Breaking

2011 Camaro to be Dressed in Drag

By Wes Buck

There's no lack of competition in today's NHRA Pro Stock ranks, but in the eyes of many, there is a serious lack of identity. While the cars not only have drastically reduced factory styling cues, obviously made in the name of aerodynamics, they are a far cry from the factory hot rods that once occupied the class. While the blue oval introduced their late model Ford Mustang to the category a few years ago, the overwhelming majority of the class is made up of Pontiac GXP and Chevrolet Cobalt that are oftentimes equipped from the factory with four-or six-cylinder engines and are front-wheel-drive. Suffering from a serious lack of recognizable traits to get legit hot rod fans with a manufacturer preference involved, modern day Pro Stock, while quicker and faster than ever, creates only a fraction of the excitement it once did.

A quick look at car dealerships across the country illustrates an exciting trend of new factory muscle cars that are modeled after the automotive juggernauts that fueled car culture for decades. Dodge recently introduced their new Challenger which is a futuristic take on their beloved 1970

model, Ford's sold virtually innumerable quantities of their nostalgic new Mustang, and Chevrolet has joined the party and according to some reports earned a significant share of the factory hot rod market share with their newest version of the legendary Camaro. Perhaps most exciting for drag racers and fans, though, is the news that GM's new F-body may well be NHRA Pro Stock bound.

According to world-renowned chassis builder Jerry Bickel, whose Moscow Mills, Missouri-based shop has seen the construction of countless championship winning and record-setting Pro Stockers, General Motors has already approved a newly designed late-model Camaro body built by Kirkman Composites with the help of Jerry Bickel Race Cars for sportsman racing, and that approval for Pro Stock competition is likely. Not to mention, the National Hot Rod Association has been proactive in the process, offering their input and making suggestions on the original design model, which can only be beneficial to the Camaro body seeing final approval for Pro Stock competition.

"There are a couple companies knocking off the Camaro body in stock form, but at least in my understanding, not with GM approval," says Bickel. "We approached NHRA about a year and a half ago, and with GM being out of racing at the moment, I talked to Danny Gracia, the NHRA national tech director, and told him that somebody needs to do this. I told him that we'd like to do it, but we'd like to do it with the NHRA's blessing and under their guidelines so that if it does get excepted for Pro Stock, it would conform.

"Danny went to GM for me, he got GM's approval to build this car for sportsman use, but we still built the car to Pro Stock specifications - that would be the new box rule, which would make this car the same size as the Pontiac GXP."

Several challenges were involved in taking a car that has factory dimensions far greater than the NHRA's mandatory dimensions while retaining the new Camaro's good looks.

"The challenge has mainly been that the car is so big," says Bickel. "In order for the car to be competitive, the car has to fit the box rule - which is essentially a height, width, length, overhang and wheelbase that the

NHRA approves for their Pro Stock cars. We started out with a car that was considerably bigger than the box, so the challenge has been to scale the car down, but keep the identifiable characteristics of the car intact, as well as fit the big tire on the back, the windshield view, etc. We've had Mark Kirkman from Kirkman Composites working on it and he has done an absolutely fantastic job.

"For instance, the car has to have stock headlights and taillights, but if you downsize the car and you don't downsize the headlights and tail-lights, which you can't, how do you get them in there and have them look proportionate? Kirkman has done it, and it looks fabulous. I can't wait to debut this thing."

Bickel is hopeful the car will be approved for professional competition, especially considering the Pontiac brand is now defunct, and the Chevrolet Cobalt is no longer in production.

"We hoped GM was going to get involved, but with the cutbacks going on there, that deal kind of went away, and that slowed us down a little bit, but we're still moving forward," says Bickel. "At this point, it's pretty much a complete model. We've had the NHRA out here to go over the body and through their list of requirements and specifications.

"We're real close to the final modeling stage and getting their final approval. At this point we only have approval for using it for sportsman categories," Bickel emphasizes. "I have to believe, however, the handwriting is on the wall considering they don't make the GXP or Cobalt anymore, that this thing is going to eventually get approved for Pro Stock."

While awaiting approval, Bickel and company are still planning more developmental work including some precious time in the wind tunnel.

"The step that we're in now, once we get NHRA approval, we're going to spend some time in the wind tunnel to get an idea of where this thing stands aerodynamically, and if it has as good of a coefficient of drag as it looks like it does - we're going to have a good race car on our hands."

Perhaps with the arrival of the Camaro alongside it's Mustang counterpart, and a potential for a late-model Challenger to eventually surface, NHRA Pro Stock will regain a little bit of the allure that spurred wars between manufacturers, created lifelong brand loyalists, and unparalleled competition on the drag strip.

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Fluidampr Introduces New 2010-2011 Camaro Damper

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Ohio Crankshaft Introduces New ProMax Crankshafts

Ohio Crankshaft announces a complete new line of ultra-high performance crankshafts for big block Chevrolet engines. The new ProMax line is forged of 4340/EN24 steel with a multiple heat treat process. The ProMax cranks are gun drilled in the mains plus the counterweights are profiled for light weight and reduced windage. The big block Chevy shafts retain the popular Ohio Crankshaft center counterweight design to minimize torsional deflection. The full line of small block, big block and LS Chevrolet ProMax cranks are micropolished with the lat est in film polishing technology.

Ohio Crankshaft GM Scott Ray commented " These shafts are taking the mid price racing crankshafts to a new level of performance and durability. They include features previously found in only the highest price shafts. Most popular part numbers are in stock now, and more are being added. We are looking forward to another great year for our racer customers." For more information on Ohio Crankshafts 1,000 crankshafts inventory, call 937-5487758 or visit www.ohiocrank.com.

Accufab Introduces the 8500 Series Throttle Body

Has anyone noticed the size of race engines lately, particularly the naturally aspirated and nitrous oxide equipped engines? Has anyone seen the size of the cylinder heads out there now, or the size of the intake ports? Look around, it's not uncommon to see Small Block engines these days over 460 cubic inches. A 650 to 700 cubic inch Big Block engine today considered only average. 850-inch and 900+ cubic inch engines are out there among us.

It's Accufab's contention that in race applications, the available intake air on naturally aspirated or nitrous equipped engines is too restricted. It takes about twelve times as much air as it does gasoline to create fuel. A 4500 style race carburetor may be good for anywhere from about 1,200 to 1,500 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air. But recent tests have shown significant horsepower gains with inlet air supply's way above what had been previously thought to be "enough".

Accufab's recently released dual-bore throttle body, a replacement for the "split Dominator style" carbs used on many naturally aspirated and nitrous oxide equipped race engines has proven that. The flow ratings for four of these 2.75-inch dual-bore units is an unbelievable 7,396 CFM.

The old school of thought told us that no engine can benefit from that much in coming air, but the dyno says differently and the results on the dyno are now visible on the drag strips. Ask Pat Musi. Ask Sonny Leonard. Ask racers like Dennis Radford and others who have switched to this new Accufab dual-bore set-up. Naturally aspirated or nitrous race engines need air and lots of it.

With those results in hand, Accufab decided to put that thinking into a replacement for the 4-Barrel Throttle Body. In many race classes, racers are limited to a single 4-Barrel carburetor or a single Throttle Body. Accufab used a clean sheet of paper for this one and came to the conclusion that the standard intake manifold opening for the largest carbs available (the 4500 series) was just not adequate. Ac-cufab's goal was to design a better 4-Bar-rel Throttle Body, not to try and fit it onto the existing 22-square inch 4500 series intake manifold inlet opening, an inlet opening that was originally developed in 1969. Accufab's concept was to develop a new 4-Barrel Throttle Body, with a 33-square inch area, a 50% increase, and let the racers (or the intake manifold manufacturers) come up with better intakes to match the increase in air flow. Racers are creative, they will figure out how to modify their existing 4500 series intakes to accept the 8500 Throttle Body (the bolt pattern is slightly larger) or better yet, use a sheet

metal plenum style intake manifold.

The Accufab 8500 Series 4-Barrel Throttle Body uses the same 2.75-inch bores as their dual-bore "split Dominator style" units and flows 3,600+ CFM at 28-inches. There are no 4-barrel carburetors that can come close to matching that flow rating. And if that's not enough, racers can mount two of them together for double the volume.

These units, machined from billet aluminum and highly polished, can be used with either electronic fuel injection (EFI) or mechanical fuel injection. For EFI application, there is a provision for either a Ford or GM style throttle position sensor (TPS). Center-dump type throttle linkage is included. Each throttle body weighs 3.5-pounds, compared to up to 13-pounds for a big 4500 series carburetor.

More air flow, more horsepower, less cost, less weight, what's not to like?

For more info and pricing, call Accufab, Inc., (909) 930-1751.

CN He mi

2010 ADR _ PX Champion

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