"With the best of the best in attendance, Underground Racing unveiled their newest and most powerful build to date: a beautiful 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Nera that I christened the "Knight in Shining Armor" and capable of being tuned to 1400 hp! The Underground Racing team started her up and did a few passes on the runway to get the feel of the road. From a spectator’s perspective, it was an outrageous slingshot. Never before in my life, have I seen or heard a Lamborghini run like the Gallardo Nera. It was astonishing to say the least."
Catch Me... If You Can
(This story comes from the Summer 2009 issue of La Vita Lamborghini)
Story by: Seth Rose, Photos by: Rick Dole
Have you ever wanted to experience 200 mph in your Lamborghini? I know I have on multiple occasions. I’ve even topped all four of my cars out and watched the wonderful gauge bury at 200+ mph. Disclaimer: this was on a closed course without traffic. I think we all know by now that Lamborghini factory speedometers are not the most accurate in the world. The answer to the speedometer is a VBox: a great little GPS-enabled computer that costs about $500 and measures everything under the sun including accurate top speed.
As the owner of Exotics Rally, specializing in events for the exotics car community, I decided to organize a series of events at a remote airport located in the Everglades. The airfield has a two mile runway sufficient for top speed runs. Recently, I hosted an event called “TOP GUN” which took place on April 19, 2009 and was accompanied by my little VBox. The event brought out some of the finest and fastest Lamborghinis in the world. We had three of the top tuners at the event, including: Underground Racing, Heffner Motorsports, and Doug Levin Racing. The event could also be labeled as the “Twin Turbo Lamborghini Heaven!”
With the best of the best in attendance, Underground Racing unveiled their newest and most powerful build to date: a beautiful 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Nera that I christened the "Knight in Shining Armor" and capable of being tuned to 1400 hp! The Underground Racing team started her up and did a few passes on the runway to get the feel of the road. From a spectator’s perspective, it was an outrageous slingshot. Never before in my life, have I seen or heard a Lamborghini run like the Gallardo Nera. It was astonishing to say the least.
Let me briefly jump back to February, when I hosted a similar event at the same airfield. Underground Racing had brought their famed Verde Ithaca Twin Turbo Lamborghini Gallardo tuned to 1000 hp and running like a banshee. I was fortunate enough to sit passenger for a test lap. The power and g-force was incredible. I have owned some of the fastest cars in existence: an Ariel Atom, a Nissan GTR, a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, and a Porsche 930 Turbo; but nothing, and I truly mean absolutely nothing, compared to the power of this car.
What was next on my wish list? A ride in a faster car. After all, 1400 hp has got to be better than 1000 hp. But it’s not just about the ponies, it’s also about the gears. For the April event, Underground Racing had designed and crafted new gears for the Gallardo to attain a higher top speed. Few people realize that horsepower alone does not provide a higher top speed. Horsepower may get you there more quickly but the gears will limit you. The answer for Underground Racing was easy. Flawlessly design new gears built to push speed performance to 260 mph!
I was invited to ride shotgun for a top speed test run of this new build. My job was to inform the driver when we hit 200 mph. I gladly accepted and we began our run. I was thinking to myself, why am I doing this? The need for speed? Just pure thrill seeking? Suicidal tendencies?
We began the run with a cruise down the first stretch and into the first turn. Whammo! With grace and gusto, the car launched! My heart pounding, I forgot to pay attention to the VBox. We were already at 226 mph when I alerted the driver. He let off the accelerator and slowed down before he ran off the runway. Incredibly, I had experienced the fastest top speed of my lifetime. We returned to the corral and were greeted by the team members who were amazed at the computer reading. We had easily shattered the 200 mph mark!
Riding the adrenaline rush, I realized I would probably never have an opportunity like this again when Kevin of Underground Racing said, “Let’s turn her up and give her some more and let’s break 230 mph.” I immediately hopped back into the passenger seat.
This time it was my job to alert the driver when we hit 230 mph. The next run began. As the driver shifted gears with precision, I was hesitant to give the thumbs up at 230. Selfishly, I waited just a few more seconds. Bam! We hit an amazing 238.6 mph...GPS Verified!!! This was a new land speed world record for a Lamborghini Gallardo!
I cannot begin to describe the sensations at that speed. It was both exhilarating and exhausting. I could only imagine how the driver felt. The sweat that engulfed my body from excitement and fear was unbelievable. I was truly impressed by the handling, power, shifting, and complete build. The experience has prompted me to seriously consider doing a TT build to my 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera.
I tip my hat to Underground Racing. Kevin and KC, you guys have outdone yourselves again and it was proven on April 9! I firmly believe that all the guys at the Texas Mile competition should be concerned. These guys are on point and are going to wake up a lot of people!