Desert Fox: An LS Puts This Fox Into The Record Books

To survive in the arid desert, you need to adapt and improvise. That is exactly what Zaid al Jarrah, the owner of Tahakum Autosports, Abdulla Alremeithi, the team manager, and Saeed Al Falasi did when they set out to build this record-breaking Fox-body Mustang. “We needed to market our shop and show our strength and knowledge in the racing programs that go with such cars,” explains Zaid. “I had a discussion with my team and we decided to compete at Yas Marina Circuit, an amazing track which has a Super Street Challenge consisting of different classes.”

Zaid and company decided to compete in the Super Street Open class, which turns out to be the most competitive class, and uses the entire ¼-mile during races. They decided to build and bring this 1993 Ford Mustang to the gunfight. Being mechanical engineer-types, they were less subject to brand loyalty and more interested in building the best car. That’s why you’ll find that it still has a stock, 2003 GM casting, 6.0-liter truck block, and stock ls3 heads. The Fox body Mustangs have proven themselves as viable foundations for super-quick performance builds since they are light and the market favors the little Fords.

The engine was built by the folks at Tahakum Autosports from a Kurt Urban block, prepped at the hands of Late-Model Engines in the US and Victory Racing in the UAE. A 3V Performance cam solidly directs the Brian Tooley Racing valvetrain to well over 9,000-rpm. Keep in mind this engine has a 5,000-rpm Circle-D Specialties stall speed converter connected to it!

Feeding this beast is a set of 700lb port injectors, which receive backup from two 550lb squirters in the charge pipe. A 15GPM mechanical pump supplies the fuel, while an Aeromotive regulator keeps everything in check. All that fuel and fury comes together in a 417 Motorsports intake featuring billet runners and sheet metal upper plenum. A Holley 103mm throttle body connects the engine’s fury to the driver’s right foot. Everyone knows Foxs work well under pressure and a Forced Inductions x275 102 GTR turbo with a single, 60mm Turbosmart wastegate keep the boost levels right where the Tahakum team wants them.

This team of engineers purchased the Mustang from Zaid’s friend, Matt Allred, and began the build into the monster you see here today. Zaid explains that the car was a roller when they first started and, as you can imagine, it took quite a bit of work to get the car ready for competition. Of course, using another OEM’s engine meant there would be changes to make everything work. “We had to build a full wiring harness in-house for the ECU,’ he explains. “We had to do the suspension, turbo kit, fuel system, and bodywork too.”

Of course, with a specific goal in mind, work was constant, and in a mere three months from when they purchased the car, they had it fired up and ready for the dyno. From there, another couple of years were devoted to getting the car sorted and making all the horsepower possible. Zaid confesses that the car has been a constant learning exercise, never making it to the track twice in the same configuration.

The steepest learning curve was figuring out how to put down all that dyno-proven power through those Mickey Thompson 275 pro radial tires. “Everyone watching the car asked us to switch to slicks – that was not an option for us,” he said. “We need to learn. We need educate ourselves about this tire and how to apply power management with the Holley Dominator ECU. The track over here is an amazing facility, however, the drag radial scene is still new to this part of the world. Even back in the United States, not many tracks support radials due to them being a really small tire and you’re applying lots of power to it.”

Team Tahakum Autosports cracked the code to putting down all the power and carried home this record-setting time slip for their efforts. Congratulations!

Thanks to exquisite track preparation by Mirza Nabeel and the oversight of track official Mohamed Faisal Alhashmi, team Tahakum WAS able to put down lots of power recently. In fact, Tahakum Autosports was able to use all 2,050 horsepower and 1,450 lb/ft of torque to churn off the best time of 6.696 at 331 kph (205 mph) in the quarter-mile. That puts Zaid’s Fox body into the record books for the Super Street Open class and solidifies their decision to use an LS-based engine for their effort. Of course, you can’t overlook the rest of the car as a one-minded effort to reach the top spot. I mean, when we asked about the color of the interior, Zaid replied, “Chromoly.” How’s THAT for focus?!!!

The car has been a constant progression over the past couple of years, culminating in numerous awards and now, records under its belt.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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