5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
2010 Ford Mustang GT Drag Racing
Derek Murrell Taught His Shop Teacher A 10-Second Lesson To Win A New Mustang
Imagine you could have competed in a contest like this as a kid. High school student Derek Murrell from Lake Mary, Florida, and his Lake Mary High School auto shop teacher and mentor Bill "Rosey" Rosenblum used a specially prepared set of matched 2010 Mustang GTs to compete on Pinks! All Out. Better yet, these were not your run-of-the-mill Mustangs. Instead, they were 2010 GTs specially prepped for drag racing by Livernois Motorsport and Team Z Motorsports. Even better still, the winner of this student/teacher showdown would drive home in a new Mustang.
It's the fantasy of every kid to beat a mentor at something, and this came true as part of Ford's innovative promotional campaign for the latest Mustang-the 2010 Mustang Unleashed. This contest asked contestants to submit answers to the question "If you could unleash your Mustang side, how would you do it?" Of all the submissions, Ford would choose 10 (get it?) winners to receive the experience described in their answer.
Of course, coming up with the idea is one thing, but making it happen is another level. The job to modify the two 2010 Mustang GTs went to Livernois Motorsports in Dearborn, Michigan, and Team Z Motorsports in Flat Rock, Michigan. Their job was to turn these cars into 10-second drag cars sourcing gear from the Ford Racing Performance Parts catalog. One of the challenges they had was making sure the cars were competitive despite the vast difference in experience between Rosey Rosenblum, the auto shop teacher and 20-year-veteran drag racer, and Derek Morrell, the student who was starting from scratch.
Since the cars were identical, we'll detail what was done to the brand-new Kona Blue 2010 Mustang GT that Derek Morrell drove to victory. The Mustang GT had all the option boxes checked, save the Glassroof option. So these weren't stripped lightweights geared to make the job easier. Nope, the crew at Livernois had a big challenge, but they were up to it. They started by pulling the stock engine and replacing it with the Ford 4.6 Aluminator supercharged short-block from FRPP. It's a 4.6 venomized with a Cobra rotating assembly, including a forged-steel crankshaft; H-beam connecting rods; and forged, low-compression pistons that are ready for plenty of boost.
Topping the boost-friendly bullet are Livernois Motorsports' own Stage III 5-axis, CNC-ported Three-Valve heads. These ported beauties flow a healthy 295 cfm on the intake side and 200 cfm exhaust, and feature oversized stainless intake valves, custom-ground Inconel exhaust valves, and bronze valve guides. A multi-angle custom valve job helps with the flow, while Livernois exclusive single-coil valvesprings carry the rpm on high.
Complementing the Livernois Stage III Heads are Ford's new Mustang GT High Lift Hot Rod cams. These 'sticks not only deliver higher lift and longer duration, but announce that this 4.6 is no stocker. That's thanks to a lopey idle that makes the engine sound more like a '60s muscle car than a '10 Mustang GT. The cams were originally designed for naturally aspirated engines, but they work great in this blown application.
Putting the blower in this combo is an FRPP/Whipple supercharger inhaling through an FRPP twin 68mm throttle body, drawing air through a cold air intake system with 9-inch S&B True-Flow filter. A Reichard Racing 3.2-inch pulley kicks the boost beyond the level of the out-of-the-box kit. The Whipple sits atop an intercooler chilled by a '10 Shelby GT500 heat exchanger and pump, as Livernois built this car before Whipple's complete '10 GT kits hit the streets.
Originally the cars where built with stick shifts, but Derek's drag teacher, Bob Glidden, and Livernois main man Dan Millen both agreed an auto would help level the playing field for Derek. As such, they took the cars back to the shop and switched them to custom three-speed automatic C4 transmissions with transbrakes. The C4 tranmissions are controlled by TCI's new Street Fighter Shifter that provides ultra-reliable, ratchet-action shifting and features an NHRA/IHRA-approved reverse-lock-out system. With the line-lock system and transbrake, you've got everything you need for a launching this Mustang right at your finger tips.
Of course, no drag car is complete without a cage. Taking care of the cage and safety equipment was Team Z Motorsports-one of Ford Racing's secret weapons on the Cobra Jet program. Team Z is known best for its suspension expertise with Mustangs. Dave Zimmerman has helped everyone from novice racers to world champions. He is constantly at the track with his customers making sure his products are state of the art.
Ford Racing came to Dave to get some help with the Cobra Jet suspensions, and everything that has been learned with the Cobra Jet program was applied to this Mustang GT. A Cobra Jet 9-inch rear axle assembly, with Strange Pro race axles and a Strange lightweight spool with Strange Pro Gear 4:10 ring and pinion, supplanted the stock 8.8-inch rear. Team Z narrowed it to 63.27 inches and developed Cobra Jet Suspension package's adjustable upper control arm and bracket tubular lower control arms and antiroll bar with adjustable links.
These Mustangs drew a crowd when Ford had them at Milan Dragway NMRA Nationals in Milan, Michigan. Derek got the Blue Mustang in the 10-second range with a best run of 10.88. It was turning a lot of heads with its perfect stance, great wheels and tires, and it's super-clean exterior.
It's possible to make a Mustang GT run in the '10s for less money, but doing it cheap wasn't the goal-rather, the goal was to showcase the potential of this '10 Mustang combo.
With robust drive line there's room to grow this package. When Dan Millen tuned the engine with just 11 pounds of boost, the aforementioned combination laid down 510 hp at the rear wheels effortlessly through the auto trans. That's great power, but there's easy power to be had with pulley and tuning changes. It could be the perfect dual-purpose street/strip Mustang GT, and one that can be ordered right from the pages of the FRPP catalog.
Build Your Own
If you would like to do build you own version of this car, here's a list of parts that were used to get this one together. First, you need a 2010 Mustang GT. Once you've got that handled, you'll need these bits:
|Ford Racing 4.6 Aluminator SOHC V-8||$4,500|
|FRPP/Whipple 500hp supercharger kit||$6,995|
|Livernois Motorsports Stage 3 CNC cylinder heads||$2,899|
|Ford Racing Hot Rod camshafts||$850|
|Ford Racing coated cam covers||$269|
|Cometic MLS head gaskets||$200|
|ARP head studs||$383|
|Innovators West SFI balancer||$425|
|Ford Racing Three-Valve long-tube headers||$1,325|
|Custom-built three-speed automatic C4 transmission w/transbrake||$2,000|
|Neal Chance torque converter||$1,500|
|TCI Street Fighter shifter||$229|
|Custom one-piece driveshaft||$700|
|Cobra Jet driveshaft loop||$139|
|Cobra Jet rear suspension kit||$995|
|Cobra Jet 9-inch rear axle assembly||$2,799|
|QA1 adjustable shocks and struts w/custom-valved coilovers||$1,395|
|Cobra Jet 15x4-inch front wheels||$990|
|Cobra Jet 15x10-inch rear wheels||$1,170|
|Goodyear 15-inch front runners||$350|
|Goodyear 15-inch rear slicks||$350|
|Team-Z Motorsports custom six-point roll bar||$1,200|
|Cobra Jet 5-inch shiftlight tach||$329|
|RJS five-point harnesses||$500|
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Block Ford Racing's Aluminator 4.6-liter
Displacement 281 ci
Rods Manley H-beam connecting
Crankshaft Kellog forged-steel eight-bolt
Pistons Mahle low-compression forged
Camshafts Ford Racing Mustang GT high-lift Hot Rod
Heads Livernois Motorsports Stage 3 CNC-ported Three-Valve
Power Adder FRPP/Whipple 500hp supercharger with Reichard Racing 3.2-inch pulley
Exhaust Ford Racing Three-Valve long-tube headers
Transmission Custom built three-speed automatic C4 transmission with a Neal Chance torque converter
Rearend Cobra Jet 9-inch rear axle assembly w/Strange Pro race axles, Strange lightweight spool, and Strange Pro Gear 4:10 gears
Engine Management Custom tuned by Livernois Motorsports
Gauges Cobra Jet 5-inch shift-light tach
Chassis and Suspension
Springs QA1 coilovers
Struts QA1 adjustable
Front Brakes GT disc
Wheels Cobra Jet 15x4-inch
Tires Goodyear 15-inch front-runners Rear Suspension
Control Arms Cobra Jet suspension kit featuring adjustable upper control arm and bracket, tubular lowers with urethane bushings, and antiroll bar with adjustable links
Springs QA1 coilover
Shocks QA1 coilover
Brakes GT disc
Wheels Cobra Jet 15x10-inch
Tires Goodyear 15-inch slicks