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2020 GT500 Magnetic Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Note - I'm going to share pictures and videos as I collect them as I was a little busy and will write about this incrementally so, if you're interested, you might want to revisit this thread periodically.)

I ran my 2020 GT500 in this year's Nevada Open Road Challenge and I thought I would share my experiences with the community. But first...what is the "Nevada Open Road Challenge"?

From the Silver State Classic Challenge website:

"For the past three decades, driving enthusiasts from around the world have gathered on the third Sunday of May and September in the Nevada high desert for the running of two truly unique automotive events. Their amazing journey traverses 90 to 120 miles of closed, two-lane public highway, comprised of long fast straights, sweeping corners, blind dips, even carving through a twisty canyon. The current course record stands at 219.6430 mph average speed, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. The best part is, if you’ve got the nerve, a little cash, and a fast ride, you too can join them to run as fast as you can, legally, down a public highway. Welcome to the Silver State Classic Challenge!"

Silver State Classic Challenge Inc.

In a nutshell, the event consists of:
  • Half-mile and one-mile trap-speed "shoot-outs"
  • Several social events including dinners and mixers
  • Meetings
  • A car show where participants vie for the highly sought-after "Hooker's Choice" award
  • A parade where your car is the star
  • And, of course...the Open Road Race
The open road-race is, except for the highest classes that are reserved for the most highly-prepared cars (think full-on race cars) and the most experienced drivers, a time-speed-distance challenge. Entrants pick a class, such as the 120 mph class, where the goal is to cover the classic 90-mile route in precisely - and I mean precisely - 45 minutes. This format makes the racing much more accessible to those of us that aren't retired (or active) Formula 1 drivers but, make no mistake, skill and practice are needed to succeed as the top drivers (and navigators) are often within .005 seconds of their goal!

What class you are allowed to enter is based on prior experience and level of car preparation. We entered the "Touring" class, which is the entry-level class with the lowest safety equipment requirements as we didn't have the time to install the equipment that any other class would require. We installed a fire extinguisher to comply with the rules and then turned our attention to timing, deciding to go with an iOS-based mobile app for the rally-style timing we needed. Even this seemingly minimal prep was, because of our jobs, difficult to perform but we managed to get the car PPFed, get the fire extinguisher bolted in, get the car detailed and built a no-drill mount for the iPad we bought to host the timing app.

And, after that was complete, we drove the 500 into our car hauler and set off for Ely, Nevada...

216363


We got into Ely Thursday evening, went through race registration, performed some last-minute prep work (including applying stickers in a sandstorm) and hit the sack. Friday morning brought a blur of activity, starting with technical inspection. Tech inspection was relatively simple for the "Touring" class, but key items included:
  • Tire condition - within age limitations, absence of damage (including punctures) and adequate tread.
  • OEM seat belts working in and good working condition
  • Nothing mounted in front of airbag deployment zones
  • Presence of a fire extinguisher, mounted on a metal bracket and with reach of the driver and/or navigator
Our almost-new, low-mile GT500 passed with flying colors.

216372


Next stop: the half-mile and one-mile Shootout!

The Shootouts are the typical half-mile and mile races where, similar to "airstrip" events, the goal is to set the highest speed at the end of the course and you get three passes to work with. This event is, as with the open-road race, held on a public road with zero prep other than a good sweeping and burn-outs aren't permitted. I could only participate in the half-mile and thus had only three tries to "get things right", but I think I did OK.

Conditions:
Car - 2020 GT500 base
Tires - standard Michelin PS4S @ 32 psi front, 32 psi rear
Fuel - full tank of 93 octane Michigan pump gas
Occupants - driver, navigator
Temp - 75 degF
Altitude - approximately 6500" ASL
Modifications - Livernois "93 octane - no mod" tune (
)
Launch control - 1900 rpm
Shifting - manual
Mode - Sport
Camera - Escort M1

Results: 149.85 mph - 2nd place!


Analysis of best pass:
No wheelspin on launch, 1-2 at limiter, 2-3 at limiter, 3-4 at limiter (and probably held too long), hit the limiter in 4th and held it going through the traps. Probably lost at least 1 mph through shift mistakes and about the same by not launching as hard as possible because I was too conservative with the launch control.

The shift mistakes - I was trying to shift 500 rpm higher than factory redline as part of the tune is to raise the redline and this is the first time I drove it with this tune, so sue me.

The Shootout was fun and it encouraged me to sign up for the Indy Airstrip Attack in August!

The next events of interest were the Hooker's Choice car show (which is exactly what it sounds like) and a participant car parade. More about these soon, as I sort through photos and videos.
 

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Moderator/Admin Dude!
2020 CFTP Red! 2011 Kona Blue
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Love it! 🤟

For your launch, I did not hear the 2-step (2-pedal) launch. It sounded like you launched it manually. I understand your rev limiter is raised and that’s what drove you to wanting to manually shift, but I suspect you would have gone faster if you used drag mode, launch control and auto-shifting (7500).
 

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Premium Member
2020 GT500 Magnetic Metallic
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43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Love it! 🤟

For your launch, I did not hear the 2-step (2-pedal) launch. It sounded like you launched it manually. I understand your rev limiter is raised and that’s what drove you to wanting to manually shift, but I suspect you would have gone faster if you used drag mode, launch control and auto-shifting (7500).
Valid points all...

I noticed that, at lower RPMs, launch control doesn't "bounce" as much as it does at higher RPMs. This is definitely something I need to spend more time on. I manually shifted because I thought that "auto" would shift at the stock shift-points, which I didn't want, and I hadn't used "Drag" prior to the event.

I'm going to get a drag timer and play with it a little before August, especially getting used to "Drag".
 

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Moderator/Admin Dude!
2020 CFTP Red! 2011 Kona Blue
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Valid points all...

I noticed that, at lower RPMs, launch control doesn't "bounce" as much as it does at higher RPMs. This is definitely something I need to spend more time on. I manually shifted because I thought that "auto" would shift at the stock shift-points, which I didn't want, and I hadn't used "Drag" prior to the event.

I'm going to get a drag timer and play with it a little before August, especially getting used to "Drag".
The tranny will most certainly shift at 7500 when left to auto, even with your raised rev limiter. Trying to nail the shifts manually leads to either short shifting or hitting the rev limiter. It happens very quickly!

If you did launch control correctly, you would definitely hear it at 1900 RPMs... it’s very noticeable. Select Drag Mode next time and go into the menu and make sure launch control has a check mark in the box. Then set your RPMs you want... 1900 is a good first setting. Adjust up/down for subsequent runs based on no bog/bog. When you get to the line, come to a stop using your right foot. Then switch brake feet and push the pedal to the floor with your left foot. Put your right foot on the gas and press it to the floor. You’ll hear the 2-step RPMs at that point. When it’s go time, lift your brake foot and keep the steering wheel top dead center for the quickest auto-shifts.
 
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2013 Shelby GT500 performance white
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(Note - I'm going to share pictures and videos as I collect them as I was a little busy and will write about this incrementally so, if you're interested, you might want to revisit this thread periodically.)

I ran my 2020 GT500 in this year's Nevada Open Road Challenge and I thought I would share my experiences with the community. But first...what is the "Nevada Open Road Challenge"?

From the Silver State Classic Challenge website:

"For the past three decades, driving enthusiasts from around the world have gathered on the third Sunday of May and September in the Nevada high desert for the running of two truly unique automotive events. Their amazing journey traverses 90 to 120 miles of closed, two-lane public highway, comprised of long fast straights, sweeping corners, blind dips, even carving through a twisty canyon. The current course record stands at 219.6430 mph average speed, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. The best part is, if you’ve got the nerve, a little cash, and a fast ride, you too can join them to run as fast as you can, legally, down a public highway. Welcome to the Silver State Classic Challenge!"

Silver State Classic Challenge Inc.

In a nutshell, the event consists of:
  • Half-mile and one-mile trap-speed "shoot-outs"
  • Several social events including dinners and mixers
  • Meetings
  • A car show where participants vie for the highly sought-after "Hooker's Choice" award
  • A parade where your car is the star
  • And, of course...the Open Road Race
The open road-race is, except for the highest classes that are reserved for the most highly-prepared cars (think full-on race cars) and the most experienced drivers, a time-speed-distance challenge. Entrants pick a class, such as the 120 mph class, where the goal is to cover the classic 90-mile route in precisely - and I mean precisely - 45 minutes. This format makes the racing much more accessible to those of us that aren't retired (or active) Formula 1 drivers but, make no mistake, skill and practice are needed to succeed as the top drivers (and navigators) are often within .005 seconds of their goal!

What class you are allowed to enter is based on prior experience and level of car preparation. We entered the "Touring" class, which is the entry-level class with the lowest safety equipment requirements as we didn't have the time to install the equipment that any other class would require. We installed a fire extinguisher to comply with the rules and then turned our attention to timing, deciding to go with an iOS-based mobile app for the rally-style timing we needed. Even this seemingly minimal prep was, because of our jobs, difficult to perform but we managed to get the car PPFed, get the fire extinguisher bolted in, get the car detailed and built a no-drill mount for the iPad we bought to host the timing app.

And, after that was complete, we drove the 500 into our car hauler and set off for Ely, Nevada...

View attachment 216363

We got into Ely Thursday evening, went through race registration, performed some last-minute prep work (including applying stickers in a sandstorm) and hit the sack. Friday morning brought a blur of activity, starting with technical inspection. Tech inspection was relatively simple for the "Touring" class, but key items included:
  • Tire condition - within age limitations, absence of damage (including punctures) and adequate tread.
  • OEM seat belts working in and good working condition
  • Nothing mounted in front of airbag deployment zones
  • Presence of a fire extinguisher, mounted on a metal bracket and with reach of the driver and/or navigator
Our almost-new, low-mile GT500 passed with flying colors.

View attachment 216372

Next stop: the half-mile and one-mile Shootout!

The Shootouts are the typical half-mile and mile races where, similar to "airstrip" events, the goal is to set the highest speed at the end of the course and you get three passes to work with. This event is, as with the open-road race, held on a public road with zero prep other than a good sweeping and burn-outs aren't permitted. I could only participate in the half-mile and thus had only three tries to "get things right", but I think I did OK.

Conditions:
Car - 2020 GT500 base
Tires - standard Michelin PS4S @ 32 psi front, 32 psi rear
Fuel - full tank of 93 octane Michigan pump gas
Occupants - driver, navigator
Temp - 75 degF
Altitude - approximately 6500" ASL
Modifications - Livernois "93 octane - no mod" tune (
)
Launch control - 1900 rpm
Shifting - manual
Mode - Sport
Camera - Escort M1

Results: 149.85 mph - 2nd place!


Analysis of best pass:
No wheelspin on launch, 1-2 at limiter, 2-3 at limiter, 3-4 at limiter (and probably held too long), hit the limiter in 4th and held it going through the traps. Probably lost at least 1 mph through shift mistakes and about the same by not launching as hard as possible because I was too conservative with the launch control.

The shift mistakes - I was trying to shift 500 rpm higher than factory redline as part of the tune is to raise the redline and this is the first time I drove it with this tune, so sue me.

The Shootout was fun and it encouraged me to sign up for the Indy Airstrip Attack in August!

The next events of interest were the Hooker's Choice car show (which is exactly what it sounds like) and a participant car parade. More about these soon, as I sort through photos and videos.
Can you post up the information on the Indy airstrip attack?
 

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Premium Member
2020 gt500 Shadow Black
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The tranny will most certainly shift at 7500 when left to auto, even with your raised rev limiter. Trying to nail the shifts manually leads to either short shifting or hitting the rev limiter. It happens very quickly!

If you did launch control correctly, you would definitely hear it at 1900 RPMs... it’s very noticeable. Select Drag Mode next time and go into the menu and make sure launch control has a check mark in the box. Then set your RPMs you want... 1900 is a good first setting. Adjust up/down for subsequent runs based on no bog/bog. When you get to the line, come to a stop using your right foot. Then switch brake feet and push the pedal to the floor with your left foot. Put your right foot on the gas and press it to the floor. You’ll hear the 2-step RPMs at that point. When it’s go time, lift your brake foot and keep the steering wheel top dead center for the quickest auto-shifts.
As I recall, once Drag Mode is selected, launch control is automatically turned on. (but traction control has to be on for it to work)
 
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Moderator/Admin Dude!
2020 CFTP Red! 2011 Kona Blue
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As I recall, once Drag Mode is selected, launch control is automatically turned on. (but traction control has to be on for it to work)
Correct, but if the launch control box got deselected, I don’t think it would work.
 

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2020 gt500 Shadow Black
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Correct, but if the launch control box got deselected, I don’t think it would work.
You may be right Tim. I'll go out tomorrow, making sure the LC is deselected, and give er a try.

I stumbled upon this video. At the 6:00 min. mark, a Ford Powertrain engineer goes over launch control.
 

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Moderator/Admin Dude!
2020 CFTP Red! 2011 Kona Blue
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You may be right Tim. I'll go out tomorrow, making sure the LC is deselected, and give er a try.

I stumbled upon this video. At the 6:00 min. mark, a Ford Powertrain engineer goes over launch control.
Make sure it SELECTED (box checked). You then activate it with both pedals pressed to the floor... brake followed by gas.
 

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Premium Member
2020 GT500 Magnetic Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK, I think I know the source of confusion about the use in launch control in this video...

Launch control was indeed used and I was two-footing the brake and the throttle, but stabbed the throttle just as the flag-man dropped the flag as the starting-line staff asked us not to sit at the line with "launch systems" popping and snarling as they're on radios and not wearing ear protection.

Regardless, I had it set too low for the weight of two people and a full fuel tank.
 

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Moderator/Admin Dude!
2020 CFTP Red! 2011 Kona Blue
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OK, I think I know the source of confusion about the use in launch control in this video...

Launch control was indeed used and I was two-footing the brake and the throttle, but stabbed the throttle just as the flag-man dropped the flag as the starting-line staff asked us not to sit at the line with "launch systems" popping and snarling as they're on radios and not wearing ear protection.

Regardless, I had it set too low for the weight of two people and a full fuel tank.
Not to beat a dead horse, but your launch control was not activated. You need to get the brake to the floor followed by the gas to the floor. The RPMs need to come up to the set limit and bounce. You simply left the line using traction control, without the benefit of launch control. Give it a shot sometime out on your own and you’ll see what I mean.
 

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2020 GT500 Magnetic Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not to beat a dead horse, but your launch control was not activated. You need to get the brake to the floor followed by the gas to the floor. The RPMs need to come up to the set limit and bounce. You simply left the line using traction control, without the benefit of launch control. Give it a shot sometime out on your own and you’ll see what I mean.
I've actually designed traction control algorithms for ABS/TCS systems and engine torque derating models and software components of one of the "Big Three", so I have a little experience with how launch control is supposed to work. I know what it says in the manual and I also know that I have seen the same performance without several seconds of "bouncing".

I have used the launch control in this car and have tried the "holding it to the floor" method (that you mention and is indeed in the owners manual) and have tried "spiking it at the last moment" - both result in the same 0-60 times (on the dash) and both cause the TC telltale to actuate.

I'll hang a GoPro in the cabin to show you what I mean but, in the meantime, if anyone has any video to the contrary I would love to see it.
 

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Moderator/Admin Dude!
2020 CFTP Red! 2011 Kona Blue
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I've actually designed traction control algorithms for ABS/TCS systems and engine torque derating models and software components of one of the "Big Three", so I have a little experience with how launch control is supposed to work. I know what it says in the manual and I also know that I have seen the same performance without several seconds of "bouncing".

I have used the launch control in this car and have tried the "holding it to the floor" method (that you mention and is indeed in the owners manual) and have tried "spiking it at the last moment" - both result in the same 0-60 times (on the dash) and both cause the TC telltale to actuate.

I'll hang a GoPro in the cabin to show you what I mean but, in the meantime, if anyone has any video to the contrary I would love to see it.
Ok, thanks for the info. I wonder if both would offer the same 0-100 on concrete or on a sticky prepped track. I don’t know the answer to this. I’ve aways just used the owner’s manual listed steps:

216431
 

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Make sure it SELECTED (box checked). You then activate it with both pedals pressed to the floor... brake followed by gas.
The launch control box does NOT need to be checked in the Track Apps in order to use launch control.
Keep it simple, just put it in Drag Mode and launch control is automatically engaged.
 

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The launch control box does NOT need to be checked in the Track Apps in order to use launch control.
Keep it simple, just put it in Drag Mode and launch control is automatically engaged.
Yes, Drag Mode does default to launch control on, but I was just walking him through making sure launch control is working. You can actually use LC in any mode if the box is checked. You do need to apply the brake fully, followed by the gas pedal fully and allow the RPMs to stabilize at the preset limit for it all to function properly. Just stabbing the gas at the last second is simply using traction control only.
 

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Freaking awesome!!! Sounds like a hell of fun time/event! Love the videos -- keep em coming.
 
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