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Volkswagen GTI 337 - GP Eurotuner

Dec 1, 2005
Eurp_0512_01_z+volkswagen_r32_337+side_view Photo 1/1   |   Volkswagen GTI 337 - GP Eurotuner

ABD Racing
This year the ABD team mixed things up by bringing its turbocharged GTI 337. If you recall last year, they were the only team with an R32, and it was supercharged to boot. But with several R32s in the event, the GTI was a welcome change. Disguised as an R32, the GTI not only kept up with the big boys, it beat some of them. This is possible with the ABD turbo kit, which includes a GT30 ball-bearing turbo, intercooler and GIAC program. The car also sports a rollcage along with moderate suspension and brake upgrades.

Dyno: When the GTI rolled onto the dyno, it was already high noon. The ambient temperatures around 100 didn't seem to worry the Dave Anderson and his team. But a quick glance at his engine setup and we knew why. Mounted on the intercooler was a NX Ntercooler system. And to prove it really works, after a few sprays the temperature dropped to 96. He sprayed so much nitrous, frost started to form on the rad.

The car ran twice on the dyno, yielding 319hp both times and negating the need for a third run. "It's much lower than I expected," Dave noted.

Track: At the track, James Hickerson from Eibach Springs drove the car. And like Paul Lambert, he had multiple duties, piloting the HPA R32 as well. The ABD GTI drove exceptionally well during the morning laps. However, after running only four laps, smoke billowed from under the hood. The team discovered one of the coil packs was on fire and the car was decommissioned.

Fortunately, ABD has good ties with local VW dealers and a new coil pack was soon on its way. "The coil packs are a known problem on these cars. It's just unfortunate it had to happen now," Dave noted. "It may also explain why the car didn't perform as well as we expected on the dyno."

By the time the car was running again the temps were higher and the car couldn't improve on its morning times. However, the team was content with sixth place overall.

Avalon Motorsports
Among the 12 participants, Zev Barnett from Avalon had to be the most confident guy there. Why? Because he won the event last year and had driven the car all the way from Colorado the night before the dyno test. Even with a failing second gear synchro he wasn't deterred.

This '02 S4 is one of three cars tuned by Jeff Moss at Torque Factory. Working in conjunction with AWE and GIAC, Jeff has managed to squeeze out an additional 29hp and 52 lb/ft of torque with the AWE fuel kit and exhaust since last year.

Dyno: The S4 car made its way onto the four-wheel dyno but in the middle of its first run, the rpm signal was lost and the procedure aborted. While the car was cooling down, the technicians discovered the sensor was receiving a bad signal. They found an alternative source and tried again.

Slowly shifting through the gears, the wheels began to roll. Once in fourth gear, the gas pedal was pegged to the floor and car screamed. After what seemed like an eternity, the redline was found and the technician backed off the pedal. Once the car settled, people scrambled to the computer to check the numbers.

For a short second, it lost the rpm signal again. Fortunately there was enough data to get an accurate reading but not before a spike in the torque numbers. The torque amounted to 466.28 lb/ft at 5300rpm because of the spike, but the official reading is 454.00 lb/ft at 3200rpm. Satisfied with the numbers, Zev decided to end it at two runs. With an ambient temperature of 100, that's a very impressive figure with 22psi of boost on 100-octane fuel.

Track: Similar to last year, Zev handed the car over to professional driver Paul Lambert from Stasis. With the morning test and tune session, Paul aggressively took every hairpin and corner with precision, following the same line every time. The car ran consistently all day, with its best time in the afternoon at 1:29.024sec. That's 0.063 faster than the best morning time.

"Jeff did a great job tuning the engine so that I could concentrate on chassis tuning for the track," Zev explained. And it seemed to have paid off because the Avalon car placed second at Streets of Willow, even with a defective second gear. Zev also noted he planned to install a LSD but ran out of time. It may not have made enough difference, considering the fastest lap time was an amazing 2.413sec faster.

AWE Tuning
This was the first outing for AWE in the etGP. With partners at Torque Factory and Evolution Racewerk they decided to bring a B6 Audi A4 equipped with its latest GT28RS turbo kit. Owner Jeff Lee was one of the first to install this kit and with help from Jeff Moss from Torque Factory, it did well in the event.

Dyno: When the AWE A4 rolled onto the four-wheel dyno the ambient temperature was 100. The exhaust note of this A4 was noticeably tamer than most others, but we were pleasantly surprised when it peaked at 319.58hp.

Once the technician backed off the gas and applied the dyno brakes, the car reacted and started to rev uncontrollably. With quick thinking from the K&N staff, they shut the car off before damage could be done. It was apparently caused by the car's traction control system reacting to different front and rear wheel rotations. So on the second run they turned the system off for a peak power of 321.13hp and 327.91 lb/ft but not before losing the signal at 6200rpm. At this point the runs were consistent and Jeff didn't see the need for a third run. But the numbers are impressive considering the car retains its stock turbo manifold.

Track: On the track, Paul Lambert drove and abused it in every way imaginable. It was amazing to see how hard he pushed the car into the corners, sending gravel into the air. Its best lap was 1:32.344sec, placing it ninth. The time was set in the cooler morning temperatures. "We pushed the car all day but when it came down to it, it wasn't the motor that was giving in. It was the brakes," Jeff said. With only upgraded pads, it was only a matter of time before they overheated. Jeff plans a big brake kit for next year.

Bahn Brenner Motorsport
By now you should know this car after seeing it numerous times in the magazine. And owner John Betz has been bringing this bad boy out to play since the first etGP. The Bahn Brenner Corrado has come a long way since then, and after last year's transmission failure, they were determined to finish on top.

The BBM Corrado houses a Euro-spec 1.8 liter engine with a monster supercharger bolted to the side. To endure this unholy mating, the engine is reinforced with forged pistons and rods, an APR-built head and an O-ringed block to withstand the boost. The air-to-water chargecooler is filled with ice to help keep it nice and cool on the dyno.

Dyno: This year John decided he wanted to lay the smack down with a 450hp pull from his Corrado. He planned to run only once on the dyno with 30psi, which spins the supercharger at a mind-blowing 18,000rpm. This is possible by swapping out the pulley for a smaller 20mm one. "We're only running once because any more and we'll probably blow the motor, and we'd really like to finish the event for once," John explained.

On the dyno they added as much weight to the front of the car as possible to help the tires grip the roller. In addition to the driver, there was a passenger and two five-gallon bottles of water. Dubbed the loudest car in the competition, it created a deafening roar and took some finesse to get the car into fourth gear because the supercharger spooled very fast. Once it was ready to go, it was over just like that. The run had to be aborted because the wheels slipped too much. Going against his plans John decided to try again, but with the same result. And with that the Corrado was finished. The power curve looked like it a rollercoaster ride at Six Flags and it had missed the target but it was in one piece.

Track: The car was detuned for obvious reasons - this isn't GT4, where engines don't blow up. Once that happens, it's game over. But the BBM team was plagued with bad luck and after only three laps they were out of commission. Dj vu! It was the map sensor that wouldn't cooperate under boost. As a result the team finished last with a time of 1:36.355sec. Maybe fourth time's the charm?

Dynamic Racing Solutions
Representing Dynamic Racing Solutions is Jarod Legsdin and his pet Rabbit named "L'il Bunny Foo Foo." As this year's underdog, it was a favorite among staff and competitors. The company specialize in Volkswagen/Audi tuning and the Rabbit is equipped with its ported and polished head. Rebuilt from the bottom up, the engine sports forged pistons, cams and most notably the Badger 5 individual throttle bodies. Built within SCCA rules, the interior has been gutted and a rollcage fitted, while the exterior is outfitted with a Kamei widebody and 9" wheels.

Dyno: Jarod was the first to arrive for the dyno test, and the cool morning temperatures were in his favor. The Rabbit needed every advantage it could get because if the roster was any indication of what to expect, his Mk1 was literally a rabbit among a pack of wolves.

The Rabbit fired up and we were taken back by the loud, deep exhaust. Churning through the gears, the car shook and vibrated but once it hit fourth gear it was off to the moon. The distinct sound of the engine and ITB was that of a howling beast. The car redlined at 8200rpm and managed 178.72hp. And even though this was the only car with less than 300hp, it was the most consistent on the rollers with only 1hp difference between all three runs.

Track: With less than 200hp, Jarod's Rabbit was at a serious disadvantage. But there was hope. The track is intended to level the playing field and for most of the morning Jarod lapped as he familiarized himself with the course. With every aggressive turn he made, the front air dam would scrape the track but during the second lap the car spun out. In fact, it spun out at least four times that day. With its wild handling, the DRS Rabbit still managed to place eighth in the competition, beating four cars with at least 50% more power.

Eurocode Tuning
If we were awarding a trophy for the loudest car, Eurocode would've taken second place. It appeared to have no exhaust system and everybody knew it. On the outside, everything looked normal except for the large decals, but under the hood it was far from ordinary. Inside lies an upgraded GT28RS turbo kit.

Dyno: Before the first run, owner David Sarabi disconnected the air duct routed to the turbo. It ran without an air filter, MAF and, most notably, an exhaust. In between each run, David would spray the intercooler with nitrous straight from the bottle, to cool the charged air. Dialed to run nearly 22psi on 116-octane gas, the car ran inconsistently with power fluctuations of up to 10hp. The largest power loss was during the last run when the ambient temperature reached 103.5, and inadequate cooling intervals may have lead to the power loss. However, David was pleasantly surprised with the team's 320.40hp results after having stated, "I think it'll make around 250-270hp. No, wait, let's make that 300hp."

Track: With respectable dyno numbers, it was time to see how the car coped with the track. Switching over to Kumho Victoracer V700 tires, David wasn't playing around. With his game-face on he relied on the driving skills of Ivo Mitcov to pull Eurocode to the top. The morning laps yielded the team 1:33.485sec, placing them eighth. But Ivo picked up a rhythm and became more aggressive every lap. The team also changed the suspension settings, which rewarded them with a 2sec gain in the afternoon.

Euro Sport Accessories
If you're a loyal follower of our magazine, you'll know Euro Sport Accessories has attended all our GP events. And every year Raffi Kazanjian, owner of Euro Sport, brings an SCCA-spec Mk1 or Mk2 race car. But this year they brought a turbocharged Mk3 GTI VR6, belonging to his brother Vik. There was nothing fancy about the exterior and it even had a full interior, but under the hood was a different story. The engine packs a Kinetic turbo kit, which uses a hybrid T3/T4 turbo. It also comes with an air-to-water chargecooler and a pair of Kent 264 cams.

Dyno: The Euro Sport GTI had flawless dyno runs. The car rolled onto the dyno, was strapped down, and then pumped out three runs in matter of minutes. Each pull was consistent, with a linear power band. Interestingly, if you add the peak horsepower of the two cars Euro Sport previously entered, the total wouldn't add up to the power produced by this VR6 turbo!

Track: Raffi is a very capable driver. In the last two GP he managed to place fourth with seriously underpowered cars. So this year we didn't know what to expect. On one hand it had respectable power but it wasn't built for track racing like his other cars.

After several laps, Raffi had trouble making the car cooperate. "It was hesitating every time I pushed it," he noted. "It may have been running too rich, or it was skipping a spark somewhere." The Euro Sport team tried to remedy the problem, pouring ice into the chargecooler and even changing the chip. But it didn't help. In the end it placed tenth and lurched across the line on its hot laps. If there's one thing we know about Raffi, he's not going to give up and will return next year.

HPA Motorsports
To be honest, we hoped HPA would bring its 600hp Audi TT out to play, but it had to be somewhere else so we got a single-turbo R32 instead.

The car was equipped with an FT-series turbo kit with a GT30R turbo, exhaust and intake manifolds. While this setup is essentially an FT400 kit, what makes it unique is the dual side-mount intercooler setup. Hence it's a FT400+ kit, which is not yet available.

Dyno: There was no doubt the HPA R32 would impress. And like the other R32s, the car disengaged its all-wheel drive. Even though the car has two racing cats and a downpipe, it retains the stock exhaust so it was relatively quiet.

The car went through all three pulls in under ten minutes, with the last run gaining 13hp over the first. What was impressive was the power peaked at redline, allowing it to pull right through the revs.

Track: While Marc Boudant (owner of the R32) is an accomplished driver, he handed the duties over to James Hickerson from Eibach, and it seemed to pay off. He pushed the car as fast as it could go and hugged the corners to the very edge of the track, as was evident from the plumes of dust it created. The car sports a stock transmission with lengthened gears that may have improved its times.

The morning laps placed the car fourth but as the day continued James noted the brake pads were fading more readily and this may have contributed to Streetwerke bumping HPA down the list by less than 0.2sec. Even so, fifth place is very respectable.

034 Motorsport
Javad Shadzi and his 034 team specialize in the forgotten Audi five cylinder engines. And since the company's inception in '98 it's also started developing engine management for the VW/Audi market.

For this event, Javad brought the company's '91 Coupe quattro which, with the 20v engine, takes it to European S2 spec. The stock white pearl paint is so vibrant you wouldn't believe it's a 14 year-old car. Especially since under the hood lies a built 2.3 liter engine bored and stroked to 2.5. Attached to the head is a GT30R turbo on a tubular manifold that got so hot on the dyno that it glowed bright red.

Dyno: When the car fired up, nobody knew what to expect. A modified Coupe is a rare sight and for many this was their first encounter. The 3" exhaust was on the loud side and it got progressively noisier once the wheels were rolling. After the first run, Javad pointed out the turbo manifold was glowing. You could literally light a cigarette on it. So the K&N guys turned off the lights during the second run so we could see the magic.

Between the first and second runs, the Coupe gained 18hp and on the third another 2hp, reaching 388hp. Not happy with the results, Javad headed to the local auto store. Later in the day he arrived with a bleed valve and split the hose routed to the wastegate. "The night before our electronic boost controller malfunctioned and wouldn't work again. Until now we've been relying on the spring pressure in the wastegate to regulate our boost," Javad explained. By opening the bleed valve, the wastegate could close for a longer time, giving more boost. With this fix installed we allowed them another unofficial run and it produced 430.08hp and 381.44 lb/ft of torque.

Track: Christian Miller is 034's test driver and no stranger to either track racing or autocrossing. He's also familiar with every inch of the Coupe, as was evident on the track. With every passing lap he got faster and more aggressive. At one point the Coupe spun out as it was entering the banked curve, sending it into the gravel. Despite this, it ran consistently all day and the Hoosier tires helped it to third place thanks to a best time set in the morning

Stasis Engineering If you recall last year, Stasis brought its SCCA World Challenge car with its race-prepped V6 engine and took the win in the track event. This year they brought a less intimidating Audi S4, but looks can be deceiving. Hidden under the hood is a pair of RS6 turbos and dual side-mount intercoolers. To the unsuspecting, this was a true nightmare. And its no surprise to learn it was tuned by Jeff Moss at Torque Factory, as his signature skull and cross wrenches was on the car.

Aside from the engine setup, the S4 has a serious suspension, equipped with Stasis/Ohlins dampers with external reservoirs, a brake system that would make you weak in the knees and Hoosier tires for increased grip. But its biggest advantage was the center and rear diffs that allowed it to place its power exactly where it was needed.

Dyno: During its session the team encountered a problem after its first run. The car had mysteriously died at idle. The team went to work to find a solution, checking fault codes in the ECU and the circuit board for burnt spots. With nothing found the car suddenly restarted and was on to the second pull. It yielded the same power with a 1hp difference, so the team decided to abort the third run. They didn't want to risk blowing the motor after the mysterious illness.

Track: There's no doubt Paul Lambert's a skilled driver. He drove three cars that day but his Stasis car came out on top. In fact, it was the fastest in the whole competition, beating the Avalon S4 by more than 2sec.

Standing in the middle of the course, we could clearly see how hard the Stasis S4 was being pushed. He followed every line dutifully but without the slightest hint of tire squeal. Of course, the Hoosier rubber helped but the diffs were playing their part as well. Like last year, Stasis took home the award for the fastest track car.

Streetwerke
By the time you read this, the Streetwerke Stage 1 turbo kit for the R32 should be available. But we thought it would be exciting to see how it fares in our GP ahead of time. And what better way than to have it compete against the VF supercharged R32 and HPA turbo? The Streetwerke car is still in its development stage and Jason Leone claims, "we've learned a lot from this event and all of the problems that surfaced have been addressed." The company claimed the car produced over 500hp with the kit alone, so we put it to the test.

Dyno: This was the second car and first R32 we tested that day. From past experience, Jason insisted it be dynoed in 2wd form because it's been known for non-synchronized dynos to interfere with the traction control system on the R32 and the TT.

With so much power, the tires started to slip on the rollers and the car shifted. The run was aborted but not before rattling the nerves of everybody around. Once the car was secured, Jason decided it was best to start off at lower boost and increase progressively. This resulted in every run giving higher output from 385hp to 457hp and finally its peak of 555.67hp. Even more impressive is the 633.91 lb/ft and the run turned out to be the best of the day from all the competitors. The car was running 100-octane fuel but with this much power from the Stage 1 kit, we're reluctant to ask how much power Stage 2 will make!

Track: For the better part of the morning, Streetwerke tried to discover why the car was sluggish. Driver Tony Colicchio thought it hesitated when it hit boost. Apparently, there were two vacuum leaks - one on the boost gauge hose and the other on the fuel pressure regulator where it had blown off. The team solved the problem but by this time it was the afternoon and hot. But with Tony's driving and the car running well, he shaved 0.8sec to take fourth. If they'd solved the problem earlier, they may have placed higher.

VF Engineering
Like King Midas turning everything to gold, VF's goal is to supercharge every Euro in sight. And what better way to balance the event by bringing out its supercharged R32 to counter the turbo cars?

The VF R32 is equipped with a Stage 4 supercharger system along with a chargecooler. Together with the Haldex Performance Part and suspension setup, the car was definitely one to be feared. The Haldex unit gives the car an added advantage at the track by transferring more power to the rear wheels, which is useful on the road course.

Dyno: As the last car to be strapped down, the R32 had to deal with the high afternoon temps. And like the other R32s, the all-wheel drive system was disengaged. As the engine started, everybody gathered in anticipation. We all knew this one was going to put out a lot of power.

Running at 18psi, the first run yielded an impressive 471.28hp and 353.60 lb/ft. However, the team was determined to break 500hp. After fiddling around with the engine and a ten minute cool down, it was on to run number two. This time it gained 23hp leaving, it at 494.37hp. For the third run the engine got progressively louder, but in the end it fell short of the mark at 498.46hp. "On our dyno it already produced 512hp and we don't want to risk blowing the car before the track day," VF's Nik Saran explained.

Track: During the morning, we noticed the VF team frequently pulling into the pits. The car started its lap like a bat out of hell but would slow by mid-lap and struggle the rest of the way. This got progressively worse as temperatures climbed.

The VF team pinpointed the problem but couldn't fix it on site. What happened was at high boost the primary pump would suck the secondary pump dry and cause the engine to sputter," Nick explained. That would explain why the exhaust sounded like a chain gun being fired. Because of the problem, the VF R32 placed second to last.

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