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Sixth Annual Modified Tuner Shootout

We flipped the script on our annual tuner shootout by transforming it into a battle of the street cars!

Modified Staff
Aug 15, 2012
Photographer: Kyle Pope
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Our Tuner Shootout now in its sixth year, we felt it was time to give it a bit of a face-lift. We have an amazing partnership with title sponsor Continental Tire and hosts NASA AZ and UMS Tuning, so we certainly had no desire to run the event anywhere else. But given the current economic climate and the fact that the pool of no-holds-barred race car builds hasn’t grown much lately, we thought it was time to flip the script in favor of a street car format.

Before you assume we’ve gone soft, the core of the Shootout is still very much intact. We still ran all the teams through a power test on the UMS Tuning dyno and challenged them to survive a one-day NASA AZ motorsports orgy at Firebird Raceway that included a fast and flowing autocross course setup on the back section of the Main Circuit, a Time Attack on the tight and technical West Circuit, and drag racing down the quarter-mile strip. But instead of running Continental’s racing slicks, as the teams did last year, every car was equipped with ExtremeContact DW ultra-high-performance street tires.

Using street tires wasn’t our only requirement for entry, though. Every team also had to equip their car with a functional catalytic converter and a full exhaust system, the performance of which we tested via a tailpipe sniffer and a dB meter. We also required a full interior from the front seats forward, OEM glass and fuel tank, and a fully functional lighting system, as these requirements align well with current Time Attack Street Class rules and we consider them the bare minimum for a safe and livable street car.

Apparently we made the right move because the number of teams we had apply to enter this year’s Shootout was staggering. As a result, we had a truly fresh lineup of machines competing, including our first rotary-powered entry and our first female driver. We also had our first Supra, 370Z, and RHD JDM import competing, not to mention a few repeat customers with thoroughly revised and “streetified” machines.

Although we tweaked the format of the Shootout this year, the unpredictable nature of this event proved to be very much the same. We had the usual last-minute dropouts, mechanical failures and driver errors in the heat of battle, unexpected over- and under-achievers, and to cap it all off a tire-cording burnout during the drag event that may still be causing smog issues in the greater Phoenix area.

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Science of Speed

’92 Acura NSX
ScienceofSpeed is no stranger to the Modified Tuner Shootout. This Honda specialist shop, focusing primarily on the NSX and S2000, is based out of the Phoenix area, so some could say it has a bit of a home-court advantage. SoS has multiple RWD trophies to its name from previous Shootouts and always brings one of the cleanest-presented cars of the event, but the team has never quite been able to crack the Top 3 overall, let alone take a serious run at the big trophy. But with our switch to a street car theme for 2012, shop owner and resident hot shoe Chris Willson just so happened to have the perfect weapon at his disposal: this twin turbocharged ’92 NSX.

To fit the bill as a true street car, Chris brought out his Sebring Silver test mule, a car that spends most of its life testing parts for sale to customers. This car is a great example of how a knowledgeable shop can build a car in a relatively short time for a specific purpose. Chris tells us that when he received the invite for the ’12 Tuner Shootout, his ’92 was still in original street form with full interior, OEM shocks and springs, and even a SAT NAV system.

To prepare for the rigorous challenge of the Shootout, Chris and his guys went to work installing the SoS C30A Stage 1 forced-induction engine package and an array of supporting modifications.

To prepare for the rigorous challenge of the Shootout, Chris and his guys went to work installing the SoS C30A Stage 1 forced-induction engine package and an array of sup

Chris wanted to be sure to make enough power to hang with the usual AWD turbo cars, knowing that the dyno event often separates the contenders from the pretenders. JRZ suspension has also been fitted to the NSX to help improve the handling of the already well-balanced mid-engine sports car.

Chris hoped that by creating a true all-around street car he would bring home the gold for ScienceOfSpeed, and on paper, this classic sports car would certainly appear to have the right mix of power and handling to run with the big dogs this year.

Specs & Details
'92 Acura NSX
Engine Honda C30A DOHC VTEC V6
Engine Modifications ScienceofSpeed C30A Stage 1 forced-induction engine (twin turbocharged), forced-induction GT-spec exhaust system, fuel pump & accessory power distribution system
Engine Management ScienceofSpeed-modified AEM Series 2 EMS
Drivetrain ScienceofSpeed blueprinted 5-speed transmission (USDM-spec gears), 6-puck sport clutch & flywheel
Suspension JRZ RS suspension; ScienceofSpeed noncompliance toe links & beam bushings
Interior Recaro Pro Racer HANS seat; ScienceofSpeed sliding seat rails
Exterior Downforce ’02 DF-R rear valance, DF-R NSX-R rear spoiler, ducted side skirts; Shine Type-1 spoiler
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Enkei PF01 wheels 17x8.5 (f) 18x10.5 (r); Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; Carbotech XP8 brake pads; Downforce brake ducts

Ryan Novak

’05 Honda S2000
We couldn’t have a street car competition without at least one Honda S2000; it just wouldn’t be right. Because of the car’s popularity among normal folks and road racers alike, we knew it would be worthwhile finding a nice, clean example of an S2K that’s built to be a great track-day toy for a weekend warrior but still retains much of its original street car character.

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Ryan Novak is no stranger to Hondas, so it’s not surprising that his latest build is absolutely on point. The exterior package is clean yet has some functional aero improvements, and under the hood is one of the best-engineered forced-induction setups available, ScienceOfSpeed’s supercharger kit.

Ryan opted for the SoS kit because he says that it’s more reliable and street friendly than a heavy-duty turbo setup would be.

Ryan opted for the SoS kit because he says that it’s more reliable and street friendly than a heavy-duty turbo setup would be. Ryan also says that it’s damn quick, and we believe him. As one of the lighter and smaller cars in the competition, we have no doubt that it’ll turn some impressively quick lap times, especially with Momofoolio Racing hot shoe Alex Peng behind the wheel. Historically we’ve seen RWD cars really struggle during the drag event, so it’ll be especially interesting to see if Peng can launch this S2K off the line anywhere near as well as he could hustle it through the corners.

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Specs & Details '05 Honda Civic S2000
Engine Honda F22C DOHC inline-4
Engine Modifications ScienceofSpeed supercharger kit; J’s Racing 60RS after-cat exhaust; Berk Engineering test pipe
Engine Management AEM EMS V2
Drivetrain Stock
Suspension Koni Yellow shocks; Hyperco springs
Interior Buddy Club P1 bucket seats
Exterior ASM bumper, lip; VIS Carbon hardtop; Voltex Type 7 rear wing
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 17x9-inch WedsSport wheels; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires

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Bonanni Motorsports

’09 Nissan 370Z
Mike Bonanni is not the kind of guy to back down from a challenge. When he first got involved in racing about six years ago, he admits he knew barely anything about the mechanical side of motorsports, an admittedly major aspect of it. Even now, Mike says he is not crazy about wrenching, but that just makes his choice of the “fast out of the box” 370Z all the more logical. It doesn’t hurt that Mike’s developed an impressive driving résumé either, with numerous Time Attack class wins to his name.

In a perfect world Mike would have bolted a supercharger to his Z’s engine, but as a true privateer, that simply wasn’t in the cards.

And it’s not like Mike has left his Z bone stock by any stretch of the imagination, but his chances of winning would definitely hinge on reliability and a balanced overall package as opposed to brute force or extreme lightness. Mike’s choice of simple and effective modifications has allowed his Z to remain as true a street car as we had in this year’s event. He and his wife drove from their home in Vegas to the Shootout and literally gave it a quick wash and threw some pump gas in it before the Shootout began.

With Nissan’s superb Z chassis beneath him and a torquey V6 at his right foot’s disposal, this underdog privateer was well equipped to give his Shootout competitors a serious fight. There was little question Mike’s Z would be dead-nuts reliable, his N/A VQ37 posing little threat to the dyno or its clutch, but as the old racing adage goes, “To finish first, first you must finish.” In a perfect world Mike would have bolted a supercharger to his Z’s engine, but as a true privateer, that simply wasn’t in the cards. By choosing a solid performance platform right out of the box, Mike would have a fighting chance around the autocross and time attack courses and would certainly blow clean during the e-test. But will this lightly tuned Z fall too far behind on the dyno and down the dragstrip to stay in the running for the RWD and Overall trophies? Only one way to find out.

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Specs & Details
'09 Nissan 370Z
Engine Nissan VQ37VHR DOHC V6
Engine Modifications Fast Intentions headers, after-cat exhaust; AEM intakes, NonStopTuning pulleys
Engine Management OEM ECU with UpRev tune by Specialty Z
Drivetrain OS Giken L.S.D.
Suspension BC Racing ER Series coilovers; Whiteline sway bars; SPL Parts camber arms
Interior Stock
Exterior Custom front splitter; Seibon hood, side skirts; Evo-R rear spoiler
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Forgestar F14 Wheels 18x9.5-inch (f) 18x10-inch (r); Continental Extreme Contact DW Tires; Stock Brakes; Hawk Performance brake pads

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Delta Towing

’94 Toyota Supra
During the years we’ve been running the Tuner Shootout, we have all become close friends with the great group of guys who work at and hang out at UMS Tuning, the venue where the dyno competition is held. Although UMS owner Tony Szirka did not compete this year (his Unlimited class Evo being neither a street car nor in one piece this year), his buddy Dragan Rasuo came through with this seriously powerful Mk IV Supra to rep the UMS name. Tow truck drivers are usually big, burly, and angry, but Dragan is none of those things. His name might strike fear into the hearts of wizards and orcs, but Dragan is without a doubt one of the nicest guys we’ve ever met, so we were stoked to have him and his fire-breathing Supra join in our little motorsports extravaganza.

Clad in a Bomex body kit and original black paint, Dragan’s Supra has classic J-spec style without being too flashy, making it the perfect machine to blow the doors off of exotics and muscle cars on the streets of Phoenix. Pop the hood, though, and it’s show time; the massively powerful 2JZ having been thoroughly worked over by Dragan including lots of shiny charge pipes and fuel lines. Oh, and it’s also got a line-lock setup, a fact everyone at Firebird Raceway became aware of when it was time for Dragan to do a burnout before making his first pass down the dragstrip.

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Clad in a Bomex body kit and original black paint, Dragan’s Supra has classic J-spec style without being too flashy.

There was no question Dragan’s Supra could (and did) light up its rear tires for days and would post a big number on the dyno. But could he harness all this power and his fun-loving personality long enough to turn a seriously quick lap around our autocross course or around the West Circuit during the Time Attack?

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Specs & Details
'94 Toyota Supra
Engine Toyota 2JZ-GTE turbocharged inline-6
Engine Modifications 8.5-1 Wiseco pistons; Turbo Tuff connecting rods; HKS 264 cams, cam gears; Brian Crower springs & titanium retainers; Ferrea 1mm oversized valves; in-tank Bosh 040 fuel pump; injector dynamics 2,000cc injectors; custom fuel rail
Engine Management ProEFI 128 EMS
Drivetrain Carbonetics twin-disc clutch; Driveshaft Shop driveline
Suspension K-Sport coilovers
Interior TRD steering wheel, gauge cluster
Exterior Bomex body kit
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 18-inch Work VS XX wheels; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; K-Sport 14-inch 8-piston big brake kit, (f) 13-inch 4-piston big brake kit (r)

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MazdaManiac

’04 Mazda RX-8
We have seen a lot of interesting stuff over the last few years at the Modified Tuner Shootout, but interestingly enough, there has always been a strange void—a void that our readers have been very vocal about—and we are happy to say that this year we have filled that void. Jeff Abrams is our first ever rotary competitor, and we are happy to say that he has come through to represent the Renesis in a serious way.

Jeff Abrams is our first ever rotary competitor.

A former professional musician, Jeff is now known as the premiere Cobb AccessPort tuner for the RX-8 platform, with more than 1,000 cars under his belt. With that immense wealth of knowledge, Jeff’s RX-8 is certainly a well-sorted machine with a custom turbo setup that he’s been refining for quite a few years now. Plus it has Lambo doors, another first at the Shootout. He has owned this car since the very beginning and has never trailered it anywhere. It has all the creature comforts onboard, too, making Jeff’s RX-8 another very streetable entry.

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That said, Jeff mentioned that this is the seventh engine in the RX-8, so there is that. He also says the car has burned down on track once, and that’s not exactly a confidence-inspiring story. Jeff hopes his baby will hold together, and so do we. We want to see how this regularly thrashed and street-driven rotary-powered Mazda stands up against the piston crowd.

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Specs & Details
'04 Mazda RX-8
Engine Mazda 13B-MSP Renesis rotary
Engine Modifications KD-modified injectors (300cc/600cc/900cc); Sohn oil injection adapter; custom stainless tubular turbo manifold & downpipe; Garrett GT3582 turbo; TurboSource inconel turbine housing heat shield; HKS SSQ blow-off valve; TurboSmart Comp40 wastegate; custom intercooler; modified AEM intake; Griffin radiator; MazdaManiac ignition system, midpipe, exhaust, return-type fuel system; Vibrant Performance high-flow cat
Engine Management Cobb Tuning AccessPort
Drivetrain Spec Clutch 9-pound flywheel; GReddy E-01 boost controller
Suspension K-Sport KontrolPro coilovers; Whiteline sway bars (f/r); Energy Suspension bushings
Interior Full in-car PC-based entertainment system; Corbeau FX-PRO driver seat; custom aluminum mount
Exterior Mazdaspeed front bumper, side skirts; vertical door conversion
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Rays G-Games wheels 19x8.5 (f) 19x9.5 (r); Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; Hawk Blue brake pads

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Gates 311

’09 Mitsubishi Evo X 311RS
Chances are if you follow the world of Time Attack, you know the name Ryan Gates. He has made a name for himself and his recognizable Evo X over the past few years because of his uncanny driving abilities, good-natured personality, and cult following among Mitsubishi enthusiasts across the nation. Ryan has more up his sleeve than his highly modified Time Attack beast though—he has been working tirelessly for the past year or so to get the first iteration of his very own special-edition Evo X ready for the world to see. Meet the 311RS.

This car is Ryan’s idea of what a perfect Evo X should embody. It’s had a serious boost in power, thanks to a well-thought-out selection of AMS power-adders (and, of course, an ECU tune), and it runs on 91-octane pump gas like a real street car should. The 311RS is also equipped with custom JRZ dampers and a nicely upgraded braking system courtesy of Girodisc. The already fantastic handling of the chassis has been tweaked just to Ryan’s liking, and the good news is it’s not just for him. Ryan plans to sell a limited run of 11 of these cars to a lucky few customers who want this turnkey track-ready yet totally street-legal package.

This car is Ryan’s idea of what a perfect Evo X should embody.

After a painfully early exit from last year’s Shootout on the dyno, Ryan was hungry for a win this time around. His thoroughly prepared 311RS wouldn’t be the most powerful car in the competition, but if the Shootout has taught us anything it’s that a reliable and well-balanced machine with a top-notch driver has a very real shot at the title. Would the 311RS work well on our spec Continental Extreme Contact DW tire? Would the relatively modest power output be enough to earn the points needed to win it all? Never the type to stress over the unknown, Ryan showed up with his usual smile and swagger, ready to wring every ounce of performance out of his 311RS in search of Shootout glory.

Specs & Details
'09 Mitsubishi Evo X
Engine Mitsubishi 4B11T turbocharged DOHC inline-4
Engine Modifications AMS intake, intercooler piping, intercooler, wide-mouth downpipe, high-flow cat, after-cat exhaust
Engine Management AMS-tuned ECU
Drivetrain Stock
Suspension JRZ RS1 coilover suspension
Interior Ernie’s E-suede custom upholstery
Exterior Jon Sibal 311RS livery; JDP front lip; Voltex gurney flap
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 18x10.5-inch +18mm Volk CE28N wheels; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; Girodisc 2-piece rotors, brake pads, stainless lines, heat shields

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Forced Air Tech / Snail Performance

’09 Subaru Impreza WRX
Taylor Wilson’s ’09 WRX is not what we would call a subtle-looking car. With the car’s aggressive front fascia and livery package, Taylor is walking that fine line between a race car and a street car with his new creation. But no matter, he is an Arizona guy, and in the Grand Canyon state you can get away with a lot without getting Officer Jack on your back too much. After building a show car and becoming bored with that scene, Taylor decided to take his ’09 hatch to a different plane by initially building it for the purpose of weekend racing. As one thing led to another, the car strayed further from civility and closer to savagery, but Taylor is fine with that. He loves this car, and it’s a pretty damn serious machine and a competitor to be taken seriously.

After building a show car and becoming bored with that scene, Taylor decided to take his ’09 hatch to a different plane by initially building it for the purpose of weeken

As manager of Forced Air Technologies and Snail Performance Tuning, Taylor spends his days with a great group of guys, working hard to make as much power as they can out of whatever cars find a way into their hands. Taylor’s WRX is built by himself and his crew for the main purpose of being a fun daily driver with track roots. The motor has been fully built and prepped for racing, but Taylor insists that the car is still modest enough to drive on the streets. With a bulletproof engine build, a well-thought-out suspension setup, and an undeniably intense looking aero package, Taylor’s WRX just might have enough to keep Subaru’s Shootout winning streak alive.

Specs & Details
'09 Subaru Impreza WRX
Engine Subaru EJ255 turbocharged boxer-4
Engine Modifications Forced Air Tech Stage 2 race motor; Manley H-Beam connecting rods; JE pistons; ARP head studs; ’07 Subaru Impreza STI ported heads; GrimmSpeed 8mm phenolic thermal intake manifold spacer; Garrett GT3582 turbocharger w/ antisurge turbine housing; Forced Air Technologies rotated twin-scroll turbo manifold w/ cat, intercooler piping; Turbosmart Hypergate 45mm wastegate; limited-edition pink race port blow-off valve, FPR1200 fuel pressure regulator; Invidia Raceback titanium exhaust; Perrin fuel rails, lightweight crank pulley; DeatschWerks 300-lph fuel pump; Bosch 2,000cc fuel injectors; NGK Racing 7 heat range spark plugs; Mishimoto X-Line radiator; Turbo XS intercooler core; STI oil pump w/ Setrab oil cooler; LIC Motorsports adjustable timing idlers; Cusco motor mounts; Custom P&P TGV deletes; Subtle Solutions radiator shroud
Engine Management Cobb AccessPort tuned by Snail Performance
Drivetrain ’06 WRX STI 6-speed transmission; ’07 WRX STI rear differential; Tilton twin disc hydraulic clutch; Cbb Tuning short shifter
Suspension KW V3 coilovers w/ optional race springs; Whiteline 24mm sway bars (f/r), roll center adjuster kit, antilift race kit, heavy-duty endlinks (f/r), H-Brace w/ supporting mounting plates, Max-C camber plates, toe arms & differential bushings (r); Cusco lateral arms (r), strut bars (f/r),
Interior Autopower Industries rollbar; Corbeau FX1 driver seat, 5-point harness; ProSport gauges; Turbosmart eBoost 60mm boost controller gauge
Exterior CS front lip; Seibon CWII carbon-fiber hood; BlackTop Aero double-deck carbon wing; Taylor “Dr. Koby D” Wilson Designs/AZ Auto Graphics livery
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 18x9-inch Rota MXR wheels; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; StopTech big brake kit (f/r), stainless steel brake lines; Hawk brake pads

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Russell Whelan

’94 Nissan Skyline GT-R
OK, we know what you’re thinking. You don’t need to say it, we know that this Skyline GT-R is not really what most people would call a “street car” considering they were never sold in North America and are not road legal in most states. But let’s play devil’s advocate here for a moment. When Russell first acquired this R32 through a Canadian importer of JDM cars, he wanted nothing more than to plate it and enjoy it on the mean streets of Arizona, a state that apparently has a few laws despite feeling like the wild west when coming from the liberty-hating state of California. Rather than risking having his beloved R32 towed away by Sheriff Joe, Russell decided to play it safe (a good practice for a nuclear technician) and treat his JDM GT-R as a track-only toy. That said, we decided this car was appropriate for this year’s Shootout for a couple of reasons. First off, Russell’s GT-R is clearly not a race car. It is still a street car in the sense that it has a full interior, an internally stock motor, and a stock body. Sure, it might not be legal to drive here in the U.S. of A. due to semantics and protectionist importation laws, but it’s one of the more mildly modified cars in this year’s competition.

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Russell’s bigger concern was adapting to driving on street tires because he normally runs his GT-R on race tires.

Not that Russell is afraid to stack his Skyline up against the heavy hitters, given the 450-plus-whp on tap. His bigger concern was adapting to driving on street tires because he normally runs his GT-R on race tires during NASA AZ and UMS Time Attack events. But with the advantages of AWD and a surprisingly lightweight chassis, we have to imagine Russell had almost as big a smile on his face as we did while watching this iconic JDM beast slide around Firebird Raceway.

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Specs & Details
'94 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Engine Nissan RB26DET turbocharged inline-6
Engine Modifications Precision R35 single turbo; 870cc injectors
Engine Management Vipec V44 EMS
Drivetrain OEM diffs & gears; original 5-speed transmission; Spec Stage II single-disc clutch
Suspension Tein coilovers; 14K springs; Cusco sway bar (f)
Interior Stock
Exterior louvered OEM hood
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 18x9.5-inch +20mm Rota P45R wheels; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; K-Sport 14-inch big brake kit

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Full-Race

’95 Nissan 240SX R14
If this car looks familiar to you, that means you are a loyal Modified reader and a follower of the Tuner Shootout, both of which are good things! This ’95 240SX first appeared on our cover many years ago, and Geoff Raicer of Full-Race has brought it out for a few Shootouts in the past as well. Of course, the Full-Race crew had to ensure the R14 was in proper street trim this year, which wasn’t a big deal since this car was originally built to be Geoff’s daily driver. Add a catalytic converter, recirculate the wastegates into the exhaust system, and badabing badaboom, it’s a street car.

There’s significantly more to this 240 than meets the eye.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, there’s significantly more to this 240 than meets the eye—Geoff calls this beast an R14 for good reason. As one of the top fabricators in the U.S., Full-Race has taken this car to the extreme by swapping in not only a heavily fortified RB26DET but also an entire AWD driveline from a Skyline GT-R. Yup, this is a lot like a lightweight R32 GT-R, but it’s LHD and street legal here in the States (or at least in Arizona and New Jersey where the car is plated).

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The last time Geoff brought the R14 out to the Shootout it burst into flames during the Time Attack, a power steering fluid leak igniting on the superheated exhaust system. With that problem solved and several other improvements made to the R14 including an ultraresponsive BorgWarner EFR turbocharger, Geoff was confident his one-of-one Nissan would run strong throughout the weekend.

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Specs & Details
'95 Nissan 240SX
Engine Nissan RB26DETT turbocharged inline-6
Engine Modifications Full-Race RB26 turbo kit; BorgWarner EFR 8374 1.05 a/r turbo; Headgames ported & machined cylinder head; Ferrea valvetrain; Tomei 280 cams; ID2000 fuel injectors; increased plenum size & runner length; 3.5-inch recirculating wastegate dump tubes; 4-inch downpipe & exhaust w/ catalytic converter
Engine Management AEM EMS
Drivetrain R14 AWD conversion; ETS-PRO torque split controller (center diff controller); Competition Clutch twin-disc clutch; Quaife front diff; stock GTR 2-way mechanical rear diff; stock R32 GTR transmission; DriveShaftShop R14-specific aluminum rear driveshaft
Suspension R14 double-wishbone front suspension conversion; S14 rear suspension w/ SPL Parts links, tie rods, control arms; Moton Coilovers
Interior R33 GTR Seats; R33 GTS-T gauge cluster; full interior from the seats forward; Full-Race-fabricated rollcage
Exterior Kognition Wing; S14 sunroof plug; Origin Labs body kit & trunk spoiler; S14 Kouki tail lights; original headlights
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Enkei RPF1 wheels 18x10.5 +15mm; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; 4-piston G35 Track Model Brembo rotors (F) 2-piston stock R32 GTR (R); Project Mu brake pads

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Mann Engineering

’12 Impreza WRX STI Type‐25 CS
This WRX STI was by far the most unassuming looking of any of the cars entered in this year’s Tuner Shootout. With its stock body and barely noticeable front-mount intercooler, we had to do a double take when we first saw it roll up to UMS Tuning for the dyno competition. Gary Liu, owner of Mann Engineering, is not worried about appearances though; he is all about getting it done where it counts. This car has been built to be a U.S. version of the well-known U.K. market Type 25 WRX STI, but Gary wanted to make it even better.

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He has spent more than two years developing this car, attempting to make it into the perfect driver’s car for someone who wants a well-balanced street car with lots of power. And we do mean lots, as you’ll see from the dyno results. Gary is also quick to point out that he has maintained all the creature comforts of the factory STI, including, of course, full rear seats, stock interior, stock body, and a stock-like ride and drive under light load. He says that when you unleash the beast it’s quite an experience, but he hopes the mild appearance package will be enough to take some of the competitors by surprise.

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Specs & Details
'12 Impreza WRX STI
Engine Subaru EJ257B Type‐25 CS Edition turbocharged boxer-4
Engine Modifications fully built Type‐25 CS motor by Cosworth; (forged pistons, rods, billet crank, cams, valves, valvesprings, high-pressure oil pump, front-mount intercooler); Mann Engineering turbo inlet hose; Milltek Sport turbo back exhaust w/ titanium trim tips; Torco SR‐5 synthetic motor oil; GReddy aluminum racing radiator
Engine Management ECUTek EMS
Drivetrain Helix organic street clutch; Torco SGO synthetic gear oil; Whiteline transmission bushings, rear differential bushing mounts
Suspension Mann Engineering Type‐25 CS Edition 3‐way adjustable coilovers; Swift coilover springs; Powerflex rear subframe bushing inserts; Whiteline anti‐roll bars (f/r), sway bar braces (r), lower arm brace, steering rack bushings, roll center adjusters; HKS Kansai strut tower brace (f)
Interior GReddy Informeter Touch; D‐Shaped steering wheel
Exterior Satin Guard full body wrap by Premier Protective Films International
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 18x8-inch Speedline Type‐2120 Turini wheels; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; AP Racing 6‐Piston calipers (f) 4‐Piston calipers (r)

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Hasport

’88 Honda CR-X
Brian Gillespie, co-owner and engine-swapologist at Hasport Performance, has shoved just about every Honda motor you can think of into this timeless little ’88 CR-X. In fact, he’s probably performed more oddball (as well as common) engine swaps across the Honda model range than just about anyone else on the planet, the latest of which is this V6 from a late-model Odyssey.

Yes, that’s the minivan. Why, you might ask? The answer is simple, really: a ton of torque, smooth power delivery, and OEM reliability. The J swap has become more popular in the last few years due largely to Hasport’s mount kits, the flagship product line that has made Hasport a household name in the world of Honda enthusiasts.

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If Hasport’s track record at the Shootout means anything, then Brian knows what he’s doing. Sure, he may be giving up some peak power by going with the Odyssey V6 instead of the supercharged and nitrous-shot K24 we last saw under this yellow pocket rocket’s hood, but clearly Brian felt there was a solid strategic reason for the swap. With emissions and dB tests added to the event this year, we knew Brian was banking on his stock Odyssey engine scoring big points here, and with the torque of a V6, he may not be giving up much if any performance around the autocross course or even the road course.

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Specs & Details
'88 Honda CR-X
Engine Honda J35A4 V6 (Honda Odyssey)
Engine Modifications custom AEM intake; Skunk2 exhaust; Hasport mounts, engine harness
Engine Management AEM EMS V2
Drivetrain ’03 Acura TL Type S 6-speed transmission w/ LSD
Suspension Time Attack coilover kit; Progress sway bars (f/r), lower control arm pivots, rear trailing arm bushings; SPC rear lower control arms; Skunk2 front upper control arms; custom front subframe & radius arms
Interior Sparco seats, steering wheel; custom JimFab rollbar; Auto Meter gauges; Racequip seatbelts
Exterior ’90 CRX bumpers (f/r); APR rear wing; Hasport front fender flares; custom carbon-fiber splitter & hood
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 17-inch Enkei RPF1 wheels; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; FastBrakes big brake kit w/ Wilwood calipers (f) Integra Type R brakes (r)

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Sportcar Motion/Mar Financial

’08 Honda Civic Si
What would a Modified Tuner Shootout be without Loi Song from Sportcar Motion and Renzo Marsano from Mar Financial? It would certainly be a lot less fun, that’s for sure. And we like having fun, so we were pumped to hear Loi and Renzo would be bringing out their new Street Class toy, this ’08 Honda Civic Si.

Renzo, who bought the car from Evasive Motorsports, says his goal is to take it to about a halfway point between full race spec and street car status, the ultimate goal, of course, being to go as fast as he can. If we know Renzo, we know he will probably not stop modifying this car, so it will probably never be closer to street mode than it is for this Shootout.

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The massive front wheelwell arches should be a not-so-subtle tip-off of Loi and Renzo’s go-fast intentions with this car, stuffing 285s up front in an effort to generate Rado-approved levels of front grip. The freshly built and tuned K24 under the hood should come as no surprise, though, given that all-motor K-power is a trademark of Sportcar Motion. This motor has been built for pump-gas-sipping reliability as much as power, though, so we weren’t expecting to hear this K24 spinning to 9K rpm or spewing its guts out halfway down the dragstrip.

With Renzo and Loi’s track record at Time Attacks, we knew they’d be competitive around the West Circuit, but how would those huge front tires work around the autocross course or down the dragstrip? Would this dynamic duo finally translate all their Time Attack success to a FWD class win at the Shootout?

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Specs & Details
'08 Honda Civic Si
Engine Honda K24 DOHC 2.4L inline-4
Engine Modifications Honda Accord 2.4L block w/ Cunningham connecting Rods; CP Pistons; Stock Civic Si Cylinder Head; Secret Sauce camshafts; complete Skunk 2 valvetrain; Pro Series intake manifold; Mega Power header; OEM Acura TL throttle-body; P2R throttle-body adapter plate; Custom 2.5-inch exhaust; Hytech custom oil pan; Sportcar Motion custom oil cooler; ATI super damper; RC 650cc injectors; Mugen low-temperature thermostat;
Engine Management Hondata FlashPro
Drivetrain Gearspeed prepared gearbox w/ 4.76 final drive
Suspension Tein Mono Flex coilover suspension; J’s Racing roll center adjusters
Interior Recaro racing bucket seats; MOMO steering wheel
Exterior Civic Type R conversion (f/r)
Wheels, Tires & Brakes 17-inch Wedssport TC05 wheels; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; Endless big brake kit (f)

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Gruppe-S Engineering

’12 Scion tC
Since the brand’s introduction to the American market back in 2002, Scion has been heavily involved in racing of all types. Whether it’s drifting, time attack, drag racing, or even rally, you’re likely to find a Scion in the ranks somewhere. This tC is another one of those cars that are definitely walking the fine line between street and race car, given the full rollcage onboard and the HANS compatible Recaro fixed bucket seat. We don’t see a lot of street cars with mods this hard-core, but the Dynamic Autosports/Gruppe-S tC still met all our street car requirements. Other than a roof panel.

Michele is our first female competitor, but she is no stranger to motorsport.

During the trip from Dynamic Autosports’ SoCal shop, the carbon-fiber roof panel that had just been installed blew off. Apparently the glue holding it down hadn’t fully set, and even though they doubled back, the panel couldn’t be found. Despite this slightly comical mishap (and yes, we decided to let the team run without a roof panel since convertibles are street legal), builder Eddie Kim is very happy with how this car has materialized in the short time since its inception. Driver Michele Abbate is excited to get this freshly built turbocharged tC on track to see what it can do compared with the normally aspirated tC she drove last year. We were also very pleased to find a Scion to represent in the FWD category and keep Honda stalwarts Hasport and Sportcar Motion on their toes.

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We should also mention that Michele is our first female competitor, but she is no stranger to motorsport. Having competed in (and won) various time attack events, Michele is one to keep your eyes on. No, guys, not like that!

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Specs & Details
'12 Scion tC
Engine Toyota 2AR-FE DOHC 2.5L inline-4
Engine Modifications GReddy turbo Kit w/ front-mount intercooler; BC Racing camshafts & valvesprings; Injector Dynamics 1,000cc injectors; Custom APEXi muffler; Mishimoto radiator
Engine Management custom AEM EMS, GReddy Profec-B
Suspension KW Club Sport 3-way adjustable coilovers; Gruppe-S custom rear camber arms
Interior AIM Race dash; Recaro SPG Hans seats; Sparco race harnesses; Custom built 6-point race cage
Exterior Seibon carbon hood, trunk; APR front carbon splitter; GT Wing; 5Axis front lip spoiler; Papadakis Racing 1-piece roof (MIA)
Wheels, Tires & Brakes WedsSport SA55 wheels; Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; TRD big brake kit (f); custom Porterfield RS4 brake pads (f/r)

By Modified Staff
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