We like to end each year with a little grudge match we call the Tuner GP. And while the teams compete against one another directly and in front-, rear- and all-wheel drive classes, it's not strictly a competition since the cars aren't built to a specific formula. As a result, they're not really comparable to another.
Instead, etGP is your chance to see how the various modifications perform in real-world tests. So if you're thinking about tuning your GTI, you might like to consider some of the engine or chassis mods featured here if you feel they perform as well or better than expected.
You might be thinking about what car to buy next, and etGP gives a great indication of how an affordable GTI, for example, stacks up against an older Audi A4 or perhaps a newer BMW 135i. And, of course, it's a great opportunity to see the full tuning potential of these cars.
After last year's influx of BMWs, we were hoping for another face-off between the supercharged M3s but sadly all the teams dropped out in the last few weeks - not sure what that says about the track abilities of the blown M3s... However, it left the field dominated by the Golf chassis in its Mk4 and Mk5 versions, including the unique mid-engined, RWD conversion from 034Motorsport that we featured in et 12/10. Throw in a sole Audi plus two BMWs and the race was on.
As we said earlier, the GP isn't so much a competition as a fight for honor. It gives us an opportunity to examine specific tuning packages and test whether they meet the tuner's claims. And while the team with the highest numbers has something to brag about, that's not the whole story.
The car that wins each of the three disciplines is probably a highly focused track car that might not translate well to the street. So we encourage you to view the GP as a tool to measure the relative performance of various tuning options, as well as the capability of each tuner.
Basically, etGP is a shop window where you can browse tuning conversions under the harshest conditions and draw your own conclusions about what would work for you.
eurotuner GP is a test of speed, power and balance. We scrutinize the cars on the dyno for outright power, the drag strip to reinforce those numbers, and the road course to see how the total package performs under sustained pressure.
As before, the competitors we divided into front-, rear- and all-wheel drive classes so we could recognize the fastest cars in each class.
Like every etGP the rule is there are no rules - except no nitrous in the engine. And because several teams had a big advantage with tire choice in previous years, we again leveled the playing field by supplying all the teams with Continental ExtremeContact DW tires. This is one of our favorite high-performance tires that stood up to the severe abuse incredibly well (see sidebar).
On the SP Engineering dyno day, teams are allowed three pulls and can tune in between, so we always expect high numbers and this year was no exception.
After a brief stint at Buttonwillow Raceway for the drag race and road course in '09, we returned to the California Speedway dragstrip for '10 where there's no restriction on the number of runs a competitor can take in the four-hour session.
We also returned to the road course at Streets of Willow because it's one of our favorite SoCal tracks. With it's tight turns and high-speed straights, it's a great test of chassis balance over engine power.
Inevitably, this final day of the event is the one every team wants to win. It's the highlight of etGP and several teams were jostling for positions right up until the flag fell on the final timed sessions.
Continental ExtremeContact DW
As in previous years, the inclusion of a control tire in our event means we can focus on what parts the tuner has fitted, rather than the rubber he's chosen. However, it's vital for us to choose rubber that's up to the task and doesn't leave the competitors scrabbling for grip.
We've been very fortunate to be supported by Continental tires for the past few years, and again we wish to thank them for making it all happen.
We were also delighted to be running the latest ExtremeContact DW tires because we know these are great high-performance rubber. In fact, they won our last Tire Test (et 12/09) that compared ten of the latest high performance tires in both wet and dry conditions. The overall winner was the Conti DW and we made good use of all its abilities with the mixed weather conditions we experienced during the GP.
In our tire test, our touring car drivers commented on the DW's good braking grip, excellent turn-in response and fantastic overall grip in both the wet and dry. And it was this overall consistency and excellence that put it in first place.
During the manufacturing process, Conti ensures the DW (meaning Dry and Wet) provides both a lower rolling resistance and improved tread life than its competitors, and has a 340 UTQG rating, which suggests they should last thousands of miles under normal conditions. What's more, there are indicators within the tread blocks to alert drivers to when the tires have exceeded their optimum tread depth in dry and wet conditions. They also made a great tire for etGP and received no complaints from the competitors, many of whom were surprised by the grip they offered.
Traditionally, etGP begins on the dyno, and the 2010 event was no different. The reason we do this is it lets everybody know where they stand against the other competitors, and gives us an idea of who to look out for in the subsequent speed disciplines.
This year, we paid a visit to SP Engineering (see sidebar) to use its 4WD Mustang dyno. Traditionally, these rollers read slightly lower than other dynomometers, so most of the teams were rather disappointed with their results. However, for the sake of comparison, it let us know what each engine was putting out relative to each other.
That said, you should assume all these cars would read higher on a Dynojet dyno, for instance, giving a better indication of what the tuners expected.
In past years, the weather has been a big factor in power output, with cars run in the morning often having an advantage. As a result, we draw the cars at random and allot a time for then to attend. However, this year the day was mostly damp and cool, eradicating the concern of teams with later spots.
In fact, the dyno room temperature was only 70°F even by 5pm, while the relative pressure was 30inHg.
Teams are allowed up to three runs, except in exceptional cases where extraneous problems occur. They are also allowed to undertake minimal tuning between runs, such as switching software programs or identifying problems.
This year, all of the front-wheel drive entrants were VW teams. First to arrive, and subsequently first on the dyno was the Mk5 Jetta GLI entered by software specialists Revo Technik, using a big-turbo 2.0T engine built by BSH Speedshop.
Since SP hadn't previously dynoed a VW before (WTF!), they needed to experiment with cooling fan position, power application, etc. However, the GLI proved remarkably consistent, with all three of its allotted runs within a few HP of each other.
And while Mark Yates from Revo was expecting around 340hp at the frontwheels, the corrected figure was 303.9hp and 271.6 lb-ft of torque. This gap in expectation and reality was largely down to the Mustang dyno and would be played out throughout the day with all the teams. However, the figure was enough to earn Revo the title of most powerful FWD competitor.
Next up was the BSH Speedshop Mk5 GTI with a more radical big-turbo tune on its 2.0T engine. Having seen 520whp previously, the crew had made several changes to the spec and were hoping for big numbers. However, the first run ended abruptly with a severe misfire. Another run produced numbers half what they expected, resulting in huge disappointment.
The engine was running dangerously lean; a problem that would be traced to a faulty fuel pump. The team had also programmed the ECU in Phoenix, AZ where it was still 100°F, whereas the cold, dense air in California meant not enough fuel was being delivered. The team would reprogram the software but the consequences of this problem would plague BSH throughout the event.
After the new maps were downloaded, the GTI put down a best run of 294.9whp and 270wtq.
The final front-wheel drive competitor was Euro Sport Accessories, which had returned with its Mk4 Golf built for etGP09. This year it had a bigger GT2871R turbocharger, 550cc injectors, an Audi S4 MAF, 3" downpipe and new GIAC software.
After trying a few runs in third gear, they opted for fourth and recorded 286.9whp and 277.1wtq.
The AWD class had traditionally dominated etGP thanks to the strength of the B5 Audi S4 in previous years. But with no S4 entered, it was anybody's game.
Raven Motorsports had entered a B5 Audi A4 1.8T quattro, which certainly looked imposing in its flat-black paint. It ran consistently but the crew swapped plugs after a misfire on the second run, just to be safe. They ended the day with 340.3whp and 330.4wtq.
The second AWD car was the R32 turbo belonging to Bluewater Performance. They were expecting 750whp, and after experiencing huge wheelspin when the car was put into FWD, the team reverted to AWD and recorded a best of 597.1whp and 656.2wtq. And while Bluewater was disappointed with the results, this is enormously potent for the 3.2L VR6 engine, giving them the AWD title on the dyno and promised great things for the dragstrip in particular.
Sadly, none of the tuners with supercharged E9x M3s had accepted our offer to participate in the GP, with several dropping out days before the event. However, the BMW flag was flown by two teams, and first up was Berk Technology.
Their 135i had been on another dyno that morning in preparation for the GP, and so they were confidently expecting 380whp. However, the SP dyno only returned 331.3whp and 363.3wtq, which was what we'd now come to expect...
Another frustration for Berk was an unexpected oil leak, that would rear its head later with catastrophic results...
The turbocharger on the E36 M3 from Groma Race Fabrications was pumping out 18psi when it was first strapped to the dyno. However, it was soon raised to 24psi after the first pull was lower than expected.
The team later admitted they weren't sure how much boost they'd added since their gauge wasn't working, but it netted 342whp and 372.7wtq, so at least it worked.
Finally, we come to 034Motorsport and their Frankenstein creation - a RWD Mk4 Golf GTI with a single-turbo 3.0L V6 Audi S4 motor mounted behind the front seats (featured in et 12/10).
With their small GT35R turbo, the team had seen 650whp in testing. Yet they were using a larger GT45R for the dyno, netting them 813whp in development.
So when it came time to run on the SP dyno, we were all anxious to see how it would perform. Wheelspin in fifth gear was the first problem to overcome, but the car was soon into its stride. Check out the online videos to see how fearsome the car was. And while 741.98whp and 600.1wtq would have been enough for most teams, predictably 034 wanted more.
Despite the shortfall in expectations, 034Motorsport took top honors as the most powerful car on the day and most powerful RWD machine by a mile.
This year, we changed our official GP dyno facility to SP Engineering in the City of Industry, CA. A new name to us, SP has been a leader in the Japanese import scene since they opened their doors in '96.
Many enthusiasts know SP for their many accomplishments with Toyota Supra and Nissan Skyline projects. Their growth and success in the JDM scene has enabled them to move to the current 13000sqft facility, featuring an all-wheel drive dyno, five lifts, a large office and warehouse area. They recently, expanded the business to cater to high-end and exotic communities, targeting Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW and more. Their goal has always remained to build reliable, fast street cars.
With nine full-time employees, they're capable of creating almost anything, from custom fabrication to engine building and forced-induction solutions. They've also developed turbo kits of the Nissan GTR and Lamborghini Diablo, Gallardo and LP640. Visit sp-power.com for further information.
|034Motorsport||VW GTI 3.0T||RWD||742|
|Bluewater Performance||VW R32||AWD||597|
|Groma Race Fabrications||BMW M3||RWD||343|
|Raven Motorsports||Audi A4 1.8T||AWD||340|
|Berk Technology||BMW 135i||RWD||331|
|Revo Technik||VW GLI 2.0T||FWD||304|
|BSH Speedshop||VW GTI 2.0T||FWD||295|
|Euro Sport Accessories||VW Golf 1.8T||FWD||287|
Quarter Mile Competition
When day two dawned the unthinkable happened; it was raining. Firstly, it never rains in Southern California. And secondly, you can't drag race in the wet, although we did point out that the Conti DW tires were perfect for the conditions and they should try it anyway. However, the track officials didn't seem excited by the prospect.
With most of the morning lost to rainfall, the track crew brought out some machinery to help dry the surface. Combined with late sunshine, we managed to squeeze in an hour of competitive racing into what was scheduled to be a four-hour session.
Inevitably, the cold, damp conditions were perfect for turbo engines, and the Raven Motorsports Audi A4 appeared to have a big advantage with its quattro traction. But with the prospect of more rain to follow, we encouraged everybody to record some times while they could.
First in line was the Mk4 GTI from Euro Sport Accessories. Last year it suffered with shift linkages problems but brothers Raffi and Vic Kazanjian were determined to put that behind them.
With cold tires on a damp track, they recorded a 15.303sec quarter mile time at a speed of 96.06mph to get on in the bag.
They were followed onto the track by Revo Technik's Mk5 Jetta GLI with British racer Jonny Cocker behind the wheel. As an accomplished driver in the Le Mans 24hr race, drag racing would be a new discipline for the 24 year-old. His first run at 14.685 at 114.44mph was respectable, at least. But then, if the Brits can't run in the rain, who can?
The first car into the 13s was predictably Raven. They set a time of 13.999 at 110.84 on their first attempt, but we were confident there was more to come.
One of the favorites for overall honors, especially after its impressive result on the dyno, was the 034Motorsport GTI V6T RWD. Indeed, its first three runs were promising, although one didn't produce a time. They built to a 14.935 at 111.67mph before the output flange on the driver-side driveshaft broke when their launch control system was used for the first time.
The team likes to be well-prepared but with a tight schedule to complete the car, this was its first time on the dragstrip with such a hard start. Sadly, the premature failure put them in last place for the drag race.
The early form shown by Euro Sport Accessories was similarly cut short by an axle failure one its third run. "We were surprised by the amount of grip from the Conti tires on the cold surface, and without enough time to practice our launch, we went too hard and broke the axle," Raffi lamented.
Experience had taught them to carry a spare, so they completed the axle swap in 30min and returned to the track before the end of the session. Unable to improve on the second run of the day, the team had to be content with a best time of 14.279 at 110.93.
Sixth place went to the BSH Speedshop Mk5 GTI, which was plagued by wheelspin all day from the powerful 2.0T engine. The team was confident of a 12sec pass but fuel pump problems from the dyno day had continued to plague the team because once the pump was fixed, the software maps were wrong. It turns out, the maps had been programmed with the faulty pump, and were proving problematic with the good pump.
As a result, the team recorded a best time of 14.06 at 108.74mph but lamented what could have been...
The Revo Technik Mk5 Jetta GLI found itself in fifth place and the fastest FWD competitor. Again, the team struggled for grip and were surprised to find themselves ahead of the BSH GTI since they basically had a less powerful version of the same BSH 2.0T conversion. However, Jonny's improving technique and the fuel problems for BSH saw the Jetta get ahead of them on the last run with a best time of 13.752 at 114.95.
In fourth place was the BMW 135i prepared by Berk Technology. The team only did four runs and, with the methanol injection not working properly, they wanted to save the car for the track day, where they were confident of a good result. Despite this, their best run was 13.648 at 111.53 recorded on the second pass.
Third overall and fastest RWD was the Groma Race Fabrication E36 M3 turbo. The team started strongly but on its fourth run, the first of several problems arose. Crossing the line in 33secs, the team's shifter fell off. And with the engine improperly tuned, they seemed relieved to score a best time of 13.232 at 108.8 on their penultimate run of the day.
The proven prowess of quattro traction again shone in the cold, damp conditions, where the crew from Raven Motorsports was able to put it to good use.
Although the engine suffered a misfire at one point, a plug change seemed to solve the problem before the software map eventually died after a large number of runs.
With the team getting used to launching the car on the chilled track, the times came down steadily, before a best run of 12.393sec at 116.03mph was recorded for posterity.
That simply left Bluewater Performance to take the top slot overall and in the AWD class in the etGP10 drag race; but it wasn't without drama. The team struggled with a recalcitrant launch control system that should have allowed no-lift shifts. However, the ignition cut-out that allows shifting without lifting was engaging too early and preventing full-power runs.
The best time was a hugely impressive 11.79sec at 133.68mph. The team thought they'd set it on the last run of the day, which was actually 0.8sec slower. In fact, the time was set on their second run and nobody got close after that, including Bluewater!
|Bluewater Performance||VW R32||AWD||11.790|
|Raven Motorsports||Audi A4 1.8T||AWD||12.393|
|Groma Race Fabrications||BMW M3||RWD||13.232|
|Berk Technology||BMW 135i||RWD||13.648|
|Revo Technik||VW GLI 2.0T||FWD||13.752|
|BSH Speedshop||VW GTI 2.0T||RWD||14.060|
|Euro Sport Accessories||VW Golf 1.8T||FWD||14.279|
|034Motorsport||VW GTI 3.0T||RWD||14.935|
Fast Lap Competition
Ask any competitor, and the road course is undoubtedly the most anticipated event at etGP. Back at the familiar location at Streets of Willow in Rosamond, CA, the weather was a total contrast to the previous day. Rain showers were replaced by bright sunshine as the high desert slowly warmed throughout the morning, providing great conditions for good lap times.
With all eight teams having managed to rectify earlier problems, we were promised a close fight, particularly among the FWD class. And with two AWD cars ready to slug it out, along with the RWD competitors spoiling for a fight, the stage was set for an epic etGP.
Ordinarily, we split the teams into run groups and the teams get three 20-minute practice sessions throughout the morning to setup the cars. After lunch, each team gets three timed laps to set their best time. However, another threat of rain led us to change the process. Instead of risking a wet timed session, all laps would count throughout the day. So we again advised teams to get in some good laps early. And although the arrival of rain looked slim, you never know what could happen next...
Several teams ignored our advice and spent prolonged periods in the pits. These included the Euro Sport boys, who were trying to diagnose a "weird transmission problem".
The 034 crew had repaired the snapped driveshaft and spent the first hour cleaning and prepping the car. Clearly they were confident of a good result and seemed in no hurry to set any times.
The Bluewater R32 had developed a leak from the fuel sender gasket and were running laps to check the repair had worked.
The Revo car was apparently a little soft on its KW Variant 3 coilovers, but there was plenty of adjustment to improve things. Their professional driver also complained about the lack of a limited-slip diff, which meant he had to get on the power late out of the corners. However, the car seemed to be running strong and they hoped for a good result.
BSH was also much happier after an evening spent reprogramming the software to suit the new fuel pump and were looking forward to some fast laps.
However, the biggest losers were Berk Technologies. On their first lap the engine caught fire, presumed to be the result of residual oil after a leak on the dyno. While the fire was quickly extinguished, it had burnt through ignition wires on the coil packs and the team was uncertain whether it could continue, but set out to the nearest BMW dealer to source replacement parts.
Sadly, a 90min run to the dealership for new coil packs, didn't resolve the problem for Berk Technology. There was more harness damage than the team had realized and their day was done.
"We were extremely disappointed," commented Mike Bonanni, Berk's regular driver. "We'd been waiting for this event and to not even get one timed lap is crushing. We were hoping for a 1:24 lap time but now we're just bench racing," he continued.
More disappointment greeted the Raven Motorsports Audi A4. The team arrived late, which gave less time to convert the car to track spec, but they tweaked the suspension and rectified an exhaust manifold leak that had occurred the previous day.
When the car finally hit the track, everything started to come together until the manifold leak returned and robbed them of much-needed horsepower. As a result, they finished the day in seventh place with a time of 1:34.998sec without truly realizing the A4's potential.
Another team stalked by frustration was Bluewater Performance. Their R32 never broke through its best time of 1.30.214sec. Initially, the VR6 had a bad misfire that was diagnosed as burnt-out coil packs.
Once that was rectified, the R32 then fried its clutch so badly the driver couldn't shift gears properly. "It was a long drive from Colorado for this," lamented Gabe Adams from Bluewater. "we've been waiting for a clutch for six weeks because the one we have was never supposed to handle this much power," he explained beside his stricken VW. At least they had the honor of being fastest AWD car on the day...
The next four cars were extremely clsoe, finishing within a second of each other, trading times throughout day. They finished with the Euro Sport Accessories Mk4 GTI in fifth place, consistently running in the high 1.20s and setting a best time of 1.28.898sec.
"The car initially ran better than we expected," explained Raffi from Euro Sport. "The tires were good and the handling was spot on," he continued. "But the downpipe bolts worked loose and we started losing boost pressure. We managed to get four of the five bolts back in but it's difficult to work on the manifold on the floor at the track. Yet we still managed to set our best time with a slight boost leak as we got used to the car."
Beating them by just 0.002sec was the BSH Speedshop GTI, with a best lap time of 1:28.897sec. It also happened to be their final lap of the day, which was set with Revo's Jonny Cocker behind the wheel.
The team had been struggling to overcome its fuel problems for the entire event and had finally got the engine boosting properly, running it at 35psi in the final sessions. However, they lamented a lack of time to optimize the software tuning and felt they could have done much better.
Ahead of BSH by an agonizing 0.142sec was the BSH-prepared Mk5 GLI entered by Revo Technik. Despite its lack of traction or a front-mount to control engine temps, Jonny Cocker had pushed the car around as quickly as anybody could. His time of 1:28.755sec was a testimony to his considerable skills and a well-built car, which gave them the fastest FWD time of the day.
Built in just ten days by the BSH team, it had driven from Phoenix, AZ to California, performed flawlessly for the entire event, and would be driven to northern California the same evening.
As Mark Yates from Revo pointed out, it was the only car driven to all the events, covering 800 miles in three days. And while it wasn't set up for the track, it had finished in a very respectable third place, doing "surprisingly well" on both the dyno and dragstrip for what amounted to a fast street car.
"Next year we'll be better prepared," Mark promised, but remained happy with the last minute decision to enter the GLI.
A full second faster than the Jetta was the Groma Race Fabrications BMW M3 in second place. Unfortunately, the team arrived late and seemed slightly ill-prepared after failing to make the expected power on the dyno, and not having enough time to resolve the problem during the curtailed drag racing. However, they got their act together, improving the car and their times thanks to driver VJ Marzayan. He suggested some setup changes in the morning and it paid dividends with a best lap time of 1:27.726.
Having sold the V8-powered BMW E30 they ran last year, Groma rushed to build this M3 turbo in just five weeks and were incredibly happy with what they achieved.
And the winner is...
Fastest lap of the day overall and in class went to 034Motorsport. After dominating the dyno but breaking on the dragstrip, the road course vindicated the team's huge effort to build and setup a RWD, mid-engined Golf GTI with Audi S4 power for our little event.
According to driver Christian Miller, they started the day conservatively with the V6 producing just 6psi in order to ensure they could record some times. But as the day progressed, he used a button on the steering wheel that selected a 12psi map within 034's ECU, which "seemed to work well and we're very pleased with the results," he commented.
Another area of concern was the braking, because the stock ECU controlling the ABS had been removed when the Audi engine was switched over to 034's own standalone electronics. So they refitted the Mk4's Bosch brain in order to run the ABS, tacho and A8 throttle-body.
According to the driver, this arrangement worked very well, although there was apparently some braking instability at high speed. Fortunately, the track's abundance of low-speed corners masked the problem.
With the axle repaired and the car running strong, the team returned to what it does best: "We didn't have any major problems today," added Christian, "so we were fixing everybody else's cars!" he laughed.
|034Motorsport||VW GTI 3.0T||RWD||1:25.542|
|Groma Race Fabrications||BMW M3||RWD||1:27.726|
|Revo Technik||VW GLI 2.0T||FWD||1:28.755|
|BSH Speedshop||VW GTI 2.0T||FWD||1:28.897|
|Euro Sport Accessories||VW Golf 1.8T||FWD||1:28.898|
|Bluewater Performance||VW R32||AWD||1:30.214|
|Raven Motorsports||Audi A4 1.8T||AWD||1:34.998|
|Berk Technology||BMW 135i||RWD||DNF|
2006 VW GTI
Location: Phoenix, AZ
BSH Speedshop has been a star in the Euro scene for the last four years under a larger company umbrella that does everything from machining, prototyping, fabrication and manufacturing. BSH is undoubtedly the fun-side of the company that has a portfolio of building go-fast parts for VW, Audi, BMW, Mini and Porsche.
One of the shop's test cars is this '06 GTI built by BSH-founder Phillip Felice. Intended as his daily driver, the car was used as a test mule for the company's 2.0T FSI products, which included meth injection, PCV catch can and diverter valve relocation kit.
As a previous owner of a big-turbo 1.8T, Phil wanted to take the car to the next level. So he developed a complete kit using a Garrett GT-series turbo and a proprietary BSH tubular manifold, downpipe, intake adapter, dump tube and charge piping.
A calibration error on the dyno during testing holed a piston, which is when Phil decided to build the motor for more power.
With a strong motor and race-ready chassis, BSH completed the GTI hours before etGP. Also responsible for preparing the Revo Jetta, BSH didn't finish the fuel system in time.
With a car that has seen up to 518whp, BSH was disappointed with its GP dyno result and encountered problems that needed to be fixed over the next two days of competition.
With intermittent weather, it was difficult for the team to dial-in the motor. So the drag racing also saw poor results because they still weren't able to get the fuel system working properly.
On the last day, the car was in its best shape and they pushed hard using two different drivers. Revo's Jonny Cocker recorded the fastest time, which put them in the top four on the road course.
Euro Sport Accessories
2001 VW Golf
Location: Anaheim, CA
Euro Sport Accessories doesn't need an introduction. They've competed in every etGP since its inception and are often the wildcard. You never know what to expect...
The company has been in business for more than 20 years, manufacturing performance parts for VW, Audi and more recently the Ford Focus and Fiesta for its FSWerks division. Based in Anaheim, CA they build everything in-house and test on their dyno and at local tracks.
For etGP, they've had some exciting projects. Two years ago we saw their Ford Focus shine and in previous events Raffi Kazanjian's has entered a Mk1 GTI.
Last year they introduced a Mk4 Golf 1.8T but weren't able to fit a turbo upgrade in time. However, impressive chassis tuning and great driving meant they were the fastest FWD car.
This year they entered the same Golf but the company had to build two Fords for SEMA, so the Golf wasn't fully sorted out. Fortunately, it did have a GT2871R turbo and Stop-Tech big brakes.
The etGP dyno session went smoothly, and while they normally see more than 320whp on their in-house Dynojet, every tuner was coming up short on SP's Mustang dyno.
In the drag racing, Euro Sport was handicapped after breaking an axle on an early run. The incident took most of the time they would have used to improve on their quarter-mile times.
The road course didn't get any better. With little mileage on the turbo, the downpipe bolts were coming loose as a result of extreme vibrations caused by higher boosting. And the lack of preparation time meant the bolts hadn't been safety wired as normal.
Along with shift problems and cooling issues after the water flange cracked on the cylinder head, Raffi was only able to get a few hot laps before needing to cool the car down.
"Performance-wise, everything was there. If we had tested before, we would have reinforced and fixed the problems. Unfortunately, you can't do this type of testing on the street. You can't get the brakes to fade or the hardware to come loose. One or two laps on the track really push the car," concluded Raffi.
2009 VW Jetta GLI
Location: Buford, GA
Founded: 2003 Contact: revotechnik.com,
Revo Technik is known globally for it performance software - working primarily Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Seat and Skoda. With more than 300 dealers worldwide, they have engineering headquarters in the US and their UK homeland.
We've used Revo software on our Project TDI which gained 20whp and 48 lb-ft of torque. We'll also be using it on our Project Passat next month.
With solid engineering behind them, Revo set out to build a car for the US market. Their weapon of choice was this '09 Jetta 2.0T TSI.
The car was built in conjunction with BSH Speedshop, who handled the hardware, with Revo responsible for the tuning. "We built the car in about ten days," explained Phil from BSH. "It has our first TSI big-turbo kit. The engine fired on the tenth day and was driven to California from our shop. Very little testing was done. The tuning was done by sending files between Revo headquarters. But we're so happy because it ran flawlessly."
Mark Yates at Revo was also happy with the results because they saw etGP10 as a development year. "Trying to tune the software remotely was a challenge but it came together well," Mark said. "With a limited-slip diff, I think we could have done even better."
The Jetta was built using a mixture of parts from our previous Jetta TDI and GLI project cars. It included Brembo big brakes, a Caractere body kit, KW V3 coilovers and BBS CH wheels, all of which performed very well.
For being the only car driven to each event, the Jetta was rock solid and finished first in the FWD class, winning each discipline. The dyno and drag competitions were the first surprise but the ace up the sleeve was putting ALMS driver Jonny Cocker behind the wheel. He wrung every ounce of performance from the Revo car on the track, and they even drove to Northern California after the event to compete in another challenge that weekend with only a change of tires!
2004 VW R32
Location: Westminster, CO
Only a year in the business, Bluewater Performance is making headlines with its '04 VW R32.
Gabe Adams started the Colorado-based shop after being overwhelmed working on cars at home. At any given time there were apparently five cars being worked on, so it was time to open a shop...
Now Bluewater specialize in VW/Audi performance tuning and routine maintenance. They're a C2 Motorsports dealer and offer software upgrades, custom turbos, fabrication and more. They even plan to offer E85 conversions soon.
With such a great resume in only 12 months, Bluewater needed an appropriate shop car, which happened to be this big-turbo R32. The car was purchased in '08 and was transformed for power. A year later, Gabe shifted the focus to compete in Bonneville. The car was set-up for 200mph runs but failed the stringent tech inspection. However, it was revived for our event.
The VW suffered problems in all three GP competitions. On the dyno, it had trouble finding traction on the rollers. The team made a pass using 25psi, then 40psi only to gain 8-9whp. Despite this, the team was ahead of the pack, finishing second.
On the drag strip, the VW ran the fastest time of the day despite ignition issues throughout the morning, and a misfire caused by a faulty launch-control system.
The track day finally crippled Bluewater when the ignition issues persisted, added to a leaking fuel system. In the second session, the tuner found a spark plug had broken off in cylinder #2. They were unable to extract it in time for more runs but the clutch had also broken into five pieces.
"Overall, it was a great experience and we had a lot of fun regardless of the issues. We hope to be back next year with a stronger, faster car," Gabe concluded.
2000 Audi A4
Location: Long Beach, CA
Another new name for etGP was Raven Motorsports. Opening their doors 18 months ago, its staff has both factory-trained and aftermarket experience.
We recently became more acquainted with Raven when they assisted with the engine build for Project Silverstone (see elsewhere in this issue). But their specialty is virtually anything VW/Audi from routine service to repair, maintenance and performance upgrades. They've also done some interesting swaps, including a desirable six-speed manual conversion for the Audi RS6.
Their shop project is this B5 Audi A4. "I bought it with a broken timing belt for $1000," explained owner Matt Baumann. "It had 140k miles on it and I basically got it for free after I won a game of roulette in Vegas the same night I picked it up. That's why I chose this car for GP because I've had good luck with it."
Running in the GP as a one-man band, the dyno went well, although Matt had seen 40-50whp more using GIAC's facility two days earlier.
Raven came into the drag racing not knowing how the car would do. "I'd only driven B5 S4s before. So this was the first four-cylinder I'd drag raced but I got two good launches out of it," he told us. Despite losing the MAF and a couple of spark plugs, Raven finished second in the drag.
Going into the last day, Raven had the possibility of finishing in the top three but minor technical problems plagued their chances. During the warm up, the turbo gasket developed a small crack. After a temporarily fix, they decided not to push the car and take it easy. "It could have done a better time. I gave it my best considering I've never driven at Streets of Willow before. And for coming here as a rookie, solo mechanic and driver, I did really good," Matt concluded.
Raven plans to return next year, better prepared and possibly with a new project car.
2001 VW GTI
Location: Fremont, CA
No other tuner puts more effort into preparing for etGP than 034Motorsport. Since they started competing in our event, they've been dedicated to being the best by building highly competitive racecars.
The last two years saw them conquer with an '01 Audi A4 powered by a VR6 turbo motor that was retired after winning the '09 event outright.
With the A4 out of the picture, 034 set out to build a new monster that would be exciting to watch yet competitive. And so their mid-engine, S4-powered, rear-wheel drive VW GTI was born. You can read about the car in et 12/10 or at eurotuner.com.
After our photo shoot with the car, 034 still had its work cut out. "We hadn't done any tuning or testing by that stage," explained Javad Shadzi. "So immediately after we got back, we ran the engine and did some of the initial tuning with the GT35R turbo setup for the road course.
034 took the car to Sears Point for its first shakedown. A day was spent with driver Christian Miller running laps as the technicians pulled data to see how the car could be improved. The GTI was then altered to improve the chassis. For example, the suspension was originally all Porsche 996 parts, but the rear springs were too stiff, making the tail slide. So 034 tested a softer spring for more traction.
After two more days of testing at Sears Point and Buttonwillow, the car was ready for abuse at etGP.
On the dyno test, using its GT45R setup capable of 1000whp, 034 told us they were fighting for traction at SP Engineering. The rollers on the dyno weren't as big as 034's in-house dyno, where they'd seen 815whp. So the team dynoed in fifth gear to reduce wheelspin.
Drag racing followed the next day but 034 hadn't been able to test on the strip. "We'd done some launches and hoped it would be okay," Javad told us. "The idea was to launch gently on the first few runs; kind of feel the car out and see if it would do anything crazy."
In preparation, 034 had switched to its GT35R track turbo to find more traction. Changes to the wastegate springs and sway bar would also be done.
With Javad behind the wheel, he took things easy at first. On the fourth run, they tried using launch control to maximize traction and power but the hard launch broke the output flange on the transmission. Not having a spare part, 034 wasn't able to record a competitive run.
By the next day, the flange was fixed for the road course. Christian set the fastest time in the morning. With tweaks to the aero and alignment, the car continued to drop seconds each session.
"The car ran flawlessly all day. This was the one place we did the most testing. Considering this is a brand new project and the first year we've run it, the car represents what we do well. In the two events we finished, we dominated them. The one event were we broke, we lost," Javad explained "It's a crazy build. We didn't just take a factory car and do bolt-ons. So the fact it finished any event is rewarding to us."
034 plans to return with its mid-engined GTI next year with the issues resolved and the car thoroughly tested. We can't wait to see what its capable of...
2008 BMW 135i
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Contact: berktechnology.com, 949/387-9581
Berk Technology isn't well-known in the Euro community because they'd been developing import parts before then shifting focus to the BMW 135i in '08.
With two seasons completed in the car, Berk has made the appropriate modifications and gained experience with driver Mike Bonanni to excel in street classes.
For etGP, Berk aimed for one prize - to win the road course. With only minor engine tuning, they weren't expecting to do well in the dyno or drag events but use their experience and precise tuning to shine on the road course.
On the dynomometer, the car put down a respectable number using an ECU map from GIAC. And at the drag racing, it was the same story. Berk made the least amount of runs and did nothing to optimize the car for the quarter-mile.
Excited to be on the road course, driver Mike made a single warm up lap before the car spluttered to a halt. An electrical fire would end their day early and Berk went home disappointed without a single competitive lap.
The team didn't complain, aware such complications can happen during an event. With zero mechanical complications in the car's two-year history, Berk plans to return next year to take the road course crown.
Groma Race Fabrications
1995 BMW M3
Location: Duarte, CA
Contact: gromafab.com, 626/531-6430
After a one-year hiatus from etGP, Groma Race Fabrications returned. Two years ago, they had entered a Frankenstein project car. It was a '89 325i with a supercharged V8 motor that performed beyond expectations to become the best RWD car in the competition.
"When we decided to attend the GP again, we'd already sold the E30 V8 but had an E36 M3 street car. All we had at the time was a turbo and manifold but we figured we could build it quickly. We thought it would be a piece of cake," explained owner Ed Haroutonian.
Inevitably, that wasn't the case and the team scrambled to finish the car. Groma worked around the clock to tune the turbo motor, using Gintani's dyno. They would run the car then email the results to TRM Tuning on the East Coast, where the ECU file would be modified. The file was then emailed back, burnt onto a chip and run again on the dyno. It took four days straight.
So on the etGP dyno day, Groma was still tweaking the car and arrived last. "It definitely had a lot more in it. It should have been putting out over 500whp, but we couldn't mess with it any more," said Ed.
For the drag racing, Groma was hoping to continue to tweak the car and familiarize driver Mano Agulian. But by the time the team had adjusted its suspension and tire pressures, the rain-shortened day was over.
Other complications included a blown hose and the shifter falling apart. However, the M3 turbo put down a respectable time, finishing third on the strip.
By the final day on the road course, the car was beginning to come together. The only complication was the team's late arrival that meant they missed the driver briefing and didn't know every run would be timed. So with the final session approaching, they scrambled to get as many runs as possible from ex-TMS Grand-Am driver VJ Marzayan.
"The car basically did what we wanted it to do. We didn't put down the power we'd expected but we were confident for the event as long as it stayed together. We were trying to create a balanced car, hoping to finish near the top. To be out there and see what other guys are building is always a blast for us," concluded Ed.
Groma Race Fabrications
1995 BMW M3
Dyno: 342.90whp, 372.70 lb-ft (3rd)
Quarter mile: 13.232sec (3rd)
Lap time: 1:27.726sec (2nd)
ENGINE: 3.0-liter inline-six S50 with Cometic head spacer and gasket, ARP head studs, Comp turbo, Turbo Charging Dynamics exhaust manifold, Groma 3.5" exhaust and intake manifold, uprated injectors, TRM Tuning fuel pump and software
DRIVETRAIN: five-speed manual with Clutchnet clutch, lightened flywheel, rebuilt 3.73:1 limited-slip differential
BRAKES: 15" front, 12" rear Ireland Engineering rotors with six-piston front and four-piston rear PBR calipers
SUSPENSION: JRZ remote-reservoir coilovers
WHEELS & TIRES: 18x9" front, 18x10" rear Groma wheels with 255/35 R18 front, 285/30 R18 rear Continental ExtremeContact DW tires EXTERIOR: Groma front lip and rear wing, pulled fenders
2004 VW R32
Dyno: 597.12whp, 656.19 lb-ft (2nd)
Quarter mile: 11.79sec (1st)
Lap time: 1:30.998 (6th)
ENGINE: 3.2-liter VR6 24v with Wossner pistons, Integrated Engineering rods, Precision PT6865 turbo with .81ar housing, tubular manifold, Treadstone front-mount intercooler, 4" downpipe, 272° Schrick cams, 46mm Precision wastegate with 25psi spring, 2200cc injectors, United Motorsports E85 tune, 10AN fuel rail, Fuel Safe ten-gallon fuel cell, dual Aeromotive fuel pumps and FPR, Cusco oil catch can, 3" turbo inlet pipe, Mishimoto radiator, C2 short-runner intake manifold, Forge Unos boost controller and diverter valve, 4" exhaust
DRIVETRAIN: six-speed manual with DM Motorsport clutch and flywheel, Diesel Geek short shifter
BRAKES: StopTech four-piston calipers, 355mm rotors, Hawk pads
SUSPENSION: H&R RSS coilovers, Neuspeed sway bars, Bluewater adjustable rear control arms, rollcage
WHEELS & TIRES: 18x8.5" Work Emotion 11R wheels with 255/35 R18 Continental ExtremeContact DW tires
034Motorsport>br /> 2001 VW GTI
Dyno: 741.97whp, 600.12 lb-ft (1st)
Quarter mile: 14.935 (8th)
Lap time: 1:25.542 (1st)
ENGINE: 2.7-liter Audi V6 bored to 3.0L with 83mm JE pistons, 9:1 compression, Pauter rods, 2.8L 30v heads, Cat cams, Supertech valvetrain, 034EFI engine management, Garrett GT35R and GT45R turbos, Bell intercoolers
DRIVETRAIN: Audi 01E 2WD six-speed manual built by Advanced Automotion
BRAKES: Porsche 993 Turbo front calipers with 330mm 034 rotors, 996 Turbo rear calipers with 330mm rotors
SUSPENSION: Ohlins Motorsports suspension, H2Sport front spindles
WHEELS & TIRES: 18x8" front, 18x11" rear Porsche 996 Turbo Twist wheels with 255/40 R18 front, 295/35 R18 rear Continental ExtremeContact DW tires
EXTERIOR: custom metal widebody, modified R32 bumpers, metalflake silver paint
Raven Motorsports 2001
Audi A4 1.8T quattro
Dyno: 340.32whp, 330.45 lb-ft (4th)
Quarter mile: 12.393sec (2nd)
Lap time: 1:34.998sec (7th)
ENGINE: 1.8-liter four-cylinder 20v stroked to 2.0L with 83mm JE Pistons pistons, 8.5:1 compression, 83mm Integrated Engineering rods, 2.0T FSI crank, ported AEB head with 1mm oversized Supertech valves, Supertech springs, ARP head studs, Cat cam, ported intake, S4 throttle body, PSI Concepts turbo kit with longitudinal manifold, Concept 625 turbo, 680cc Bosch injectors and fuel pump, S4 MAF, Tial wastegate, AEM water/meth kit, Evolution Racewerks intercooler, Stern engine mounts and 3" turbo-back exhaust
DRIVETRAIN: Audi S4 01E six-speed manual conversion with 240mm Clutch Masters steel flywheel, FX400 six-puck disc, Autospeed tranny stabilizer bar
BRAKES: 365mm B7 RS4 front rotors and eight-piston calipers, 280mm S4 rear rotors with single-piston S8 calipers, Pagid pads
SUSPENSION: Tein Superstreet coilovers, S4 front sway bar, Neuspeed rear sway bar, Audi S4 subframe with aluminum spindles, driveshafts and rear differential, Stern tranny and rear diff mounts, bushings and upper control arms, B6 S4 shifter
WHEELS & TIRES: 18x8.5" 5Zigen wheels with 3mm spacers, Raven stud kit, 245/40 R18 Continental ExtremeContact DW tires
EXTERIOR: Spin Image flat-black vinyl wrap, S4 front bumper
2009 VW Jetta GLI
Dyno: 303.86whp, 271.61 lb-ft (6th)
Quarter mile: 13.752sec (5th)
Lap time: 1:28.755sec (3rd)
ENGINE: 2.0 liter four-cylinder 16v TSI with BSH GT3076R turbo kit, 3" turbo-back exhaust and motor mounts, Revo software
DRIVETRAIN: six-speed manualsix-speed manual
BRAKES: 12.9" Brembo front brakes with four-piston calipers
SUSPENSION: KW V3 coilovers
WHEELS & TIRES: 19x8" BBS CH wheels with 235/35 R19 Continental ExtremeContact DW tires
EXTERIOR: Caractere front bumper, side skirts, rear valance, grille, roof spoiler and trunk spoiler
2008 BMW 135i
Dyno: 331.30whp, 363.29 lb-ft (5th)
Quarter mile: 13.648sec (4th)
Lap time: DNF (8th)
ENGINE: 3.0-liter inline-six 24v twin-turbo with Berk Technology turbo-back exhaust, AEM water/meth injection, GIAC software, Code 3 Performance intercooler, Evolution Racewerks charge pipe
DRIVETRAIN: six-speed manual with OS Giken limited-slip differential
BRAKES: 14" front and rear Performance Friction Z-Rated rotors with forged monoblock, multi-pad calipers
SUSPENSION: KW Competition coilovers, Velocity Motorcars camber and toe links, OE M3 sway bars, L-CON rollcage
WHEELS & TIRES: 18x9.5" front, 18x10.5" rear Apex Arc8 wheels, 265/35 R18 front, 275/35 R18 rear Continental ExtremeContact DW
EXTERIOR: APR Performance GTC-200 rear wing, Formula mirrors and front splitter, Berk Technology front fender spats, Seibon carbon GTR hood and trunk, V-Fiber front lip and side skirts
2006 VW GTI
Dyno: 294.92whp, 270.01 lb-ft (8th)
Quarter mile: 14.06sec (6th)
Lap time: 1:28.897sec (4th)
ENGINE: 2.0-liter four-cylinder 16v with 83.5mm Wossner overbored pistons, Integrated Engineering rods, lightened and balanced rotating assembly, ported and polished head, BSH turbo kit with Garrett GT3076R turbo, front-mount intercooler, diverter valve, boost tap, True Seal intake, engine mounts, race PCV system and turbo-back exhaust, GReddy Profec B Spec II boost controller, Autotech fuel pump, Revo software, Snow Performance water/meth injection
DRIVETRAIN: six-speed manual with Southbend stage 5 clutch, Wavetrac limited-slip differential, BSH short shift kit
BRAKES: 14" front, 13" rear K Sport rotors with eight-piston front, six-piston rear calipers
SUSPENSION: K-Sport Kontrol Pro coilovers, rear camber kit, BSH rear sway bar and billet end-links, Auto Power roll-bar
WHEELS & TIRES: 19x8.5" VMR VM3 wheels with 235/40 R18 Continental ExtremeContact DW tires
EXTERIOR: Jetta front-end, smoothed and painted side skirts and rear valance, Euro R32 tail lights and clear indicators
Euro Sport Accessories
2001 VW Golf 1.8T
Dyno: 286.99whp, 277.13 lb-ft (7th)
Quarter mile: 14.279sec (7th)
Lap time: 1:28.898 (5th)
ENGINE: 1.8-liter four-cylinder 20v with Garrett GT2871R turbo, Euro Sport intake, 3" stainless downpipe and exhaust, diverter valve and front-mount intercooler, Bosch #52 injectors, Audi S4 MAF sensor, VF-Engineering in-tank fuel pump, GIAC software
DRIVETRAIN: five-speed manual with Euro Sport aluminum flywheel, Exedy clutch, Wavetrac LSD
BRAKES: 12.3" StopTech rotors with four-piston calipers
SUSPENSION: H&R coilovers with custom front spring rates, Euro Sport front upper, lower and rear braces, front camber plates, SPC rear shims
WHEELS & TIRES: 17x8" Enkei RPF1 wheels, 245/40 R17 Continental ExtremeContact DW tires
EXTERIOR: carbon hood, rear wing