Emelia Hartford’s Ups And Downs To Being The Fastest C8

There are two distinct truths about drag racing; the better you get, the shorter the ride, and you’re always chasing the next weakest link in your push to go faster. Emelia Hartford’s C8 Corvette dubbed “Phoenix” has carried her to the top of the heap so far as fast C8s, but it has also brought her to the car’s knees when all that power finds an alternative route into the atmosphere.

Just a few days ago, Emelia posted a video of her breaking the world record for C8 Corvettes in the quarter-mile. An enviable task in its own right. But, the difference beyond pioneers and followers is only one is willing to accept the dangers that dwell just beyond the horizon. One of the amazing things we’ve seen with the C8 (and many other generations of Corvettes) is their ability to churn out amazing power levels and still fall securely within the realm of daily drivers.

The issue here isn’t if Phoenix would make for a very competent daily driver, but the car’s Achilles’ heel seems to be making it into a reliable daily drag racer. Just days after re-setting the fastest record for a C8 Corvette, Emelia posted this video showing the car snorting, snotting, and going into “limp-mode” on track. Even with the additional clutch upgrade a while ago, it appears the transmission clutches have reached their “torque adjusted” life cycle.

Gone are the days of dropping transmissions at the track and swapping out clutch systems in between rounds. In a C8 Corvette, the entire engine and transmission must be removed to access the discs that reside between the two. That’s barely a task that many shops would want to take on, let alone something to do trackside in an afternoon.

That said, Emelia may have slid down a slope on her trek to find the mountaintop, but as we’ve seen before, the crew is highly capable of getting between the engine and trans and sorting out where all that torque has been escaping. Until then, we have a perfect seat to sit back and see which C8 Corvette will bubble to the surface with another attempt at claiming the “Fastest C8” title.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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