"Because of the E85 we needed 50 percent more fuel," says Adams. "We also wanted a system that would still be capable of feeding the fuel even at max injector duty." The dual fuel pumps lead to a Y-block that steps the fuel line from dual -8AN to a single -10AN feed which in turn goes through the custom fuel rail onto the 2,200cc injectors and then out to the Aeromotive Pro EFI regulator then returns to the tank. "To keep the tanks from running at full duty, we installed a controller at one pump. This allows the pump to pulse, which makes it run at a low speed. Then around 3000 rpm the controller kicks into high speed." Finally, there's a Hobbs pressure switch (set at 15 psi) that activates the other pump to engage at full speed.
While it is an advantage for the fuel to flow freely, the driver needs to be as stable as possible when surpassing speeds at which aircraft leave the ground. Ingress is made easier by a rollcage that extends outward from the cabin into the space where the door panel would be.
A shakedown run at Bonneville last September got Adams thinking about what could happen during a 180-mph rollover, the speed he attained on Bonneville's shorter track to run with the big dogs. "I wish I would have made the cage a little bit beefier," Adams says. "Some parts will have to be cut out and a few bars will have to be welded in."
He approached the starting line last year nestled in a Pro ADV seat and a five-point Formula belt. A 10-pound Safecraft Halon fire suppression system with three nozzles-one for the engine, one for the fuel cell and one for the cabin pointed directly at him-may have added either a sense of confidence or trepidation at the thought of being sprayed in the face with Halon as the car bursts into flames.
"I had been dreaming of that moment, sitting at the starting line in the salt with a track that goes on forever," he says. This wouldn't be the first time he took the car to triple digits and beyond though.
"The first time I tried to run some logs out on the highway on the E85 setup, I passed a Honda with Lambo doors doing 150 mph. He thought I was trying to race him, so he flew up on me, then the cops pulled us both over."
As it turned out the kids in the Honda were wanted. The cops complimented Adams on his car and told him to get out of there. The moral of the story: People with Lambo doors on a vehicle that's not a Lambo are most likely drug dealers.
At Bonneville there are no cops. The only speed you need to worry about is your own two-way average. A proper suspension helps though and in this R32's case it consists of H&R RSS coilovers, Neuspeed front and rear sway bars, and upper and lower adjustable rear control arms from Bluewater Performance.
During Adams' last run there was no sort of undertray and he admits that there will be a lot of aerodynamic additions, or subtractions as the case may be, before they gun it for the respective records. "It might not be the best design aerodynamically, but I wouldn't feel safer in any other car," said Adams, partially in reference to the R32's AWD system.
After finally getting the green light at the lake that day, grabbing the Diesel Geek short shifter then snicking up through the gears, he admitted he had some apprehension.
"The Salt Flats is unlike any other place on Earth," he says. "The traction has been described as like being on everything from concrete to wet pavement to ice. I personally would describe it as wet pavement with a layer of marbles."
Let's just hope Gabe Adams hasn't lost his.
Bluewater VW R32
Transverse front engine,all-wheel drive
3.2-liter V6, dohc, 24-valve. Wossner 8:1 pistons, Integrated Engineering rods, Precision PT6865 turbo w/3-inch inlet pipe, tubular exhaust manifolds, Treadstone front-mount intercooler w/custom piping, 4-inch downpipe, 272/272 Shrick cams, 46mm Precision Turbo wastegate with 25-psi spring, Forge Supersize DV, 2,200cc injectors, Custom United Motorsports E85 tune, Custom -10AN fuel rail, Fuel Safe 10-gallon fuel cell, dual Aeromotive A1000 fuel pumps, Aeromotive Pro EFI fuel pressure regulator, Cusco oil catch can, PRO MAF, C2 short-runner intake, 4-inch dry air filter, Mishimoto radiator, Aeroquip coolant overflow tank, Forge Unos manual boost controller, custom 4-inch aluminum V-band exhaust, VF motor mounts, Kinetic racing battery relocated to rear
Six-speed manual. Southbend Stage 5 OFE clutch and flywheel kit, Diesel Geek short shifter
H&R RSS coilovers, Neuspeed antiroll bars, Bluewater Performance adjustable rear control arms
Stoptech four-piston big-brake kit, Hawk pads, stainless lines
Work Emotion 11R alloys, 8.5x18
Full custom rollcage w/NASCAR door bars, New South Indigo boost and oil pressure column pod gauges