Red Bull: The Record Chasing 2010 Camaro

Ryan Stevens’ 2010 Camaro has come a long way since leaving the factory line at GM. He bought the Chevy Camaro in 2011, and did like any good gearhead does to an LS-based engine, he threw some bolt-ons at it right away. The car responded beautifully, but it wasn’t anywhere near done as a bolt-on-only car. As he worked his way out of into the 11-second range, he was ready to make the leap to more responsive modifications, like a good ole’ hearty camshaft to help him drop into the low 11-second range.

Ryan Stevens is the calibrator/build planner at Gwatney Performance Innovations, so he knows a thing or two about building cars. Once Ryan started digging around on the internet, he found the official quarter-mile Camaro Fast List on the Camaro5 forum. It was then that he realized there was only one 2010-2015 Camaro that had eclipsed the 10-second quarter-mile barrier with a stock bottom end. This mad Ryan thirsty to compete, and his ambition didn’t stop merely at smashing through the 10-second barrier.

“As you have probably seen, the new norm now for people is to use a power adder setup in an attempt to go fast, especially in the Gen5 platform because of its excessive weight,” Ryan Stevens told us. He added, “But in my opinion, boost makes it easy. To go fast naturally aspirated is without question the hardest and most challenging way to get it done, which is why I think it’s awesome. As simplistic as naturally aspirated setups sound, attention to detail must be impeccable to achieve maximum performance. In fact, of the top 30 naturally-aspirated stock displacement 2010-2015 Camaros, 18 of them use a combo of our (Gwatney Performance) cams, heads, and tuning.” Thanks to his advantage in his position at work, Ryan decided to act on the old adage that “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!”, and developed a camshaft line that he would use in his Camaro. The new line, dubbed the SS4 VVT, helped him get his car into the 10s with a 10.75 at 126-mph pass, making him #1, but far from done.”

“My evolution from stock to where I’m at now started with basic bolt-ons, then came cam and gears. Then came my own cam design, ported heads, and all of a sudden it was, and still is, the quickest naturally-aspirated, stock-displacement Gen5 Camaro running 10.33 at 131.” He continues that “After that, I wanted to continue on the naturally-aspirated path and build an engine using my factory block as the starting point. And that’s what I did. I built a custom linkage to utilize my factory computer to run a cable-driven throttle body for maximum engine breathing.”

After dropping into the 10s, Ryan decided to install a set of LS3 cylinder heads that were ported by Tony Bischoff. With the new heads, and a few minor changes, he grabbed some race fuel, then drove 8-hours to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to race that same night. He ran his Camaro at 10.456 at 133-mph, then turned around and drove back home the next day.

While he did feel pretty proud of the setup, Ryan would end up getting bored with it fairly quickly. He enlisted the help of Kip Fabre at Cam Motion to grind a custom, low-lash, solid-roller camshaft for him to install. At the same time, he also swapped his heads out for a set of ported LS3 heads by Frankenstein Engine Dynamics. After this set of modifications, Ryan went back to run 10.33-seconds at 131-mph.

Ryan now had the itch to break into the 9s, and he knew there was a lot of work ahead of him to get there. He used his LS3 engine block, then installed a 417 rotating assembly, kept the Frankenstein cylinder heads, swapped to a more aggressive camshaft, and decided to install a Jim Kuntz-ported Super Victor Edelbrock intake manifold. Pushing the tires hard on this combo, he got the Camaro down to 10.08 at 134 mph, as if the nine-second range was just teasing him.

Feeling stuck, he installed a cold air intake and took it to Camarofest7, where it ran a 10.7 at 134 mph in very hot weather. Once the weather changed, the conditions were finally right for Ryan to make his nine-second pass. His first taste of the 9-second zone was with a quarter-mile pass of 9.86-seconds at 135 mph. Once the weather got even cooler, he took the Camaro down the track at 9.74-seconds at 138 miles per hour at the State Capitol Raceway in Baton Rouge, LA.

Now that Ryan has tasted the glory of running in the  nine-second zone, he is zigging where you’d think he’d zag and is going back to a stock-bottom-end LS3.

Tech Sheet

Owner: Ryan Stevens, Calibrator/Build Planning @ Gwatney Performance Innovations

Recorded Performance

Quarter-Mile Elapsed Time: 9.962-seconds

Quarter Mile Mile Per House: 135.78-seconds

60-Foot Time: 1.371-seconds

Rear-Wheel Dyno Numbers: 611-RWHP and 477-RWTQ at Land N’ Sea Dynomite with standard correction

Awards:

  • Number 1 on 10-15 Camaro naturally aspirated fasted list, non-stock displacement (street registered) Rhino79 username on Camaro5.com (fast lists on the site)
  • Runner-up at Camarofest 7 in unlimited class (ran against boosted cars)

Body

Year: 2010

Body Style: Camaro SS

Color and Paint Type: Victory Red

Hood: VFN Max Clearance

Interior

Front Seats: Factory (passenger seat out for racing)

Rear Seats: Factory (rear seat out for racing)

Engine

Engine Builder: Ryan Stevens

Block: LS3 Aluminum

Bore x Stroke: 4.075-inch bore 4-inch stroke

Displacement: 417 c.i.

Compression Ratio: 12.2:1

Crankshaft: K1 Forged

Connecting Rods: Callies Compstar H-beam 6.125

Pistons: Mahle 4032 alloy

Piston Rings: Mahle 1.5mm/1.5mm/3mm ring pack

Cylinder Heads: Stage 1 ported 821 castings by Frankenstien

Valves: 2.165 LS9 Titainium intake valves 1.59 Ferrea Stainless Exhaust valves

Camshaft: GPI custom grind, cut by Comp Cams

Cam Specifications: 263/272 @ .050 108 LSA 104 ICL .712/.703 lift

Valve Springs: PAC 1209x with BTR titainium retainers and hardware

Rocker Arms: T&D Shaft mount adjustable rockers

Lifters: Steward Performance Lifters .750 roller wheel

Cooling System

Radiator: Factory

Coolant: Dexcool 50/50

Thermostat: 160-degree

Induction

Intake Manifold: CID LS3 2-piece 4500 plenum

Throttle Body: Accufab 4500 4bbl, driven by custom linkage and servo setup to retain drive by wire and factory ECM (done in-house by Ryan)

Mass Air Sensor: None, running speed density

Induction System: Vararam COPO shootout airbox, 4-of-4 built

Air Filter: Custom

Fuel System

Fuel Pump: ZL1 factory pump

Fuel Lines: Stock, then split to dual -6an for the fuel rails

Fuel Rails: CID

Fuel Injectors: Fuel Injector Clinic 850 cc injectors (94-pound)

Fuel Pressure Regulator: Factory returnless system, regulated at pump in tank

Powertrain Control Module: Factory e38 engine and T43 transmission controllers

Tuning: Done by Ryan

Ignition

Wires: MSD

Spark Plugs: NGK R5671a7

Exhaust

Headers: Borla 1-7/8-inch, custom 3-1/2-inch collectors with merge spikes

Midpipe: custom 3-inch with H-pipe

Mufflers: Thrush glasspacks

Tailpipes: 3-inch duals, with turndowns before the differential

Drivetrain

Transmission: 6L80E built by Ryan

Torque Converter: Circle D Specialties 245mm 5C Single lockup clutch

Driveshaft: Factory

Rearend: Factory

Differential: Modified factory with extra Posi Clutches

Rear Gear Ratio: 3.91:1

Axles: Factory

Shifter: Factory

Front Suspension

K-member: Modified factory (10-pounds removed)

A-Arms: Factory

Shocks: Factory

Springs: Factory

Bushings: Factory

Sway Bar: None

Wheels: Weld RTS 15×4

Tires: Hoosier 27×4.5×15

Brakes: V6 factory brakes

Rear Suspension

Shocks: Stock

Springs: Stock

Bushings: Hendrix Engineering Delrin offset differential bushings

Upper Control Arms: Stock

Lower Control Arms: BMR, modded to accept 15-inch wheels

Wheels: 15×10-inch Weld RTS

Tires: 275 Pro Mickey Thompson

Brakes: V6 Factory brakes, milled to clear the wheels

About the author

Elizabeth Puckett

Elizabeth is a seasoned writer and hardcore gearhead. She was born with motor oil in her blood and a passion for everything that goes fast.
Read My Articles

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