9 Seconds ET’s One Weekend, Road Racing the Next
Tuesday, October 14, 1997
At Alternative Auto Performance, we strive to offer the best of both worlds to our customers – cars that are fast and still extremely drivable. It’s important to us that we first ensure a package is reliable and viable before setting it up on a customer’s car. Lidio’s ’88 LX coupe has been an on-going test mule for several years, R&D’ing packages that have become very popular and very powerful.
Lidio’s LX features a Vorteched 351W with TFS Twisted Wedge heads, an AOD and weighs in at 3450 lbs. – it is completely ungutted. Many refused to believe that a 9 second car could be so reliable and tame, but it is. The engine makes well over 700 hp and the AOD has been 100% failure free. To prove how dependable and drivable the car is, Lidio drove it 1275 miles from Detroit to Bradenton, Florida this Spring for the Spring Break Shoot Out.
Some people still scoffed, saying that a steady cruise on the expressway and a weekend of drag racing wasn’t as demanding as a day of road racing. So off we went to Waterford Hills Road Race Course. Which is something one of our mechanics, Marc Smielewski an avid road racer, has been pushing for for quite some time.
Lidio drove the car in 4 – 20 minute sessions (actually Larry Jacobs, a driving instructor, drove 1 of the sessions). The only changes made to the car form its 9.86 1/4 mile run were Cobra R rims with BFG Comp TAs, and replacing the Lakewood 70/30 drag struts with Koni adjustable.
It’s not every day that you find an avid drag racer on a road course braking into the apex of a turn. The only experience Lidio had previously was making the turn onto the return road at the end of the drag strip. But after a few pointers from driving instructor Larry Jacobs, things went pretty smoothly.
Seconds later, Lidio and Larry Jacobs passed the Testerossa on the back straight.
The car and Lidio fared well, considering it was their first time road racing. Driving would have been easier with a manual transmission but the AOD held up without any problems. After Lidio was done he said next time he’ll have better tires, like BFG R1’s.
Road Racing was a blast. The best thing to compare it to is a 20 minute roller coaster ride. If you ever have to opportunity to try it yourself or ride with an experienced driver, by all means do it. You’ll have a blast, I sure did.
While Lidio had a good time, don’t expect him to turn in his drag slicks just yet. It was a lot of fun but he will always be a drag racer at heart, hey some things never change.
Go to Lidio’s 88 LX page for Quicktime Movies of him Road Racing at Waterford Hills.
At Alternative Auto Performance, we strive to offer the best of both worlds to our customers – cars that are fast and still extremely drivable.