1,500 Horsepower C5 Corvette Kart Tears it Up at LS Fest

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LS Fest brings out the fastest GM vehicles ever made, including the Cleetus McFarland and Leroy the Corvette kart.

If you aren’t familiar with Cleetus McFarland’s Franken-‘Vette called Leroy, you’re in for a treat. The car began life as a C5 Corvette. Now, it’s little more than a frame, cage, and 1,500 horsepower twin-turbocharged LSX V8. This thing isn’t a daily driver, but it’s a ruthless quarter-mile assassin. And in this video, we see it wreaking havoc at this year’s LS Fest at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

As the video opens, McFarland is a little disappointed to find that with the new engine in the car, he and Leroy will weigh in at a shade over 3,000 pounds. But since the last track day, Leroy has a new motor, new cage, new diff, new bell housing, and a new clutch. And in its first pass, it’s amazing how brutally fast the car is.

Cleetus McFarland and Leroy the Corvette Take on LS Fest 2018


Lining up against a relatively stock-looking C7, McFarland doesn’t get a great jump off the line. But that hardly matters because Leroy leaves its competitor in the dust. Running on 22 pounds of boost, Leroy runs an 8.3-second quarter mile at 157 miles per hour. That’s fast enough to rip the stickers off the dash! What’s more, he did that with a broken axle and two blown fuel pumps.


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McFarland and the Texas Speed & Performance team quickly replace the fuel pump fuses and rear axles, and the car is ready to go later in the day. His best performance is an 8.27-second quarter-mile at 175 miles per hour. It’s enough to put him in second place in the stick shift class, just behind the other Texas Speed & Performance driver, who runs a 7.90.

Cleetus McFarland and Leroy the Corvette Take on LS Fest 2018

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to motivate you. And as day two of LS Fest begins, McFarland is determined to break the eight-second mark. With new tires, he runs an 8.411 at 174 miles per hour, and he isn’t happy about it. The car spun its tires in first and second gears, a sign of too much boost at the low end. Unfortunately, rain settles in before his second pass. Ultimately, that’s the end of LS Fest for 2018.

Luckily, the video ends with an entertaining glimpse of pit-lane shenanigans. McFarland does a burnout on his pit bike, then has a friend shoot nitrous into the bike’s intake while he launches. It may be an anticlimactic way to end the video, but it’s a great glimpse into life at the raceway. If you’ve ever wanted to see a stripped Corvette tear up the drag strip, then this video is a must-watch.

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James Derek Sapienza is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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