If you’re a staunch reader of late-model Ford magazines, especially the print ones, then you’re probably very familiar with the name Evan Smith. Evan has been in the automotive publishing field game the ’90s, and he’s been known to wring out every ounce of performance from every car he’s ever slid behind the wheel of. This includes, but not limited to, late-model Mustangs.
You know some of those “hard to believe” quarter-mile times you’ve seen in some print mags? Chances are, he was probably the guy behind the wheel of said cars when it happened. Today, is just another classic case in point.
With Ford claiming 10.80s with an advertised 760hp, all of us here at Blue Oval Muscle were anxious to see what this car would produce with a pro-driver at the wheel.
At the recent GT500 media drive event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Evan managed a best of 10.89 at 130 mph in Las Vegas (with a 4,100-feet corrected altitude). Although the desert heat may have stifled the car’s performance slightly, the humidity is nowhere as bad as Evan’s home base of Florida. Despite that, he still managed a best of 10.61 at 133 mph in Bradenton — <em>wow</em>!
The difference may have been a number of factors; first, Evan had to share the dragstrip with several other press attendees that day in Vegas, which didn’t allow him enough time with the car to finesse quicker times out of it. Secondly, we can only assume the cars in Vegas were filled with a West Coast friendly 91-octane, whereas the Florida press car was tuned for 93 octane. It may not have made a <em>ton</em> of difference, but you never know.
Factor in track conditions, altitude and the fact that they were different cars, and we can’t say that we’re shocked that he was able to set an already record breaking number with the GT500. With a good tire and a tune, we can only imagine what the car is truly capable of, in its otherwise stock format.