When the GT350 came out, the world loved it. Esoteric, old-timey words like flat, plane, and crank came back into vogue and the howling sound of a high-revving V8 reminded us that the Shelby name stands for track dominance.

History had repeated itself (sort of) and if it was to repeat itself again, that would make the GT500 its bigger, stronger, and more popular brother—but also its dumber, less track-worthy brother. So ISSIMI’s Jason Cammisa decided to take the new Shelby to Chuckwalla raceway to prove it.

You see, the GT350 was mostly a homologation special. Its purpose was to make the race car eligible for more racing so few concessions were made to livability. The GT500 added power and comfort, but sanded away the harsh edges.

Cammisa argues, though, that although the new GT500 adds power and weight, it doesn’t make it dumb. In fact, this is an amazing track car.

To prove his point, Cammisa finds some competition. It’s faster than a Dodge Demon on an unprepared airstrip and it’s just as fast as a Porsche 911 GT3 RS—the benchmark for track cars—in the hands of SCCA hall of famer, Randy Pobst.

As Cammisa puts it, the GT500 follows in the Shelby spirit of engineering excellence, not just Shelby’s spirit of advertising excellence.