You don't typically find droves of Audi RS 3 sedans attacking the quarter mile at any drag racing event in the U.S. In fact, if you were to make your way to, say, a dozen of those events, the chances of you spotting more than a few are pretty slim. That's not to say that the RS 3's given attributes aren't conducive to blasting a solid pass on the strip, because on paper, they certainly are. Armed with AWD grip, a 400 horsepower, five-cylinder mill and a 0-60 time that falls under the 4-second mark right out of the box, Audi's latest carries the sort of strengths that drag racing diehards dream about.
Before you say it, we're all well aware that Audi didn't intend for their sleek, user-friendly sedan to repeatedly put all of its engineering to the test in just over 1,300 feet, but that's what makes the story of George and Stav Tsitlakidis, aka Malaka MotorSports, that much more interesting. Theirs is a short journey thus far, but one that's been met with remarkable results and plenty of potential built on simplicity that, whether its in your face or not, carries with it a classic David vs. Goliath appeal.
No strangers to the world of Audi builds, the brothers were dead set on B5 Audi S4s from the beginning and even jokingly mention, "From the very first check engine light, we were hooked and the rest, as they say, is history." Custom swaps, complete builds and collaborating with various shops in search of VR6 swap development for the B5 S4 and A4, there wasn't much that Malaka hadn't experienced first hand. Of course, sometimes an outside influence can change your intended direction, and in George's case it was an Audi drive event that took place last year, which caused a disruption in his B5 love affair. He adds, "Thanks to fellow Audi enthusiast Erik Dietz from the Autobahn Club of Los Angeles, I fell in love with both the Gen 2 Audi R8 and the RS 3 at that event."
The timeline from this point moves pretty quickly, so don't blink. A chance encounter with Hank Iroz of Iroz Motorsport, the go-to source for five-cylinder performance builds, revealed that Iroz was working with Custom Code, a tuning group from the U.K. The focus on that collaboration was to develop effective performance parts for the 2017/18 RS 3. What George learned from talking with Iroz prompted a visit to Audi Calabasas just two weeks later, where this silver 2018 sedan was purchased. After one short week of use, it was fitted with an IROZ/Custom Code Stage II turbo kit.
A funny thing happens when you get a taste of boost that far outperforms that which the factory saw fit—you want more. Two months after the turbo kit install and a jump up to an IMS850 big turbo took place and this is where things got serious.
Prior to Malaka making their mark, APR led the stock block Audi quarter mile charge with the fastest time on record: a blistering 9.831 seconds at 144mph and it was that very goal that George and his brother were after. A lofty goal in that George didn't have a wealth of experience on the drag strip, nor did he have the sort of dollars and experience that an industry icon like APR does. Actually, he had no experience at all, having never technically drag raced before. Getting familiar with the car and its newfound power resulted in a 10.3 at 138mph. Impressive, but in drag strip terms, a far cry from the sort of performance that would get them into title contention. Weeks after their first quarter mile encounter, the brothers, along with IROZ and Custom Code's assistance, tirelessly continued to fine tune the RS 3 in preparation for a rematch at the strip. The hours of tinkering paid off, with George edging out the record with a 9.822 at 145.85 mph to capture the title of fastest and, on top of that, the RS 3 also mustered a 168.54 MPH standing half mile pass at Shift Sector, which is also a current record for its class.
Under the hood, the fire breathing, hood-exit exhaust equipped, mechanical wizardry you would expect to find sitting proudly displayed between the fenders of a consistent 9-sec car instead plays host to a rather mild outward appearance. The average Joe will no doubt spot the Integrated Engineering carbon fiber intake that dominates the front of the bay and snakes toward the firewall where only those with a keen eye will notice the sizeable coupler that to leads to where the heavy lifting is done.
Behind the factory engine cover is the previously mentioned IROZ IMS850 Xona rotor turbo kit that includes their 4-in. downpipe, tubular manifold and intercooler. Custom Code's engine and transmission software call the shots, while a Silly Rabbit brushless fuel system keeps the 708hp/516 lbs.-ft. of torque set up properly saturated. To assist in getting that power off the line, MMS Sport Suspension supplied a set of prototype rear drag springs.
You won't find a multi-level rear wing, carbon fenders or a priceless front lip precariously hanging less than a matchstick away from the concrete. What you will find, however, are aftermarket wheels—TSW Interlagos in 18x9.5-inch square, to be exact, wrapped in Hoosier DR2 drag radials. With a simple tire swap, this sedan, with its factory exhaust system still intact, blends right into the background and no one would ever be the wiser as to its supernatural abilities.
Anytime a discussion surrounding drag racing is brought up, weight reduction isn't far behind. Just a few days removed from the record-setting run, the car arrived at our studio exactly as it did on race day. That means the rear seats were removed along with the passenger seat and the pilot sat firmly in a lightweight Kirkey aluminum bucket. In the trunk sits a lighter Braille battery and that's where the weight loss program ends.
So what's next for the current stock block quarter mile Audi champ? George adds, "I would like to get back to Shift Sector this fall to break/reset my own record and break 175 MPH in the standing half mile. Also, I'll continue to compete at roll racing and local drag racing events, however, after racing this year, I'm toying with the idea of working with Iroz Motorsports to build the motor and trans to go for the first 8-second RS 3 [record] or perhaps trying to break 200 MPH in the half mile." Indeed, things move pretty fast in the Malaka Motorsports world.