|Weight:||4,000 lbs. w/driver|
|Engine:||6.0-liter supercharged GM LS V8, 750-hp|
|Suspension:||Front: Double wishbone, JRI coilovers|
Rear: Independent, multilink, JRI coilovers
|Tires:||Front: Hoosier A7, 295-30-19|
Rear: Hoosier A7, 295-30-19
|Brakes:||Front: Factory Brembo calipers, Raybestos pads|
Rear: Factory Brembo calipers, Raybestos pads
|Data system:||Aim Solo DL|
|Sponsors:||GevPwr, Hoosier, Trick Flow, Thompson Motorsports, Circle D Specialties, Neo Synthetic Oil, Baker Precision Products, Raybestos, Porterfield Brake Pads, JRI Shocks, Rudtner Racing.|
A Cadillac CTS-V isn’t exactly a rarity in NASA HPDE, but in racing it’s a bit less common. The car itself is heavy, relatively speaking, and many of them came with automatic transmissions. But that didn’t stop NASA Northeast’s Alan Cohen from building his CTS-V into a track monster.
The story of Cohen and his CTS-V, a car he dubbed the “Patriot Missile,” is one made possible by the NASA ladder system. Cohen started out in HPDE1 with his then-stock CTS-V. As Cohen rose through the HPDE system, he began making upgrades to the car. He graduated HPDE4 and went on to compete for a couple of seasons in Time Trial.
“A lot of the people who buy these cars drag race them, and all they’re interested in is horsepower,” Cohen said. “My interest was to get through the corners faster.”
That’s what all NASA drivers want, and by the time Cohen made it to Time Trial competition, he knew he wanted to go racing in Super Touring. However, the car wasn’t ready, so he shipped it across the country to GevPwr in Signal Hill, Calif., to gut the car and fabricate a cage.
“I was blessed to never have any accidents all those years without a cage. And I was going fast,” Cohen said. “The cost of shipping it there is expensive, but think of it this way. I shipped him a car with full interior and everything. He gutted it, even the wiring harness, rewired the entire car and brought it back to Watkins Glen and I didn’t have one problem. I think that’s just incredible.”
Of course, getting a supercharged 4,000-pound car to be competitive means first keeping the thing cool. To cool the incoming air charge, Cohen added a GevPwr custom intercooler, which features dual pumps delivering air to a ported supercharger. Cohen also added a custom CBR oil cooler, Setrab transmission and power steering coolers, and a custom GevPwr differential cooler. To pull heat from the engine compartment, he added a hood with massive extraction capabilities.
Rated at 750 horsepower at the rear wheels, the engine has been upgraded, too. The iron-block 6.0-liter has Trick Flow cylinder heads with CHE rocker arms. American Racing headers evacuate the cylinders, which are fed by 90-pound Deatschwerks injectors. Lingenfelter Engineering supplied smaller diameter pulleys to increase boost.
Since he earned his rookie license in 2016, he’s hit a few bumps. Suspension tweaks he made didn’t go as well as planned and the car’s automatic transmission finally gave out at the Eastern States Championships at Watkins Glen last year. That came on the heels of installing a new engine, so Cohen enters the 2017 season ready to go.
“Last year was a rough year, but I have a lot of hope for the beginning of this season because some of the tweaks I had to do,” he said. “The car seems to be more planted and it should be faster.”
Cohen said the car attracts a lot of attention. The photos you see here will be out of date soon. Cohen had the car wrapped with all-new graphics for 2017. It’s still called the Patriot Missile, but taken to another level.
“It’s so unique, whenever I go to events, I can’t tell you how many people love the car and come and check it out,” Cohen said. “Just being out on track is what it’s all about to me.”
Talking to Cohen, you get the impression that he’s the kind of guy you’d like to race with. He loves his car and relishes the challenge of competing against hardcore sports cars.
“I wouldn’t do anything stupid to win a race because, to me, finishing and being able to come back is more important — believe it or not — than anything,” Cohen said. “I do pretty well, so I’ve been blessed that way.
“I have incredible torque in that car so I catch some people on straightaways, but I’m able to get it through the corners pretty fast, which is how I can keep up with Corvettes, Mustangs and Vipers,” he added. “It’s incredible. Being able to keep a car like that near these cars, to me, is the coolest thing. Not winning or losing per se, but knowing I can keep up with those guys in that car is the best feeling in the world.”