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“Circuit drivers see one corner 1000 times — rally drivers see 1000 corners one time.” In this episode of the High Performance Academy podcast, we’re joined by the one and only Dave Carapetyan of Rally Ready.Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here: known as ‘Texas Dave’, this driver and instructor owns and operates the Rally Ready driving school on a converted cattle ranch 30 minutes outside of Austin, and joins podcast host Andre Simon for a dive deep into the world of rally. Dave first breaks down the sport, explaining the ins and outs of stages, co-drivers, service intervals and everything in between, before jumping into the mechanical side of the equation to talk about damper setup, braking needs, and the importance of horsepower.  There’s a lot that goes into building a winning rallycar and, as you can probably guess, it’s more than just piecing together a rapid machine.Time is also spent covering the best ways for an amateur to get into this sport, from the right vehicle to pick, to setting realistic expectations, to just how much money you really need to be competitive. The guys also have an interesting chat around FWD vs RWD vs AWD that may surprise a few listeners.Lastly, although there’s a lot that goes into building the abilities needed to become a podium-level rally driver, Dave still thinks there are a few key skills that, when mastered, will get all the aspiring Sebastian Loebs out there a long way towards success — even rally newbies like Daniel Ricciardo.Want to take your driving skills to the next level? Start here: Dave here: IG: @texas_dave, @rallyready, @brcc_motorsportsFB: Rally Ready Driving SchoolWWW:
What makes a 7.56 second at 187MPH world record holding AWD Honda Civic tick?Pushing out approx 1300-1400HP at 70PSI of boost on ethanol fuel, Norris Prayoonto gives Andre Simon the rundown on what went into the worlds quickest AWD Honda build and how some aspects compare to the FWD setups they are also very successful with.The MoTeC-controlled Honda Civic runs a K-Series-based engine with Prayoonto Racing in house 2.2L long block, camshafts and cylinder head, Brian Crower crank, JE pistons and all the other goodies from their FWD engine program. Class rules limit the team to a 76mm Garrett GTX50 but with extra weight added to the car, they would be permitted to run a bigger 80mm turbo, however that is not on the radar just yet.Unlike a lot of other AWD drag cars, such as the GTR, the Prayoonto team treat the car more like a FWD than RWD and as such the split is 70/30 which is producing consistent 60-foot times in the 1.1s range and compared to the team's 1.4 second times with FWD only that is a substantial improvement. Lastly, i-VTEC and its usage are also discussed along with cam profiles, traction control and in passing a nod for a billet block in the team's future.Learn more about Performance Engine Building by coming along to the next FREE lesson:
Sander Marques of Obsidian Motorsport Group is our first-ever return guest, and for very good reason. Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here: first jumped on the Tuned In podcast in its early days, way back in Episode 008, and while we managed to gain a tonne of insight during that conversation, we still had so many questions left to ask the tuner and MoTeC M1 Build savant.With Sander’s heavy involvement in the recent high-profile Hoonipigasus Porsche hillclimb build driven by Ken Block, now seemed like the perfect time to catch up and see what kind of knowledge we could dig out of him this time around. Sander and podcast host Andre Simon first discuss the initial planning stages of the Hoonipigasus build as the team dealt with a quickly dwindling time frame. Sander was in charge of designing and planning out all the electrical systems in the car, and he had to do it all without it actually existing yet.Lots of time is spent in this conversation running through the incredibly complex control systems, which includes the use of twin MoTeC M142 ECUs, geo-fenced hydraulic ride height adjustment, Sander’s own bespoke INS (inertial navigation system), and much more.Unless you’ve been off-world for the last few months, you’re probably already aware that the Hoonipigasus sadly never made it past practice at this year’s 100th running of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. While Hoonigan’s excellent documentary covers a lot of what went into the build, we knew that Sander would be able to provide some seriously in-depth insight that’s better suited to this podcast and its more technically-minded listeners.The Hoonipigasus went from concept to completed machine in a ridiculously short time frame, and this episode provides a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create such an impressive machine in such a small amount of time. Follow Sander here: IG: @lambdaofoneFB: @obsidianmotorsportWWW: obsidianeng.comSander's first appearance on Tuned In:'s Hoonipigisus documentary: to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here:
What goes into designing and manufacturing a cam for a brand new engine design that’s just hit the market? Kiel Rasmussen of Kelford Cams explains.It was a no-brainer for Kelford Cams to dive into producing an aftermarket camshaft option for the BMW B58 engine that powers the MK5 A90 Toyota Supra, and at the Performance Racing Industry Trade show Kiel explains how things go from reverse-engineering the valve lift curve through to producing a final product.The limitations in valve lift on the intake due to the B58s rocker arm system are explained as well as how the exhaust side is much easier to deal with at this stage giving a solid 50HP increase throughout the power range with an exhaust cam swap alone before you start to see some tradeoffs in power delivery. Note for now while the rest of the aftermarket is catching up the cams are set to match the stock internals, so there is still plenty in the tank for the future.Also discussed is heat treatment and how the camshafts must be straightened afterwards where necessary depending on the metal used, and a little bit of what goes into the PAC Racing Kelford spec'd valve springs and retainers with setups like this.Learn more about Performance Engine Building by coming along to the next FREE lesson:
What’s the key to building and tuning a turbocharged engine for sustained top-speed runs? How do you catch a potential problem before it results in a blown motor? And what’s the secret to acquiring and maintaining a good reputation in the industry?All these questions are answered in this, the 50th episode of the High Performance Academy Tuned In podcast with the legendary Jay Meagher of Real Street Performance. Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here: far as reputations in the aftermarket performance industry go, Jay and his company, Real Street Performance, has one of the best. Podcast host Andre Simon gets Jay to break down his approach to tuning, engine building, parts supply, and customer relations to find out how this has been achieved.Jay has been developing and tuning high-powered domestic and import engines for a good few years now, and has a lot of experience and advice to drop in this conversation when it comes to keeping big power setups reliable. Spoiler; there’s a lot to be said for building it right the first time, leaving a little power on the table when tuning, and being able to spot a problem before it causes a catastrophic failure.Jay has spent much of his motorsport career at the dragstrip. In more recent years, though, has been starting to push the top speed limits at the famous Bonneville salt flats. This isn’t a topic we’ve ever discussed on Tuned In before, and there’s a lot of interesting insight in this episode when it comes to building motors that are built to run at sustained power and RPM levels for long periods of time. Finishing off with a great discussion around the pros and cons of different dyno types and the pitfalls of jumping between them, this conversation is jammed with useful and interesting information in equal measure. Follow Jay and Real Street Performance here:IG: @realstreetperformanceFB: @real.streetYT: RealstreetperformanceWWW: realstreetperformance.comLearn more about Performance Engine Building by coming along to the next FREE lesson:
Using the Blueprint Racing 6.53 @ 213mph Mazda 6 for some examples we dive a little into how to build a rotary engine for drag racing.Want to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here: 1500HP out of a rotary engine isn't hard these days with the knowledge in the industry, but doing it with a window of safety and repeat reliability is still a struggle as Jon of Jon Blanch Racing explains. Naturally, some comparisons are made between the rotary and piston world in respects to aftermarket part support which has been growing in recent years but still lacks in many areas no matter how big your budget is, but most interestingly from what is out there the OEM Mazda rotors with some modification are still the go-to choice for performance builds.An area where the aftermarket has made massive improvements, however, is when it comes to the plates with billet options not necessarily helping engine builders and tuners make more power but instead giving a little more reliability and tolerance to the small windows you have to work within when it comes to getting power out of your rotary.Porting is also discussed and Jon shares why a semi-peripheral port (semi-pp) is preferred along with why the perfect port placement depends on more than just a single perfect physical location.
Long-time friend of HPA Ryan Basseri of Rywire joins us for this episode of the Tuned In podcast to discuss all things Honda, motorsport wiring, and the aftermarket automotive business.Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here: you’ve been in the game for any decent amount of time, you’ve probably heard of Rywire, a company based out of California that focuses on wiring solutions for a wide range of enthusiast applications. Ryan is most often associated with the Honda tuning world, and there’s a very good reason for that. Having grown up in a Honda family, the love of CR-Xs, Civics, and Preludes rubbed off on Ryan, pushing him towards his first B16A swap not too long after he got his driver’s license. Tuned In host Andre Simon and Ryan discuss the craziness of those early days, focusing first on Ryan’s affinity with all things Honda, and then on Ryan’s savvy identification of a lack of quality specialist harnesses and his first foray into building and selling them as a hobbyist side hustle. Things only grew organically from there, and Rywire is now a leader in the wiring world. Andre and Ryan dissect this journey and identify the wins and the mistakes that led to this success — there’s a whole lot of business wisdom dropped in this episode that could provide anyone starting out — or struggling — in the industry, just the kick-in-the-ass they need. Ryan also spends time discussing motorsport wiring at large, laying out some great rules to follow and mistakes that he sees people making time and time again — mistakes that you'll now be able to avoid. Follow Ryan here: IG: @rywire_motorsport_electronicsYT: RywireWWW: rywire.comWant to learn more about motorsport wiring? Claim your spot for the next FREE lesson:
Ayrton Senna's first Formula 1 car and F1 turbo era engine technology and modernization with Geoff Page Racing.Want to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here: some engines reaching an alleged 1500HP in qualifying trim, the turbo era of F1 was one of excitement, innovation, and tragedy. Geoff Page is no stranger to some of the cars of this moment in Formula 1 history, and during Goodwood Festival of Speed trip earlier this year we were lucky enough to visit his workshop that is brimming with cars, chassis, and engines with huge historical significance including the first F1 car Ayrton Senna ever competed and scored points in back in 1984, the Toleman TG183B powered by a turbocharged Hart 415T.Geoff gives us a rundown on the 800HP 415T plus how Brian Hart and the team decided to look at some older pre-existing monoblock technology at the time to combat head cylinder sealing issues, and how coolant flow was actually one of the biggest issues for them to overcome via a ‘dummy’ head gasket that was cast into the block in order to better control flow and pressure, and therefore temperatures. The evolution of head gasket technology from there on is discussed along with what output Geoff thinks the 415T could produce today with the addition of some modern technology such as an ECU, sensors, and turbo upgrades.Also discussed is the block casting technology of the time, Nikasil coating and how Geoff has worked to reproduce the 415T with some modern upgrades to ensure cars like this do not just sit collecting dust and can instead be fired up and driven as they were intended to do. Interestingly with a Life Racing ECU developed specifically for the 415T which runs 4 injectors per cylinder, the engine start time has been reduced by a whopping 2 hours compared to the old mechanical injection setup. This is a huge interview with so much more discussed and we’ll definitely be back to catch up with Geoff again in the future.
Long-time Supra racer and 2JZ fiend Cody Phillips of Cody Phillips Racing joins us for this week’s episode of the High Performance Academy Tuned In podcast.Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here: Tuned In host Andre Simon and Cody delve into a wide range of topics in this conversation — from the struggles of tuning in the early days, to the joys of Hondas in the late nineties, to exactly what makes drag racing so addictive — undoubtedly the main focus of this podcast is Cody’s 6.81-second JZA80 Toyota Supra.This was Cody’s dream car as a teenager, and he was able to finally pick one up in the early 2000s. When the original owner asked him what he planned to do with it, Cody told him he was probably going to make it one of the fastest Supras in the world. Two decades later, Cody still has that same car, and that’s exactly what he’s done — it now is one of the fastest IRS JZA80s in the world. With full glass, the car weighs well over 3000lbs, and Cody talks us through the challenges of making such a heavy car with an independent rear end go so quickly. That means launch and wheelie control secrets, the use of nitrous, and much more.Obviously, a lot of it comes down to the power delivery, and this is where we get to the real meat and potatoes of the conversation — Toyota’s 2JZ-GTE. Suffice it to say, if there’s something Cody doesn’t know about this motor, it probably isn’t worth knowing. Andre and Cody dive super deep into the 2J, discussing its pros and cons, as well as ways around many of those downsides. There are some great nuggets of wisdom to be found in this episode when it comes to topics like head gasket sealing, boost control strategies, and cast vs billet in the 2JZ world.As mentioned, John Reed and Sander Marques episodes can be found here:John Reed: Marques: Follow Cody here:IG: @codyphillipsracingFB: Cody Phillips RacingWWW: codyphillipsracing.comWant to learn more about motorsport wiring? Claim your spot for the next FREE lesson:
If you’re running 3000HP at 150PSI of boost or 30HP at 0PSI it doesn’t matter, you’re going to need to seal that combustion pressure inside the cylinder, however, the way you do this is going to be very different depending on those big, or small power levels.Want to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here: Hunter of SCE Gaskets runs us through all of the essential pros and cons when it comes to the advantages of composite, Multi-Layer Steel (MLS), Vulcan Cut Ring and Copper O-ring head cylinder sealing gaskets covering all engine outputs from high output Top Fuel drag cars to your low output economy class street vehicles.Also discussed is the potential ability to reuse MLS gaskets and what you need to pay careful attention to in order to do this safely, the way Viton coating is currently being used and the research around improving that and why a composite gasket will not cope with a high output, high compression engine and also interestingly why the head gasket for this task will not be reliable when it comes to coolant and oil sealing in a low output application.
This week's episode of the HPA Tuned In podcast is a fascinating one as we dig into the finer details of building and driving one of the fastest hill climb cars on earth with Robin Shute of the Sendy Club. Recorded just a few days after Robin's recent third consecutive overall win at the 100th running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, this ace driver and automotive engineer is coming off a brutal week full of engine fires, sleep deprivation, and appalling weather conditions — and he has a whole lot to say about the experience.Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here:, someone wins Pikes Peak every year, but the difference with Robin and The Sendy Club team is that they aren't backed by a big manufacturer opening up the chequebook in search of glory — it's a bunch of (admittedly very smart and talented) enthusiasts who've come together to dominate at the world's greatest hill climb event.As an automotive engineer and top-level driver, Robin is an absolute goldmine of information when it comes to not just driving exceptionally fast cars, but the finer, nerdier details of building them too. A lot of time is spent in this podcast pouring through the details of the Sendy Club's incredible Honda K-powered Wolf hill climb car. Turbo sizing, altitude considerations, aerodynamics, braking performance, and everything in between gets covered here. There's also a great discussion had around the art of driving itself — both in terms of how to be fast, proper preparation, and carving out a successful career in motorsport.This episode is absolutely jammed with useful and inspirational information that'll have you itching to get back into the workshop and on the tools. Watch SuperfastMatt's excellent coverage of this year's Sendy Club campaign: Robin and the Sendy Club here:IG: @robin.shute, @thesendyclubYT: The Sendy ClubWant to take your driving skills to the next level? Start here:
A 2JZ swap is a popular choice for the Toyota GT86 chassis, but you won't find one under the hood here.The turbocharged 2500HP Landcruiser 1FZ-FE powered Boosted86 Racing was the first 6sec Radial Import, and at the time of filming held the record as the worlds fastest with a 6.558 @ 215.82mph pass. At Sydney Jamboree 2020 owner and driver, Nikki Coy, gave us some insight into the build.Want to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here: due to a shortage of inputs, the car runs TWO Link Xtreme ECUs in order to both control and engine and log data from around the car along with a MoTeC C125 dash. The 1FZ-FE runs staged injection via 18 x Siemens 2400cc units and a 98mm Garrett turbo with Elmer Racing collector. Nikki plans to go to the G57 series for more power in the near future. Tuning and chassis setup is handled via Santhuff's Suspension Specialties and AFCO Racing shocks with JW Automotive and 6boost on the tools etc. The 1FZ runs dry and has been destroked down from 4.5L to 3.9L leaving many of the internals to be custom made along with head work and parts coating done by Performance Wholesale to match. On the surface destroking the engine might seem like an unnecessary complication, however it allows the teams to run in more than just one class as to get more seat time and chances at record-setting passes.
Ever wondered if tech support staff at ECU manufacturers just get asked the same handful of questions and help fix the same few tuning problems over and over again?  Wonder no more, because Haltech's Mitch Smith — a guy who spends his day helping customers all over the world with some pretty in-depth tuning and setup questions — predictably has all the answers. Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here: in Sydney, Australia, Mitch left the IT profession to jump into the deep end of the tuning industry in order to do something he loves. Host Andre Simon and Mitch talk about taking that leap of faith and why making a big career move like this can often be a hugely positive life-changing event. Mitch is self-taught and is an absolute wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things tuning — as you'd need to be if you spent your 9-5 helping other pros figure out some occasionally very challenging problems.  Andre and Mitch focus their discussion on the ins and outs of setting up and tuning standalone systems like Haltech's Nexus series of ECU, and talk about the most common mistakes that customers make, as well as Mitch's solutions to those mistakes.Being a Nissan RB lover, Mitch is also heavily involved in the Maatouks Racing team — one of the biggest names in the Aussie import scene. Mitch talks about working with Anthony Maatouk and discusses the team's latest weapon in detail — an RB-powered Pro-Mod chassis that's gunning for the overall import world record. After running a 5.8 on only its third pass, it seems like the team could be in with a good shot in the coming season.This episode provides a great mix of inspiration for those just starting out, as well as some seriously in-depth discussions that seasoned listeners are going to love sinking their teeth into. Want to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here: out Haltech's channels here:IG: @HaltechecuFB: @HaltechWWW:
The world's quickest and fastest Supra, quickest factory transmission, NHRA Pro Street tyre champion, and quickest IRS car — these are some titles that the Titan Motorsports 2000HP+ Copper Supra has held over its impressive career so far.Want to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here: car runs a FuelTech FT600 controlled 2jz with in-house camshafts, CP Carrillo pistons, Ferrea Valve Train components, ARP head studs, Hypertune components, an aftermarket billet block and a production cast cylinder head with an 88mm Precision turbo bolted on to make around 2000HP+ at 2800lbs of weight for the X275 drag racing class rules.Nero Deliwala runs Andre through some of the current specifications of the car including the reasons and advantages behind the usage of a Liberty air-shifted 5-speed box over the 2-speed auto most other cars in the class use. Also discussed is the head sealing progression in relation to power output, the flexibility around changes to the car to fit other class rules and also how exciting it has been to run a turbocharged car over the last 15 years and witness first-hand the progression in turbo design and technology.
No matter how you feel about electric vehicles, there's no denying the incredible performance that can be achieved with these impressive driveline systems.  With more and more rapid EVs hitting the streets every day, inevitably, enthusiasts are now beginning to ask just what can be gained when working with them. This week's HPA Tuned In podcast guest is Sasha Anis of Mountain Pass Performance, someone who has dived deeper than most into the world of high-performance EVs.Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here: is an accomplished driver and tuner who has, in recent years, refocused his efforts into the EV world, and his insight into this fairly new and constantly changing field of hyper-performance is invaluable.In this episode, Sasha first breaks down the basics of how an EV system works, and spends time clearing up a few misconceptions around what is and isn't possible, the constant compromises that need to be made, and the future of EV tuning. MoTeC's M1 Build platform and how Sasha uses it in his EV builds is also discussed.More of this new breed of vehicle on the roads equals more people crashing them, and that means some seriously enticing drivelines have begun popping up at the local wreckers. Sasha was an early adopter of EV swap exercises, and takes us through the process of swapping these monster drivelines into conventional ICE vehicles, and details what needs to be considered, eliminated, and purchased before the first spanner is turned. Mountain Pass Performance's Blue Lightning — a Tesla-swapped Lotus Evora package — is also picked apart.Sasha also spends time discussing the braking and handling upgrade options he provides for Teslas, as well as a deep look at his well-known Nissan 350Z time attack car that uses a monster NA VQ engine working in tandem with a custom hybrid KERS system that Sasha has spent years developing and improving himself.It doesn't matter how you feel about electric vehicles, this conversation with Sasha Anis of Mountain Pass Performance is genuinely fascinating and well worth the listen.Follow Sasha here:IG: @sashaanis14, @mountainpassperformanceWWW: mountainpassperformance.comWant to learn more about motorsport wiring? Claim your spot for the next FREE lesson: 
After multiple lap records and back to back wins, owner, Pro-Am class driver and passionate time attack supporter Kosta Pohorukov and the infamous Tilton Interiors EVO IX V1 met an untimely end on track. While tragic, the incident that left the old chassis a write off enabled Trent Murphy of TM Automotive and others involved to use the winning formula on a new chassis and add all that extra knowledge they had learnt along the way to do it better.Want to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here: result was a keen focus on weight reduction, slight aero improvements care of Voltex Racing and after the chassis was completed by Riverside Racing, an incredible 3 month build time in order to make it to the World Time Attack Challenge before heading to Tsukuba in Japan, the home of time attack. With the car producing upwards of 3000kg of downforce, it is no surprise keeping the class spec tyres intact is an issue and an RF tyre delamination saw the team finishing the event early due to damage, but still walking away with 3rd place in the Pro Class with Garth Walden at the wheel, and 1st in Pro-Am via Kosta himself.The EVO 9's 4G63 retains its cast block as at around 1200HP it doesn’t give them any issues producing 1200HP from a 2.2L capacity. The Emtron ECU and MoTeC PDM and dash display/logger control the engine and a myriad of sensors which ensure engine reliability as well as helping dial in aero and suspension setups to get the most out of the car. A Hollinger 6 speed sequential helps get the power to the ground and while Trent didn’t give any specific numbers, the torque split has been adjusted to ensure the car turns into corners easily, as well as maintaining traction when the noise pedal is used on the exit.Also discussed is the new BorgWarner EFR 9280 turbo which hits a max boost of around 42PSI and 116,000RPM and its advantages over the old EFR 9180, the importance of packers, bump rubber and getting your spring rates right, using Nitrous and why the MIVEC system is retained. Also touched on is the difficulty of reducing weight when so much strength is needed to handle downforce with the tradeoff being the weight is placed as low as possible to improve handling.
You've seen him roasting tyres on Netflix, swinging wrenches on Donut Media's HiLow series, and smashing out laps in Formula D competition, and now Aaron Parker is here and ready to talk rotary engines, motorsport wiring, and a whole lot more on this week's episode of the HPA Tuned In podcast.Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here: Parker will be a name and face known to many listeners thanks to his high-profile gigs in the industry — he's more than just a media personality though. Aaron has a wealth of experience and a whole lot of knowledge in the automotive space, particularly when it comes to Mazda's rotary engine and professional motorsport wiring.Aaron and Tuned In host Andre Simon jump straight into Aaron's rise through the industry, beginning with his danger-soaked early obsession with street bikes and eventual progression onto four wheels — the rotary-powered Mazda FD3S RX-7 in particular.Everything rotary then takes over the conversation, covering why these unique motors have such a shaky reputation for reliability, how you can build one properly and have it last for years' worth of hard driving, why rotary tuning and turbo selection needs to be approached differently, and plenty more.When he's not building cars on the internet, competing in drift competitions in his RX-7, or stunt driving in Hollywood productions, Aaron spends his time running Wolf Motorsport Wire, providing high-end motorsport wiring solutions for some of the fastest cars on the planet.Aaron and Andre get deep into the ins and outs of the motorsport wiring world, discussing future proofing, providing a service that keeps customers happy, and what makes a good wiring job in motorsport.There's a lot to chew on in this episode — it's well worth a listen, especially if you think rotaries are garbage.You can follow Aaron here:IG: @aaparker.300, @wolfmotorsportswireYT: Aaron ParkerAs mentioned in the podcast, the Stephan Papadakis episode can be found here: to learn more about motorsport wiring? Claim your spot for the next FREE lesson: 
18,400 RPM and 900HP from a 3L V10 engine ...and not a turbo in sight on this McLaren MP4/15.At today's mainstream levels of technology, 900HP V-10 NA is not a cakewalk from an engine with a 3L capacity, and then when you throw 18,400 RPM into the mix but still demand drivability it becomes even more difficult yet this is exactly what Mercedes were doing with their Formula 1 technology way back in the year 2000.Want to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here: a former long-time Formula One engineer for David Coulthard, Tim White of Garage 59 knows a thing or two about F1 technology, and at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb Andre was lucky enough to spend a bit of time with Tim and the McLaren MP4/15 which finished 3rd in the 2000 season snagging victory at Monaco along the way for the former Mercedes-McLaren team.Topics discussed include the double paddle operated clutch and how that helped the drivers of this era launch off the line with a small margin of error compensatable, the pneumatically controlled valve springs which adjust pressure based on RPM and the reason for such a system instead of the more convention steel spring setup. Many of the cars other systems are hydraulically controlled rather than electronically due to weight and technology restrictions at the time as well as the rule book which stated everything must be activated by the driver's input in some way.Also covered are the active trumpets on the intake which can adjust in and out to match the RPM and thus fill in what would otherwise be flat spots in the rev range, and with a potential 18.400 RPM on tap for some of these engines it certainly made a difference in drivability when it came to tracks that had an aggressive mix of both high and low-speed sections seeing the car go from 3000 RPM and around 40kph to 15,000 RPM and over 300kph on the same lap.
When most people outside of Europe think of diesel performance, Cummins, Chev, or Ford probably come to mind. As this week's Tuned In podcast guest tells us, however, there's a lot more to the performance diesel world than the big 6BTs and 6.0 Powerstrokes.Use ‘PODCAST75’ for $75 off your first HPA course here: hailing from France and now based in Nashville, Tennesse, Grégoire Blachon has built his business, Boxeer, off the back of Volkswagen Audi Group's impressive family of TDi four-cylinder diesel engines. Boxeer's journey began with TDi conversion packages for VW's Vanagon overland vehicles, and having always had an interest in motorsport, Grégoire always felt the urge to start pushing these stout engines in a motorsport environment — specifically hill climbing. Podcast host Andre Simon and Grégoire get stuck into exactly what makes these little TDis so good, and how he gets the absolute most out of them utilising obscure standalone ECUs, triple compound turbo induction, in-cylinder combustion pressure monitoring, and more. Grégoire goes on to break down the TDi-powered build he's best known for — his tube-frame Beetle hillclimber — which he's used in the last few years to come tantalisingly close to clinching the diesel win at Pikes Peak. After breaking the Bug down, Grégoire talks Andre through his new build, which he hopes will absolutely smash the diesel record at this month's 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. Based on a Radical chassis, the new car runs the same triple turbo TDi setup (with some extra added spice) and the same Porsche PDK gearbox, but with a considerable drop in weight and aerodynamic drag, as well as far superior handling and braking.The European diesel world isn't one that we've discussed much — if at all — on this podcast, so this conversation with Grégoire is a really interesting look at what makes these platforms tick, and how builders like Boxeer are getting serious performance out of them. As mentioned in this episode, you can find Skynam, the ECU Grégoire uses here: And if you want to follow Grégoire's progress, check out the Boxeer social channels below:IG: @Boxeer_FB: Boxeer - Diesel Motorsports and OverlandingYT: Gregoire S. BlachonWWW: boxeer.comLearn more about performance diesel engine tuning. Start instantly with 4 free lessons:
What considerations go into taking a 150HP engine and making it produce 600HP with huge cylinder pressures, reliably? When you want to double, triple or even octuple an engines output, at some stage you’re going to find the limitations of your factory block and head castings either in dramatic fashion or via constant repairs and rebuilds for ‘minor’ issues. In professional motorsport, either outcome is unacceptable.Want to learn how to EFI tune? Start with some free lessons right here: Mountain of MounTune runs Andre though some of the block failures they have seen during their engine development programs where very high cylinder pressures are seen to produce large amounts of low-end torque for World RX competition engines where they are running 4 times the power the engine would produce in factory trim.Discussed are the bore size, block weight, cylinder bore centers and other design parameters they must work within depending on class regulations, how they get away with the pressures a diesel engine would run in a steel block using aluminium instead, and some of the coatings they use on bore liners and piston rings to make it all work.David also gives some great insight into cast vs billet block production including some of the advantages when it comes to casting. We also learn how 4 week to 3-month production lead times for modern 3D computer-aided design (CAD) production via software like SolidWorks compares to the 5-6 month days of 2D drawings. Interestingly, even with the use of finite element analysis (FEA) a lot of real-world experience is drawn on to ensure a balance is found between the many, many considerations and tradeoffs that every design tweak carries.Lastly, we learn how MounTune avoids any issues with cylinder sleeves dropping, why the factory design for head studs is not optimal once you start running higher pressures, Nikasil coating use and how before any tools have been lifted the CAD process can be used to ensure those regulation weight targets are hit along with avoiding any major design flaws. While some of this technology seems like magic that does the work for you, in reality without that real-world experience and knowledge bank to draw on it’s useless. Just like any quality tool, the person in charge needs to know what they’re doing to get the desired results.
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