Diesel Powered Banks S-10 Sets New World Records

Illustration for article titled Diesel Powered Banks S-10 Sets New World Records

Oh diesel, you are such a cruel mistress. The mega torque potential of your compression ignitioned genius is only offset by the additional cost of purchase and the scary rise in fuel prices. Diesel, why must you taunt us with new drag racing figures which both shock and delight? You convince the motor heads at Banks Power to install a Duramax into an S-10, then turbocharge the bejeesus out of it, to the point where the engine builds up to 1250 HP and 1250 lb.ft. of torque. This S-10 equipped with your oil burning splendor recently turned in drag times of 7.72 seconds at 179.21MPH. Diesel, you are such a tease.

Sidewinder S-10 Diesel Kicks Gas at 2008 Super Chevy Show

FONTANA, Calif. (March 29) - The Banks Sidewinder S-10 drag race team achieved another milestone in diesel performance when it ran well into the 7.70s with a 7.72 best at 179.21 mph during the 2008 Super Chevy Show at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana. The world's quickest and fastest diesel drag truck backed up the 7.72 with a 7.78, 179.23 later in the day, making it one of the quickest and fastest vehicles on the grounds - period.
The Banks 6.6L Duramax-powered drag truck, a candy-apple red over gold, Don Ness-built former NHRA Pro Stock Truck, was competing in the Bracket 1 class in Fontana and testing in preparation for its next big showing, the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals April 10-13 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the truck has been invited to make a pair of its notable smoke-free, CleanTune™ runs.
The 1,250-plus-horsepower, 403-ci Duramax pounds out as much engine torque as it does horsepower. When the Sidewinder S-10 gets to the finish-line lights, it's turning 5,500 rpm. "It's on the governor at the finish line," says owner Gale Banks. "We're not getting all of the power to the ground. We haven't used all of the engine yet."
The S-10 has run consistently in the sevens since late last year, continually bettering its elapsed times, from 7.96 at Speedworld Dragstrip in Wittmann, Ariz., in December to 7.89 back at the same track in February. The S-10 continues to break elapsed-time barriers - 7.90, 7.80, and now 7.70 - and the team knows the truck has a lot more in it.
From Fontana, driver Wes Anderson put a call into friend Derek Lamb of Lamb Components to get his take on transferring more of the truck's Duramax horsepower to the ground. (The Sidewinder S-10 is loaded with Lamb products, among them carbon-fiber brake rotors and calipers and front suspension.) Anderson and Lamb ran their ideas past Lamb's father, legendary performance parts manufacturer Roger Lamb, whose sound advice paved the way for the barrier-breaking runs.
On the truck's first run Saturday, the Banks Sidewinder S-10, which runs Bosch electronic engine management and fuel injection, clocked the 7.72, 179.21.
With the day growing late and dozens of race cars flocking toward the starting line, Anderson conducted some intense diplomatic negotiations with track officials in order to back up the 7.72. The officials knew the Banks Sidewinder S-10 was doing something special in the world of drag racing, so they allowed a quick return of the S-10 to the staging lanes. On a solo run this time, Anderson, before a crowd that watched in amazement, realizing that the Chevy on wrinkle-wall slicks is powered by a clean-running diesel engine, clocked the 7.78 at just a tick under 180 mph.

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@WheatKing: IIRC, Banks also constructed a purpose built, diesel powered road racing truck.

I was expecting Gale to go after the land speed record again after it was challenged last year. This is a pleasant surprise though.

Stories like this are what we need to change people's perceptions of diesel engines.