The fight for Corvette Independent Rear Suspension supremacy became an epic battle over the weekend at the LSX Shootout at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, as incoming record holder Keith Berry upended his previous mark during Friday qualifying in the Real Street category with an 8.22 from his nitrous-assisted, Proline-powered Corvette. But just moments later as the Drag Radial class took their turn, Mark Carlyle powered his sharp ’07 ‘Vette to the new mark at 8.178 at 172.74 MPH. Mark then followed it up with runs of 8.24, a new record of 8.15, and an 8.25. Berry, meanwhile, had to settle with his 8.22 effort, despite making valiant attempts all weekend to step into the low teens and leave with the mark.

Carlyles’ Corvette is powered by an LSX block-based power plant, with Diamond pistons, a Callies crankshaft and rods with 9.2:1 compression, and six-bolt cylinder heads, assembled by Livernois Motorsports. Boost is supplied by a Garrett 91mm turbocharger. Carlyle and sponsor IPS Motorsports, which performed much of the work in building this ultra-fast ‘Vette, are in the process of having a custom camshaft ground and upgrading the valve springs in order to attain higher RPM, as the stock rearend has left the car gear-limited. IPS fabricated the entire turbo system, which includes a water-to-air intercooler setup, installed the fuel system, and performs all of the tuning.

Mark’s focus upon building the car was in keeping it as street-like as possible, the air conditioner unit being the only item removed from the car as it left the factory. As such, the IRS setup remained, and breaking the IRS record became a long term goal for the project that was finally attained at Gateway. Pfadt Race Engineering has been a large supporter of the car, and sports their coilover shocks, sway bars, spherical bearing set. Much of the car has been upgraded but retains stock-based components, and with low eight-second elapsed times, has a full cage inside.

If the weather cooperates, Carlyle and the team at IPS hope to get the car back out and punch their ticket into the seven-second zone before winter sets in. If not, that will remain their ultimate goal going into the 2011 season.