Steven Fereday's 7-second, 209-mph run at St Louis made the long trip from northwest Oklahoma all worth it! I can't explain how cool it is to see someone put down numbers like that in that class of vehicle. I'm a 20-year follower of NHRA, but now am a newfound and AVID follower of the LSX wars. You see it all there, and do these guys put on a show! (Gals too!)
As we spoke to Steven after his run, I'm 6' 2" but I had to look up, he was no less than 10 feet tall! Great job to everyone and thanks to GM Performance Parts, GM High-Tech Performance magazine, and all the sponsors and participants! Side note: My 10-year-old son, Jay, cut class on Friday and I only had Friday and Saturday off. We left at 9:40 p.m. Thursday night, drove our 2002 Collector Edition Trans Am, that had only 2,300 miles on it, all night arriving at the arch for a quick ride to the top and then shot directly to the track and didn't miss one minute of the action. We left at 6:30 Saturday arriving home at 3:00 sharp. My son spent another hour with his two older brothers, sharing pics and stickers from sponsors at 4 a.m. You'da thought it was Christmas! I'll do it all over again too! Sincerely, thanks for a great event and thanks for one great magazine! You did well!
First, I want to say how much I respect and enjoy GMHTP. As a one-time road racer, auto crosser and lifetime road racing enthusiast I have followed your STI Killer project with great interest. The latest article involving the CTS-V brake caliper installation was especially good, right up to the wheel choice. The project has first class parts throughout that can withstand the rigors and stresses of the road course. I applaud your use of a hub centric wheel spacer that somewhat mitigates the issue of a spacer on a road racer. Then comes the wheel choice! The wheels chosen are imported cast knockoff parts, it appears. Have they been tested for track use? Any kind of certification? What application where they designed for?
The lateral loads you will place on the wheels of the STI Killer will be high and repetitive. That is why cars like the CTS-V, the ZR-1, and the G8 GXP have forged aluminum wheels from the factory with caliper clearance built in. I applaud your regular use of OE parts as we know they have been tested brutally for durability in their application. The last place to skimp is in the wheels and tires on a performance car. They serve as the safely net. STI Killer has great tires so that just leaves the wheels as a question mark. What truly concerns me is the substandard wheels (and often tires) I regularly see on 700-plus hp street cars. The owner sprang for forged internals in the engine, the best cylinder heads, expensive driveline parts, a bulletproof rear axle assembly, great suspension upgrades, topped off with beautiful bodywork and paint and trusts it all including his life to any wheel he can find that fits (maybe) and looks right. The owners usually get by with a drag car, but road racing is something else all together. Your readers trust you to point out issues like this and they need to know the risks.
Excellent point, look for more on this in a future issue of GMHTP.