Built to Run in the Competitive Optima Ultimate Street Car Series
Warning: Shelby purists may want to stop reading now. VMP customer Jonathan Blevins doesn’t have your run-of-the-mill 2008 Shelby GT500. Last season, Jonathan campaigned his Grabber Orange snake in the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Challenge with a VMP Gen2R blown 5.4 L; a combo which made 680 rwhp. Like most racers, Jonathan went hunting for more power. He debated whether to build the 5.4 L, and finally settled on an unorthodox path. He ditched the factory 5.4 L power plant in favor of a 2015 Aluminator Coyote topped with a VMP Gen3 supercharger. Jonathan chose his radical route in coupling the Gen3 with the Coyote in the GT500’s shell to capitalize on the revving potential of the Coyote, its lighter weight, and its potential to make power at lower boost levels. The updates were done keeping in mind his continued competition in the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Challenge.
With the improvements, he finished 2nd in his class in his first race of the season in the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Challenge at NOLA.
“We didn’t get the car running until we were at the track. We finished 2nd in class, 1st in class on the road course, and 6th overall on the road course. This was all done with a startup tune.” There are seven races each season, and this year Jonathan is running six of them. Every race includes five segments, and each segment accrues points. The overall winner of the weekend gets an invite to the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational finals at SEMA. The Gen3 is particularly well-suited for the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Challenge due to its broad power band.
After that race, Jonathan met up with the VMP crew at Shelbyfest. We strapped his car down to the VMP mobile dyno and got to work. The results were a dyno tune that made a healthy 827 rwhp and 657 lb∙ft of torque. “The tune and VMP Gen3 supercharger are unbelievable. All the power and drivability we could ever ask for,” Jonathan explains. “When we got the car on the dyno at Shelbyfest, Joe got an additional 75 rwhp out of it.” Supporting performance modifications on his VMP Gen3-equipped Coyote include an 85 mm pulley, JLT cold air intake, Twin Jet 67 mm throttle body, e85 fuel, 2” long-tube headers, GT350 pump and pan, fuel system, and fuel injectors.
“I am really looking forward to the next event at the National Corvette Museum in June to try out the new tune,” Jonathan says. We wish Jonathan the best of luck throughout the rest of the racing season!