"it's not mechanically possible for an auto to be faster than a stick, unless you have an electronic tranny with the ability to set gear timing and shift times"
You are making a broad statements, that is uninformed. Manuals can be slower than Autos. Shift times are only part of the equation, and most Auto's today do set shift times and RPM shift points "electronically". And they "learn" those times to repeat them time after time without fail !!
Stall speeds, axle ratios, GEAR Ratios, etc. all play into the equation.
Between a manual and auto trans gear ratios and torque mulitpication are not identical even with the same final drive. With electronic controls, it is possible to have adequate "normal" shift feel under most driving conditions yet have very aggressive shift times under Wide open throttle.
Many autos are faster 0-60 just because of more shifts may be required to get to 60. ie. if an auto hits 60 in second gear, and a manuals gear ratios or final drive demand a shift (because redline is reached ) into thrid before 60 MPH, the auto may have shifted slower but it only shifted once. And it will beat the Manual to 60. That same scenerio plays out on the street ever day. Every race is not to 60 or 1/4 mile. But the times being argued are 0-60, and an auto certainly could be faster to that point !!! That is only one example. And as they say only one example that proves an absolute statemant wrong,proves the statemant false. However,
I'll add a couple more.
The clutchless Ferrari's are really nothing more than mechanical "autos". They are repeatably faster than the best manual shifters with a "leg operated clutch".
I have over the years run one vehicle against another of the same type and exact same engine far too many times to count ( part of the job ). Many times even the best test drivers have trouble repeating the perfect manual shifting to beat the auto consistantly. And no matter how many folks think they are the next "Donny Garlitts", very few humans are able to actully shift at the exact same maximum torque point shift after shift. An auto properly set up will shift at the exact same rpm nearly ever time. If that auto is properly set up, it can beat most of the "Ricky racers" in a street race. There is simply more variablity run to run with a manual than an auto.
If the absoulte difference between the two ( AUOT vs. Manual) is only .1 sec. in favour of a manual, I'll bet on the auto every time. And most of the time the auto would win, with the average Joe slammin' gears in the manual.