Building a competitive race car is not something left to shade tree mechanics any longer. National series like the Red Line Time Attack and Formula Drift circuit have been attracting some serious talent over the past couple of years and it shows in the hardware they bring with them.
For Luke Lonberger and his BLU808 Performance Engineering hop in Campbell, CA, just a few miles southwest of San Jose, the proof is in the results. Last year, he racked up five 1st-place finishes in the Red Line Time Attack series, driving a 2010 Camaro that also crossed the country for Formula Drift events.
This year, Lonberger is taking a different tack, although still staying with the General. Over at Drifting.com, he has been detailing the conversion of a 2005 C6 Corvette into an all out track monster. When complete, this diary is going to be a complete manifesto on prepping a car for serious competition. While most of the work is being done in his shop, projects like this are never done alone.
Significant supporters of the build include LG Motorsports, Turn Key Engine Supply, Forgeline, Sparco, Aeromotive, Exedy Racing Clutches, Lab17 and others. In all cases, the initial phase of any build like this is weight removal. with carpet, seats and console removed, the Corvette weighed in at 2978 pounds.
With some more disassembly, including removal of the heater core/AC, blower assembly, exhaust system, gas tanks, ABS, pedals, windshield, rear hatch, and side windows, the car got down to 2369 pounds. Some of that will have to be replaced, but using lighter materials.
LG Motorsports, out of Wylie, TX, is a primary source for those parts, having campaigned a GT2 Corvette in the American LeMans series. Additional high performance contributions coming from LG include a heavy duty aluminum radiator and a number of carbon fiber body parts.
The car has a way to go yet before completion, but there’s no shortage of effort going into it. If you are considering putting a race car together, you’ll find plenty of inspiration and detail to revel in. Let’s hope that Lonberger can keep the documentation growing and his efforts are rewarded this year.