On Friday May 17th we took a shot at breaking our own record of 189mph in the standing mile as well as going after some of the gas records. This day was completely different than our previous test day. We started at 7:30am, there was no wind, and it was already 80+ degrees.
The car looked and sounded great and we were incredibly pumped for the possibility of this being the big day, alas it wasn't to be...
The first run we kept it light with the lowest boost setting just to shake things down before we pushed the car harder. With no wind you could hear the car coming and the sound was incredible as the Viper ripped across the tarmac. Mojave Airport has seen Spaceship X to the latest stealth fighter aircraft but even so the sound drew several people out of their routine including two of the most well known pilots in the world.
Ron was happy with that run so on the second run he kept it on low boost but pushed the car hard from start to finish. As expected this yielded a good run at about 185mph. However at the end of the run the car just didn't feel right. After a while inspecting the car we determined there might be an issue, but made a few adjustments and decided to take another easy run before dialing up the boost.
The car sounded great coming down the runway, but just before the end Ron backed off the throttles. Uh oh. As we brought the car back in it was clear we wouldn't be taking another run. The engine management system had shut down the engine.
A lot of discussion ensued and after looking at the computer logs and double checking the data we finally found the culprit. The stock ignition (yes the one thing we left stock) isn't maintaining control under the conditions of our e85 high speed testing. In normal street conditions and even extreme street conditions this would never happen.
To verify this we need to spend some more time back at the shop and on the dyno, but the team is confident we made a pretty big breakthrough in understanding one of the key differences for an E85 powered car being pushed to these extremes. Suffice it to say we are bummed we didn't come away with another record, but excited that we may have found the key to getting to the next level of performance with E85. We will be back testing again soon so stay tuned!