The enthusiast community has taken a liking to airstrip-based top speed events. The growing popularity of contests like the Texas Mile, Mojave Mile, and No Fly Zone demonstrate the appeal of safely pinning the throttle for a half-mile or mile. No cops, no traffic, no turns. Just a driver, a car, and an open stretch of long, straight tarmac. European Car wanted some of that action. But we didn't want to be part of someone else's show; we've been to enough No Fly Zone (NFZ) events to know we'd prefer to throw our own affair. So with the help of NFZ organizers, Omega Motorsport, we assembled a group at Minter Field—a small, municipal airport in Shafter, California (just north of Bakersfield)—for the inaugural and somewhat experimental Top Speed Shootout.
Experimental, because while all those other events run single cars down the strip, we decided to up the excitement factor by having pairs of cars on the attack. Not a race, exactly, but certainly another element to keep participants on their toes.
The field included guests of sister publications Super Street and 5.0 Mustang but was made up primarily of European-branded entries (we also borrowed a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R sportbike just for the heck of it). Burger Tuning's F80 M3, Tim Davis' McLaren MP4, and Kenneth Romero's Porsche 997 all put in passes in excess of 150 mph. Canadian Kenton von Hollen's built E46 M3 (a previous European Car-featured vehicle) tied for the second-best run with Frank Hwang's MkIV Supra, both hitting 179.1 mph. But no one could beat the insane 996 brought out by BBI Autosport.
Aptly named "King Kong," this is one of the fastest rear-drive 911s in the world—a point proven emphatically at Top Speed Shootout. The E85-fueled, 1,500hp machine began with a pass of 197 mph, and it only went up from there. By the time it was done, it managed an astonishing 201.5 mph, demolishing the competition. We couldn't have asked for a more dramatic high, and we're looking forward to a much bigger field taking part in 2015.
|'01 BBI Porsche 911||Betim Berisha||201.5|
|'03 BMW M3||Kenton von Hollen||179.1|
|'94 Toyota Supra||Frank Hwang||179.1|
|'07 Porsche 911 Turbo||Kenneth Romero||165.8|
|'10 Nissan GT-R||Anthony Grant||160.8|
|'12 McLaren MP4 12C||Tim Davis||3156.8|
|'15 Burger Tuning BMW M3||Tony Burger||151.5|
|'02 Ford Mustang||KJ Jones||136|