photos by: Kaleb Kelly
Already known for building some of the most impressive suspension hardware on the planet, HEIDTS have been making a name for themselves in the 3rd- and 4th-gen F-body world in recent years. Having established a solid bolt-in suspension system for these cars, HEIDTS decided to outdo themselves, and provide an independent front and rear suspension system for ’82-02 Camaros and Firebirds.
While our own Project Phoenix WS6 was the very first 4th-gen Firebird to receive one, and the second 4th-gen to get one entirely, our injured LS1 is currently keeping us sidelined while we build its replacement mill. You can see the install VIDEO here, but until then, take a gander at former Camaro Performers project car, Black Betty.
Heidts PRO-G IRS kit brings contemporary suspension solution to straight-axle performance vehicles
Lake Zurich, Illinois:When Heidts Suspension launched its PRO-G IRS for third- and fourth-generation Camaros/Firebirds, Ultimate Street Car Challenge racer Mark Golovin was first in line to install it in his 2001 Camaro “Black Betty.”
Golovin competes against newer cars regularly in the GT Class of the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Challenge series. Newer performance vehicles (about 2010 and up) come standard with an IRS, and Black Betty’s straight-axle setup just didn’t get the same traction as the newer vehicles.
“After I spoke with the engineers at Heidts and learned more about the new PRO-G complete IRS and IFS kits for fourth-gen Camaros, I knew it was going to be a game-changer for Black Betty,” Golovin said.
“It’s a completely different machine,” Golovin added. “The PRO-G IRS keeps the rubber on the ground, handles pavement imperfections and stays planted much better than the straight-axle setup.”
Whether competing or just looking for your build to handle as good as it looks, the Heidts PRO-G IRS kit for third- and fourth-generation Camaros/Firebirds provides maximum performance both on and off the track. It’s available in standard (500HP) and high-horsepower (800HP) versions. Options include C4 rotors and calipers, Wilwood brakes, Currie third member and optional ABS hubs.
At the same time the PRO-G IRS was installed, Golovin installed Heidts PRO-G IFS – giving Black Betty a completely upgraded suspension setup from front to back.
The PRO-G IFS from Heidts features adjustable boxed, fully fabricated lower control arms with internal structure for increased strength, fully adjustable and gusseted tubular upper control arms and fabricated upper arm mounts. Additionally, the tubular front K member is designed and reinforced for both street and racing applications and includes adjustable lower control arm alignment locks.
“We are really excited about this season,” Golovin said. “By upgrading to the PRO-G IRS and IFS from Heidts, the car handles like the new and modern vehicles we compete against. It really levels the playing field, especially in the autocross and road race segments.”
Golovin and Black Betty will compete in four Ultimate Street Car events this season. Most recently was the sold-out Ultimate Street Car Challenge in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he finished fourth in autocross. Golovin’s first competition this year was at Daytona, where he finished seventh overall in his class and fourth in autocross. He and Black Betty will also compete July 7-8 at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado, and Aug. 16-17 at Road America, OPTIMA’s home track, in Wisconsin.
The Ultimate Street Car Association bases points on five segments: Autocross, Design & Engineering, Road Rally, Speed Stop and Road Course. Each segment has 100 total possible points, and drivers use their highest total points from up to three events throughout the season to determine whether or not they receive an invitation to the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Challenge in Las Vegas.
The 2019 schedule includes seven events. Remaining qualifying events include: The Motor State Challenge July 18-20 at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan; Sept. 14-15 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California; and Oct. 5-6 at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana.
For more information about Heidts’ PRO-G line of performance suspension products, visit www.heidts.com
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.