Drag Racing Champion
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Huge thank you to my partners who've supported me in preparation for the 2021 track season.
Huge thank you to my partners who've supported me in preparation for the 2021 track season.
When people think of great track cars, the GTI is likely not at the forefront of your mind. I am not here to prove otherwise; to be honest, I define a great track car as whatever car you're getting seat time in. If you're reading this looking for inspiration as to how to best build your GTI or R for the track, my advice is to stop here, go look up clubs near you, and just sign up for the next event. Showing up is the most important part. People like me spend a significant amount of resources building the perfect car, but the driver is equally as important. Getting seat time in the car while it's close to stock will improve your driving ability on track much faster than if you started out in a car that is highly modified. People believe they need a bad ass car to show up to a track - and that's bullshit. Leave your ego at home and grab a helmet, lots of water, a torque wrench, and a portable air compressor and start lapping! Yes you will suck and you be slow. You'll be giving point-by's to much slower cars at first, and that's okay. You're learning. Listen to your instructors and always ask for feedback. This is how you grow and become a better driver - both on and off track.
I've been driving and building this car for over 5 years and have raced at tracks all over. Over the last two years, I've been competing in the SCCA Time Trial National Tour, and for 2021 I will be graduating from the Tuner class (basically HPDE+ for you Gridlife folks) to Max (Street Mod). Over much of 2020, I went through the entire car from bumper to bumper, effectively taking the car down to a shell, and reassembling with every component being critically evaluated before being reinstalled. The result will be shedding close to 300 pounds of weight, adding 150 horsepower, functional aero, a dramatic increase in chassis rigidity, and a much improved center of gravity - something that every MacPherson car desperately needs.
My Vision for the 2021 Time Attack Season
The final evolution of the car will result in a car that is incredibly light, fast, and nimble. The weight reduction, alignment, and corner balancing will make the car predictable as well as easy to rotate, which overcomes the achillies heel in how most FWD cars (and haldex AWD cars) behave with close to factory settings - understeer. The functional aero will generate a significant amount of downforce that will keep the car planted, and the suspension, which has been upgraded to tubular over the factory cast, will reduce the need for significant amounts of static front camber and ensure a more consistent and efficient use of the contact patch of the tire. The wheels and tires are wider, but not unnecessarily so to limit increases in unsprung weight.
...and lastly, the turbo. Something so difficult to manage...response and spool time versus power. Choose a turbo too small and power comes on too soon, which makes managing traction on corner exit a challenge. Because they do not produce a lot of power, they are aggressively tuned, which results in a lot more heat, increased wear, and less reliability. Go too big, and the car is no longer responsive and slow to accelerate in tight corners. What makes this challenge so difficult is that people are too busy looking at the turbo, and not what the turbo is bolted to...the manifold. There are two kinds of manifolds: cast and tubular. Cast are popular because they're incredibly stout and are cheap to make, but they do not flow well, which causes excess heat and back pressure (though I will say, there are 'good' cast manifolds out there, but they are hard to find and are often part of a kit and not sold separately...e.g., APR & Pag Parts.
I elected not to go the 'off the shelf' route, as I wanted to utilize the new generation of turbo technology from Garrett: their G25 series turbos, which are the successor to the GTX. The EFR turbos are a close 2nd with their new revision of compressor wheels, which are incredibly light. However, the G25 series wheels are smaller, thus less inertia. With no easy bolt on solution for the G25 series turbos, I went to the only company I knew that would build me a bad ass manifold: ForceFed Engineering. The result? A very high flowing, extremely well built, externally wastegated system that will reliably (key word) provide a smooth power band with excellent response, all the while not producing an ass load of heat from being tuned way outside its efficiency range (*cough cough* KO4). ForceFed boasts a 0% failure rate on their tubular manifolds, which is one of the very few drawbacks of a tubular manifold, as they are much more susceptible to cracking than cast.
The reason for selecting this turbo specifically was that my power goals nearly perfectly aligned with the efficiency range of the turbo....vs GTX2867R & GTX3071R (respectively)
The GTX3071R and the 3076R were also considered good matches based on my plotting of the compressor map, but note the 70% efficiency vs 77% of the G25-660. Speed Academy did a fantastic comparison of the G25-550 versus the 3071R, and I believe the G25-660 vs the 3076R would show similar results.
I will at some point will be utilizing a Cortex EBC with Boost by Gear to maximize traction, but for now, the next best thing is of course a limited slip diff. Wavetrac's ability to function under a 'no load' condition was a selling point for me, because as a FWD car it's the most likely of the drivetrains to experience this issue. Installing a LSD in a DSG is quite the undertaking, so I let the professionals at Excelerate Performance take care of this for me. When this was originally installed at around 50,000 miles, my factory flywheel was totally fine - but at around 88k miles and two track seasons, it definitely warranted a replacement. The Iabed RMS upgrade has been holding up great ever since!
Due to a rough body from the prior owner daily driving it in New York City, I decided to respray the car. Of course I took the opportunity to change the color...so I chose Suzuka Grey!
Once the car was back from paint, external DSG/Oil coolers were added behind the fog light locations and a big brake kit was added
Finally, I threw on some take-off Hoosier tires on some fairly inexpensive Motegi MR141s
Then it was time to hit the track!
After a successful 2019 track season, I obtained an awesome garage space...man cave time!
Of course...things escalated fairly quickly and a 'minor refresh' turned into this...
Once everything in the front was pulled, liners were removed, and wheel wells were stripped and raptor liner-ed. Some spot welds in the strut tower area actually popped, so I had them stitch welded for additional rigidity.
Engine bay was painted....
Transmission & Engine were painted as well....
The interior was vamped as well to include a seat, harness, and roll bar. Factory sound deadening was removed.
After nearly a year of being apart... the motor is back in without a turbo, as I lost the lease on my garage and the manifold/turbo wasn't ready yet from FFE.
After a short time, the car went off to SwoopsBUILT in New York for some bespoke track goodies! More coming on this soon...
Stay tuned... for the full details on this progression, table of contents below!
Table of Contents:
Page 1: WaveTrac Limited Slip Differential Install (courtesy of Excelerate Performance in Branford, CT)
Page 2-5: KO4 Install!
Page 6: Carbon Cleaning & First Autocross of the season (2018)
Page 7: APR OPS Acquired (link to installation: https://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117605)
Page 8: APR Intake Install to accommodate APR OPS
Page 9 - Contemplating colors for paint job
Page 10 - BBK acquired, discovered issue with ECS Catch Can
Page 11 - New Eibach MultiPro coilovers acquired, external oil & DSG coolers installed
Page 12-15 - Car goes to the body shop for paint!
Page 15 - Rebuilt Brembos (instructions on how to rebuild calipers also included there)
Page 16 - Showing off fitment with Hoosier R7s
Page 17 - New APR catback, Thompson Track day, Cobb down pipe failure (AGAIN!!), 034 street mounts failed
Page 18 - More track day fun, corded some Hoosiers, blew an axle seal on the DSG
Page 19 - First track day at Pocono, moving into the new shop/garage!
Page 20 - Garage finished (for now), bucket seat acquired
Page 21 - Motor is OUT! Found issues with my flywheel and possibly my turbo
Page 22 - Engine bay clean up begins...found that VWR subframe puck failed as well
Page 23 - Deleted front fender liners, scrubbed and coated with raptor liner--painted DSG, engine block, & engine bay
Page 24 - BIG TURBO Announcement - Moving to a G25-660 over the KO4
Page 25 - Refreshed the motor, almost done reassembling the car after being apart almost 8 months at this point.
COMING SOON - Build for 2020! A complete overhaul from my previous KO4 Setup...
ForceFed Engineering Bottom Mount Tubular Manifold w/ Swain Tech "White Lightning" Exhaust Coating
ForceFed Engineering Custom Downpipe w/ Swain Tech "White Lightning" Exhaust Coating
G25-660 Turbo, 0.72 A/R
PTP Turbo Blanket for G25-660 Turbo (EWG)
Turbosmart Gen V 40mm Wastegate
Turbosmart Kompact DV (plumb-back)
Unitronic DV Relocation Kit
SwoopsBuilt Custom VTA Catch Can w/ Swain Tech BBE Coating
SwoopsBuilt Custom Inlet Pipe
SwoopsBuilt Coolant Reservoir w/ Swain Tech BBE Coating
SwoopsBuilt Brake Fluid Reservoir w/ Swain Tech BBE Coating
Integrated Engineering Turbo Outlet Pipe
Treadstone TR8L Intercooler
Nostrum HPFP & KDI Injectors
Iabed Baffled Oil Pan
ARP Crank Bolt
Additional 2020 Updates:
Replacing Setrab 13 Row Cooler with Mocal 19 Row, adding proper ducting to aid air flow
Replacing Integrated Engineering Intercooler with Treadstone TR8L
New reversed stagger wheel & tire setup
Adding Water Methanol Setup (Post-IC nozzle for IAT cooling only) - Controlled by Cortex EBC
Professional Awesome Fender Louvers
FS Performance Rear Diffuser
FS Performance V2 spoiler
Relocating battery to the trunk
Possibly replacing my Revozport Hood with a Spage Sport, modified to fit a MK6.
Anti-Gravity H6 Battery (1000 CCA & 8 pounds) - approximately a 40 pound savings
Current Mods carried over from previous build:
APR Cat Back Exhaust (updated, 2019 version)
"Updated" OEM Intake Manifold w/ Gruven Parts Actuator Arm
Iabed Industries Oil Cooler Adapter Plate
RKX PCV Upgrade
R8 Coils w/ BKR8EIX's @ 0.024
WaveTrac Limited Slip Differential
USRT DSG "ICECAP" Cooler
APR DQ500 Catch Can
APR TCU Software
APR Pendulum Mount
TyrolSport Deadset Collars
034 Track Density Motor & Transmission Mounts
iABED Industries Billet Rear Main Seal (more info here)
Verkline Tubular Front Subframe
Verkline Tubular Front Control Arms (lowered version)
Eibach Multi-Pro R2 Coilovers
Vorshlag Camber Plates
Superpro 24mm Front Sway Bar (on the less stiffer setting)
Superpro 24mm Rear Sway Bar (on the stiffest setting)
Superpro Rear Lower Control Arm Bushings (SPF3353K / SPF3352K)
034 Spherical Front Endlinks
034 Spherical Rear Trailing Arms
034 Density Line Rear Toe Arms
034 Density Line Rear Upper Control Arms
Eurosport Rear Hatch Brace
ECS Tuning Rear Chassis Brace Kit
APR AO1: Reversed Stagger - 18x9 +40 w/ 255/35/18 Front, 18x8.5 +45 w/ 225/40/18 Rear (awaiting tire choice as SCCA is pending a rule change to Max to lower treadwear minimum to 100)
TyrolSport Master Cylinder Brace
TyrolSport Front & Rear Brake Lines
Brembo GT 4 Piston BBK, 355mm 2 piece rotor (Girodisc Rings)
Golf MK6R Rear Calipers & Rotors
Race Technologies RE10 Pads (Front)
Hawk HT-10 Pads (Rear)
Suzuka Gray full respray
OSRAM Xenarc Headlights
Euro LED Taillights
Seibon Carbon Fenders
Revozport Vented Hood
Revozport Roof Spoiler
Genuine VW Golf R Side Skirts
XPEL Ultimate Clear Bra - Full Nose (courtesy of ACI Dynamix)
9H Ceramic Pro Coating (courtesy of ACI Dynamix)
Autopower Roll Bar
Sparco EVO II QRT Bucket Seats (FIA approved)
Sparco 6 point Saloon HANS Harness
Innovative Motorsports ECF-1 Gauge (Ethanol Content, Boost, Fuel Temperature, & A/F)
Innovative Motorsports MTX-D Gauge (Water Temperature & Battery Voltage)
Innovative Motorsports MTX-D (Oil Pressure & Temperature)
Factory Moonroof Deleted, non-moonroof headliner installed to stay in compliance with SCCA Max rulebook.
Back half of interior completely stripped