After about two hours of talking with Chad Block, inside his spacious office just off Route 30 in the uneventful and civilized neighborhood of York, PA, it dawns on me that I could sit here for another two-in fact, for the rest of the day-and we would likely talk about nothing but racing. He talks about it so passionately and with a respect that makes you realize just how much racing means to those who spend their lives doing it properly. Racing is something that Chad-who, in his ability to disappear into a race car as he did during his 12 Hours of Sebring First Place win, calls to mind a young Bobby Rahal or even Michael Andretti-seems born to do.
"My dad wasn't a big-time race car driver, but he knows the values of hard work, determination, honesty, and support," he wrote in a blog several years ago, "The best thing about racing is similar to my relationship with my dad. It's a family environment, where everyone helps everyone."
The spacious office sits inside an even more spacious shop that Chad owns, appropriately named CBRD Speedfactory. The "CB" of course stands for Chad Block, and the "RD" is for "Racing Development." The "Speedfactory", well . . . it will be self-explanatory once when we get to his '05 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR. In the meantime, it's important to talk about Chad's company name. In most cases, a statement that includes "racing development" and "speedfactory" seems all too self-fulfilling, as if we're supposed to believe that actual development and production of "speed" happens inside the very building bearing the name. We've all come across companies, new and old, that promise so much in their names but just deliver bullshit in the end. But this, friends, isn't one of them.
With a resume that includes racing experience at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the aforementioned 12 Hours of Sebring, American LeMans, and "back of hand" knowledge of tracks like Laguna Seca (Mazda Raceway), Road America, Sears Point, and others that you may have raced in video games like Gran Turismo, whatever Chad says about racing, racing development, the production of speed, the optimization of the parts in your car, and even the scent of air freshener you need for the win, it must be intently heard. More the reason why if this is the first time you've heard of CBRD Speedfactoy, it will most likely find your eardrums again in the near future. So will the high-revving sound of Chad's '05 EVO MR.
"I built this EVO strictly as a project car to help CBRD Speedfactory develop products, as well as showcase what the company can do," Chad says, "So, in less than two years, we've managed to take it from street car to all-out race car."
From the start, the exterior and unique paint scheme automatically separate Chad's EVO from the pack. Painted in PPG Big League Blue and highlighted with white and silver undertones, the Evolution looks like a Voltron action figure. This is also due to the fact that the body looks seemingly close to activating an interlock or bringing forth some major mega-thrusters with its custom-flared front fenders, Voltex rear components, one-off DHP carbon fiber front lip splitter and rear diffuser, and ultra-top-secret carbon fiber rear wing.
Though I jokingly added some vague '80s Voltron references about the body kit, the performance pieces under the hood are really not that far off from actually connecting to some dyno-therms; the one-off turbo kit (a hybrid CBRD/Blouch TAK33R turbo) helps produce 475 whp at 7,600 rpm. It's a superstar by itself (making roughly 100 whp more than their previous twin-scroll T4 snail), but definitely a Hall of Famer when combined with a team of components specially picked and developed by CBRD and JM Fabrications to maximize efficiency and power, and disassemble in a hurry-a downright necessity for endurance racing, or when track rental time can cost upwards of $500/hr. Quick-release Wiggins or V-Band clamps attach the wastegate to the manifold, the manifold to the custom-machined Tial turbine housing by Blouch, the housing to the CBRD downpipe, and can be found at three additional points throughout the CBRD exhaust. Even the dual-pass CBRD radiator, diversion panels and 3.8-inch intercooler-and all plumbing, including the lines to the turbo-are fastened by quick-release connectors. "We can swap the turbo out in 10 minutes flat," says Block. Even more impressive is the motor itself-a Buschur-bored-and-stroked, 2.3L 4G63 that made me shiver as soon as I heard it start. Thankfully, the team put up videos on YouTube so you can experience it yourself. Just search "CBRD EVO", and you'll be immediately convinced at the power this machine possesses.
Naturally, with its owner and pedigree, this EVO isn't just up for increasing YouTube views. It's super-functional and ready to race at the turn of the ignition. Chad's plans for the car include domination in future Super Lap Battle and time-attack events across the nation, which is why he spent so much time modifying the chassis and the components underneath. Rolling on 18x9.5 Enkei RPF1 wheels wrapped in black blankets of Advan A048 rubber (or the occasional set of slicks, but Advan is the only rubber the team will use, they tell us), the EVO sits atop a set of fully adjustable, remote-reservoir Moton dampers and Hyperco springs. Chad also installed a Whiteline front sway bar and Perrin Performance rear sway bar to further limit body roll and better dial-in steering response. If the roll call of wheel and suspension parts didn't budge your racing ego, a glance at the Piper Motorsports rollcage should be enough of an intimidation to force you into retirement.
Before that, Chad just wants to talk racing and build his company into something of a staple within the EVO community. He believes his project should do the magic of convincing EVO owners that CBRD should be their first and last stop for modification. In my opinion, anyone who can tackle the straights of Road America and the sweeping turns of Laguna Seca with ease-and has the trophies to prove it-and wants to sell me a line of products to help me do the same, I'd hand my wallet to in a second.
'05 Mitsubishi Evolution
Output 475 whp @ 7,600 rpm
Engine 2.3L 4G63 engine; balanced and blueprinted crank and rotating assembly; GSC camshafts; Wiseco pistons, piston rings; Buschur dyno tuning, Stage 3 head; Driven Innovations intake manifold; CBRD custom air intake, exhaust, valve cover, double-pass radiator, radiator hoses, diversion panels, oil coolers, stainless steel hardware and gold foil; CBRD/Blouch Turbo TAK 33R; CBRD/JM Fabrications Tial V-Band manifold, Garrett core intercooler, pipes; Tial 50mm blow-off valve, 44mm wastegate; AEM Trueboost boost controller, EMS; custom-machined Tial housing by Blouch; ProForm fans; Ralliart spark plug wires; Precision 1,000cc fuel injectors; Walbro fuel pump; Perrin Performance fuel rail
Drivetrain Perrin Performance shift kit; CBRD twin-disk clutch by Fidanza
Suspension Moton motorsport two-way coilovers; Hyperco springs; Whiteline front sway bar, rear strut brace, bushings; Perrin Performance rear sway bar; Carbing front strut brace; Piper Motorsports roll cage; custom rear brace
Wheels/Tires 18x9.5 Enkei RPF1 +15 offset wheels; Advan AO48 285/30-18 tires
Brakes Brembo six-piston 355mm front brakes, four-piston rear brakes
Exterior Voltex widebody kit; CBRD custom fenders, CBRD-modified OEM front bumper, rear bumper, hood; one-off custom carbon fiber rear wing; PPG Big League blue
Interior Sparco Evo front seats, steering wheel; CBRD carbon fiber door panels, custom console, custom shifter base
Electronics AiM gauges
Behind The Build
Head to the message boards at www.importtuner.com
to chat about this feature Vehicle
Race car driver and owner of CBRD Speed Factory
Turtle cycle maintenance, G.I. Joe collecting, Ewok Village LARPing
"To show the Evo community what CBRD can do and how we are different."