Matt is getting ready for the last events of this year here in So Cal. He just went through a full rebuild (2.3 motor, trans) and is putting the final touches on his setup. More info on Matt and his car here: TimeattackUSA
Video and Editing by Drew @ Thirstyfilm
We last left off on this roll cage build with finishing all the welding. Now it is time for the cleanup, prep and paint.
All unnecessary seam sealer and sound deadening gets removed to lighten things as possible. We trimmed off any brackets and tabs. Most small holes get covered and smoothed over with metal tape for a cleaner look.
All the bare steel on the roll cage and welds needed to be cleaned and prepped with a light acid wash.
Everything gets masked off nicely. The floor gets cleaned and roughed up with sandpaper and a Scotchbrite. Blow all the (more…)
Here are the next round of pics building Ben’s full roll cage. The last article had the car getting stripped and interior cleaned. The main hoop and basic bars getting bent and tacked into place.
We had dropped the roll cage down off the foot plates to be able to weld all around the tubes up in the roof area. With the upper bars now welded all the way around, the roll cage goes back up on the floor plates and the floor plates get welded in place.
The b-pillars are closed back in now that they have been lightened.
The door bars are taking shape. The driver’s side has the bars extending deep into the door “NASCAR Style”
The passenger side is a lighter more simple “X” design (more…)
With all the 600 whp mods Ben has lately, he felt it was time to step up the safety from a bolt-in Autopower 4 point roll bar to a full cage. Here is the transformation:
The first step was to gut the interior. Everything that could be unbolted was unbolted. The dash comes out, carpet, seats, door panels, headliner, wiring and more.
Bryce was enlisted to help. Anything with a Phillips head screw was his responsibility.
Next is to clean and strip any caulking and paint or undercoating where the base plates will get welded into the chassis. We used 1.75″ diameter .120 wall (more…)
Part I is here.
Text by James Singer
Photos by Mike W
[it isn’t the camera, it is rosacea]
I am a pretty average guy as far as driving cars on the track goes. I am also a pretty average guy in the sense that this economy has taken its toll on my ability to indulge in track days. As a result, I prep my car painstakingly before going to the track to avoid breaks and other disasters. This month, before going to the track I changed out my blown (more…)
By James Singer
I have been buried for a few months but just before things went nuts with work and life, I got a chance to update my stealthy street/track EVO VIII. My goal with this car is to have a car that does not get too much attention from unwanted parties and is streetable with a tad of blingage but can still be more than fun to drive to the track, drive on the track and drive home from the track.
OEM IX front bumper with SE lip and Ganador Super Mirrors.
The full feature of the car isn’t on line, you gotta get yourself to the store and buy the November issue of DSPort when it hits the newstand! In the meantime, the RRE RalliArt is in the current October Issue. This is the EVO we tuned with the new Borg Warner turbo with the crazy spoolup.
This is a pretty sweet IX we recently did. Really nice powerband for not too much money spent and incredibly stock appearing under the hood.
Results from 91 octane and E-85
List of mods:
Cosworth Drop in filter
ETS 3.5″ FMIC
Our Shop EVO 8 is running again after a time out for bad behavior. Fresh 2.3 stroker motor ready to make some noise. Monday we have some housekeeping under the hood. Then some break in miles on the dyno and a retune during the week next week.
Got the motor in the hole!
We are no longer offering this service. Centric changed to a different powdercoating company a while ago and the current finish is not the same as shown in these pics below. Sorry for the older teaser pics.
Current powdercoating process looks more like this:
Centric can still do the rebuild on a Brembo EVO caliper and get the rebuild part mechanically perfect. But the powdercoating is more what you can expect for a race car. The caliper will be red. It may have random dirt specs in the finish, it will have orange peal. But it will be stuck down and a high temperature red. Same price as listed below. Sorry but it just is what it is they say.
Old pics and original post below.
Are your calipers maroon, brown or even black from having too much fun with them? Is the clear coat flaking? Pink from the sun and wheel cleaning chemicals?
For EVO Brembo caliper painting and rebuilding we use Centric (parent company of Stoptech and Powerslot). Front calipers are $375 for a pair for the service, rears are $260 for the pair. This is for a complete rebuild and powdercoat of the calipers. Basically they are re-manufactured to like new condition. It takes about 5-6 working days to do your calipers so plan on some downtime with your car.
Here are a set of front and rear calipers that just came back:
Box and package: (old process, not a current pic)
What you get: (old process, not a current pic)
Front: (old process, not a current pic)
Click for more pics!
I cant say that I have ever seen this kind of spoolup with this kind of top end potential. This is a track car with a Buschur Racing 2.3 liter @ 10:1 compression. The turbo is the new Borg Warner on a Full Race manifold with dual Tial wastegates. AEM EMS and E-85 on 1600cc RC Engineering injectors tuned by Scot Gray here.
Running the car at different boost levels. Robert Fuller (RobiSpec) does the track prep and coaching on this EVO 8 and was was looking for something in the 500 whp range to keep the car somewhat driveable on a road course for his customer. Scot could not get the car to run below 18 psi so 524 is the lowest hp there can be.
At the last Redlint Time Attack we finally killed one of the first 2.4 EVO motors in the US. This was the third 2.4 EVO motor we built back in 2004 for our shop EVO 8. I dont like the smaller available sealing surface available on a 2.4 block that has been bored .020″ oversized, the head gasket (along with the assistance of 520 ft lbs of torque) is what finally let go on the motor.
So we reused the Mitsubishi 2.4 crank and took the opportunity of it being all apart to switch back to a 2.0 block for a 2.3 stroker motor. Wiseco pistons, Manley rods, new bearings and a general freshen up. We’ll be hanging the motor in the car this week.
Ed is a good guy. I have gotten to spend some time with him over the last few months for NASA. He is the perfect garage mate. He doesn’t talk to you too much and takes care of business. He also has the coolest dad ever. The last time I ran NASA was in June. Ed wasn’t driving but he came out anyways and did a ride along in my EVO. Then, he drove my EVO, which scared the crap out of me. There is nothing like having a real race car driver drive your daily driver around the track in anger to freak you out and show you how slow you are. I thought I was kicking some imaginary ass in HPDE but ED is really the one killing it!! I can’t wait to have more good times with Ed out on the track this year in NASA. You should come out too!! [nasaproracing.com]
More on ED Nazarian after the break
by MATT “O-Town” DENNISON
I got a special invite to attend the Global Time Attack at Willow Springs. it is essentially all the fastest cars in the west who could care less for Redline Time Attack. Records were destroyed to back the fact that GTA has the fastest time attack cars running in their series.
I on the other hand didn’t set any records but made my driving experience more exciting and slower by customizing my front bumper in a off road excursion in the 1st session… meh
I did finish the day running a 1.33.7 with no front aero, good enough for 2nd place…
Heres a write up from UrbanRacer.com
If you didn’t know they added a new section to the track that has a 10 percent grade… sickness
Thanks to all my sponsors Mike@RRE, Road Race Engineering, Robert “Robi” Fuller, ACT, Odyssey Batteries, GT Spec, SPY+optics, BERK Technologies
We were racing at BRP about a week ago, April 9-10, on configuration #13CW. About a month before that we completed both of our races at ACS Roval during our 2011 season opener event. You can read about our season opener here:
By Ed Nazarian – RRE Team Driver
The 2010 NASA National Championship is right around the corner, September 14-19, at MMP in Utah. Last year was the first year that Nationals was held at MMP. Cool thing was that I was the first to be racing an Evo at MMP for NASA’s National Championship. This year I won’t be the only one racing an Evo at Nationals. Earlier this year a Socal Honda Challenge racer started racing his Evo with us. Last time I saw he is registered to race in H2 with his Integra, and ST2 with his Evo. Hopefully both of us do well and return without any issues.
After this year, Nationals is going back to Mid-O for 2 years, 2011-2012. It will return to MMP for 2 years starting in 2013. So it’s sort of my last year at Nationals because, given how things are, I don’t foresee being able to do the 5,000 mile round trip drive to Mid-O and back.
As of today there are 21 racecars entered in ST2 for Nationals. That is the biggest field of racecars for a higher class series. There might be a few more come Nationals, but you never know who’s going to make it until it happens.
Looking at the names that have registered for ST2, the competition is looking really fierce. The racecars are pretty diverse, and it’s been changing, so we’ll have to wait and see. So far there are a bunch of Corvettes, a few of the Mazda GT’s, 2 Porsches, Mazda RX8, Honda Civic, Nissan 240SX, E46 M3, Roush Mustang, my friend Scott Howard in his 1st gen RX7, and so forth. I know most of my competition, and since the National Championship race is 45min, I’ll need all the luck I can get.
In the meantime I want to note something we’ve modified on my car…some aero and better brake ducting. It’s the first time that I’m modifying my aero, so bear with me. I contacted APR, and they set me up with a splitter. And to help me minimize my expenses for Nationals, my friends stepped up to the plate and gave me their APR wings! Sean Bradley gave me his GTC-200 wing off of his STi, and Scott Pennock gave me his GTC-300 wing off of his Evo. Then, Mike Welch (owner of RRE), fabricated and installed pretty much everything. Mike, on his own time, bought all the parts we needed to put it all together. Then over the course of about 3 weeks, I went to RRE where Mike did his thing. Mike is awesome!
As for the brake ducting, it’s something I’ve been planning on amending ever since I bought a used AMS kit. I wasn’t happy with the AMS kit because it didn’t seem beneficial/efficient for my needs. So I took some basic concepts and incorporated them into my setup. Only thing I can say now is that it came out better than I had anticipated. It’s really cool when something you visualize finally comes together.
I also want to thank Robert Ramirez, a.k.a. Honda Robert, from RRE. I ran into some challenges one night at RRE while prepping and I needed help. Honda was planning on working on his car but he sacrificed his time to help me out. Then, 2 days later I did a shakedown test day on Sunday, August 15, at ACS with Speed Ventures. Everything seemed normal, but my day ended short. During the 2nd session the coupler of my lower IC pipe popped off. I crawled into the pits and had them tow me to my spot. In order to get to that coupler I would have had to remove the splitter. Since it takes a while to remove/reinstall the splitter, I called it a day. After the test day we’ve gradually been continuing with our prep work. Now we just need to tweak on a few more things, wrap things up, and cross our fingers for Nationals.
Btw, if you’re the type that likes road trips and you’re interested in seeing Nationals, don’t hesitate to come out and spectate. Here is my schedule for Nationals. I’ve excluded my Warmup and Qualifying sessions, so this is just a schedule of my races:
– Thurs, Sep 16: 1st Race
– Fri, Sep 17: 2nd Race
– Sun, Sep 19: National Championship Race (45 min)
In the meantime I want to thank my sponsors and friends:
– RRE: Mike Welch and the entire RRE crew. Too many things to note. RRE is basically my racecars home away from home. One thing I will note again is the APR splitter and wing that I added in preparation for Nationals. Mike pretty much did all the fabrication work. And he did it on his own time, even on weekends. Mike is so easy to work with. I truly enjoy working by his side and learning from him. He is such a genuinely good guy.
– Robispec: Robert Fuller, aka Robi, and his crew for providing me trackside suspension tuning at my races.
– Girodisc: Martin Meade for providing me phenomenal 2pc rotors, Raybestos brake pads, and awesome customer service.
– South Coast Mitsubishi: For their continued support. I can’t imagine there being a better car dealership out there.
– APR: For the splitter and for all their help. KC was the rep that dealt with me, so a special thanks to KC for being so helpful and swift with everything.
– Friends: Sean Bradley, and Scott Pennock. To help me minimize my expenses for Nationals, Sean gave me his GTC-200 wing off of his STi, and Scott gave me his GTC-300 wing off of his Evo. Thanks also to Matt Dennison for letting me borrow his Tactrix cable.
– All my other friends and everyone else for their support.
Here is Matt’s race report from the Redline Time Attack this last weekend. Good job Matt!
What a weekend…! A podium finish by a mere 1/10 of a second on my final time attack lap, huge support from Kyle and Eric of NWautoevents.com, a track that was running 2 seconds slower than my last outing, and not to mention my turbo failure here last year in the back of my head. So I didn’t know what gremlins to expect. Where am I, you ask. I’m at the 4th round of the Redline Time Attack series at the ever exclusive high speed track we call Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. With speeds of 200 mph by NASCAR standards, you can only expect us competitors to try and muster up a top speed of the like. The weather was bearable, but the winds with gust of 30+ mph were the trouble.
My last outing here in November was a bitter sweet moment. I placed 1st in my class, claimed the Enthusiast Championship, but had a turbo failure that sidelined me for the rest of the day. Luckily the later happened after I had completed a single fast lap in the first time attack session. That lap was fast enough to hold for the entire day, securing a 1st place victory. So now we’re back in 6 months time for the 2010 season. With a new turbo set-up, several new sponsors and old, such as Road Race Engineering, RobiSpec, NWautoevents.com, GT Spec, and Mil.Spec. I was sure to put up a fight among some of the fastest Street Class cars. And a fight it was in an all new class for me.
With the weather being much warmer this time of year and the mix of high winds, I was well off my fast lap time of 1.53:2 of yesteryear. Mother Nature was keeping it fair for everyone, but the track was an easy 2 seconds slower with the given conditions. The COBB STi and the StopTech Evo 10 were both running in the low 50’s. Given my budget compared to theirs I would only hope that they would be the top dogs of our class. So 1st and 2nd are easily given to both camps. Now this is where the fun is for me, the fight for the last podium position. I would be going head-to-head with Jon Drenas of HBspeed and Mauricio Calderon of Massimo Power. I was running a consistent .55 all day and so was Jon, but he had me by several tenths before going into our first time attack battle.
Going into the Time Attack sessions, it seemed as if the StopTech Evo 10 ran into a problem and was not able to get a timed lap and would not be able to compete for the remainder of the day. The COBB STi ran an impressive 1.49:7 and HBspeed ran a 1.52.7 taking 2nd place. Massimo Power had me beat for 3rd place until my last flying lap where I nudged him out of 3rd by a mere 1/10 of a second with a 1.54:7, to Mauricio’s 1.54:8!
The weekend was exciting as always and even better to see long time friends, not to mention making new ones. As competitive as it is, I have already accepted the fact of not placing on the podium this year due to the ultra competitive nature of the Street-AWD Class. But it just goes to show, don’t ever give up…!
Thank you to all my sponsors for the support…!
Road Race Engineering
Write Up by Ed Nazarian (driver/author of stories in boldface)
Snippy comments and edits by James Singer (slow driver/book reader)
We were racing at ACS last weekend, March 13-14. Last time I raced at ACS was this same event in 2009, so it’s been a year since the last time I raced there. Since I used our Super Touring season opener in February at Big Willow mainly as a shakedown event, I was ready to start pushing it progressively at ACS. Despite all my efforts, it turned out to be another weekend of struggles. However, it ended on a completely unexpected result. I will get into the details accordingly, but for starters I want to say a quick thanks to Mike Welch from RRE for showing up and helping out, and also to Robert Fuller from ROBISPEC for providing me trackside suspension tuning for both races.
[all the crazy cars Ed has to race with lined up in a row. The first time I attended a NASA event, I was blown away with how much diversity there is in his field.]
Thus far I have tried to be as patient as possible with mods for my racecar. I have been patient long enough, so I decided it was time I upgraded something. One of the mods I’ve been considering is the TRE rear-diff. I contacted Jon at TRE and we set everything up through RRE. Being the cool guy that Mike is, he gave me an extra rear-diff and then shipped it to TRE. This way we can keep mine as backup. Thanks Mike! TRE Jon shipped it back to RRE and the guys at RRE installed it for me. Thanks guys! Since [forum-restricted] does my suspension tuning, we will be setting up the car from track to track as things progress throughout the season. I’ll post a separate thread regarding my initial impressions of the TRE rear-diff coupled with [forum-restricted]s suspension tuning as the season unfolds. But for now I’ll say that driving my car with the TRE rear-diff feels like I’m driving an entirely new car. And I’m looking forward to seeing how we can develop my car with it. Beyond upgrading to the TRE rear-diff, Martin from Girodisc sent me a new set of front 2-pc rotors. My second set had run its course, so it was time for another set.
[note that in the group Ed runs in, they trade paint. This isn’t for pretty boys. Every single time I have been to the track, this group gets rough and tumble with each other. Look at ST2 cars and you will see battle scars]
I noticed right away that the track was setup a bit tighter than last year, especially the last set of turns leading onto the Roval, T16-21. Since that section leads us onto the Roval, it decreases our exit speed, thereby decreasing our speeds onto the Roval. I gradually pushed it more and more from our Practice session, to our Qualifying session.
Before I proceed with anything else, I want to give a little welcome to an Evo newcomer, John Hsu. I think John approached me on Friday while I was getting situated. He recently purchased an Evo 9, and decided to race with us that weekend in Super Touring 2. He’s a Honda Challenge driver, so he’s not new to racing, just new to Evos. He was racing his Integra in H2, and his recently purchased Evo 9 in ST2. I hope he continues to race his Evo 9 with us in ST2 because it will be really cool to see another Evo out there. Other than us 2 Evo 9s, there was Scott Howard with his white Rx7, Ryan Cashin with his white Vette, and a guy named John Gordon in his blue 996 Porsche. The Mazda GT guys skipped this event.
[See Ed’s eyes in this picture? Dude is intense. What is going on up there? I have been trying to figure it out by having him ride with me and riding with him in my car because when he gets this look on his face, he is about to destroy the earth in his EVO. Super intense focus!!]
We were part of race group B, which consisted of SU, ST, ASC, GTS, AIX, AI, CMC, and FFR racecars. Most of the classes didn’t have enough cars, so our rolling start was combined including SU, ST, ASC, AIX, and AI. And they set our grid according to the overall lap times with respect to each rolling start, not lap times within each class. So despite qualifying in P2 for my class, I was in P10 for our rolling start. That meant we had out of class cars in between us which made things a bit difficult. For whatever reason, there is always one or more out of class drivers that end up racing other drivers. They hold you up by drag racing you down the straights. There were plenty of those guys at this event.
Some guys botched the start so a bunch of cars passed me through T1 and T2. After watching my in-car, 8 cars passed me, 3 of which were my competitors (Vette, Rx7, Evo9), and 5 out of class cars (2 AI cars, 2 AIX cars, and 1 ASC car). I was held up quite a bit and had to overtake several of those cars. But my biggest challenge occurred early in the race on lap 3. On the first lap someone knocked the cone that’s in between T10-11 into the middle of the infield straight. In lap 3 I was nose to tail with Scott exiting that chicane. I stepped out to pass him and that cone ended up eating my lip, my entire undertray, and some of my IC. I didn’t know any of that until the race was done. After hitting the cone I could hear something dragging around my RF, and I thought it was part of that cone. After the race I found out it was my undertray. The entire undertray was hanging by (1) zip-tie the whole time! I somehow finished the race in 3rd place. A pretty good result considering my struggles in that race. Unfortunately, my camera shut off about 8min into the race. Therefore, you won’t be able to see the out of class cars that were drag racing me the whole time, who btw had none of their competitors around them. Don’t worry, you’ll see plenty of that from my Sundays in-car race footage.
As for the cone that ate my lip, undertray, and some of my IC, my friend Mark was able to help out. Mark drives an Evo 9, so he loaned me his lip and undertray. Thanks a bunch Mark! On Sunday morning Mike brought me an extra undertray, lip, and a whole bunch of plastic clips. Mike helped me finish up the rest with some zip-ties. Thanks Mike!
Mike and my friend, Scott Pennock, helped out by checking my tire temps and pressures. The undertray and lip felt fine so I pushed it more and more, and it felt like things were progressing. Unfortunately, I found out afterwards that I forgot to mount my transponder so the officials had to somehow time me manually. I didn’t get a good qualifying time because of that.
[I am secretly scared to run on this track as a n00b. I know Ed has the skills but ACS is FAST! Look at Ed Go! Blurry fast is faster than just background blur!!]
For some strange reason, this event had a whole bunch of drivers who were flat out horrible. Drivers drag racing out of class cars, incorrect/late grid formation, start jumping, and who knows what else. It has never been this bad, so I’m a little confused as to what happened. One in particular was an Orange AIX Mustang. We were all over him in the braking zones, and the corners, but within a few seconds he would become a dot down every straight. Then we’re all over him again in the next corner. Not sure why he wouldn’t just let us by. There was only 1 other AIX Mustang in that race and that driver was days behind the Orange one. He was all by himself, and wouldn’t let us by.
As for the completely unexpected result, I won on Sunday. That race on Sunday is by far my biggest come from behind win, while trying to get around more out of class cars that were drag racing me when they didn’t have any of their competitors around them. As if that wasn’t challenging enough, the car that took 2nd place, Blue 996 Porsche, hit me on the last lap. Fortunately, I was able to save a potential spin/off and maintained the lead for a completely unexpected win. The Porsche was on my tail at the finish line trailing me by .152 seconds. Meanwhile, the Orange AIX Mustang almost ruined my lead again.
I don’t know how I caught the Porsche in the first place. I felt like I was so far behind that catching the leader never even crossed my mind, let alone having a chance at winning. You have to watch the entire race to understand why. As for getting hit by him, it happened at the apex of T4. He went in too hot into T3 and nearly drove off track. I passed him on the inside of T3 and was in front of him shortly. I was then already turned in and committed to T4 and he came crashing into my right-rear. Sounds like he went for a last minute out of control pass because you can hear his car slide into mine as his tires lock up. I’m not sure what actually happened to him, but my best guess is that he went in too hot into T3 and lost control. And then maybe he was a bit over-zealous and thought he could save it while nearly off-track, and also regain the lead with a last minute pass.
[look at this pic. Getting on this track IS NOT intimidating to you? Are your scared? You will be!]
Saturday Qualifying times:
1. 1:48.848 – John Gordon #30 Porsche 996
2. 1:50.331 – Ed Nazarian #415 Mitsubishi Evo 9
3. 1:51.720 – Team Cashin In #32 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
4. 1:52.079 – Team Howard Racing #70 Mazda Rx7
5. 1:52.567 – John Hsu #2 Mitsubishi Evo 9
Saturday Race results:
1. 1:49.222 (in lap 3) – John Gordon #30 Porsche 996
2. 1:49.358 (in lap 8 ) – Team Cashin In #32 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
3. 1:50.144 (in lap 10) – Ed Nazarian #415 Mitsubishi Evo 9
4. 1:50.794 (in lap 6) – Team Howard Racing #70 Mazda Rx7
5. 1:55.052 (in lap 3) – John Hsu #2 Mitsubishi Evo 9
Sunday Qualifying times:
1. 1:50.799 – John Gordon #30 Porsche 996
2. 1:51.688 – Team Howard Racing #70 Mazda Rx7
3. 1:52.618 – John Hsu #2 Mitsubishi Evo 9
4. 1:53.986 – Ed Nazarian #415 Mitsubishi Evo 9
Sunday Race results:
1. 1:49.913 (in lap 11) – Ed Nazarian #415 Mitsubishi Evo 9
2. 1:50.558 (in lap 4) – John Gordon #30 Porsche 996
3. 1:52.660 (in lap 3) – John Hsu #2 Mitsubishi Evo 9
4. 1:50.652 (in lap 3) – Team Howard Racing #70 Mazda Rx7
5. 1:50.192 (in lap 3) – Team Cashin In #32 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Watch out for Ed at the track. If you are a n00b like me, you can learn a lot from a guy liek Ed. If you are a sponsor, well, what are you waiting for? Shout outs to John Gordon and Team Howard. These guys also rule. I have shared garages and parking spots with them and they are all really good at being supportive to me even when I went off and got a tidal wave of dirt in my car on my first weekend
By Ed Nazarian
Socal NASA’s 2010 season opener was this past weekend, February 6-7, at Big Willow. The last time I raced at Big Willow was May of 2009, so it’s been a little over 8 months. I have been dying to get back out to Big Willow. And the last time I drove my racecar on track was at NASA’s National Championship in September of 2009 at Miller Motorsports Park. So it has been a good 5 months since I have driven it. Main reason why I haven’t driven my racecar since then is because I was hit during the National Championship race. Details are here:
Beyond that I had some setbacks that delayed the prep work we needed to fix the damage. But with a few really late nights during the week leading up to the races and we were able to get the car ready for the season opener. It wasn’t fun, but we got it done.
Before I proceed I want to thank RRE and Robert Fuller from Robispec for their respective work. I’m not going to bother with the details of all the work RRE and Robi did. Simply put, if it wasn’t for their support and hard work none of this would have been possible. The guys at RRE put in a lot of their personal time to patch up the car. My friend Sean Bradley came over for a day and also helped out, thanks Sean! Quite a few parts needed to be replaced and RRE as usual pulled their strings and hooked things up. Robi then did his work accordingly. He also applied the necessary alignment/setting adjustments at the track both days. More than anything because it rained on Saturday, and ended up clearing on Sunday. Furthermore, I want to thank Mike, Honda Robert, and Robi for being there both days (Sat/Sun), to provide me the support I needed. It is such a major relief to have them there with me in the trenches.
Before I proceed with the weekend, one thing I’d like to mention is my turbo. In a few recent threads I had noted that before leaving to race at the National Championship, RRE set me up with their GT3076 turbo kit to test out. Upon returning I decided to go back to my OEM Evo 9 turbo. Given my setup I am looking to make around 340whp. That power range coupled with my OEM engine cripples the 3076. It’s really unfortunate that I can’t further test it in race conditions because despite my limited experience, it appears to be a solid turbo kit.
As for the results, last place both days! I am not sure why, but I say that with pride. On a serious note, the season opener was a shakedown weekend for me. Considering everything that has led up to this point, coupled with the weather conditions, it was a successful weekend. I got out there, did what I wanted to do, and brought the racecar back unscathed.
Regarding the weather, the forecast was indicating rain on Friday and Saturday, with the potential of rain on Sunday. Given the weather forecast it was a low attendance weekend. It ended up raining pretty hard on Friday, and continued to rain on Saturday. I don’t really have any experience in wet conditions, let alone any experience racing in the rain. It was strange driving on track with my wipers on. It was a good experience.
As for lap times, that data is pretty much useless to me at this juncture. Either way, here are the results. But before I proceed with that, I am really excited to note that the Mazda GT racecars have stepped things up big time. Only 2 of the Mazda GTs were racing, but they ran some really solid ST2 times on Sunday. If the season progresses like this, there is going to be some serious ST2 competition this year in Socal.
Saturday Super Touring 2 Qualifying times:
1. 1:42.664 – 98 – James Wagaman – Mazda GT
2. 1:49.545 – 00 – Jon VanCaneghem – Mazda GT
3. 1:51.774 – 415 – Ed Nazarian – Evo 9
Saturday Super Touring 2 Race results:
1. 1:34.390 – 00 – Jon VanCaneghem – Mazda GT
2. 1:35.393 – 32 – Team Cashin In – Vette
3. 1:35.412 – 98 – James Wagaman – Mazda GT
4. 1:44.513 – 415 – Ed Nazarian – Evo 9
Sunday Super Touring 2 Qualifying times:
1. 1:27.118 – 00 – Jon VanCaneghem – Mazda GT
2. 1:28.049 – 98 – James Wagaman – Mazda GT
3. 1:33.551 – 415 – Ed Nazarian – Evo 9
Sunday Super Touring 2 Race results:
1. 1:28.319 – 00 – Jon VanCaneghem – Mazda GT
2. 1:28.591 – 98 – James Wagaman – Mazda GT
3. 1:31.512 – 32 – Team Cashin In – Vette
4. 1:33.099 – 415 – Ed Nazarian – Evo 9
Thanks again to my sponsors for their continued support:
– South Coast Mitsubishi
– I’d also like to thank Honda Robert, Mike Welch, Robi, Sean Bradley, and Mark Homer for their help on Sat/Sun.
Nine Lives – 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
Not all Lancer Evolution VIIIs made it into public driveways. Some were destined for other fates, the most common of which being something we journalists know intimately as “press car” status. In most cases, press cars are destined to be crushed after their short test phase, because they are released before seeing approval from the Department of Transportation and the EPA. It sounds like a sad story, but really you’d be hard pressed to find a rental car as abused as most press cars are.
Think about it. These things are driven by hundreds of different people for one week at a time, with no concern whatsoever for break-in miles, warm-up time or anything else of the kind. If you think the Evo on these pages has ever slowed for a speed bump or been rubbed with a diaper, you are sorely mistaken. Press cars age in dog years. A press car with 20,000 miles on it is already gone. That’s not to mention that this particular press car started life in rainy mainland Malaysia and went on to a career in racing before evolving into the wide-body race car you see before you.
So you’re looking at an anomaly-the press car that just won’t die. Not because it hasn’t wanted to a few times in its life, but because it’s had too many Dr. Frankenstein owners force it back to life when all it wanted to do was call its long career in. In the hands if its current owners, Road Race Engineering (RRE) in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., it won’t be facing its demise in the jaws of a metal junkyard monster any time soon. According to RRE’s Mike Welch, “We don’t get rid of cars, we race them until they reach the end of their life cycle, then we own them some more.”
This Evo VIII started life at RRE as a race car back in 2003. This isn’t your typical story of a car that started small and moved on to the big modifications. The car had barely been in the RRE garage for a week before stock parts were torn off. The stock turbo was ditched in favor of a GReddy turbo kit and front-mount intercooler, while the factory suspension was tossed and replaced by a system from JIC. A four-wheel big brake kit from Stoptech with four pistons on each caliper and 355mm rotors all around got the party started right. Finally, a custom sheetmetal intake manifold from Magnus helped to increase airflow into the engine.
But as the American Evo aftermarket developed, Road Race Engineering was afforded a larger list of specialized components from which to choose. In addition, RRE developed many custom parts itself, like a cast turbo manifold-less prone to breakage than a tubular unit. The GReddy wastegate was exchanged in favor of an external unit from TiAL, while the GReddy Type-S blow-off valve was left to vent into the atmosphere. Intercooler piping leading to the GReddy core was replaced with a custom set from RRE. While Road Race was fabricating, it belted out a custom downpipe to guide hot air out of the turbocharger and into a Magnaflow exhaust. Being as inventive as the guys at RRE are, a Subaru up-pipe was used on the other side of the turbocharger and a custom intake was quickly fabbed up.
The turbocharger would be blowing boost into a 2.4-liter engine, machined out by Millenium Motorsports in Temecula, Calif. Before the new block was bolted to a Cosworth head, forged Wiseco 9:1 pistons were installed on top of forged Eagle H-Beam rods to keep the bottom end from turning into a boiler room for hot metal projectiles. The rods were then fastened around a balanced and counter-weighted crankshaft using ARP rod bolts.
The aforementioned Cosworth head seems to be the hands-down choice for all who race Evos. Maybe that’s because the only work teams have to do is unwrap the cellophane, bolt it on and race. It comes with a 272-degree camshaft for both the intake and exhaust sides of the valvetrain, stainless steel polished and oversized valves and polished combustion chambers. The valves stay seated with proprietary valve springs and retainers. Finally, a pair of cam gears from AEM was added to regulate valve timing events. Cosworth also clearanced the stock oil pan and a Setrab oil cooler was installed to keep temperature down during long race days in the California desert.
To keep the race car reliably fueled, RRE turned not to the aftermarket but to a car that has been on race tracks since the ’60s in some form or another, the Porsche 911. In this case, the Evo employs a Bosch external pump from the vaunted 930 Turbo in conjunction with a Denso internal pump, which in tandem provide fuel to a set of RC Engineering 1000cc/min injectors.
Since this Evo was built before the days of the American Evo RS, it was absent a limited-slip differential up front. RRE remedied the loss by installing a locking LSD from Quaife. To ensure all the power made it to all three differentials, a clutch and lightweight flywheel from Quartermaster were used.
Peak Performance of Lake Forest, Calif., teamed with Advanced Suspension Technology (AST) to provide a set of competition coilovers, while RRE teamed up with Progress Suspension to create the kind of anti-roll bars an all-wheel drive car equipped with copious amounts of rubber would need to rotate on the track. The rear bar measures 27mm in diameter.
The massive rubber comes in the form of 335/30/18 Toyo Proxes, wrapped around gargantuan 18×10.5 Enkei NT03+M wheels. Because of the APR wide-body kit, the wheels have a 25mm offset, something otherwise uncharacteristic of cars coming from the island of Japan.
Inside, Racetech carbon-kevlar seats occupy an otherwise lonely cockpit-stripped and roll cage equipped in-house by RRE. Carbontrix stepped in to add firewall and floor panels, but only because they serve a purpose on the racetrack. You might care about a good audio system, but the guys at Road Race couldn’t care less. To our “sound system components” question, they simply responded, “Magnaflow 3-inch exhaust, no interior.”
This thing was built to go fast, not impress the girl on roller skates at your local Sonic. And go fast it does-driver Robert Tallini has already taken home the gold at the ’04 FIA Mexican Championship (Open Class) as well as the Redline Time Attack in Fontana, Calif., (Overall Winner). If there’s such a thing as a car having nine lives, this one wrote the book. It’s been rebuilt more times than we can count and it’s attended SEMA as many years as the Evo has been alive in the states. Thanks to Road Race, it doesn’t look like it will be disappearing off the scene any time soon, either.
Street Racer magazine sent Jay Canter to the shop a couple months ago to get some pics of our shop EVO 8 race car. It just came out in their August issue! We went to the closed refinery down the street and took some beauty shots and also ran the car through Turnbull Canyon for some driving shots. Here is how it turned out. What’s it say about the car? Who knows. It is Greek to me :-P. -Mike W.
If any Greek readers out there can translate this for us, a prize will be awarded. Meanwhile, I have done my best to translate through using my otherwise useless Philosophy degree. -James Singer
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