While Ford SVT heralded the 2013 Shelby GT500 as a 200-MPH machine, it never said the Trinity 5.8-powered mega Mustang did it in just one mile. That’s a challenge that takes the game up another few levels and Eddie Presnull decided to take on the challenge at this year’s Texas Mile with the help of Weir Racing, which selected and supplied the gear, and London Chassis Dyno, which put the combo together.
Eddie came to us looking for a 200-MPH pass in a car that is registered, insured, and driven on the street. — Jordan Weir, Weir Racing
“An important thing to understand about the standing mile is that the majority of vehicles will not reach their maximum speed in one mile,” Jordan Weir, of Weir Racing, explained. “We often hear ‘but the 2013-2014 GT500 does 200 MPH from the factory.’ Yes, barely, but only after 3-4 miles of wide-open throttle. A factory, 662-horsepower 5.8-liter GT500 will run high 160s to low 170s in the mile. It requires several hundred more horsepower to reach 200 MPH.”
Underneath a few carefully chosen bolt-on upgrades lies a stock 5.8-liter Trinity engine, which survived multiple flat-out runs at the Texas Mile. The major upgrade is obviously the 3.4-liter Whipple supercharger, but the supporting cast was just as important in helping this combo survive the rigors of flat-out, standing-mile runs. (Photo Credit: Weir Racing)
It isn’t just a power game, however. Piling on a lot more muscle helps, because the extra safety equipment adds weight. The real trick is helping a four-digit combo survive for a flat-out run of 5,280 feet, which sets the bar higher than a more manageable quarter-mile run.
“Making 1,000 engine or more horsepower and sustaining WOT for 25 seconds can be extremely stressful even on built race engines. Modifications need to be made to the cooling system in order to maintain full power at the end of the track. Safety equipment, such as a roll cage and fire extinguisher, are mandatory at 200 MPH and add weight to the car,” he elaborated. “Heavier brakes are needed compared to quarter-mile racing, as lightweight drag brakes cannot withstand repeated stops from 200-plus MPH with these heavy cars. The road-race tires required for sustained high speed coupled with an unprepped concrete surface make traction off the starting line a challenge. So, there are a handful of unique challenges to land-speed racing.”
Running over 200 MPH with a stock engine is no joke. It requires big power, robust cooling, and plenty of fuel flow. It also doesn’t hurt to have some strong, lightweight wheels like these custom-blue Forgeline GA1Rs wrapped in Hoosier R7 rubber. Not only are these wheels light, but also they offer plenty of strength as noted by their 2,100-pound street-tire load rating.
So, with a carefully chosen combination of upgrades headlined by a 3.4-liter Whipple twin-screw supercharger, Eddie and the Weir crew took on the herculean feat of pushing a stock-engine, street-legal Shelby past 200 MPH in just one mile.
“…Considering our customer’s goal of 200 MPH with the stock 5.8-liter engine had not been achieved before, we knew our work was cut out for us. We opted for all of the normal ‘bolt-ons,’ air intake, throttle body, exhaust, suspension, etc. A fuel system and injectors were required to support the E85 fuel, which helps prevent detonation and cool the intake charge,” Jordan said of the combo. “An ice cell in the trunk circulates cold water to the factory intercooler. This keeps the intake temps nice and cool at the end of the track, and also allows us to tape off the front of the car. Every little detail matters, right down to the fluids we use, and between Weir Racing and London Chassis Dyno we put a lot of time and effort into the design of every project car.”
200-MPH 2013 Shelby GT500 Mods
• ATI crank damper
• BMR Suspension components w/ custom London Chassis Dyno modifications
In the end, that systematic approach paid off on March 24, 2018 in the Lone Star state. Eddie piloted his Shelby to a best run of 200.1 MPH, making it the first stock-engine GT500 of its kind to run this fast. It was an impressive feat to be sure, but don’t think there is a lot left in this particular combination.
Here is the team that pushed the stock-engine Shelby beyond 200 MPH at the Texas Mile. From left to right are Amy Kelley (Eddie’s daughter), Eddie Presnull (car owner/driver), Chad Epperson (owner of London Chassis Dyno), Willie Taylor (London), Donavan Simpson (London), Jordan Weir (owner of Weir Racing). Not shown, but chipping in with that awesome front-end tape job is Jordan’s wife, Ami Weir.
“…Eddie came to us looking for a 200-MPH pass in a car that is registered, insured, and driven on the street. It has full factory interior, mufflers, air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, and even a subwoofer in the trunk!” Jordan said. “After his first full pass at 195 MPH, we knew exactly how much power to throw at it based on our experience. His next three runs yielded 200.1, 199.6, and 200.0 MPH and met his goal without trashing the engine. We could have performed some quick weight reduction and turned the power up further for a ‘Hail Mary’ pass and netted 3-5 MPH more. But, running a number wasn’t worth the risk of sending a connecting rod through the block.”
Having pulled off that feat by pushing this bolt-on combo to the limit, you can’t blame this team for playing it safe. This run is still a great testament to how robust and mod-friendly the Trinity 5.8-liter engine platform remains even four years after the last one was produced.