M2K Motorsports' Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang
There’s an old adage that nothing good comes out of a sequence of events starting with “Hey y’all, watch this!” In the case of Bill and Billy Wagner, what started with a friend’s sideways remark of “Wow, that’s a big motor. How fast will it go?” turned into a world-record setting 232.8 MPH Shelby GT500 Mustang. Maybe that old adage is wrong.
“How fast will it go?” was answered by a win at the 2012 NMRA/NMCA drag race at Royal Purple raceway in Baytown, Texas, where the father-son duo took first place in the True Street class — their first event ever with the GT. That win pushed them to want to go racing in a big way, but the decision of who would drive (father or son) had to be made. Bill suggested that the faster of two drivers on the weekend would take on the driving duties. Billy eked out a run only 1/1000th of a second faster than dear old dad, and drives the car to this day.
There’s another adage about eggs and omlettes and breaking things, and the journey for the Wagners involved breaking lots of things at first. Eventually they teamed up with Kevin Kesterson at M2K Motorsports who knew that he could sort the car and help them start breaking records (and maybe a few more parts). When you are breaking records, you’re doing things that no one has done before, and that means you find the weak links.
One of the weak links found early on was the rear end. A Ford Racing 9” conversion was installed as an upgrade, but this kit has a “small pinion” and a very high rear ratio (2.73). The end result is that the massively powerful Ford has a tendency to twist driveshafts into pretzels. The upgraded control arms and panhard bar on the factory-style 3-link work well, but in an effort to ruggedize the drivetrain further M2K will be upgrading again to a custom-built Lamb Components 9” rear.
Moving towards the fire and brimstone end of the car, the M2K Motorsports GT500 uses a T56 transmission with face-plated
gears from Liberty’s Gears. This helps take the power delivered by the SPEC E-Trim twin-disc clutch and get it to the wheels.
While the T56 is strong, it will likely be the next weak link in the puzzle, and M2K is trying to be proactive. The line lock button on the shifter will likely remain, but what’s under it is going to be replaced with a custom-built PPG sequential transmission from Calvo Motorsports.