On September 26, 2010 our GMC Syclone affectionately named “Syborg” managed 165+ mph in the standing mile despite the fact we were faced with the daunting task of pushing an over sized brick with a full down force package through hot high altitude desert air.
The Mojave Mile is a standing mile race held bi-annually on the runway of a relatively remote desert airstrip in Mojave, CA attracting a variety of cool(and very expensive) vehicles including 1200+ horsepower Ford GT’s, Lamborghini Gallardo’s, Ferrari 430′s, Corvette ZR1′s as well as some very cool home built hero’s.
Standing mile events are the latest performance craze to sweep across the country. Essentially a 1/4 mile drag race multiplied times four, the standing mile factors in variables a quarter-mile drag racer rarely has to cope with including sustained high engine rpm loads, vehicle aerodynamic deficiencies, high speed stability issues as well as the ever present dangers of moving along at terminal velocity.
We decided to run the mile in full road race specification, which meant we would be retaining all the down force bits that would aid in high speed stability at the expense of aerodynamic drag. We didn’t want to risk anything as our primary goal with the Syborg is time attack racing, not land speed racing and it was important to quantify the performance of the truck as it translates to the road course.
Although we only made two passes down the air strip the engine ran flawlessly and the truck was very stable at speed as we expected. What we were not sure of was the integrity of the front end of the truck crashing through the wind at 165 mph. Fortunately, the aerodynamic vents worked properly keeping the hood sucked to the vehicle and the plastic GM grill didn’t implode either luckily.
The fastest car at the event was a twin turbo Dodge Viper that ran 222 mph, but the big surprise was our buddies LS3 turbo powered 3rd gen Rx7 that ran 201 mph right off the trailer. The car’s best run was 207 mph before the engine dropped a cylinder ending things prematurely.
Perhaps the coolest vehicle at the mile was the Big Red Camaro, which by many is considered to be the reason the “pro touring” scene exists today. Big Red is arguably the baddest ’69 Camaro to ever exist. Big Red was built for open road racing events like the Silver State Classic which it won previously. It’s road racing pedigree and normally aspirated 540 cubic inch aluminum big block propelled the car to past 210 mph!
Although standing mile racing wasn’t the performance goal of our Syclone, we thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of high speed as well as being able to check out some awesome machinery both posing and at speed. We’ll be back next year for sure.
Visit the official Mojave Mile website here.
Click here for official results.
Check out the video clip of our two runs can be viewed below.
Images courtesy of Mark Corbett.
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