Monthly Archives: May 2012

Steeda Shines at the 2012 Sebring Sensation

The 2012 running of the annual Sebring Sensation presented by the Track Guys, and held annually at Sebring International Raceway during the Memorial Day weekend may be over – but everyone in attendance took home some really great memories of Steeda Mustang performance as a result of being there.

Annually, performance enthusiasts from around the country converge at the famed Sebring track to challenge its famous 3.7 mile full race circuit for two full days of on-track excitement. The Engineering and Speed Teams from Steeda Autosports were on-hand as we have been for every year, showcasing a variety of new products, and continually testing our vehicles under some of the harshest track conditions that you will find anywhere in the world. From the grueling tough track and its rough surfaces, to the intense heat – if something is going to break on a racetrack, it will happen here. Suffice to say – the Steeda equipment held up perfectly and provided many thrills and experiences for those lucky enough to be in the Steeda driver’s or passengers seat and also provided the perfect venue for our ongoing product development efforts.

As everyone expected, the weather was perfect, the track conditions were challenging, and the excitement was non-stop as the Track Guys coordinated yet another great enthusiast event that exceeded everyone’s expectations.

This year, we invited some of the leading Mustang publications to the event to see first hand exactly how our products perform under aggressive racing conditions. From Muscle Mustang and Fast Fords, Editor Evan Smith, Marc Christ, and Pete Epple were all on hand and from 5.0 Mustang and Super Fords, Michael Johnson was on hand to experience personally exactly what makes up the “Steeda Difference”. Sebring is an exceptionally tough track – not every car that runs there is built for the grueling punishment – as evidenced by the photo below showing a 2012 Z06 Corvette that just did not hold up like the Steeda vehicles did.

First up, we had our famed #20 red 2009 S197 race/developmental car – this is just one of the specially prepared and ultra competitive rolling testing platforms we use to evaluate our ongoing product research and to test new products. Pounding out over 600 supercharge horsepower and every bit of advanced suspension technology that we offer (and some pieces that are not yet in production), this ride completely surprised everyone with it’s road gripping tenacity and it’s brutal acceleration.

The performance of Steeda #20 is best described by Evan Smith, Editor of Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords when he comments: ”…after just a few turns I…was running faster than just about any car on the track. I found the Mustang had a neutral balance, and it was unsurprisingly easy to drive at the limit. The Steeda suspension with Nitto tires was compliant and predictable, even on the bumpy sections of the famed Sebring track. Braking was amazing and confident-inspiring, turn-in was accurate, I was able to push much harder than I thought I’d be able to….It’s clear the years of racing has allowed Steeda to build such a powerful and capable Mustang.” As Evan so eloquently stated – there is definitely a difference on how a car performs – and our over 25 years of uninterrupted experience of racing Mustangs is unmatched in the industry today!

Here is a video of Evan Smith hitting the Serbring racetrack in the Steeda #20:

Also on hand was our newest creation – our 2013 Steeda Q450 that completely delivers on the Steeda guiding philosophy that “Speed Matters”. This latest beauty is based on the 2013 Mustang GT that Ford builds – but from that excellent starting point the Steeda speed gurus with their engineering expertise and ISO 9001-2008 Certified standards transformed it into a performance machine that is just outstanding. With performance characteristics that are so finely tuned, it just goes where you point it with speeds that are simply unbelievable. Precise handling, rocket-like performance, and breathtaking looks make for a truly unique Mustang – the 2013 Steeda Q450 – only from Steeda Autosports.

Not to be overlooked, we also had a variety of other race cars at Sebring including race cars from Tom Ellis and Tony Lorenz – each fully equipped with our products and each a record setting and championship holding vehicle. In addition, many production based Steeda vehicles make it to Sebring and strut their superiority. Here is a video of our own Glen Vitale driving a Steeda Q-Series Mustang at the famed track. Note his racing style, how he attacks the course at every turn, and how efficiently and accurately the car responds to every input he provides:

Every time we are at a racetrack, and the annual Sebring Sensation is no exception, we are there with the primary intention of testing our products. From prototype and developmental products, to existing products that have been in production for some time – we continually test our products under real world race conditions. While some company’s simply put together and sell a “package” of parts or build a show vehicle to showcase their products without any real world track testing and refinement – we opt to test our products to the extreme so that our customers expectations will be fully fulfilled and Sebring is just one of the many race tracks we compete at every weekend.

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2012 Pony Wars Recap

Earlier this month at the South Georgia Motorsport Park, the annual Pony Wars event pitted some of the best American muscle machines in a showdown celebration that had Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers facing off against each other. This year’s event was held under the hot and steamy Georgia sun, nevertheless, the heat did not deter any of the competitors as we had another record crowds from being in attendance. Over the years, the annual Pony Wars event has evolved to become THE celebration of American muscle cars and this year’s occurrence was even more popular with more cars and more excitement than ever with Ford, GM, and Mopar enthusiasts all convening for a full day of drag racing, car shows, and muscle car excitement!

This year’s event was even extra-special in that we were raising money for the That Others May Live (TOML) Foundation – a charity that provides critical support, scholarships, and immediate tragedy assistance for the families of United States Air Force Rescue Heroes who are killed or severely wounded in operational or training missions.

Special thanks should be provided to the Nation of Stangs Car Club for hosting the Ford, GM, and Mopar car show at the event – their support and generosity is most appreciated as they are fully committed to preserving the legend of the Mustang: past, present & future and that they did at this event!

When the sun was finally setting, there were some definite winners in the various drag racing categories and show classes. In the Quick 16 class Randy Thomas in his GT500 took out Chris Harter in his Corvette. Mel White in his 1966 Mustang beat Dan Perry in his Mustang to take honors in the Quick Street win. Steeda’s own Bill Jones and his trusty Falcon “Dirty Bird” defeated Blake Ennis in his Mustang for the Hot Street win. And in the Street class Chris Smith defeated Travis Stepp in his Camaro to take the title.

Congratulations to the following show car show winners: (Ford) Mike Haynes with his 2009 GT500, (GM) Gary Prine 2010 Camaro, and (Mopar) Christopher Fones 2010 Challenger SRT8.

Make sure to check out www.Steeda.com for photos from the event, and make sure to be on the lookout for the next Pony Wars Event.

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Remembering a Legend – Carroll Shelby

Carroll Shelby, a former chicken farmer who roared out of the hills of East Texas to become a champion race car driver and the father of the muscle car, building some of the fastest and sleekest sports cars ever to hit the highway, died May 10 at age 89.

Carroll Shelby was nearly 30 years old before he entered his first car race – a quarter-mile drag meet in 1952. The hot rod he drove to the finish line that day was powered by a Ford V8 and cemented into history his long term relationship with Ford Motor Company. Later, Carroll Shelby was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1957, when he won 19 consecutive road races, and was twice was named the magazine’s driver of the year. In 1959, he became the second American-born driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race driving for the Aston Martin Racing Team (along with his British teammate, Roy Salvadori).

When a persistent heart condition forced him to retire from racing in 1960, Mr. Shelby turned his efforts towards the automotive aftermarket. Determined to make the fastest sports car on the road, Carroll mated a Ford 289 V-8 engine in the chassis of a little-known British AC Roadster and dubbed his new car the Shelby Cobra and created a legend. In addition to this highly successful effort, Carroll created many other performance vehicles including the GT500s and collaborated with Ford on the original Ford GT40 and later the Ford GT supercar programs.

The entire team at Steeda Autosports mourns the passing of Carroll Shelby and sincerely appreciates the many collaborative efforts that he has done for the Ford performance enthusiast over the years.

One of The World’s Fastest 5.0 Mustangs Uses Steeda Parts

For IMMEDIATE Release – May 7, 2012

When Chris Cruz, just like many of us, had a “need” to have the fastest 2011 5.0L Mustang in the world. We all know that to accomplish this task it takes some major horsepower, a wide array of performance parts, and some excellent workmanship to make it all happen. Enlisting the assistance of Evolution Performance, they developed a 1,002 RWHP / 1,070 RWTQ performance behemoth that would most certainly provide the huge amount of raw power needed to propel the ‘Stang into the 8 second range with a run of 8.99 at 153 MPH!

Suffice to say, having over 1,000 RWHP presents quite a few issues when you pull the trigger and release ALL of that intense power at one time to blast down the quarter mile. When it came to sourcing the very best suspension parts to harness that power – Evolution Performance chose suspension components from Steeda Autosports – parts that are renown for their durability both on the street and on the track. For this extreme duty application, the following regular Steeda production parts were chosen by Evolution Performance as they knew they would stand up to the extreme torture that they would be subjected to:

In additional to harnessing all of the power – we all know that weight is the enemy of Mustang performance – and to save precious pounds from the front-end, Evolution Performance installed our Steeda Lightweight Radiator Support (P/N 555 5080) which is made for light 4130 Chrome moly steel material. This quality manufactured tubular part is 50% of the weight of the stock steel unit and yet is still strong enough for you to run your front swaybar when not at the drag strip! In fact, this item is the perfect item for the road course/autocross car to reduce front-end weight and improve weight distribution.

Note that these are not some special “racer only” parts or parts that were specially “one-off” fabricated parts – they are the regular production quality parts that we designed, manufactured, and sell daily to Mustang owners over the world. Proof that the quality that we instill into EVERY part we provide!

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Steeda Racing Update

John Urist (NMRA)

John has started off 2012 in dominating fashion in his Steeda and Nitto sponsored Mustang. Having won the first two events of the year he looks to be on his way to another SSO championship. The 7 time world champ started off in Bradenton, FL at the NMRA Spring Break shootout where he qualified 2nd and advanced to the final never running slower than a 7.09, a 7.16 in the final was enough to hold off runner up Andrew DeMarco and give John his first win of 2012. The series then went to Atlanta, GA for the NMRA All-Star Nationals. John qualified number one with a 7.09 and once again ran all the way to the final where a red light by Kenjo Kelly handed him the victory.

Robin Burnett & Anders (Erik) Sjoblom (NASA)

The Steeda road racing duo of Robin Burnett & Anders (Erik) Sjoblom had a tremendous start to the 2012 NASA Great Lakes season. On April 14-15 The Mid Ohio Sportscar Course was home to the season opening double header that offered a mixture of wet and dry racing.

Saturday was a typical rainy spring day in Ohio that saw Robin and Erik take wins in the “American Iron” (AI) and “Camaro Mustang Challenge” (CMC) classes respectively. The lap times were slow but the rain racing was hot as just staying on track was difficult.

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day giving everyone a chance to get back onto the dry line for more close racing. Robin missed Sunday’s qualifying session with a faulty ground wire that caused him to start the race last in class. Robin had a great start and at the end of lap 2 had the lead and never looked back making it 2 for 2 on the weekend. Erik was not as lucky on Sunday even though he was able to jump to the lead, from his 3rd starting position, and lead a handful of laps. He ultimately finished 3rd after losing 2nd with just 2 laps to go.

Jim Edwards (NASA)

The Steeda-prepped Mustang known as Thor competed in NASA Time Trials at Roebling Road April 14-15.  Roebling would be the 5th and 6th race for Time Trials for the year and we anticipated serious competition and we had it.  Thor had taken home two 1st places at Carolina Motorsports Park and a 2nd and 3rd at Road Atlanta in March so “he” was itching for a fight.

With a 1:23:325 time, Thor took 2nd places in both the Saturday and Sunday races and this was despite a pesky clutch that eventually gave way on Sunday afternoon.  However, the morning times were sufficient to hang onto 2nd place in both events.  Carolina Motorsports Park awaits the arrival of the Mighty Thor next month.