It’s a car enthusiasts dream. Sitting behind the wheel of a high-powered muscle car, revving the engine in a way that you can feel the horses thundering under you. You take the shifter in your hand and launch yourself into the most gnarly, smoke-filled burnout. White smoke billowing, enveloping the car like bees to honey while your friends cheer and Tweet from the sideline. Isn’t this what we live for? Don’t we all dream of having that one moment in time where we feel like we just won the Rolex 24 at Daytona?
On June 9 at Memphis Motorsports Park, 119 people had that opportunity. They lined up on the drag strip and spun their tires until they couldn’t spin them anymore. As part of the 2015 Hot Rod Power Tour, driven by Continental Tire, HOT ROD magazine organized the Guinness World Record for Largest Group Burnout and we’re surprised the fire department didn’t show up with the massive amounts of smoke shed from some of the coolest cars around.
So this left us wondering, what does it take to do a good, smokey burnout? We went to expert, Ozz Negri, driver of the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Certainly a professional race car driver would know the keys to a good smokey burnout. After all, Ozz spent two days “spinning his wheels” at our Uvalde test facility during the launch of our ExtremeContactTM DWS06 as he took media members for ride after ride, completing hundreds of smokey donuts with the occasional smokey burnout.
“You need a very torquey engine,” said Negri. Okay, torquey (is this a word?) engine, check. “And you have to take the RPM’s as high as possible and figure out where it’s going to fall when you release the clutch.” Because according to Negri in order to have a solid, smoke-filled burnout, “It has to fall exactly at the RPM where the torque is because otherwise you’re going to be just sitting there spinning the tires.” There’s a certain balance between the throttle and the clutch where as Negri says, “You know the RPM will stay at the peak torque of the engine.” Negri also reminds us that a manual is easier than an automatic although if the car is powerful enough, an automatic isn’t out of the question. How about making donuts? With a laugh Negri tells us, “With donuts, you just mash it and turn the wheel.” He then reminded us how good he got making donuts at Uvalde.
So it sounds simple enough. All you need is a high-powered car; torquey engine; solid hand-eye coordination; and plenty of space. Well, maybe we should just leave it to the experts. It’s way more fun to watch and post to social media that way.