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The Story Behind the First 9-Second ’20 GT500

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Written by Evan J. Smith
Photography by the Author

Mustang fans have their answer. In its first track outing, Evolution Performance and its Iconic Silver 2020 GT500 clocked a 9.939 at 140.43 mph at Bradenton Motorsports Park during a public test and tune session, and they’ve really just scratched the surface of the car’s performance capability.

Amazingly, the GT500 has just 300 miles on the clock, but already produced 945 rear-wheel horsepower and 753 lb-ft of rear wheel torque—it made 684 rwhp and 591 rwtq in stock trim.

“It was basically a covert operation to get the car modified and down to Florida to try and repeat history,” said Fred Cook, Project director at Evolution Performance. “In 2007, we were the first to run 11s, 10s, 9s, 8s and 7s with our 2007 GT500. It was way harder back then and we had to use nitrous. We’ve been racing S550 Mustangs for a while now, so we knew what to do and what to manipulate to help performance. The BMR parts are important to prevent factory driveline failures. The stock bushings distort, so the BMR lock-outs on the subframe prevent deflection. Lastly, the BMR subframe support brace system is one of the most important items to put on an S550 Mustang. It’s like sub-frame connectors in a Foxbody.

“We knew we had the power,” said Cook, who pieced the system of parts together, “but there are limitations with this car that we had to work around. We’ve been working with Lund Racing for over 15 years and Jon Sr. tuned our original car and Jon Jr. tuned this car from the comfort of his home.” Together, they worked to find a sweet spot for launch and horsepower.
The Evolution Performance test began with a “soft” 1,200-rpm launch and a 10.53 at 138 mph. The team upped the rpm to 2,700 for the next hit and the GT500 responded with a 10.20 at 139.44 mph. Next, Lund dialed in the tune and driver Dalton Winkler revved the 5.2L supercharged beast out to 8,000 rpm. The result was a 10.17 at 140.99 mph, which was the best trap speed of the night.

Using data logs, Lund tweaked the tune once more and Winkler was back at the line. Without even so much as a proper cooldown, the Shelby GT500 inched its way towards the 9s with a 10.035 at 139.82 mph. By this point, it was nearing the 10:30 pm, the point at which Bradenton Motorsports Park closes the lanes. The Evolution Performance team had one more chance, so Lund added a touch of timing and the tune was loaded up.

While there was a comfortable 70 degrees of ambient air temperature, the air was thick with humidity. Winkler climbed aboard, heated the Mickey Thompson 20-inch drag radials, and rolled to the line. The GT500 launched with a growl and that sweet supercharged sound poured from the quad pipes. Winkler quickly changed the gears in the Tremec DCT and as he crossed the finish line, the timing display lit up with a 9.939 elapsed time and a speed of 140.43 mph. Once again, Evolution Performance set the bar for all others to follow by producing the first 2020 Shelby GT500 to run 9s. Now, how soon will it be before they dive into the 8s?

Evolution Performance Shelby GT500 Specs
Weight: 4,365lbs with Driver
684 RWHP and 591 RWTQ – Stock Dyno Numbers
945 RWHP and 753 RWTQ – Modified Dyno Numbers

Mod List
Kong Performance Ported Factory 2650 TVS Supercharger
Lethal Performance ZPE Griptec 2.650 Pulley
Injector Dynamics ID1300x Fuel Injectors
JMS FuelMax V2 Dual Fuel Pump Voltage Booster
Kook’s 1 7/8-inch Longtube Headers with Off Road X-Pipe
BMR Suspension Differential Bushing Lockouts with Upgraded Hardware, Level 2 Cradle Bushing Lockouts and IRS Subframe Support Brace System
M/T ET Street SS 20-inch Drag Radials
Lund Racing Tuned via HPTuners
VP Racing Fuels C85


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