For the past three years, Castrol has been putting several of the Source Interlink Media magazines together for the Syntec Challenge. Castrol is one largest oil companies in the world and Syntec is their flagship line, featuring fully-synthetic racing oils.
Although we've never won, each year we've been able to gain higher ground on the totem pole. The first year was a motor build off, and our Bisimoto built F22A fell rather short, landing in fifth place (out of seven) (Although we should have won - SK). In the past two competitions, the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge transformed into a full car exercise. Last year our 350Z chariot did an awesome job, coming in second, but couldn't take down Modified magazine's AMS-built Evo 9. This year we've sharpened our skills and knew exactly what to do.
It took us a long time to find the perfect candidate to represent Super Street in the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge. We knew that in order to win, we'd have to place high in all the categories and never be on the lower end of any. With tests ranging from vehicle cost to a time attack, we had to find a perfectly well-rounded car. On top of all that, it had to be a streetcar that would pass emissions and be able to drive on public streets, a three-hour journey to the fighting grounds of Buttonwillow Raceway. At first, we wanted an AWD car to ensure us good results in the 1/4-mile time, 1/4-mile trap speed and acceleration tests. At the same time, we knew we needed something in the neighborhood of 600whp for this competition and no AWD with that kind of power was anywhere near a streetcar anymore. They all tend to be gutted down racecars with no interior or license plates. When we saw Curtis Chen's 1995 Supra, we knew this was the car. It was relatively inexpensive and extremely balanced to meet all categories.
Kicking off the challenge was the dyno competition at K&N's research and development facility in Riverside. We were greeted with our competition; a R35 GT-R (Modified magazine), a time attack S2000 (Honda Tuning), a widebody turbocharged NSX (Import Tuner), a built Shelby GT500 Mustang (5.0 Mustang), and a BMW M3 that definitely was no streetcar (eurotuner). The dyno numbers came out rather low even though our Supra was screaming. Apparently that dyno gives off low numbers and so it was consistently low for everyone. Two teams were having problems with their cars on the dyno, but everything on our car ran seamless. What can I say, it's a Toyota. Along with the dyno pulls, the emissions tests were done at K&N. As much confidence as we had in our Mil.Spec catalytic converter, we couldn't be sure we'd beat some of the more stock cars. Afterwards, we headed to Buttonwillow where for the next two days all the cars would be put through more grueling tests of performance.
First of the morning was a 1/4-mile drag race in conjunction with 60-foot acceleration. AWD cars have a traction advantage, but Supras are known to lay down some sick 1320 times. If we couldn't win, we knew would finish somewhere in the middle. Losing any class would mean we couldn't take home the victory. As they say being second is just the first place loser. Two of the competitors seemed to have amazing runs and we weren't sure how our lower numbers would come into play.
Next in line was the braking test. There's a reason why AP Racing is found on more Formula One cars than any other brand. It's the same reason Curtis chose the calipers he did for his Supra. Mixing AP Racing with the Nitto NT01 tires stopped the brute 3200-pound car perfectly. At this point, we knew we were in the running for a podium position but the road course was still ahead of us. Being the most valuable part of the competition, any car with a super hot track time could potentially knock us down in the standings. Our biggest fear was Modified's R35 Godzilla and Import Tuners' turbocharged NSX. Both cars looked like they could dominate us on the track. On our side, Curtis brought in his longtime friend and racing buddy Matt Andrews to pilot the car. Matt knows the Supra back and forth and has seen more seat time than I have seen TV. For the pits, Curtis had Mike Louie of Competition GT in charge of the mechanics, making sure the car was running at 100% at all times. Curtis' team was solid and performed like clockwork. Nothing ever went wrong - no drama, no breakdowns and no problems.
We all know how fast Supras can be but would this car be well-rounded enough to finish the competition on top of all the others? Was the GT-R too fast for us to keep up with? Did the Mustang just stomp out everyone with all their power? Did eurotuner's curse come back to haunt another one of their cars? Stay tuned and find out the results and stats on every team in the next issue!
Lap Times: Teams compete for the single fastest lap time during a 20-minute session on the road course.
1/4 Mile Time: Cars compete for quickest ending times, the best out of 3 runs.
1/4 Mile Trap Speed: Cars compete for the fastest trap speed, best of 3 runs.
Horsepower: Using a dyno, cars will be tested to find who has the highest peak horsepower. Teams will be limited to 3 runs.
Power-to-Weight: Cars will be weighed at the dyno to calculate who has the best power-to-weight ratio.
Emissions: Vehicles will be tested with a 5 gas automobile emissions analyzer. Pass that sniff test!
Acceleration: 0-60 foot time.
Braking: 80mph-0 using a radar gun.
Endurance: Cars will have to test out their endurance in Los Angeles' concrete jungle by driving to the track during the middle of rush hour traffic - and trust us, the 405 is a bitch.
Vehicle Cost: Scores will be based on the current used car value.
1995 Toyota Supra
Owner Curtis Chen
Hometown Orange County, CA
Occupation Account Manager
Power 699whp @ 7,000rpm
Engine Toyota inline-six cylinder 3.0L 2JZ-GTE; Boost Logic 67dbb Billey turbo, turbo manifold, downpipe and fuel rail; TiAL wastegate; HPF intercooler; Twins Turbo ported headwork; GSC Stage 1 camshafts; Jun cam gears; BC valve springs and retainers; ARP head studs; CP forged pistons; ITG intake filter; HKS DLI ignition and boost controller; NGK spark plugs; Odyssey PC680 battery; Mocal oil cooler; Castrol Syntec motor oil; PWR radiator; TRD thermostat; Titek dry carbon spark plug cover; Dual Mil.Spec 100-cell catalytic converter; Veilside Titanium exhaust
Drivetrain Factory Getrag V160 6-speed transmission; Carbonetic differential; HPF clutch; RPS Cyn-R-G flywheel; C's short shifter
Engine management Hyrda EMS by Justin Nunni at Tunning Concepts
Footwork & Chassis Robispec KW V3.5 coilovers; TRD front sway bar; Mintt Speed titanium front strut bar; JIC front and rear camber arms; foam strengthened chassis
Brakes AP Racing calipers and 14'' front rotors; Endless CC-X front and rear pads; TRD stainless steel lines
Wheels & Tires CCW C14 wheels 18x11'' (front) and 18x12'' (rear); Nitto NT01 tires 315/30/18 (front and rear)
Exterior Ridox body kit; Modellista Designs Uchida dry carbon TS1 hood, carbon-fiber wing (street) and molded fenders; APR carbon-fiber GT wing (track); '98 spec headlights and taillights
Interior Recaro SPG bucket seats; Bride seat rails; Schroth 5-point harnesses; Sparco harness bar; TRD steering wheel
Thanks You Competition GT; Boost Logic; Robispec; MVP Motorsports; GSC Motorsports; Nitto Tires; Turbo Import; Tuning Concepts; KW Suspensions; AMB Aero Design; Mil.Spec