Autocross is sometimes referred to as the tri-athelon of the auto world.
So how do you power a 3,250-pound car around the twists and turns of an Autocross track? According to Al Noe, Chief Product Officer at Summit Racing Equipment, it takes a balance of horsepower, handling, stopping power–and patience. Noe, who is an avid autocrosser, let us ride along in his 1967 Chevrolet Camaro as he took to the autocross course at the Super Summit show in Norwalk, OH.
Noe began autocrossing about 17 years ago, right after he bought the ’67 Camaro. As he learned the techniques needed to drive in an autocross course, he upgraded the car over the course of several years. The powerplant features a GM LS3 block, Mahle Pistons, and a K1 Technologies stroker crankshaft.
According to Noe, one of the keys to floating around the autocross track is to have strong mid- to high-range power. To make sure the LS was producing the power where he needed it, he decided to go with a Trick Flow Track Max camshaft that has a powerband between 3,000 and 6,000 rpm. He topped the engine off with a set of Trick Flow GenX 255 cylinder heads. The engine, which was put together by Noe and his friend Brian Nutter and tuned at Backstreet Performance in Medina, OH, produces 530 horsepower and 525 ft.-lbs. of torque at the rear wheels, measured on Backstreet Performance’s chassis dyno. All of that torque comes in handy when trying to accelerate through one corner and onto the next.
On a recent run on an autocross track, Noe discovered that he wasn’t putting all of the power to the ground through the corners. The next upgrade planned is a Moser Engineering Center Section, complete with aluminum case and Detroit Truetrac differential. These differentials will ensure that power is delivered optimally to both rear wheels in any situation; whether it is autocrossing, drag racing, or an open track road race event.
To get the Camaro slowed quickly in the turns, Noe went with Baer Claw Track Disc brakes with a set of Hawk DTC70 pads. The Hawk pads are a ferro-carbon racing design that really makes a difference in the heavy braking needed in autocross. Noe upgraded the front suspension with RideTech A-arms, sway bars, and coil overs. Out back, a Currie Ford 9 inch housing, suspended by a RideTech triangulated 4 link with Afco coilovers. Weld Racing RT-S wheels with Falken Azenis RT615 tires in all four corners put the power to the ground.
Even after the LS swap and assorted upgrades, Noe can still frequently be seen around town with his entire family in the car–likely headed off to shows, autocross events, or sporting events for the kids. It just goes to show you that by adding one part at a time, you can build yourself a competitive autocross vehicle and still have fun cruising around town with your family.
Watch the video below as Noe took his ’67 Camaro through the autocross track at Super Summit 2015 at Summit Racing Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH.