On the GT-R front, Castallana Jr. and Vivkid brought a pair of turbocharged coupes that appeared ready to tear down skyscrapers. Vivkid's was the milder of the two imports, with an Iveytune-calibrated PCM, exhaust upgrades, and a quartet of Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials. Castallana's car, on the other hand, boasted a fresh Iveytune-built VR38 V-6. A pair of GT30-76 turbochargers provide the 28 psi of boost, while a Boostlogic intercooler keeps air temperatures under control. As on Vivkid's GT-R, sticky MT radials stand in at all four corners.
We knew as soon as the car rolled out of the trailer that Castallana was a serious player. He built this car to dominate the GT-R realm, and early on it seemed he had hit his mark: His first run out of the trailer with the brand-new combination was a 9.78 at 148 mph--and this was on what he called a "soft" tune. We have no doubt that this car is 8-second capable with more boost and a tank full of race fuel.
6 Joe Castallana Jr. brought...
6 Joe Castallana Jr. brought out a truly monstrous GT-R that ran 9.50s at speeds over 150 mph. The fully built engine from Iveytune was a little too much for our two Corvettes, which used mostly stock long-blocks with superchargers and exhaust modifications.
7 Both GT-R coupes ran gummy...
7 Both GT-R coupes ran gummy Mickey Thompsons all around. The AWD platform offers such incredible traction, the radials didn't even need to be heated prior to a race.
8 Longo made all of his runs...
8 Longo made all of his runs with the air filter in place, and we're sure there's some power being left on the table because of it. The D-1SC blower is capable of supplying 925 crank horsepower in a properly prepared application.
After a few shakedown runs, Castallana turned up the boost knob by just one click and scored what would be the quickest run of the shootout with a 9.52 at 152 mph. Having clearly established his car as the class of the field, Castallana motored into the pits and let Vivkid duke it out with the Corvette contingent.
Longo would answer the call to take on Vivkid's GT-R, as the trans in Barbaro's C6 was having trouble upshifting under wide-open throttle. (Still, the white C6 had already gone 10.35 at 135 mph.) With Longo's Vette running 10.10s at 140 mph, and Vivkid's car in the 10.30 range at 137 mph, the matchup looked to be a close one.
The menacing, black C6 howled in anger as Longo heated the tires in the burnout box. Vivkid simply went around the water and cleaned off his Mickey Thompson rubber--all that's required when drag racing an AWD car. As both cars pulled to the starting line, seemingly everyone at the track stopped what they were doing to watch the match race.
Longo used his years of racing experience to attack the tree and got the early jump, his Vette roaring to a 1.55 60-foot time, while Vivkid trailed with a 1.62. The supercharged C6 stayed ahead of the rapacious import and cruised to victory with its best run of the day: 10.01 at 140 mph. Vivkid was close behind with a 10.32 at 138 mph.
Castallana quickly rolled off another mid-9-second run following the grudge race--just to remind everyone that although the C6s had won the battle, he was still winning the war.
Nissan is clearly serious about keeping the GT-R competitive, having increased the car's output in both 2011 and 2012. And while the LS-powered Corvette has a plethora of aftermarket upgrades available to keep it competitive, building a legitimate Godzilla hunter is going to take some real work.
9 Paul Vivkid says his GT-R...
9 Paul Vivkid says his GT-R runs a tenth quicker when he uses the paddle-shifters, as opposed to the auto-shift option. There is no clutch pedal in the Nissan's Formula 1–style transmission.
10 Vivkid's GT-R is more...
10 Vivkid's GT-R is more in line with our two C6s, as it had bolt-on parts and a custom PCM calibration from Iveytune. In this trim the car has run a best of 10.05 at 139 mph.
11 Longo's C6 launches hard...
11 Longo's C6 launches hard en route to another low-10-second pass. Despite the license-plate boast, the car would not crack the 9s on this day.