From March 9, 2009
Azusa, Calif. - - The Banks Sidewinder S-10 Duramax pickup just gets faster every time it
runs! And on Saturday March 7, the dark red truck with a brand new Sidewinder snake supergraphic on the side charged right past its own
record once again with an incredible 7.77 -180 mile per hour run which made it the first ever diesel pickup to that speed in
Read all About the Sidewinder S-10's New Record
From March 28, 2006
Gale Banks has several goals he wants to achieve with his latest
Duramax turbodiesel project truck, the Sidewinder D-Max S-10. Most obviously there's speed: Gale Banks Engineering has a
long history of winning races and setting records on land and in the water, and the expectations for the S-10 are no
different. Banks wants to see the full-tube-chassis drag race truck become the first diesel truck to run the quarter-mile in
the 7-second range. Although diesel-powered dragsters are already that quick, reaching into the 7s in a lightweight,
dedicated drag car with the aerodynamic signature of a dart is much easier than clocking that time in a vehicle that still
bears the upright and blocky silhouette of Chevy's compact street truck.
|D-Max Type-D at the 2006 SEMA show in Las Vegas
Banks wants his drag-race truck not just fast, but clean, too.
The S-10's Duramax 6.6L LBZ V-8, with its unique twin-turbocharger system and highly modified Bosch common-rail
fuel-injection, will produce in excess of 1,000 horsepower - far more than even the land-speed-record holding,
Cummins-turbodiesel-powered Banks Sidewinder Dakota.
In the current state of diesel drag race technology, high-powered
engines typically produce huge amounts of black smoke pouring out of the exhaust pipes as the trucks power up in the staging
lanes. Banks, however, sees the future of diesel drag racing differently. He's currently working with the NHRA to change its
rulebook to allow diesel trucks to use nitrous oxide in conjunction with turbochargers. The "throttle in a bottle" power
adder has a side benefit in diesels: It clears the smoke during starting-line power-ups, eliminating the choking exhaust
clouds that would otherwise turn off many of the NHRA's loyal drag race fans. The late Wally Parks, the NHRA's founder, had
personally assisted Banks in his quest; and currently, three national classes and six Western Division classes have agreed
to the rules change. Read Gale Banks'
letter to the NHRA.
There's another, longer-term reason for building and campaigning
the D-Max S-10. For years, Banks has advocated the use of diesel as a powerful, yet efficient alternative to gasoline, and
not just in the trucks and motorhomes that have been Banks' specialty since the 1980s. Banks wants to see diesel spread to
the mass automotive market, both as a choice for those seeking its frugal efficiency, as well as for those willing to pay
for a premium, powerful vehicle. He's even trademarked the slogan, "Guilt-Free Performance," to describe the
powerful-yet-economical benefits of using diesel in a light-duty automotive application.
To Banks, there's no better way to promote the viability of
diesel performance than to showcase his technology in front of the NHRA's rabid fan base via the D-Max S-10. Drag-race fans
are gearheads who understand diesel's inherent power and efficiency characteristics. They also tend to be the automotive
opinion leaders in their communities - the "car guy" down the street who's often asked, "What kind of car should I buy?" Win
these opinion leaders over, and they'll drive market demand for light-duty diesel through their own purchases and
recommendations to others. When that happens, Banks will have made significant progress in his long-time quest for diesel's
acceptance as a viable alternative fuel.
Best of Both Worlds
Steve Temple writes in the September 2006 issue of Hot Rod magazine
how Banks Power's Duramax diesel engine narrows the gap between torque and horsepower numbers and why it just may be your
next hot rod engine.
Download the article