February 14, 2012

"I am calling out all of the twin-turbo Lamborghini's," comments Dan Schoneck as his Ford GT cooled off after making 1,452 rwhp. The callout is specifically to the supercar exotics that have become Internet sensations and were built by well-known shops such as Underground Racing and Heffner Performance. Dan's confidence comes as he is putting the finishing touches on a two-year project that has been full of blood, sweat, and tears. He started with a wrecked Ford GT and rebuilt it his way into a domestic supersonic exotic--one that should be capable of achieving a standing-mile run of 255 mph or higher.

For those who are unaware of what a standing-mile race is, read on. These one-mile races have become quite a phenomenon that was made popular by the Texas Mile event. One has to look no further than top-speed events like Bonneville or Maxton Mile as long standing gatherings. We can safely say that it was the Texas Mile that has spawned sort of an underground style of competition that has groups of enthusiasts renting airport runways at a chance to run their car to top-speed.

The use of GPS and radar guns are the most popular ways to track the peak miles-per-hour achievements. In the case of the Texas Mile, and events like it, a participant's speed is calculated using a speed trap located in the final 132 feet of the mile course. The mile runs are almost a drag race for a mile, but the concentration isn't just on acceleration, you have to set the car up for a wicked top-end charge, but still accelerate quick enough to get into high-gear and have the car charging hard for the final 132 feet.

As for Dan, most people probably recognize his name from the company that bears his last name--Schoneck Composites. Dan shares the responsibility of the composite manufacturing company with his brother Derek. The brothers specialize in lightweight Mustang body components made from carbon fiber and fiberglass and are expanding into other markets. He is also a noted Mustang drag racer with a small-tire New Edge that has seen action in NMRA Super Street Outlaw and Fun Ford Weekend's former heads-up class Street Renegade. He has also built several Mustangs that have been featured in national publications, as well as a unique Coyote 5.0L-powered Pantera that will be on the road in 2012.

But the Ford GT has been a project that he has worked on for several years and one that could be his crown-jewel. As we mentioned earlier, it was purchased as a wreck and rebuilt for the purpose of going really fast on the open road. Many skeptics made fun of his intentions due to the car's condition, but the dyno runs in early February and the forth-coming road trip to Texas in March will certainly silence the critics. Another form of competition that Dan hopes to compete in is the 60-130 mph roll racing that is a popular clandestine racing style sweeping the country. The power-to-weight ratio should net him sub 4-second times for the 60-130 blasts.

Perhaps the biggest news is the car's powerplant, which is a modified version of the 5.4L Four-Valve engine that came standard in the GT. Schoneck dropped the engine off at Trondson Specialties where proprietor Dick Trondson honed the aluminum block and kept the standard 3.552-inch bore. A Bryant billet crankshaft carries a stock 4.165-inch stroke, but Schoneck requested some special modifications from Bryant and remained tight-lipped about 'em. Manley I-beam rods connect the custom designed Diamond Pistons to the sturdy crankshaft. Compression ratio is listed as 10:1, despite the 35 psi of boost from the centrifugal supercharger. Fox Lake is credited with CNC porting the heads, but kept the stock valves in place, which the intake are stainless steel and the exhaust are inconel. John Mihovitz of Accufab designed the camshafts specifically for this combination. Derek built the stainless steel headers himself. This engine belongs to John King and Schoneck is running it right now until his new 374ci 5.4L with the same details gets completed. They feature a stepped design with the primaries going from 1-7/8-inches to 2-inches. The mid-mount engine doesn't allow a long exhaust system and the rest of it consists of a 3.5-inch diameter X-style pipe that goes into a custom pair of mufflers and exit the back of the car with 3.5-inch tail-pipes. The entire system length is 42-inches and it was fit in just 17-inches of space. Mark Wilkinson is credited with welding up the exhaust system. The car is loud to say the least but that is how Dan wanted it to be anyway.

The factory equipped the GT with an Eaton supercharger but Schoneck highly-modified it in order to utilize a centrifugal supercharger that is mounted on the rear side of the engine. His goal is to beat twin turbo machines so ProCharger prescribed its F2 unit to accomplish such a task. Mounting a centrifugal blower on a mid-engine combination is rather troublesome and Schoneck designed a unique system. The Eaton supercharger has been gutted and redesigned to become a ProCharger-drive system and upper intake manifold. The rotors were removed and its place sits a sealed tunnel that houses a titanium 1-inch jackshaft. The jackshaft is driven by the stock blower drive system and it turns a rear-mounted F2 supercharger. There is a billet elbow grafted into the Eaton rotor housing that utilizes a massive Accufab throttle-body. The F2 charge piping interfered with the transaxle brace so Racecraft fabbed up a special billet brace to clear it and allow the use of an air-filter on the supercharger. The manifold sits on top of a factory intercooler and lower manifold. Surprisingly, Dan claims the factory air-to-water intercooler to be quite effective as inlet air temps start at 94 degrees and finish at 110 degrees during his chassis dyno testing. A Snow Performance meth system is on tap to help with inlet air temps should the need arise during the marked mile timing session.

The impressive-looking engine is controlled by a Big Stuff 3 fuel injection system that Schoneck modified to operate the stock GT coils. The BS3 ECU controls two injectors-per-cylinder and two custom Wilson Manifolds fuel rails were used to feed the 16 injectors. Right now each cylinder is sprayed down with one Billet Atomizer 100 lb/hr and one 160-lb/hr fuel injector. That is changing as Dan is going to twin 160-lb/hr injectors for every cylinder as this article hits. Supplying those injectors is a return-style fuel system that utilizes the OEM pumps with a MagnaFuel EFI Tuner series pump. We should note that this car utilizes E85 fuel instead of gasoline. Since traction is important in Standing-Mile competition a Davis traction control unit is ready for action. The sheer brutal time at WOT can be hard on an engine so as a safety measure Dan has a J&S Electronics knock box ready to pull timing. The J&S box is also wired into the Davis traction control to work peacefully side-by-side with each other.

Going fast is one thing, but stopping is another factor and when you have your sights set on 255 mph then you better have a game plan together. To that end, Dan took ZR1 carbon composite rotors and calipers and modified each for use on his GT. And what would this project be without a little influence from Schoneck Composites--Derek has molds of a carbon fiber roof and rear clam shell that are available right now. They are also using the car to mock up other GT-specific parts due to come out this summer. The wheels are from 360 Forged and are the Straight 5 design that has spokes wrapped in blue carbon/Kevlar. The front measure 20x9 while the rear check in at 21x13. Pirelli P-Zero rubber is the standard at this level and Dan has 255/30-20 sized for the front while the rear 360 Forged wheels are wrapped in massive 335/25-21 tires. A Spec dual-disc clutch is used to tame the 1,452 rwhp and Dan thinks 1,500 rwhp is possible with more tuning and boost.

The entire equation adds up to a twin-turbo slaying machine that features outstanding aerodynamics and the possibility of 255 mph performances. To add insult to injury to the Lamborghini trailer queens, Dan is going to drive his GT to the Texas Mile race from his hometown in Minnesota. This could lead him to laying claim to the title of fastest street-driven car in the world.

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