How to Make 2,800 Horsepower Corvette and Run 239 MPH in Half-mile

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Aero, traction, engine management, boost, and more all lead up to 239 mile per hour passes for this insane C6 Corvette.

You know you’ve come across an interesting car when the 2,800 horsepower rating from the specially built LS block is only part of the reason why it is so fascinating. But that’s why we like Morris Malone’s C6 half-mile drag car. Andre Simon, the host for this video, caught up to this car at a Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack event, and dove into the technical details of making a 239 mile per hour pass.

A 6.6 liter Dart LS block lays the groundwork for those power numbers, but really, its everything around that engine that make it all work in unison. A pair of 88mm Gen II Pro Mod turbos get air into the engine, but this is where things get technical. Simon explains why this car doesn’t need an intercooler. Simon notes, “one of the big advantages with methanol fuel is that it has great cooling properties. This means that intercoolers aren’t an essential item on turbocharged cars. This helps simplify the installation as well as reduce weight from the engine bay.” Not only that, but it also reduces the amount of joints and seams that can leak, and shortens the amount of plumbing the compressed air passes through before getting to the combustion chamber.

C6 Half Mile technology

Getting that power to the ground becomes another issue all together. Management comes from a MoTeC ECU, which controls 16 fuel injectors, nitrous, timing, and more. But how it all works together becomes even more interesting.

 

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Traction control is necessary, as discovered by significant wheel-slip over 220 miles per hour. That was only partly fixed by a rear wing, of which we’ll cover later, but dialing back boost wasn’t a solution either. Instead, dialing back timing could be done, but that has its own consequence of making the exhaust hotter and potentially increasing boost. If severe wheel slip is seen, ignition cut is the only way to cure it.

C6 Half Mile technology

But you still have to make massive power in order to go that fast, and even more to overcome the drag added by the rear wing. As mentioned, nitrous is in play. “The nitrous system isn’t fitted to achieve more power. With a pair of 88mm turbos, lag is an issue. The nitrous is set up in stages, with the first just to bring the turbos up to boost at the start line.” The second stage is more dependent on location. Pikes Peak is very high in elevation, resulting in air that is much more thin than at sea level. The second stage compensates for that, taking action when the turbos aren’t at full boost.

C6 Half Mile technology

As mentioned, the wing helped with the traction issue at high speeds, but it also created a lot more drag. As such, boost on the engine was able to be increased from 30psi to 54. With all other systems working together, it makes for the worlds fastest rear-wheel drive half mile drag car.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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