I would like to share the magnificent and truly inspiring story behind the world record on a full mile that was set by my carmrade and great man Leonid with his twin turbo Lamborghini Gallardo.
The story starts on 10th of July 2013, when Leonid and Yuri make a bet. Conditions: Go faster than 22 seconds on a full mile and receive 25.000 dollars from the “loser”. At that time, Yuri was the record holder with his AMS Alpha 12+ GT-R with following statistics:
Top Speed World Record For Nissan GT-R 382.16 kph
1/4 mile: 9.447 sec. @ 260.11 kph
1 mile: 22.538 sec. @ 382.16 kph
0-100 kph (0-62 mph): 2.99 sec.
0-200 kph (0-124 mph): 6.50 sec.
0-300 kph (0-186 mph): 12.37 sec.
The very same day Leonid sets time of 21.852 seconds and becomes a hero with nice sum of pocket money to celebrate, but this was just a beginning of something bigger. They make another bet with similar conditions, but with another numbers: one second less, four times more cash or in other words Leonid has to beat 21 seconds and get 100 grand before the end of the year. All of it can be witnessed here one more time:
Two months later, on the 14th of September, Leonid and other contenders enter the battlefield of the famous Moscow Unlim 500+ drag race, when the unthinkable happens. During one of the attempts to break the record, the 2005 hp Lamborghini catches fire as soon as it crosses the finish line at a speed of 402 km/h. The connecting rod decided to take a break and smashed its way through the engine block, but luckily enough the fire suppression system prevented any unthinkable consequences. Here’s a reminder if you did not see it before:
Shocked, but determined to win, Leonid gets help from his friend who lends him his Gallardo Nera twin turbo for the next day. They work overnight to put the better and “faster” components from one car to another, but the stormy weather of 15th September makes it impossible to drive safely under normal speeds, let alone those that make the Veyron owners want to stay at home. This happened the very same day:
As the weather conditions of upcoming Russian winter made it impossible to schedule another run in Moscow, Leonid persuades the Dragtimes crew to host the very first Unlim outside Russia in a warmer environment. On 16th of November, the peaceful environment of Tympaki on the island of Crete becomes disturbed by tens of thousands horsepower as Unlim 500+ Destination: Greece commences.
All the circumstances promise a miracle happening that day, from a well-prepared Lambo that Leonid acquired from his friend to the good weather conditions with sticky race track, but the miracle becomes nightmare when the Lambo bursts into flames for the second time, but this time with a malfunctioning fire suppression system. The car and Leonid’s hopes and dreams burn for ever-lasting moments until the emergency personnel arrive.
Pretty every single man I know would look down and walk away that day, but not “Lyonya”. Instead, he tries to pull off the same thing he did in September by fixing the car overnight, but unfortunately the level of damage and lack of parts prevent it from happening this quick. He isn’t able to race the next day, but the bet stands until the end of the year, right?
Leonid gets help from Theodor Perimenis, the owner of Exelixis Motorsport as well as from other guys at GTR Racing Tuning, ZOD Development, Altechno, GoshaTurboTech and Spiraklis Performance Parts. Oh, did I mention that Syvecs delivered their first prototype ECU for the Gallardo?
Before I continue, I would like to tell you about the humbleness of Theodor. During the Unlim 500+ on Crete he refused to participate by making excuses such as “I don’t have the right drag tires with me” or “I don’t have the racing fuel to unleash the car’s full potential” finishing with “okay, my wife said I don’t have to come back home if I will run the full mile (instead of the usual ¼)”. Some would think out loud by saying that he just did not want to get his ass kicked by tough Russian guys… Until he set a new world record by a GT-R on a ¼ mile @ 8.3 sec. a week after (while the fastest time by the Russians at Unlim was 9,02 set by Yuri).
But let’s get back to the Gallardo. The clock was ticking with less than 1.5 month until the end of the year and bet with it, but the determination to win grew only stronger and in a less than a month the Gallardo was ready to impress the world for the last time this year. Would it be a record or another fire show? Well, the Lambo delivered a proper fire show on the dyno among with 1850 horses at the flywheel and 1575 at the wheels!
Now let’s stop and think for a moment. One new car, two blown engines and a month full of stress in Greece away from home for $100.000? I guess it would be worth it when it considers a 10 second bet on a ¼ mile with a Honda Civic, but not with a Twin Turbo Gallardo. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to estimate the incurred costs and imagine that person’s time who is able to spend this kind of money may cost even more than that. No, at this point it wasn’t about the money anymore. It was about honor and glory, earned by tons of blood, sweat and tears.
Saturday, December the 21st, 10 days until the end of the year. The Gallardo is back on the airfield of Tympaki among with Race America Timing System to verify the results. The best result of the day was 21.7 seconds at 402 km/h, which was achieved on a low-boost setting. Could the high-boost setting of 2.9 bar make the difference? The mathematicians on the related forum couldn’t agree.
Sunday, 22nd of December, the Judgement Day. With 2.9 bar of boost it was all or nothing. The tires were pre-heated, the track was glued and both car and the driver were ready to go. As Leonid passed the ¼ mile marker the timing system technician yelled “8.814 seconds at 289 km/h (179.6 mph), this could be it!”. Less than 12 seconds later the same guy started screaming of joy, nobody could hear the exact result, but it did not matter at the moment: everyone knew they all did it. From Leonid and his team of mechanics to the guy who was gluing the track.
On Sunday the 22nd of December, Leonid set a new world record for a full mile drag race by going 20.845 seconds at 409 km/h (254 mph). Everyone praised Leonid for the achievement and keeping his word. And what about Yuri? Well, he kept his.