could have spooled more quickly? Yes, but even with those two changes, I am not completely confident that I could have won that race. At those speeds, on the street, using true street tires, it is my opinion that you would be hard pressed to find a car that can run with that twin turbo Gallardo. I think that there is no denying that Big Red is a high speed monster. There would be no competition in a 1-mile race, 100-220mph race, or at the drag strip, where maximum power is king. On the street, however, traction is king, and the TT-G has plenty to spare. In my opinion, this is one of the best street cars I have ever experienced. I am just glad that if I had to lose to anyone, it was to Jason driving Jerry’s car.
We headed back to the shop as I licked my wounds. It was all that we talked about for the rest of the night. Jason found that the AEM on Big Bird was acting up causing the car to break up at higher speeds. He quickly replaced that and put the car on the dyno. After a few pulls and some slight adjustments to the tune, the car was ready to go racing. It was 2am Sunday morning as we closed up the shop. We headed back to the track in the Gallardo and Big Red. They had everything locked up, so we parked the cars at the gate and jumped the fence. We walked to the other side of the track (where the rig was parked) at 3am. I was absolutely beat, but for some reason, we slapped “Superbad” in the DVD player and ate some snacks. I think I finally dozed off around 4:30am.
We parked the car and went to talk to the track officials. I told them that the street tires were killing the track and requested that one of the lanes be for slick tires only. They agreed and slightly re-prepped the track. Around 1:30pm, we lined up to make the second pass. Ray was aggravated that the track prep was not there and I could tell that he was very close to packing everything up. I asked him to let me see what I could do with it. I did a burnout, staged the car and sidestepped the clutch on the 2-step. Boom, again, I didn’t move three feet. No traction. I almost went on down the track to put the car on the trailer, but I decided to give it one more shot. I stopped, put it in reverse and re-staged the car. As the car was pinging off of the 2-step, I was hoping that we would find traction. I side stepped the clutch one last time.
It wasn’t a perfect launch, but it held pretty well. I felt the front end of the car leave the earth and everything in my body told me that something was going right. The car went pretty straight and I shifted as quickly as I could. I remember thinking that first and second felt pretty good, but third and fourth needed more power. Lots more power! I pulled down the return road to find that we had just busted off an 8.628 @167.16 on a terrible track, in 85 degree air, and 15lbs of boost! That was a pretty nice start.
I pulled back up to the rig and told Jason that we needed to throw some serious power at this thing. It felt like it couldn’t get out of its own way on the big end and I was ready to see what this thing could do. He told me, “Have patience, grasshopper”, so we added a couple of pounds of boost and got ready to make another pass. That’s when I found out that instead of racing until six o’clock, we only had the track until three. That left just enough time to make one more pass.
I got in the car and pulled up to do the burnout. I staged the car and brought it up on the 2-step. As I side-stepped the clutch, I felt the car leave the line while spinning the tires. I knew we had wheels up action on that one. I nailed the first two shifts and I could tell that was a pretty clean pass. The 3-4 shift was a little lazy, but they can’t all be gems. About halfway down the track, the car started to wander around a little on me. I felt like I was getting a little too close to the centerline, and I almost lifted. At the last minute, I decided to drive through it and the car got back in shape. The car still felt a little slow in third and fourth, and I knew we had a ton left to add. Unfortunately, we were out of track time. I was pretty pleased to find that we ran a 8.574 @ 170.22 with a 1.399 60’ in 85 degree weather on 18psi.
We didn’t run the numbers we were looking for, but for a couple of shakedown passes in less than ideal conditions, I think we did pretty well. We loaded the cars and got the rig road ready. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone, but it was time to go. It sure was a blast hanging out with everyone and I can’t wait to get together in March at the Texas mile and the TX2K8.