Pete Epple Technical Editor
August 23, 2010
Contributers: Marc Christ Photos By: Team MM&FF

3rd - 120 pts. (Tie)


Don Rositch and Rich Vollberg
It was crazy enough to have a tie for First, but to have another tie immediately following was baffling. And we thought our scoring system was flawless. Another tie resulted from an unbelievable road course appearance by Don Rositch in the Performance Autosport GT500 and an all-around solid showing by Rich Vollberg and his fiery red GT500.

The Rundown

Weight W/Driver4,170 pounds
EngineStock 5.4L long-block with 2.8L Kenne Bell
SuspensionGriggs Racing GT40TT autocross/open-track system
BrakesGriggs 4 on 4
Wheels And Tires
315/30-18 Hoosier R6 tires on 18x10.5 Jongbloed 505s
AdvantageRoad course animal
DisadvantageRoad course animal
Quarter-Mile Average Et/Mph
12.430/116.76
Road Course Average
1:04.05

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Don Rositch Richmond, Virginia '07 Shelby GT500 The team from Performance Autosport in Richmond, Virginia, rolled into Gainesville Raceway ready to go. Mark LaMaskin and Don Rositch made the 740-mile trip and rolled off the trailer fully prepared to attack the twisties, with Rositch ready for the driving duties.

The GT500 is owned by John O'Donnell, and has seen many rounds of performance and cosmetic modifications on its way to its current state. The stock suspension has given way to a full Griggs Racing suspension. An SLA suspension with drop spindles now resides up front, and the stock GT500 powerplant is supported by a tubular K-member. The rearend is held in place with a Griggs torque arm and Watt's link, and a set of coil-overs support the body and handle the dampening duties. The original Vista Blue exterior has given way to a sleek black paint job, and the addition of a glass roof lets in a little extra light.

Even though the dragstrip was our first event, Performance Autosport's GT500 rolled off the trailer ready for the road course. Performance Autosport focuses on all aspects of handling, and elected to only make the necessary three quarter-mile passes-on DOT road race tires at that! With a 12.43-seconds quarter-mile average, Rositch raced to Fifth position in the drag portion of the event.

On the road course, Performance Autosport put on a show. Rositch wheeled the '07 GT500 around the Gainesville road course to a three-lap average of 1:04.05 seconds-almost 7 seconds better than the closest competitor. He even dipped in the 1.03s, which is as quick as we've seen on the G-ville track. Unfortunately, Rositch showed us his aquatic skills as he tried to turn the GT500 into a submarine in an off-track excursion in the second session. After leaving the track surface, Rositch slid into about 22 inches of standing water from a rain storm a few days earlier. The only damage was driver ego.

When the edit staff took to judging this GT500, O'Donnell's Snake came away with 150 points, placing it Third in that category.

3rd - 120 pts. (Tie)


Rich Vollberg
Jacksonville, FL '09 Shelby GT500

NMRA True Street racer Rich Vollberg is all over the place with his GT500. He won the 12-second class in True Street at Bradenton, and then we saw him competing at NMRA Atlanta-now he's in an epic MM&FF shootout. The stripe-delete GT500 has extra boost via pulleys, a JLT cold-air intake, and an SCT tuner helps it make 552 rwhp and 548 lb-ft of torque. Suspension mods include a slew of BMR components, as well as Tokico D-Spec shocks and struts.

The Rundown

Weight W/Driver4,125 pounds
EngineStock engine and supercharger, 2.6-inch pulley, JLT cold-air kit, tune
SuspensionBMR sway bars, adjustable uppers and lowers, and Panhard bar; Tokico D-Spec shocks and struts; H&R springs
BrakesStock Brembo
Wheels And Tires
Drag315/35R17 M/T ET Streets on stock '04 Cobra wheels
Road Course20-inch Super Snake wheels with Nitto NT555s, 275/30ZR20 fronts and 285/30ZR20 rears
AdvantageConsistency
DisadvantageStreet tires on the road course
Quarter-Mile Average Et/Mph
11.946/119.07
Road Course Average
1:11.05

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On the dragstrip, Rich was a little shaky at first, but he was able to lay down a couple of high-11-second passes for an average of 11.946, just 0.006 of a second slower than Don Gress. This was good enough for Second in the drag racing portion, but there were still two more events.

On the road course, Rich wheeled his 3,875-pound sled to an average of 1:11.05, enough for Third, even though he was on Nitto NT555 street tires, compared to other competitors who were running competition tires. Since Rich ran drag radials on the dragstrip, he could have opted for a competitioni tire, but didn't. That might have been the difference between Third and First.

When it came to the judging portion, Rich's GT500 didn't fare as well as it had in the other two events. With a mostly-stock underhood and a pretty stock interior, it placed Fourth in that portion of the competition-still good enough to tie for Third. Rich's GT500 is probably more like our readers' rides than others in the competition, making it a fan favorite.