Over the past few years, Alpha Logic has made a name for itself as the go-to GT-R tuning shop for the speed-hungry gearheads in Dubai and the surrounding area. With the help of AMS Performance in West Chicago, Illinois, the tuning outfit has brought seriously potent performance to enthusiasts in the Middle East, thanks no small part to the hard work of shop manager and ace wheelman, Rob Harper.
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Rob has been splitting his time between the States and the Middle East as he manages Alpha Logic and helps with projects back in the US. "I never really know what time it is," he says with a chuckle. Originally an autocrosser, Harper cut his teeth building 350Zs and other Japanese performance machines before turning his attention to Corvettes and road course tuning. "Eventually I ended up at shop called Top Speed Motorsports, which did a lot of GT-R tuning for road course stuff," he explains. "Not long after I got there, we started to transition into drag racing."
By 2015 Harper had established himself as a leader GT-R tuning, and word of his expertise had reached far and wide. "By then I was tuning a lot of cars in the Middle East, so I was traveling over here a lot," he tells us. "And lot of these were AMS-built cars, so that's how I ended up on their radar." Today, Alpha Logic is the largest dealer of AMS Performance hardware in the world.
Of course brand reputation doesn't happen by accident, and talk is cheap. So to prove what Alpha Logic tuning and AMS Performance hardware could do, the shops put together a car that would showcase what they're truly capable of.
"It's a 2013 Nissan GT-R Black Edition that started out as a street car," Harper says. "The owner, Mohammed Al-Baker has had the car for a while, and AMS had already built the car to about 2000 horsepower by the time I got involved. It went 8.0 back then." Although that GT-R was already a very fast machine, Harper had bigger plans for it. "We changed the setup," he says. "We went to a front-mounted turbo kit and an engine from T1 Race Development."
Like AMS Performance and Alpha Logic, T1 has focused mainly on GT-R projects for the past few years. "Engine, transmission, fuel system, turbo setups - we do all of it," says T1's Tony Palo. "And everything's pretty much focused around drag racing. Big power."
Big power indeed. Under the hood of Al-Baker's GT-R is a methanol-fed 4.3-liter billet block from AMS Performance that's paired up with T1's ported factory cylinder heads and valvetrain, along with GRP connecting rods, Diamond pistons, Trend wrist pins, and big pair of turbochargers. "It's making around 3400 horsepower and 2200 pound-feet of torque."
Palo says the Diamond slugs have proven themselves to be up to the task. "This is the first engine we've done with these custom pistons that Diamond built for us. We told them what we had to work with and the kind of power we wanted to make, and they created these for us. The engine hasn't been apart yet - so far so good."
The Alpha Logic team hasn't gotten a ton of track time since putting the entire package together, but it isn't for lack of trying. "The events that we go to over here are basically to take advantage of a good track," Harper says. "In the US, drag strips are privately owned - you can normally call them up and rent the track for a thousand bucks, no problem. Here it's completely different because the drag strips are part of the Formula One circuits, and the tracks are owned by the government. So to rent a drag strip is both very difficult and very expensive - when we contacted Bahrain they only had two dates available for the entire season, and the rental was three hours long for the equivalent of about $4500."
Harper says they participate in series called BDRC in the Outlaw Six Cylinder class - not so much for the competition, but to get some track time. "Because our car is somewhat notorious for not going straight, we never race heads up with anyone. We basically take advantage of the event for the two test and tune days and the qualifying day, and go home on the race day."
Even at these BDRC events, track time is scarce. "It's a four day event and the maximum amount of runs you get on a given day is two," Harper tells us. "And in most cases we only get one because the event is so busy."
Given the incredibly limited track time, the team has to make each run count. "The first run after finishing the car, we were running all-new suspension and we just basically using middle settings on everything," he says. "I almost lost it - it was a little out of hand. On the second run we turned the power down a bit so I could at least get some data out of it, and it went 6.90 at around 208 miles an hour. After that we knew what changes needed to be made to the suspension to dial the power back into the car."
And once they got that sorted, Alpha Logic proceeded to make history. "People always call it a GT-R record, but it's actually an all-wheel drive record," Harper explains. "It's the quickest and fastest all-wheel drive car in the world. We've broken the record four times now."
The first time was about a year ago, when the team posted a 6.85. A little over a month later the team broke their own record, posting a 6.79 before breaking the record once again two hours later with a 6.78. "That record held until January of this year, when we posted a 6.582 at 232 mph," he says. "And this is on a stock chassis - it's not even cut up. The car still weighs almost 3500 pounds."
Holding the record for the fastest all-wheel drive vehicle in the world would probably be enough for most teams, but Harper is already setting his sights on the next milestone. "The goal is always to go faster, of course," he says. "I think the next record we'd like to shoot for would be the IRS record. About five years ago it was set by a Corvette that went 6.54 - a car that was more than a thousand pounds lighter than ours. I think we're on our way."