First Time Drag Racing the CLK55

I took the CLK to the Woodburn Dragstrip for the first time today so I could get some baseline numbers on the car while it is still full-weight and 100% stock.  While not the numbers I was hoping for, I did learn a few things and started the process of getting to know this car’s personality at the track.

The weather was sunny and in the mid-high 60’s, with a density altitude below 1000′ all day.

  • Best 60′: 2.107
  • Best ET: 13.803
  • Best MPH: 101.99

The thing I noticed the most is how dog-slow the car feels off the line.  All through first gear it just feels like it’s dragging an anchor, but when it gets going it really sings.  I did a little data logging on some of the runs and I think the culprit may be high starting-line intake air temps.  On the run with the 2.21 sixty-foot I logged starting-line IATs of 152° F! They dropped steadily throughout the run to 97° F by the end.  For the last run I removed the hood insulation and kept the hood open until the last possible second, resulting in starting-line temps of 126° and my best 60′ time of 2.107.

I thought I was done fighting heat soak since there’s no supercharger on this car, but I guess I just swapped it from one end of the track to the other!  My goal for the next track session will be to start with IAT’s below 90 and see if I can sqeeze a 13.69 out of it.  Luckily it’s still early in the year and Portland should offer up some cool nights at PIR to test this theory.

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