It was our first year at the annual Camaro Fest, and we certainly made our mark.
Billed as a blend of competitive and educational motor-sports with the more traditional car show held July 13-14 in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Camaro Fest is one of the largest gatherings dedicated to late-models of the iconic Chevrolet muscle car.
Local customer and friend of the shop, Allen Mayo, allowed us to take his Camaro to the track for the weekend event. Allen’s Camaro has every part that we make installed and is our test car for our Z54 larger turbo setup.
The event was previously open to only Camaros, but they opened the event to Corvettes and Cadillacs, so in addition to, Allen’s and our own Camaro, we also brought down some others, including Tim’s ATS-V and Ryan’s Wallpaper ATS.
The races began Thursday at NCM Motorsports Park with Tim and Ryan participating. While this wasn’t a timed car vs. car event, Tim showcased what we can do out on the course with the ATS-V, which shares the same chassis as the Camaro.
However, the main event was held Friday and Saturday at nearby Beech Bend Raceway, with both an autocross and drag racing event. Tim entered the autocross and ended up 3rd overall, besting a big field of capable cars. But the highlight of the event was the drag racing.
Camaros have historically been V8-powered, and with this latest revision, the 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder has kind of been looked down upon. But we came out swinging to show them that ZZP and the 4-cylinder cars are not to be messed with.
We were hoping to run in the mid-to-low 11s in the quarter-mile. On Friday, Matt made 4 passes in the quarter-miles, finishing in the 11.20s. But we wanted to see if we could get it any lower.
However, this was proving difficult in the Kentucky heat, which was pushing the mercury up to 100 degrees and worsened track conditions.
And that was in the back of Steve’s mind as he got into the driver’s seat on Saturday in the hopes of getting the Camaro under 10 seconds.
“I didn’t think 10s were going to happen,” Steve said.
But as soon as he launched, he knew it was going to be a good pass.
“It hooked, and it did exactly what I wanted it to do,” he said.
Steve drove the car to an incredible 11.17 at 119 m.p.h. It didn’t make it to the 10-second mark, but it was enough to claim the world record for fastest 4-cylinder Camaro.
To put that into perspective, a stock 2.0 Camaro runs down the 1/4 mile in 14 seconds and a stock Camaro SS runs it in around 12.5 seconds. That’s some serious improvement.
“I felt really, really good. I was just smiling all the way down the track and got to the ticket booth and got the tickets at 11:17. I didn’t know whether to jump up or down or cry,” Steve said. “It was so close to the actual goal of 1099. But I set the realistic goal that we had set, which was 11.20. Overall, I was extremely, extremely happy.”
It’s also worth noting that Steve completed the first 60 feet of the strip in 1.51 seconds, which the track conditions should have depressed to 2.2 or 2.3 seconds. This shows how our mods can get even a 4-cylinder Camaro up to parity with its V8 siblings.
“(The 4-cylinder Camaro) is more of an entry-level, economical version (of the SS). It still has all the suspension goodies. It just doesn’t have all the power the V8 does, but for a couple grand you can make it perform better than a factory SS.”
Now, we’re hoping to get Allen’s car back to the strip sometime this week and break into the 10-second range.