S197 Mustang Leaves Massive Trail of Burnt Rubber LS Fest in Vegas

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This S197 may look like a perfectly rude guest at a celebration of GM power but it’s hiding a big secret.

The Mustang vs. Camaro rivalry has been going on for more than 50 years. In that time, bow tie loyalists and blue oval faithful have battled each other on streets, tracks, and website comments sections. There may be some of you out there who can think of nothing more satisfying than stealing the show in a Ford Mustang at a big GM gathering. That seems to be what the driver of this S197 Mustang did during the Holley LSFest West at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this month. (Key word: seems.)

They certainly brought the wrong car (in all the right ways) to the big bash, which consisted of several events including drag races, autocross competitions, a burnout contest (aka Tire De Fry’O), and an off-road challenge. The driver of this S197 entered it in the Drift Challenge and crushed it.

After building up a head of steam on the straightaway, they yank the e-brake, hook left, and churn out a cloud of tire smoke.

themustangsource.com S197 Mustang Drifts at 2019 LS Fest

Shortly after that, they send up an even larger plume of vaporized rubber and break the back end loose for a long rightward slide. The massive streak of white behind them may seem like a giant middle finger to GM fans at their own party, but it really isn’t.

themustangsource.com S197 Mustang Drifts at 2019 LS Fest

In an odd way, the Mustang driver is being a good guest. Just look at the official description of the Drift Challenge. It states that contestants are judged based on their line, angle, and overall style. They can participate in any vehicle they choose to bring…”as long as it’s powered by an LS or current generation LT engine.”

themustangsource.com S197 Mustang Drifts at 2019 LS Fest

Yep, that’s right. This rowdy Mustang probably has the heart of its fiercest rival. In the ongoing Mustang vs. Camaro war, we’ll just count this particular round as a tie.

Photos & Video for The Mustang Source by Derin Richardson

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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