GM Performance Sport Compact Nationals at The Strip March 14-16


The newly-created Pro FWD class will make its debt at the inaugural GM Performance NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at The Strip this weekend.  The new front-wheel-drive class will provide an interesting mix of competitors, including some Hot Rod-class veterans and racers from the old Modified class, battling for front-wheel drive supremacy in the seven-second zone. Below is a quick look at some of the contenders and new entries in the class.

Entering the new season, many are looking at Nelson Hoyos as the championship favorite. His FWD Cavalier, sporting GM Ecotec power, went head-to-head last year with the best RWD cars in Modified and finished a respectable third in the points standings thanks to four runner-up finishes.

There's little doubt that the veteran racer and car owner will win his first national event this season, especially with the new version of the Cavalier and the deep backing of General Motors.

The Cavalier is now a 2003 but it's what beneath the skin that counts. According to Josh Peterson, GM Racing sport compact program manager, the Cavalier was developed "using state-of-the-art tools such as finite element analysis that measures the torsional and bending stiffness of the racecar's metals. We also spent time in the wind tunnel working on the shape of the body. The new car has a whole new chassis, and we're using a much larger tire in the front of the car then we've ever run before."

The team estimates they can create as much as 1,100 horsepower from the Ecotec but don't yet have a way to put all of that power to the ground, according to Peterson. "We can't yet apply the power to the ground because that's just the nature of the vehicle. As we continue to learn and get more runs on the cars, we'll be able to apply more of that horsepower we have in our back pocket."

Said Hoyos, "I'm excited to get started. I think it's absolutely going to rock-n-roll for us this year. We learned an awful lot as a team last year on the dos and don'ts of these front-wheel-drive cars and how to make them work effectively. From a team standpoint, we've now got a year's worth of unity and now know how each other work and what to expect from each other. You can bet that we'll be fighting for that PRO FWD championship trophy."


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