15th Aug2013

Track Car in the Making: Tommy’s WRX

by Trent

Track Car in the Making“Race car” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days. Most people start with the motor and then ask the questions later of why they went off course while understeering through a turn. It’s not always about power. Case in point is some of our past feature cars that race regularly and aren’t surpassing 600whp or even 300whp. But the right combination of parts can make a worthy contender.

WRX splitter and canardsTommy brought his Bugeye home one day with the sole intention of making it a streetable race car. It needed to take him to and from the track, but allow him to have fun once he got there. If you couldn’t tell from the first paragraph, he’s largely left the motor alone to make it reliable. Even his future plans are simple and comprised mostly of OEM parts. The only additional power-adders are an HKS Hi-Power Exhaust and custom catted down pipe. Most of the attention was turned to aerodynamics and suspension.

tommywrx-2Now if you ask what Tommy’s favorite part of the car is, he’ll be torn between the broadway mirror(to see those he just passed) or the Voltex rear wing. This was something he was looking forward to for some time. It stands tall to get some clean air as he heads into the high-speed sweepers at Miller Motorsports Park. Helping with the downforce up front is a set of FUNKtion Aero canards and front splitter underneath a Prodrive front lip. Clearing the air from underneath the car is a Voltex-replica rear diffuser.tommywrx-3 As the car gets forced down, it sticks to the line with a set of Enkei RPF1 17″ wheels wrapped in sticky Toyo Proxes R1R tires. Tires are part of the equation, but the suspension is handled by BC Racing BR coilovers and seemingly pointing at the Whiteline catalog and saying “I’ll take all of it”. This was actually planned out more thoroughly than that as his main sponsor Nip N’Tuck Performance went over what he needed. This includes a set of Whiteline Sway Bars front and rear, Whiteline Anti-Lift Race kit, and Whiteline endlinks. tommywrxThe interior is kept functional with a Momo steering wheel, Sparco Pro2000 seat and Takata harness, Autopower 6-point roll cage, and stripped out rear seats and sound deadening. Stopping is currently relegated to Hawk HPS brake pads, but will soon be upgraded. Putting together this car has made it solid on the few shakedown runs he’s made with the car. It will really be tested this upcoming month as he begins his NASA High Performance Driving Events to get a race license. Look for this car in our track coverage soon.

Race WRX panning

Tommy would like to thank:

Dustin for the friendship, sponsorship, and work on the car.

Jason for the long-term friendship, helpful tips and suggestions.

Adam for the advice and recommendations on suspension setup.

Words and Photos by Trent Bray

13th Jun2013

Mk IV Supra: Upgrade!

by Michael Chandler

MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag cover Michael Chandler

When last we met with Nick Long, he was surprising anyone willing to take a run at his turbo Cobalt SS.  Since then, he’s made a slight upgrade to his garage.

 

MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2

He picked up a 1997 15th Anniversary Limited Edition twin turbo Supra after selling his Cobalt.  The Cobalt was cool, but this Supra is a thing of legend.  It’s the car people aspire to own, and Nick finally got his…  Then sent it off to get some work done.

MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-3

The car got a full detail, a nice 4 inch straight pipe exhaust and a few under-hood “accessories”

 

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MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-6

A Precision T78 turbo sits in place of the factory twin turbos, with a K&N filter keeping the nasty stuff that could get sucked in to it or the motor out.  Custom piping feeds the charged air into a custom front mount, and then in to a factory throttle body and manifold.  A Greddy boost controller keeps the pressure at 22psi, which is a nice number but meaningless without proper fueling…

MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

Which is provided by a pair of Walbro fuel pumps and kept in check with an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator.  These few parts, and some careful tuning, yields 610 horsepower at the wheels, and 588 lb/ft of torque.  610whp on an internally stock motor.  The stoutness of the 2JZ is one of the reasons why people are still clamoring for these cars fifteen years after American importation stopped.

 

MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-8

That, and because it is still a gorgeous car in factory trim.  This isn’t factory.  It’s been lowered two inches, had a set of BBS wheels fitted and has a VIS carbon fiber hood in place of the stock metal hood.  No crazy bumpers, fenders, graphics, wings.  Nothing to distract from the classic JDM lines.

MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-9

 

Except maybe a little tire smoke…

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.

 

 

 

 

 

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30th May2013

Road Race Motorsports Lancer GTS Turbo

by Michael Chandler

RRM Lancer-8

These are some old photos.  Really old.  Two years to be exact.  We traveled to California to shoot photos of this and a Nissan Cube show car.  These didn’t see the light of day because, well, we had no idea what was done to the car beyond what we could see.  Our contact had something suddenly come up at the last minute, and wasn’t around for the shoot.

RRM Lancer-1

See, what used to happen was while one of us was shooting photos or video, the other was talking to the owner and getting a mod list or making arrangements to have one emailed to us.  Since our guy wasn’t available, we had nothing.  However, we did have some basic information on this Lancer GTS and the endless power of the internet.  Here’s what we’ve come up with

RRM Lancer-5

First, it’s turbocharged.  Road Race Motorsports developed a turbokit for the n/a front wheel driver Lancer GTS which is based around a 16g/GT3 snail.  Between that hair dryer, the front mount, Tial wastegate and other bits add up to 100hp over stock!

RRM Lancer-4

CarbonTrix provided a lot of carbon fiber parts: fuse box cover, radiator block off plate, hood, front and rear lips, grill, the Evo Extreme hood, the trunk lip spoiler and rear diffuser.  The fit and finish of these parts was top notch.

RRM Lancer-2

With the added power, the car needed to be able to haul itself to a stop and be able to turn properly.  So a Rotora six pot big brake kit has been installed, and sits behind a set of BBS wheels.  Brake cooling ducts keep the brakes at a safe temperature, and a strut tower bar in the front helps the Tein coliovers to do their job of letting this Lancer carve some corners.

RRM Lancer-3

The car was/is sporting a center exit exhaust.  It fit well within the diffuser.

RRM Lancer-6

Inside there are a pair of Aero Design carbon/kevlar seats, Sparco harnesses, and a harness bar/rear roll cage.

Is this story over due?  Very much so.  Was it worth waiting to have as much correct information as possible?  Also yes.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.
29th Apr2013

RaceCo Nissan GT-R

by Michael Chandler

Raceco GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

Things change. Everything changes at some point. Mountains rise and erode away, civilizations are built and crumble, companies and people build cars and sell them. This Nissan GTR already had a full life before it came to RaceCo, and was transformed into the opus you see before you.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-38

The car was previously owned by Cobb Tuning, and eventually became a car they campaigned in the Redline Time Attack series. Unfortunately Redline folded and Cobb had a race car with nothing to race in. So they sold it to someone who brought it to RaceCo for some adjustments, and for a while it wore the livery it had at Cobb. At the end of last season that all changed.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-23

Visually the car has changed quite a bit. It was wearing the white and blue of Cobb Tuning, but now it is covered, thanks to Envision Wraps, in the primal primary colors: red, black and white. These colors elicit deep reactions from those who see them.

Carbon Fiber widebody GTR

The old fiberglass front end has been replaced with an AIT carbon fiber widebody, while the AIT fiberglass widebody rear end and sideskirts remain the same. RaceCo made some floating mounts for the front splitter, along rear diffuser strakes and skid plates for the splitter and side skirts. Other custom pieces include a flat floor, floor exit exhaust on the rear diffuser and front and rear Lexan windshields.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-10

Not everything can be custom made, so some off the shelf pieces were fitted: an XPR air jack system, an Aeromotions R2 static rear wing, APR carbon fiber mirrors, Aerocatch hood pins, and JDM front clear side markers and a Moonface front tow hook round out the off the shelf pieces on the exterior of the R35.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-30

Inside the cabin it’s all business. Aside from the automatic gear shifter that is. You have to climb over the custom roll cage before you can squeeze into the RaceTech 4009HR seat. A Schroth Hans six point harness holds you in the seat as you grip a Sparco steering wheel on a custom quick release. A Moty lightweight battery provides power, and a fire suppression system makes sure you don’t burn to a crisp. A MoTec ADL3 data system with a custom RaceCo wire harness and carbon fiber switch panel gathers information and provides easy access to all the necessary controls.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-13RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-18

Getting out is a matter of pulling on the custom door pull, un-doing the harness, taking of the wheel and climbing back over the roll cage.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-8

The car sits on CCW C10 wheels, 18×13 at all corners covered in equally large 310/710/18 Michelin S9H slicks.

Nissan GTR race car

Behind the custom CCWs sit Performance Racing rotors with Pagid RS29 brake pads, front and rear, and AP Racing J hooks. RaceCo fabbed up some stainless steel brake lines for the front while some Goodridge stainless brake lines are in the rear. The fluid of choice that allows the car to be hauled to a stop is SRF Racing brake fluid.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6

The car sits nicely upon its JRZ triple adjustable coilovers and Hypercoil springs. MODE racing front and rear sway bars tie the sides of the car together. This WAS a Cobb car, and that car wasn’t too bad so a lot of the parts from its past are still there. Parts like the adjustable rear end links, prototype adjustable rear camber links and toe links.

GTR on air jacks

This properly set up suspension is complimented by the OS Giken differentials in the front and rear housings. The rear differential doesn’t see nearly as much airflow as the front so it gets a custom cooling system with a Mocal oil pump and air to air cooler. Both of the differentials are filled with OS-250R 80W-250 gear oil.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-25

The Cobb parts don’t end with the suspension. Cobb 3.5” intakes, ceramic coated downpipes, cat-less Y pipe and race exhaust, XLE bypass valves and secondary oil cooler kit are still on there. As is the AccessPORT that has been tuned on E85 and Speed Density by Tim Bailey of Cobb Tuning.

Nissan GTR R35 rolling

The engine is still the familiar VR38DETT, but things on both the inside and outside have changed. The stock turbos have been ditched in favor of Garret 2871’s with upgraded wastegate acutators. Dual Walbro in-tank fuel pumps send fuel to a pair of AMS fuel rails and on through a set of Injector Dynamics 2000cc fuel injectors. In between there and here is a custom surge tank with two Bosch 044 fuel pumps on it.

In the motor itself are forged rods and pistons, six HKS spark plugs, Motul oil and coolant. That coolant also flows through a Koyo radiator.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-15

Now this is a race car, but it has something a lot of race cars don’t have: an automatic transmission. Albeit a ShepTrans stage 3 transmission with PPG 1st-6th gears and a Dodson billet clutch housing, but you can still pop that thing in D. But you wouldn’t. You’d put it in R mode so you can make use of all the parts that have been lovingly bolted to the car. Parts like the Dodson pressure sensor controller, Cobb Tuning transmission oil pump, and custom stage 2 transmission oil cooler system (with Mocal Laminova and air to air cooler). Since this transmission is in the back of the car, the car has NACA ducts and carbon fiber inline fans to cool its and the rear differential coolers.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-37

Change is a constant. Never stopping for anything. Change can at times be scary, because what comes after the change could be something terrible. Especially if the thing that is being changed is something thats known to be good However, change can take something good and propel it to greatness.

RaceCo GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-28

Words by Michael Chandler and Photos by Michael Chandler and Trent Bray

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.
11th Apr2013

The Miller Motorsports Park Total Performance Museum

by Trent

Ford GT40 MkIV

Epic [ep-ik]
heroic; majestic; impressively great

The Iliad and Odyssey are epic poems, the Nurbugring is an epic track, LeBron James is an epic player. Epic is a small word that carries a vast amount of weight. People throw it around frivolously, but there are some things we can all agree are fitting of the title of Epic. Submitted for your approval:

Larry H. Miller Museum

The Miller Total Performance Automotive Museum

On the south side of the entry fence at Miller Motorsports Park, across the drive from the box office building, sits a building that has a giant track map and picture of one of the FR500Ss. Inside this building there are some of the things you’d run across at a motorsports facility that hosts driving and racing schools: there is a class room, and some bathrooms, and a gift shop; however, if you walk past the register in the gift shop you will find something few other places have: a collection of cars that have become legends.

Shelby Cobra Carbs

This is like Valhalla. These heroes sit amongst each other, in a hall built by a man who lives on through the legacy and places he left behind.

Shelby Daytona Coupe

Before Larry Miller became Larry H. Miller, philanthropist, Utah Jazz owner, car dealership magnate, he was Larry Miller, car guy. Specifically, Shelby Cobra guy. He worked hard, and bought a Cobra. And he worked some more and bought another…and some more, and then some Mustangs, and a GT40, and then more Cobras and GT40s. All told there are 13 Cobras (including one of the six Daytona Coupes AND a one of one aluminum body that was going to become a Daytona Super Coupe), 5 GT40s, 6 GT350 Mustangs, and one Cougar, Ranchero, Thunderbolt, 2008 GT500KR, and a Ford GT. These 29 cars represent 50 years of American racing history and one man who made the world take note of what we were capable of: Carroll Shelby. Telling the stories of all the cars, of all the men behind them, and everything that they accomplished would require a novel on the scale of Ulysses. We will highlight a few of the cars, and leave it up to you if you want to make the drive to the museum and hear about the rest of them.

Hey Little Cobra

CSX-2128: Black No. 15 This is the car that started it all. This was one of two Cobras built for the 1963 Twelve Hours of Sebring with rack and pinion steering. The Shelby team raced it for a few months, then sold it to Coventry Motors. While there it received a new livery (yellow with black stripes and roundels) and was raced until Shelby bought the car back in March of ’64. While with Coventry, and before the new livery, it was photographed for an album by the Rip Chords called Hey Little Cobra. Larry saw this album, saw the car, and became a Cobra guy. Later the car came up for auction, and Larry outbid the man who designed the yellow and black livery it wore at Coventry. The man Larry outbid, the livery designer, was George Lucas.

Shelby Daytona Coupe

CSX-2299: Blue No. 13 Daytona Coupe “It just stops my heart every time I see it.” This is one of six Daytona Coupes, number two, and it has one of the more storied histories in the museum: first in GT/fourth overall at the 1964 Le Mans, first in GT/fourth overall at Tourist Trophy in 1964, first in GT/SECOND overall 1965 24 Hours of Daytona, first in GT/fourth overall 1965 12 Hours of Sebring. It helped Shelby become the first, and only, American manufacturer to win a FIA GT World Manufacturer’s Championship.

Number 1 Ford GT40

P-1015: Blue with White stripes No. 1 This car won overall at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Co-driven by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby, it crossed the line first in the famous Photo Finish the Ford executives ordered. Despite crossing the line first, the race officials deemed that the No. 2 GT40 (co-driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon) covered the most distance and was awarded the win. This questionable decision robbed Ken Miles of the Triple Crown of Endurance Racing (wins at Daytona, Sebring an Le Mans). Sadly Ken was never able to make another attempt at the Triple Crown. He was killed that summer testing a prototype Mk IV GT40.

Steve McQueen GT40

P-1074: Gulf Blue with Marigold stripes No. 40. The infamous Steve McQueen car. Most people know about this car because it was purchased for an obscene amount of money last year, and it was owned by Steve McQueen, who turned it into a camera car for the film Le Mans. What most people don’t know is that it was one of the first cars to ever wear the Gulf Oil colors. It was one of three Mirage prototypes made from existing GT40 chassis. It won in its debut outing at Spa-Francorchamps in May of 1967, which was the first win for any car wearing the now famous blue with marigold stripes.

Ford GT40 MkIV

There are still twenty-five cars in there with histories of their own. I urge you, implore you, to make the drive out to the track. Visit the museum. Learn more about these cars that put America, for a brief period of time, at the forefront of international racing. Learn more about the man who built these pieces of history. Learn more about the man who acquired these cars and put them on display for all to see. Being able to see one of these cars in person is amazing, a few of them is awe inspiring, but twenty-nine? That can be only described as Epic.

No 12 Ford GT40Shelby Daytona Coupe Le Mans

Two Le Mans GT40's

Words by Michael Chandler and John Gardner, Photos by Michael Chandler and Trent Bray, Video by Trent Bray

Special thanks to John Gardner and Miller Motorsports Park

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18th Mar2013

Miller Motorsports Park Racing Schools

by Trent

MMP Mustangs CAM Michael Chandler-10

A few weeks ago, we got the call that went something like this, “How would you like to ride around in a Ford Raptor on a snow covered track?” An emphatic yes was our response!

MMP Mustangs CAM Michael Chandler-5

Jason Smith from Innovative Garage was on the other end of this call, and he happens to also be an instructor for the Ford Racing School, Raptor Assault, and Boss Track Attack at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT. The Ford Racing School allows you to get as little as 10 laps in a race-prepared Mustang up to a 4-day intensive course that nets you a competition racing license. Everyone wants to go fast, and we don’t always have the vehicle that allows us to do so. These Mustangs are nothing short of a competition car with a stripped-out interior, roll cage, racing seat with harness, and only a window net separating you from the thrilling action.

MMP Mustangs CAM Michael Chandler-4

While the cars themselves are currently tucked away in garages at the track, they are getting upgraded and re-tuned for the 2013 season. And this season delivers no shortage of excitement as seat time is filling up already.

Mustang FR500S

For most of us, we don’t have a race-prepped car ready to hit the track. We might have our daily driver ready for auto-x action with a suspension adjustment and different wheels and tires, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but a full-blown race car experience on a road course is hard to match. Miller Motorsports Park fortunately provides this experience with their Mustangs. The days start in the classroom where you are greeted with a Mustang Challenge car, and a searing orange Mustang that was used as the development mule for the Mustang Challenge car. The wall is littered with Mustang memorabilia and magazine covers. Not a bad sight in the house.

FR500S and MMP Prototype Mustang Michael Chandler-4

Moving on to the Raptors. Late last year, the Raptor Assault program was launched. The Raptor Assault program allows you to experience the off-road prowess of a Ford Raptor with skilled instructors helping improve yours skills. This can start with the Raptor Experience that lasts either a morning or afternoon where you can tackle different terrain from rock-crawling to desert racing. This is further enhanced when the instructor takes the wheel and shows you what it’s really capable of.

Ford Raptor Assault

The One-Day Raptor Assault furthers this with more instruction and more freedom to tackle 900 acres of open desert. We are seriously hoping to get more involved in this over the coming season. Our short time in the Raptor pushed itself up near the top of vehicles I “Must Own”.

Ford Raptor Assault Vehicle

Again, a special thanks goes out to Jason at Innovative Garage for making this happen. Check out Miller Motorsports Park for your chance to drive these vehicles.

Words by Trent Bray, Photos by Michael Chandler and Trent Bray

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com

04th Oct2012

First Start: Innovative Garage Civic

by Michael Chandler

A few weeks ago Jason Smith, of Innovative Garage, texted me and asked if we wanted to film him starting his long awaited Civic race car.  I said yes, and so began the rolling ball.

The car is a pretty basic thing: K series motor, cage, big brakes, fancy suspension and slicks.  All of that stuffed into an EK hatchback with nothing in it to begin with makes for something that looks to be very quick.

This thing is really all about Trent’s video, because a car starting up translates better on video than it does in stills.

 

This thing, along with the Black Pearl, will be out on track on Saturday.  Come check it out if you can, but if you can’t then you gotta wait til I post the photos from Lap Battle

Video by Trent Bray, words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com

02nd Oct2012

The Black Pearl

by Trent

In the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, the Black Pearl is the fastest ship in the Caribbean and is “nigh uncatchable”. This 1996 Subaru Impreza coupe ruled the unlimited AWD class in Lap Battle, and for a while was battleship gray. The next season it returned in its black and gold trim, and was even quicker. And then it disappeared…

It wasn’t destroyed or taken off to rule other tracks, it just went into Zane’s garage. See, Zane sells cars and to really make a living doing that, you need to be there on Saturdays. Lap Battle happens once a month on a Saturday. Push came to shove, and Zane decided to sling cars, learn his family’s business and generally make a living instead of burn expensive gas and shred expensive tires. During this time the car sat in the garage, battery attached to a trickle charger, waiting to be unleashed.

Subaru Impreza GC8 Track toy

Pirate ships like the Black Pearl were small ships either bought or captured and then outfitted with arms. This Impreza is no different. The beating heart of the Pearl started with a Rallispec short block stuffed with Cosworth main and rod bearings, and 9.2-1 pistons on Manley H Beam rods. The heads are packed with Cosworth cams (274 intake and 278 exhaust), valves and high RPM springs and retainers.

A built motor like that NEEDS a proper turbo set up and fuel system to truly fly, and the Pearl is no exception. An Ultimate Racing GT3076 rotated turbo kit sits at the center of the setup, with a Tial 44mm wastegate hanging off of the turbo. That big turbo pushes air through a giant TurboXS front mount and into the engine. A Walbro in-tank fuel pump gets the fuel to the 850cc Deatschwerks fuel injectors, but when things get serious, the fuel in the Sard surge tank gets set to those injectors by a 280lph fuel pump.

After hearing that list you might be thinking this whole set up is run by AEM or MoTEC, but it isn’t. A Cobb ACCESSPort v2 runs this, and runs it well.

Backing this setup is a complete 2004 STi 6 speed drivetrain because it is rather stout. Other stout things are the Tein Super Racing coilovers, the Whitline swaybars and lateral links, and the APR extended wheel studs. The Michelin slicks are stout and meaty as are the StopTech 355x32mm ST40 brake kit in the front and the STi Brembos in the back, both of which are filled with Hawk DTC70 pads.

All of that is serious stuff, and you might be thinking the wheels are Volks or Weds Sports, but you’d be wrong. Those gold 18×10 wheels are Rota SVN-Rs. Yes, those cheap wheels you see blasted on forums for being fake and see destroyed in photos are on this 400+ horsepower race car. A car that laps the 3.08 mile outer course at Miller Motorsports Park in two minutes and 4.7 seconds!

The Impreza coupes are the lightest Imprezas ever brought to the U.S. This one has been lightened slightly. EVERYTHING was ripped out, and eight things went back in. A Sparco Circuit seat, harness, and steering wheel went in. An STi dash and cluster replaced the old ones, and DEFI gauges went in the dash. A Beatrush division panel sits where the back seat used to be and an Autopower six point roll cage provides moar safe.

Much like the ship it gets its name from, this car is purpose built for speed. There aren’t any frills outside, unless you consider that huge APR GTC300 wing a frill. The Seibon carbon fiber doors, hood, trunk lid and front lip shed weight. The 22b widebody kit and rear fender flares allow for the fitment of those massive wheels and meaty slicks. The custom front canards and rear diffuser help channel air in the right direction to allow this car to run as fast as possible.

At the end of this week this car shall make its return to competition. It shall rise from the depths of the garages of Miller, but Zane doesn’t need to make a pact with a dead man to do so. All he has to do is open the garage door, fire her up and take her out.

The Black Pearl Track Pirate

 


 

Words by Michael Chandler, Photos by Michael Chandler and Trent Bray, Video filmed and edited by Trent Bray

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com

24th Sep2012

Underdog

by Michael Chandler

Say you’re out one night, driving around in your whatever it is. You pull up next to a black Cobalt at a traffic light. You look over and you see a skinny kid behind the wheel, and he has a grin on his face. Perplexed, and angered, you slide it into first and wait for the light to change.

Green light.

You both take off. He’s right there with you. Into second, and he’s still there. Then he starts pulling away. Try as you might you aren’t catching him. Until the next light. And there he is, grin and all. This is what happens when you meet 300whp and 400lb/ft crammed in to an unassuming package.

 

Does Nick, the guy who owns this Cobalt SS, do this? Beats me, but it made for a good intro for this story. While the events might not be true, the numbers this thing lays down are. At JDP Motorsports it put down 304whp and 405lb/ft of torque. And it didn’t take a lot to get there.

 

Starting with a stock Cobalt SS, Nick added a chunk of the ZZP Performance catalog to the engine bay. The OEM charge pipes went in the dumpster, along with the catted downpipe and the intercooler. ZZP pieces replaced all of them. Behind that catless downpipe is a three inch straight pipe exhaust, which sounds so very mean. A ZZP blowoff valve relieves pressure from the stock turbo, and a K&N Typhoon intake feeds air to that hair dryer. JDP Motorsports strapped it to their dyno and worked their tuning magic on the Ecotec.

 

The only things on the exterior of this car that would lead you to believe that you’re dealing with anything beyond an econobox are the front mount intercooler, the eyelids, the Brembo calipers and the gold, 9.75” wide XXR 527’s.

 

This thing is very understated. And even listening to it you wouldn’t think it’s about to blow your doors off. Tommy didn’t. Then Nick offered to take Trent, Tommy and myself on some 2nd gear pulls. Sh*t gets real when this thing hits the top of 2nd. Tommy stopped calling it a Slobalt after his ride.

 

So if you ever pull up next to a black Cobalt SS coupe on gold XXRs with a skinny kid behind the wheel, you might want to think twice about racing him. You wouldn’t want to be embarrassed by a Slobalt would you?

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com

13th Sep2012

Semi-Retired 2005 STi

by Michael Chandler

 

This STi has a history. This car was owned by a guy who tracked it here and there. It had the prerequisite big wing and decals, but now it’s retired. But retired doesn’t mean it left it all at the track. Oh my no, it left nothing at the track…

Staring at you from within the bumper is a massive APS 525 front mount intercooler. That is 314 square inches of intercooler hanging out there! AND it’s good for 525 horsepower, but this car isn’t making 525 horsepower. No, it’s making 340 horsepower at the wheels on 91 octane. E85 in the tank brings that number to 380. Impressive considering this car was rated at 305 crank horsepower seven years ago. Behind that giant intercooler is a big Koyo radiator. Cooling is key everybody.

A Garrett 3076 ball bearing turbo sends hot, pressurized air through that massive intercooler core and into the two and a half liter mill. An AEM 3-Bar MAP sensor monitors the incoming air and dictates how much fuel the massive 1000cc Deatschwerks fuel injectors to spray into the cylinders. Those big injectors are in an Aeromotive fuel rail, and there’s an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator between the fuel rail and the 255lph Walbro fuel pump. Not all that fuel gets used, but more on that later…

All of the air the turbo pressurizes isn’t used either, so a Tial blow off valve releases the excess air. The car is tuned at 20 lbs of boost, and a Tial wastegate helps keep boost levels stable.

17×9 Enkei NT03’s are sitting at all four corners, as are the Brembo calipers that came bolted to the car. Inside those calipers are Stoptech pads, and Stoptech lines feed Motul brake fluid to those pretty, gold calipers. The rear rotors are OEM, but the fronts are slotted Stoptech pieces.

This thing has some serious suspension pieces, being a former track car. JIC Magic coilovers hang at all four corners, and COBB sway bars are at either end. Also keeping the chassis flex to a minimum are a Cusco strut tower bar in the back and a Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru’s parent company) strut tower bar in front.

Inside the cabin the US spec seats have been replaced with JDM STi Version 7 seats. Still OEM, and comfier than the stock seats. Thats a win/win situation. Behind those seats is a Sparco harness bar, but no harnesses to speak of at the moment. The old shift knob was taken off, and replaced with that stylish white Beat Rush unit.

This car was a track car, but it left none of its track capabilities behind when it became a street car. A fact that became very apparent when we went out for some rolling shots. Throw some BFG R1’s on this bad boy and it’ll do some work out at Miller.

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler.

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