Brad Gusler of BG Racing runs the first 10-second pass in an EcoBoost S550
By Steve Turner
Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of Trip Ulvila and BG Racing
It was only a matter of time before an EcoBoost Mustang broke through the 10-second barrier. The odds-on favorite to set this record was Brad Gusler of BG Racing. He put the Mustang world on notice back in March of 2015 when he clicked off an 11.19 at 119 mph. It’s taken a lot of work and refining of the combination, but on Wednesday Brad and his Mustang broke into the 10-second zone—three times in a row!
Knowing he would soon approach the limits of the stock engine if he kept pushing the combination with more boost, Brad commissioned Custom Performance Engineering to build a fortified 2.3-liter short-block for his Mustang. Now you might be aware of CP-E’s vast line of EcoBoost bolt-on parts for everything from Fiesta STs to EcoBoost Mustangs, but the company also builds engines. As such, engine builder Mitch Levy created a robust short-block to withstand Brad’s 10-second quest.
“Before Bowling Green CP-E did their built short-block, which will be available soon. We left the stock head and cams in place for now,” Brad said. “They also did their FuelBAR Kit with four DeatschWerks 75 lb/hr injectors and it also has DeatschWerks’ new direct-injection GTDI injectors in the motor.”
Of course, Brad rushed to get the new combo ready for the EcoBoost Battle at NMRA World Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but that meant time was short. It didn’t help that the weather wreaked havoc on the available track time either. So, after the event Brad and his team set out on a two-week mission to put his turbocharged four-cylinder into the record books again.
At the suggestion of Adam Marrer of Pops Racing, Brad brought in Adam Browne of Revolution Automotive to help overcome some tuning quirks that he’d been fighting on this somewhat exotic combination that’s still under the sway of a factory PCM. Adam worked up a custom SCT calibration to control the new combo. At this point, that combo includes the aforementioned short-block, a CP-E turbo kit with a much larger turbo and intercooler, plus the first set of Aerospace Components’ new dual-caliper rear brakes, which are crucial to building boost off the starting line.
“Within 24 hours I rearranged my whole schedule and headed down to CP-E where his car was on the dyno. We worked from 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. that Wednesday into Thursday morning. All of the work on the dyno was getting the car to make the power safely and keep the boost consistent,” Adam said. “That Friday the 9th I met Brad and the CP-E crew at MIR for some on track testing. Again we ran into more hiccups with getting the trans to cooperate with the 3.73 gear change, Circle D converter and the removal of the paddle shifters and clock spring in the steering column. By the end of the night we were making progress, but were cut short by a drenching thunderstorm.”
Now time was running short. Adam could only afford so much time away from his shop, and Brad had to prep his Mustang for a trip to The SEMA Show in a few weeks. They had one more crack at the record, so the team regrouped for one more day of testing.
With the new combination dialed in, Brad and his wife Nina headed back to Maryland International Raceway in Mechanicsville, Maryland, for a private track rental on Wednesday October 14. There they once again had support from Adam as well as Mitch Levy and Trip Ulvila from CP-E. All the long hours, hard work, and sleep deprivation paid off, as Brad became the first driver to pilot a 10-second EcoBoost Mustang. Watch the car run the number right here…
“The last two weeks have been working non-stop to get where we are now. We basically didn’t have enough time to get the new combination dialed in before NMRA finals race. There were a lot of hurdles to get past to get this kind of power to the ground,” Brad explained. “We dialed it back to keep things happier and the results of that was 10.9s. Now we will slowly keep adding power back versus throwing it all down at once.”
Easing into things is not something Brad is known for. He wants to run quickly and he doesn’t want to wait. However, with all the new power capability on board, he is taking a slower steadier pace to putting the power down.
“The Precision 60/62 is making a lot more power than the previous 55/58 I had. Also the Circle D converter and Aerospace dual-rear-caliper brakes make the car leave with 1.4 60-foots all day long. Watson Racing knows how to build a chassis! The car just hooks.”
Of course, this is far from the end of the story on the record-setting BG Racing EcoBoost Mustang. Brad will continue pushing the combination, and with cooler weather upon us, there is no telling how low those e.t.’s could go. Brad is keeping the dyno numbers to himself, but clearly he’s optimistic about the car’s future potential.
“The car has a lot more in it. The year isn’t over yet and that good air is on its way,” Brad teased. “Knowing how much boost and timing we had in it yesterday compared to what it’s had in it before, the car will be a lot faster.”
The Mod List
Block: CP-E Stage 1 Evolve Short Block Core Exchange Program
Crankshaft: Stock EcoBoost 2.3-liter
Rods: Manley I-Beam
Pistons: CP-E MagnumDI Stage2 Custom Pistons
Camshafts: Stock EcoBoost 2.3-liter
Cylinder Head: Stock EcoBoost 2.3-liter
Intake: JLT Plastic Cold Air intake (red filter ) with JLT Hydrocarbon coating
Power Adder: CP-E Atmosphere Turbo Kit Ceramic Coated by CP-E with Precision 6062 Stainless Steel V-Band Turbo. Precision PW46 External Wastegate
Fuel System: Stock with the addition of CP-E FuelBAR Kit, Deatschwerks Injectors, Aeromotive Cobra Jet pump in Aeromotive Fuel Cell
Exhaust: CP-E Custom Oval Mandrel Bent Stainless Steel Race Exhaust with CP-C Titian finish and CP-E Custom Stainless Steel External Wastegate Screamer Pipe with CP-E Titian Finish (All Ceramic Coated by CP-C)
Transmission: Stock with Circle D Specialties Torque Converter, Dynotech One-Piece Aluminum Driveshaft, and Watson Racing Driveshaft Safety Loop
Rearend: Stock IRS Super 8.8 with Ford Performance Racing Parts Halfshafts, FPRP IRS Bushings, FPRP Torsen Differential, and FPRP 3.73 Gears
Engine Management: Stock TriCor PCM with Revolution Automotive Custom Tune via SCT Performance X4 and CP-E Secondary Fuel System Controller
Ignition: Stock with NGK spark plugs
K-Member: Watson Racing tubular with Watson Racing Solid Engine Mounts
A-Arms: Watson Racing Tubular
Struts: Strange Engineering
Springs: Strange Engineering
Brakes: Aerospace Components front with Watson Racing Stainless Steel Brake Lines
Wheels: Race Star Dark Stars 17×4.5-inch
Tires: Mickey Thompson
Shocks: Strange Engineering
Brakes: Aerospace Components Dual-Caliper with Watson Racing Stainless Steel Brake Lines
Wheels: Race Star Dark Stars, 17×9.5-inch
Tires: Mickey Thompson drag radials
Exterior & Interior
• JLT hydrocarbon engine cover, fuse box cover,and radiator cowl.
• Watson Racing 3-inch cowl hood, 100-percent carbon fiber
• Paint & Body Work Provided by CP-C
• Anodizing, Race Red Powder Coating, and Ceramic Coating Provided by CP-C
• Watson Racing carpet rear-seat delete
• Watson Racing center stack-delete trim
• Watson Racing rear seat bulkhead /closeout panel
• Watson Racing six-point roll bar
• Watson Racing tubular race bumpers
10-Second EcoBoost Mustang Gallery