Carnage: MX5.7 goes racing at Red CentreNATS

We finally see what the Carnage twin-turbo LS MX-5 can do down the quarter-mile

Videographers: Matthew Bourke, Nathan Jacobs

LAST year we built the Carnage Mazda MX5.7 for Red CentreNATS in Alice Springs. We were challenged to bring something crazy to the event and drive it around on the public road, so we bought a Mazda MX-5 and stuck an LS1 under the nose – and as if that wasn’t enough we also gave it two turbos, a Powerglide, nine-inch rear end and a full rollcage in case it ended up on its lid.

 The car was completed roughly 28 hours before the start of the event – and we use the term ‘completed’ very loosely. Anyway, somehow we were allowed to drive it on the street, so we could tick that box, but it didn’t quite perform how we would have liked. The wastegates were too small so we had boost-creep issues, and the only solution was to remove them altogether just to get the car down the track without blowing the rods out of the block. It still ran in the elevens, but we wanted single digits.

 Earlier this year you will have seen we resolved our boost control issues with a pair of monster 60mm Turbosmart wastegates and then ran amok at Powercruise Tasmania with Bubba Medlyn. However, the plan was always to go racing, so back on the mainland the guys at All Race Fabrications fitted a proper race seat, fire system and parachute. Oh, and SE Panels also fixed up the rear end after Scotty hit a wall in the powerskid comp.

 With the car all ready to go, we sent it to MPW Performance for Adam to tickle up the tune before Telf towed it up to Alice Springs for redemption at the MX5.7’s second Red CentreNATS. What you guys didn’t know – until now – is that the MX-5 now has a bog-standard LS1 as opposed to the built motor that was in it last year. We kept the good heads with aftermarket valve springs and head studs, but otherwise it’s a stock bottom end with a factory camshaft. We were able to screw 600rwhp out of the thing on 13psi on E85 with a factory computer.

 Up in Alice Springs we were joined by Adam and Luke from MPW, who would be doing the driving for us; Scotty couldn’t make it for this trip due to family commitments. Adam gave the car a spin in the motorkhana, and the tight course proved challenging but a lot of fun – he almost even scored us a trophy!

 Then it was off to the drag racing, where we all just wanted to see a single-digit timeslip. Adam lined up for the first couple of runs, but struggled to even crack a 10 because the track was covered in dust and the MX-5 just wheelspun right through to the timing boards. Then Luke gave it a go, and even though he could barely see over the windscreen, he stuck the car straight into the 10s with a 10.50.

 The ANDRA officials were a little concerned and we probably only had one full pass left before being told to slow down. Fortunately the track conditions were starting to improve as more rubber stuck to the surface. Luke held it on the transbrake, let go of the button and the MX-5 pulled a wheel in the air and shot off the line! It went through for a barely believable 9.96@141mph, and that was the end of our day – mission accomplished.

A massive thanks must go to everyone who helped make it happen, including Adam Rogash, Luke Foley and the crew at MPW Performance; Bubba, Pazzo, Peg and the All Race Fabrications boys; Johnny at Powerhouse Engines; GCG Turbos; Plazmaman; Turbosmart; Allfast Torque Converters; Haltech; Bling Designs; LsXtreme; K&N; Valvoline; Iain ‘Marv’ Kelly; Victorian Speed Pro; Norm and Vicki at Aussie Desert Coolers; Raceworks; SE Panels and ICE Ignitions.