The World’s Fastest Ferrari
You may have heard about it. In October, BlackHorse Racing’s 288 GTO set a world record for the AA blown fuel modified sports class. Some celebrated the accomplishment, others dismissed it for using a GM engine. Recently I was able to sit down with owner Steve Trafton who is a retired banking executive to talk about his record setting run.
About that engine, as Mark Twain said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes”. OK, lie is a bit strong. Let’s call it a disregard for the facts. The only GM part in the powerplant is an alternator. Or, it may not be from The General. After assembling a custom twin turbo engine that pumps out 2,000 horsepower, you might be a bit fuzzy on where every single part comes from too. No one seems to concerned that the transmission isn’t sourced from Italy either, it’s the kind normally found in dragsters.
Here’s what’s important- Steve and his crew set the record in the class he entered and did so with a non-streamlined front end. While the rules allow the nose to be modified for aerodynamics (which most teams do) the crew at BlackHorse racing took it as a challenge to keep the beak of the 288 relatively stock. This opened up a number of stability challenges that the understated Trafton talks about in the piece. He also explains while he couldn’t use a Ferrari engine, even if he wanted to.
There are those who will continue to insist that this is not a true Ferrari and this video is not trying to change anyone’s mind. But if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to run over 270 miles an hour on salt, Trafton’s story, and the site of his pulverized engine from the unsuccessful 2008 attempt will convince you it isn’t for the timid.