Today there are dozens of opportunities for LSX-powered vehicles to compete from auto-cross events to drag racing. For many shops they look at motorsport competitions to help promote their capabilities and push the limits of the parts they sell. For LSXperts of Ball Ground, GA, the shop has dabbled in a lot of arenas over the years. In 2017 they took their shop car, a C5 Corvette, and built it to run half-mile competitions in order to change up a little bit.
Video by FuelTech USA
A nasty turbocharged LSX was stuffed under the hood and they showed up at an airport in Pennslyvania for a competition. The result was a 229 mph blast within three passes, setting the record for a Corvette in that type of racing. Charlie Hill of LSXperts told us, “we accomplished our goal immediately and I asked the guys in the shop, what’s next?” The guys quickly responded with “1/8-mile small-tire shootouts,” as there are plenty of local events and many opportunities to race on a national level. They swapped the rear gear from one for top-speed racing to a ratio more suited for drag racing, then headed to LS Fest.
And just like that, LSXperts quickly made their presence known and took home a runner-up finish in the Drag Radial class with high 4-second runs. A week later saw Hill enter a local small-tire shootout and collected the winning prize and followed that up with a win in the Street Outlaw class at Street Car Takeover. In just three weeks the shop collected $10,000 in winnings and Hill was convinced drag racing was a better place to be with their shop car. “The half-mile racing doesn’t pay anything for winning and to be honest, going 229 mph on an airstrip was a little scary,” he explained.
The goal for 2018 was to pull the Corvette completely down and build it back up as a dedicated drag racing hot rod. The car was shipped off to Pro Chassis and Fab where Scott Seals and his crew added an SFI 25.3 cage and a new rear suspension. The IRS was dumped in favor of a four-link and fab 9-inch housing. The car uses Menscer coil-over shocks in the back and matching set of struts up front. The conversion saw a new nickname applied to the two-seat sports car—“Voodoo Child Corvette.”
As the chassis was being worked over, Thompson Motorsports out of Texas built a new engine combination. The LS block was punched out to a robust 460ci and filled with all the good stuff like billet crankshaft, aluminum rods, and custom Diamond pistons. Topside a set of Brodix BR7 cylinder heads combines with an impressive and killer billet intake manifold from Frankenstein Engine Dynamics.
If you know anything about modern Corvettes you know the transmission setup is a bit different. A torque tube runs from the back of the engine a mid-mounted transmission. Due to the dedicated drag racing nature of the Voodoo Child Corvette, LSXperts ditched the factory setup and went with a more traditional transmission layout. They picked up an RPM Transmissions Powerglide, complete with SFI housing and custom gear-set, and then added an FTI XPM torque converter that is specially designed for turbo applications.
LSXperts also decided to ditch all the stuff they needed for the half-mile and standing-mile competitions like the radiator and intercooler. They committed to running the car on VP Racing Fuels M1 fuel, eliminating the need for any of those parts and it saved 350 pounds in weight. A Precision 118mm turbocharger provides the boost while the company turned to a local EFI manufacturer for the stand-alone system. LSXperts is located in the same town as FuelTech so it was only natural that they add one of the company’s FT600 engine management systems.
The car quickly began looking normal again in late 2018 when the guys at LSXperts had an epiphany. If they are going through all this trouble to build a new ride, it should carry a new look. The factory color was stripped off and Hill selected Destroyer Gray, a color made popular by the Chrysler Hellcat. The outside would appear like no other Corvette and they added some bling look in the engine compartment with polished and coated parts and pieces. If you’re going to be a badass then you have to look the part, too.
“We plan on running a lot of the 28/275 shootouts around here and also give Limited Drag Radial a shot,” shared Hill on their 2019 racing plans. To get tuned up for the season they drove the car over to FuelTech to run it on the Mainline hub dyno. The move wasn’t to chart horsepower but rather to get a baseline engine tune. After working with C16 and Q16 for nearly a dozen years, this would be the first serious race engine that Hill would be tuning on methanol. On short pulls the Voodoo Child Corvette was spitting out 2,500hp readings and Hill was quick to say that there was more on tap with higher boost and more timing. However, he was comfortable with the baseline pulls and will tune it up once on track.
The Voodoo Child Corvette made a couple of shakedown runs at Brainerd Optimist Dragway just to get the team comfortable with the new setup. Right off the trailer the car dropped 1-teen 60-foot times on a set of Mickey Thompson ET Radial Pro 275 tires. If all goes according to plan, the goal would be to run consistent 4.30s with speeds over 170 mph.