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AJ Berge sets two big Redeye track records

by Patrick Rall on

AJ Berge, owner of Hemituner Performance, recently acquired a new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye as a test subject for his future tuning ventures, but in the short time that he has had the supercharged Mopar muscle car – he has already set two key records at the track. This includes running well into the 9-second range with a tune on all of the stock engine components followed by getting into the low-9s with pulleys, injectors and a tune.

First Redeye in the 9s

The first big number run by AJ Berge and his Redeye Hellcat Challenger came at the April 6th Modern Street Hemi Shootout event at The Rock. The car made a baseline pass of 10.54 at 131 miles per hour that day, but with tuning efforts by Berge, the car would work down into the 9s with just 8 runs on the car, ending up with a best time of 9.85 at 136 miles per hour.

The modifications on the 9.85 run include Bogart single beadlock wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson ET Street tires out back, Bogart front runners, VP MS109 unleaded racing gasoline and an unlocked PCM from Hemituner Performance. Most importantly, this car featured a stock-component tune of the engine and transmission that was developed by AJ Berge and Tim Barth of Barth Tuning. The two worked together to create a custom calibration and after each run, they combined their years of tuning experience to make gradual improvements.

In other words, the Challenger had aftermarket wheels and tires, a transmission tune and an engine tune for MS109 with all of the stock engine components, and it ran 9.85 at 136 miles per hour in positive density altitude. It should also be noted that this Redeye had the rear seat delete and the passenger seat removed for these runs, but along with the wheels, there is minimal weight reduction done to this car.

Realistically, Berge could have likely gotten further into the 9s without changing any parts, focusing on tweaking the stock-components tune and waiting for better air, but he decided to see what he could do with the Redeye with some other common upgrades. However, Berge was the first Redeye owner to run in the 9s and he did so with no engine modifications and a tune that was developed in cooperation with Tim Barth.

More Power

On April 8th, Berge, Barth and Jim from TrueStreet Performance spent the afternoon adding a few extra ponies to the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. Well, a lot of extra ponies. With a Griptec 2.75-inch upper pulley, an ATI 10% overdrive lower pulley, ID 1700 injectors, a tank full of Ignite Red racing fuel and another custom tune, this Challenger made 933 horsepower at the rear wheels with more room left for tuning improvements.

However, happy with the early tuning results with the pulleys and better fuel, Berge headed off to Atco for another day at the track.

Running in the Low 9s

On April 11th, AJ Berge took to the quarter mile at Atco to see how quickly he could get down the track with his pullied Redeye. He had traction problems on the first pass and ran a 9.7 at 149.7 miles per hour and on the second run, traction was worse and so was the time – running a 10.06 at148. At that point, some tuning adjustments were made, including tweaks to the launch control system, and that made a huge difference.

On the next run, Berge ran a 9.21 at 149.61 with a 1.42 60-foot time and a 5.93 8th at 119.86, but with after making more tweaks to the launch tuning, the car got even quicker. With a 1.343 60-foot time, this Redeye Hellcat ran a 9.18 at 149.13 miles per hour with an 8th time of 5.891.

Finally, after one more adjustment to the launch tuning, he got the tires good and hot with the hopes of breaking into the 8s. He pulled a stunning 1.29 60-foot time and may have been on his way to an 8-second run when the stock belt tensioner failed around half-track. Even though the car had started to slow by the 8th mile marker, Berge was still a tenth quicker at half-track than he was on the 9.18 run, so would have been a 9.0- if not quicker.

Again, these runs were made with the stock IHI supercharger, stock exhaust, stock transmission components, stock driveshaft, stock differential without a brace, 3.09 gears and stock suspension. Just wheels, tires, injectors, pulleys, an unlocked PCM and a few less seats put this Challenger Redeye deep into the 9s and if I was a betting man, I would say that we will be bringing you news of an 8-second run by this team very soon.

In review, AJ Berge and Tim Barth have teamed up to tune the first Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye into the 9s and when they added some pulleys, they got down to a 9.18 – setting the record for the world’s quickest Redeye.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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