Wes Duenkel
September 1, 2007

When Mark is called to grid, a road racing clutch warms an aluminum flywheel, both from S.P.E.C. The combo regulates power to a T-5 gearbox encasing a back-stretch-friendly 0.84:1 overdrive. Mark selects ratios via a Pro 5.0 shifter before a Ford Racing aluminum driveshaft sends twist to a Torsen T2R differential crowned by a 3.90:1 rear gear set.

Besides adding pressure to his backside, Mark wanted to also feel it in his kidneys. Fellow American Iron racer Bo Dunnivant of Blue Oval Classics (Kingsport, Tennessee) outfitted El Diablo with the best that Maximum Motorsports had to offer, including their K-member, Bilstein coilovers, and rear torque arm arrangement. Mark dresses 17x9-inch Konig Villian wheels with shaved 275/40-17 Toyo Proxes RA-1 rubber (the specified tire for American Iron). The result is a no-nonsense handling package that is as predictable as it is quick.

American Iron rules dictate that the vehicle must weigh at least 9.5 pounds for every horsepower and at least 9.0 pounds for every pound-foot of torque. According to his Balanced Performancedynamometer numbers, Mark calculated his car should lose some weight. El Diablo coughed up its front fenders, hood, and glass in favor of lightweight carbon fiber pieces from Tiger Racing. How light? Try five pounds for each front fender and a scant eight-pounds for the hood, the latter incorporating louvers to vent underhood air pressure and heat. Lexan windows were installed all around to further lower the center of gravity and reduce overall heft.

As many racers know, keeping a Mustang attached to the pavement at speed can be quite a challenge. To that end, Mark installed a massive HPM rear wing to plant the rear and a Razzi front bumper cover to deflect air from packing underneath El Diablo's nose.

When it's time to scrub speed, Mark stabs the middle pedal, immediately working hardware from Wilwood. Up front, 6-piston calipers chomp down upon two-piece 13-inch rotors like a pitbull on a postman's tibia. In the rear, Wilwood rear rotors and pads get the squeeze from the factory-supplied calipers. The setup is potent; it slows El Diablo like the big HPM wing snagged a bungee cord strung across the track between the 100-foot markers.

With Mark living just a few miles from Road Atlanta, it's not likely that he'll be kicking his 'M.A.D.' road racing habit any time soon. Though the course's dozen turns may be considered a 12-Step Program for racing addicts, the first "step" is a hard right-hander.

Specifications
Mark Dandurand's 1996 SVT Mustang Cobra

Engine
4.6L 32-Valve Modular V8 Mach 1 crate motor

Engine Modifications
K&N filter relocated to fenderwell, C&L inlet tube, Accufab twin 60mm throttle body, Canton road race oil pan, Accusump; Maximum Motorsports oil filter relocation kit, Bassani mid-length headers

Engine Management
Ford EEC-V processor Ed Snef (via Balanced Performance) custom tune

Driveline
S.P.E.C. Aluminum Flywheel, road racing clutch; road-race spec T-5 gearbox w/0.84:1 overdrive, Ford Racing aluminum driveshaft, 3.90:1 gears, Torsen T2R differential

Brakes
Wilwood 6-piston front calipers, 13" 2-piece front rotors, rear rotors and pads

Wheels/Tires
Konig Villain 17 x 9" wheels Toyo Proxes RA-1 (shaved to racing tread depth)

Chassis
Maximum Motorsports strut tower brace, K-member brace and full-length subframe connectors

Suspension
Maximum Motorsports "Maximum Grip Box," including: K-Member, front control arms w/ urethane bushings, front coil-over conversion Kit, adjustable tie-rod ends, standard torque-arm, solid steering shaft, aluminum rack bushings, Panhard bar with aluminum rod, adjustable rear swaybar, caster/camber plates, rear lower control arms without spring perch or swaybar mount, Hypercoil coil-over springs, rear coil-over conversion Kit, Bilstein HD struts and shocks, urethane swaybar bushings, urethane swaybar endlinks,

Exterior
Tiger Racing carbon fiber front fenders, "Super Louver" carbon fiber hood; Razzi front bumper cover, Lexan replacement windows, HPM rear wing

Interior
HP Motorsport road racing roll cage, Ultrashield aluminum race seat,Autometer and VDO gauges