Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • GoatRun’09: Day 2

    Posted on October 3rd, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    Saturday was spent at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (elevation ~2,100ft). There was a ‘test and tune’ at the drag strip that allowed me the first chance to take the G8 out and see what it can do. We showed-up early (way early compared to the other NorCal folks who were recovering from hangovers) and registered for the day’s events.

    I’d never been down a drag strip before, but I have been reading-up on the basics of what to do. After going through tech inspection (which really wasn’t an inspection as far as I could tell) I headed directly to the staging lanes. My dad was in the passenger’s seat and it turned-out that he didn’t need to get out of the car, so made the first pass with me (it was his first trip down a drag strip as well).

    I was lined-up next to a fellow NorCal member, which was somewhat nice (the fact that he was in a 10-second car didn’t help my ego though). I spun the rear tires quickly (didn’t do a burnout with the stock tires, but just enough to get any dirt off) and pulled into the staging beams. I was in Drive mode with the Stage 1 VMS TCM tune (the mild one), traction control off, and revved the engine up to ~1,100rpms. When the light went green… off I went!

    Run #1:

    ET – 14.561s
    MPH – 98.16

    Not as quick/fast as I was hoping, but not bad for having a passenger and a trunk full of stuff. The G8 went straight down the strip and was very stable all the way.

    For the second run I was alone and used Sport mode (still the Stage 1 VMS TCM tune). I again turned traction control off and loaded up to 1,100rpms.

    Run #2:
    ET – 14.083s
    MPH – 96.83

    While this was my quickest ET of the day, I didn’t drive all the way through the end of the 1/4-mile. I didn’t know where the finish line was (and was too far behind the other car to feel like I needed to push hard) and let-off early (hence the 96.83mph speed through the trap). I wonder if I would have been able to break into the 13’s if I’d gone all the way through the the finish on the gas.

    For the next runs I wanted to load the more aggressive Stage 2 VMS TCM tune. The re-tune went quickly and I was able to get back to the staging lanes. This run was much closer to the car in the other lane (only lost by 0.1794) and was therefore much more exciting.

    Run #3:
    ET – 14.199
    MPH – 99.97

    I was only planning on doing three runs down the strip, but after being so close to a 100mph speed through the trap I just had to do one more run. The last run I tried to push things, and the track wasn’t working in my favor. Unlike the previous runs, loading up to 1,100rpm was just too much… and I left the line with a noticeable squeal in the tires. I think that a lower rpm (or maybe having traction control on) would have helped the ET a little.

    Run #4:
    ET – 14.225
    MPH – 101.44

    I thought about one last run, but after watching some of the other cars go down the strip I knew I wasn’t going to improve on my best ET. Cars that were running high 13’s were now in the mid-14’s.

    Spending the day at the drag strip as a competitor (rather than a photographer) was definitely learning experience. I think I will need to go out an try the G8 at a strip that is closer to sea level, as people were talking about how the 2,100ft elevation was robbing some power. Not having a trunk full of bags, water, cameras, etc. would have probably also helped. Using a Density Altitude (DA) calculator for the time of my quick ET was like running at 4569ft… and a corrected ET would have been around 13.3 seconds. I’d really like to get into the low 13’s on the stock tires with this setup, so I’m sure this is something I’m going to have to do again!

    After the test and tune, there was a BBQ and car show. I had really hoped to take some photos of cars as the sun was starting to set, but the location for the car show was less than photogenic. Also, by the time the light was right, my car was blocked-in and everyone else was enjoying the show… I felt that it wasn’t the best time to pull people away for photography.

    After the BBQ people started to vote for their favorite cars and I went around getting some detail shots of NorCal cars. There was a raffle with some really cool prizes (like break rotors, a clutch, etc.)… while I didn’t win anything, several NorCal members did so that was cool. At the end of the night there was a ‘best sounding exhaust’ competition, which was taken hands-down by BillyGoatGruff (another NorCal GOAT).

    After the BBQ and car show a group of us headed over to the enterence to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There are a set of tunnels that lead into the infield, and at night they are lit-up nicely (good thing I brought my tripod). I got my chance to be photographer and took several shots of several different cars. I think a few of the guys gained a better respect about the difficulties of being a photographer… we were constantly having to move cars around because of traffic, and the lighting conditions were difficult at best. While I’d have rather been at the same location shooting ~4 hours earlier, I think I came away with a few decent shots.


    After the photo shoot I needed to drop my Dad off at the hotel, at which time I also crashed… it was almost midnight anyhow and I needed to be up early in the morning for the cruise (wow I sound like an old man).

    Leave a reply