The all-wheel-drive (AWD) platform tends to reign supreme when it comes to runway racing over that of rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or front-wheel-drive (FWD) platforms. Since one of the primary limiting factors is the fight for traction, the largest foot print on the ground will generally be the most efficient.
Of course, there is much more involved and many other variables to consider, such as aerodynamics, gearing, engine management (boost by gear, traction control, etc.), and otherwise.
Regardless, the fact that the majority of the fastest half-mile cars in the world are highly modified Lamborghini’s (cue Underground Racing theme song), or high horsepower Nissan GTR’s, makes it pretty clear that AWD tends to trump RWD and FWD on the runway.
The saying goes that you can make gobs of horsepower, but if you cannot put it to the ground…it’s useless. With a ton of power, but no traction, the vehicle will just be spinning all the way down the track. This is not only unsafe, but inefficient in the hunt for a fast trap.
Traditional ¼ mile drag racing usually takes place on a VHT-prepped surface, allowing the inherently grippy track to bond with the tire compound of the vehicle in order to maximize traction.
However, a half-mile or other runway-type racing event generally takes place on unprepped tarmac where the surface is made primarily of asphalt or concrete, and also in varying degrees of condition. Therefore, AWD tends to be favored in this world where traction is key.
All of this sets the stage for how epic it is that Sal’s 20-year old, RWD Viper has been able to eclipse 244.43 mph in the half-mile, making it the current RWD half-mile record holder.
The video above follows Sal at the 2018 Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack on the hunt for the RWD half mile record. Sal’s 1999 Dodge Viper evolved over time into a legendary 6-second ¼ mile drag car, and has only recently been converted to half-mile racing.
Our friends at 1320video were able to capture his weekend with both in-car, and exterior footage to show the insanity that would ensue. This is what happens when you take a well-built, properly designed drag car, and set it up for half-mile racing. Now go watch that 20 year old Dodge fly!