One hour after runs began on Friday, I wowed those fans with a 180.0-mph pass in the number 710 Lingenfelter Corvette. By launching with less wheel spin and hustling shifts, I was able to add another 3.2 mph to our credit before the day's heat and wind rose to halt progress. Racing to 180 mph, this Corvette felt perfectly stable and happy at its work.
We climbed one additional step up the velocity ladder early Saturday morning, before the headwinds stirred and after we chilled the intercooler with a bag of ice. The final 185.9-mph pass gave the ZR1 a solid 12-mph advantage over Cammisa's red racer and was convincing evidence that overhead cams and a stratospheric redline are less important here than a supercharger spinning at nearly 20,000 rpm.
Cammisa deserves credit for earning one merit badge: his Ferrari topped the LPE ZR1's acceleration. Texas Vbox data revealed that he won the race to 60 mph by 0.2 second and the quarter-mile sprint by 0.3 second, thanks to just the right amount of launch spin and no speed lost during upshifts.
Long after the thrill of victory wears off, I'll remember the Texas Mile as a first-rate experience. Organizers Jay and Shannon Matus have created a fresh and fun category of motorsports with easy access for the speed hungry. And because this event takes place in Texas, there's a universal spirit of camaraderie long gone from other forms of racing.
PORSCHE 911 TURBO
176.5 MPH Seventy-three-year-old Bill MacEachern is the original owner of this 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo, and he's put all 601,000 miles on it himself. That includes the drive from Canada to Texas for this event. In fact, his son Brian, a vintage-car racer, got to drive it for the first time here at the Texas Mile, and his reaction was "Holy shit, shift. Holy shit, shift. Holy shit, shift." That colorful reaction happened because the 3.4-liter flat six runs 17.5 psi of boost through custom intercoolers into twin-plug heads and produces something like 550 hp at the wheels. Bill, whose fastest run was within 1 mph of his son's, has been a speed freak for some time. When his boys were little, he used to strap them in the back seat to visit racetracks around North America. On one particularly brisk trip home, he pointed to the speedometer needle and said to his sons: "See that? Don't let me ever catch you going faster than 150 mph." Good advice.
192.9 mph Standing among spectators, we overheard someone say, "Watch that white pickup-it's a buddy of mine. He's going to do almost 200 mph." Uh-huh, 20 mph faster than a Ferrari? Fat chance, we thought. Guess who was wrong? Sergio "Flaco" Gonzalez's 1999 GMC Sierra has a turbocharged, nitrous-injected 427-cubic-inch V-8 that he says makes 1150 hp. Check out the black rubber dust on the back fenders-this pickup shredded its big ol' tires the entire length of the track.