510CI, 2,800 HP, Big-Block Chevy
Jeff D'Agostino and Nick Scavo, Chicago, IL
Outlaw 10.5 tire racing in America is aptly named because it seems almost illegal that cars with 2,500-plus horsepower should be able to make it down the track with only a 10.5W tire laying it down. Two guys who know a little bit about all this are Jeff D'Agostino and Nick Scavo. They've been in and around Fastest Street Car racing since its earliest days. Jeff and Chuck Samuel co-own Fast Times Motorworks, and they're the wizards behind this engine. You may remember Nick as the guy who made his name with that ridiculously heavy Super Street Impala almost 20 years ago. He will be the one behind the wheel. The car is a recently built Chassis Engineering '91 Camaro that Nick says should run somewhere near 6.60s at 215 mph. That's quicker than the current NMCA Super Street record held by Spiro Pappas' Camaro. It's bound to be an interesting season.
A.Water On Board Instead of a passenger seat, the entire right side of the interior is occupied by a giant water tank and plumbing for the water-to-air intercooler. They carry far more water on board to cool the inlet charge than fuel.
B. Powertrain Nick feels the combination of a clutch and turbochargers is a difficult act to master. Instead, the team went with a Bruno three-speed transmission that essentially places a torque converter in front of your choice of a Lenco, Liberty, G-Force, or Jeffco transmission. Nick chooses to run a Lenco three-speed behind the Bruno converter drive. The 9-inch rear gear is a 3.89 cog designed to run with the 10.5Wx33-inch Mickey Thompson rear tires.
C. Driving a Bruno Imagine you're Nick Scavo behind the wheel, about to stage the car. With the torque converter, the Bruno drives much like an automatic. After pre-staging, pump the brakes to ensure the car won't roll through beams when you increase throttle. Once you hit the launch rpm, carefully release the brake pressure just enough to move into the stage beams, then hit the transbrake button located on the Hurst shifter. This locks the input shaft. Now mash the throttle to the floor. The launch rpm is set by the MSD, while boost is controlled by the AMS-1000. At the first glimpse of yellow on the Pro Tree, release the transbrake and the car launches. Once the car leaves, grab the Second gear shift handle and yank straight back when the shift light stabs you in the face. Do the same thing for high gear, and then ride out that 220-mph top-end charge and get ready to hit the parachute lever. On a good run, Nick gets all this done in less than seven seconds, but it's not nearly as easy as it sounds.
D. Induction Hogan built the sheetmetal manifold, and it's designed to accommodate either 8 or 16 injectors. Right now, the engine is fitted with only eight, but they're rated at a monstrous 240 lb/hr of fuel. The EFI control is handled by a John Meaney BigStuff3 box assisted by an AMS-1000 boost controller. Fuel is supplied by an Aeromotive mechanical fuel pump.
E. The Engine The block is an aluminum Donovan with water jackets and machined for larger 0.904-inch roller lifters. The crank is a Sonny Bryant 4.00-inch stroke piece connected to Bill Miller aluminum rods and a set of 9.5:1-compression JE pistons. The oil pan is a Stef's assisted with a Moroso vacuum pump.
The heads are an older set of Carl Foltz (CFE) 14-degree Pro Stock-style heads with 2.400/1.88-inch Victory titanium valves. Nick says they plan to spin this package to perhaps 8,800 rpm in search of power. That's the reason for the 5/8-inch-diameter Manton pushrods and the 1,100 pounds of load at max valve lift. The Comp mechanical roller will generate around 0.870-inch lift with duration at about 278 degrees at 0.050 controlled by a Jesel rocker shaft system. Ignition is by MSD, of course.
F.The Turbos Nick says they have two sets of turbos for the car. Most Outlaw class rules limit the inlet size to 91 mm, but the NMCA is a bit more conservative at 88 mm-so the team has two sets. Boost will initially run around 25 psi, but Nick says it may take 30-plus to achieve 3,000 hp.
G. A Car That Doesn't Fight You Jeff and Nick worked hard to create a car that was easy to work on. To this point, Nick says they can have the engine out of the car in 20 minutes, due to simple quick-disconnects and plumbing that's easy to disassemble with V-band clamps and intelligently routed tubing. One thing that helps is that all the sensors are mounted in a common location.
If you'd like to see more of Jeff and Nick's Camaro, you can log on to V8TV and watch a nine-minute video tour of the entire car.