A couple of weeks ago, we told you about Josh Forster and his 4th Gen Z28 that was getting prepped to take a shot at 200 MPH at the Mojave Mile this month. Now, we are happy to report that Forster is officially the youngest member of the Mojave Mile 200 MPH club.
One of the things we liked about Forster’s Z28 is that it wasn’t some mega-bucks build, and that he had done most of the work on the Camaro himself. Forster had been working with the guys at Cunningham Motorsports (CMS) to iron out a few small boost issues with the turbo 408 LS in the Z28. After a few tuning sessions the guys at CMS had Forster’s Camaro set up with a Turbosmart e-Boost2 electronic boost controller with three stages of boost, and a peak horsepower number of well over 1,000, up from 877.
Forster tells us, “Being able to toggle between stages of boost with the e-Boost2 was great. It was really helpful in testing the car to get repeatable results. Having 1020 rear-wheel horsepower and 958 pound-feet of torque blasting you down the runway is pretty exciting. You can feel the tires spinning in every gear, including 5th.”
Forster and his crew spent most of the day Saturday making sure everything was completely dialed in. Sunday morning, the car was ready to go but unfortunately there were some pretty nasty cross-wind issues that were coming into play. “While I was waiting in line for my second run on Sunday, there was a steady crosswind of 10 MPH, with gusts up to 18 MPH.” Forster says. “They were making announcements for the high speed cars and bikes to be careful. I decided to run anyways since the DA [Density Altitude] was climbing and we weren’t sure if the wind would get worse throughout the day.”
A healthy crosswind was only compounding the potential dangers for Forster. In fact, Forster had his own brush with catastrophe previously in the competition. “I had a near crash on one of the runs.” He tells us, “There was a bump where two runways intersect, and the tires broke loose at about 180 MPH and swung the rear end out to the right. I started going toward the dirt on the side of the track. At those kinds of speeds, you can’t just counter-steer to correct the problem. I had to gently let off the gas and steer it back toward the center. I came within 20 feet of going off the track around 170 MPH and I still went through the traps at 172 MPH.”
With the thoughts of that previous run in the back of his mind, Forster knew if the wind got any worse, this might be his last chance to break 200 MPH. “I decided to quit wasting time. I put the boost controller in stage 3, which is 1020 horsepower, and got ready to go for it. I even told the starting line tech, ‘This is going to be my 200mph run’.”
And he wasn’t lying. Through a stiff crosswind, fighting wheel-spin, and even missing his 3-4 shift he still managed to accomplish exactly what he set out to do. Forster and his Turbo 408ci LS Z28 hurtled down the runway at Mojave to an official speed of 202.5 MPH.
“At 200 MPH, it’s pretty amazing.” Forster says. “The windows bend in because of the air pressure and it makes an incredible amount of noise. Everything is just a total blur as it passes you. It also takes a lot of concentration on the car, trying to feel the car and keep it straight as the tires are spinning, and keep an eye on all of my critical gauges to make sure the engine is happy at the same time. You go from 0-200 in a little over 20 seconds, so it’s a lot to keep track of in such a short amount of time.”
He adds, “Getting the car stopped is no easy feat either. With no ABS on the car, you better make sure you can apply the brakes without locking up the front tires going that fast. There’s about a half mile of stopping distance to the first turnout, where you make a right turn at about 70 MPH.”
Being the youngest member of the 200 MPH Club is quite an accomplishment, but there is one thing that Forster is even more proud of. “My biggest personal accomplishment was beating the multimillion dollar Bugatti Veyron that was there.” Forster says. “He did a best of 201.3 all weekend. It was good knowing I beat one of the world’s fastest and most expensive cars, with a car that I built in my garage. ”