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.
Some progress from SwoopsBuilt. Custom crash bar to allow mounting of TR8 Treadstone intercooler, external oil cooler & dsg cooler, as well as the chassis mounted splitter
Custom throttle pipe with a bung for methanol injection. Perfect fitment around the custom fan shroud with dual mishimoto 12" fans.
Improvements to the bolt-in autopower roll bar. Swapped bolts for interlocks and added a cross bar for rigidity. Custom intake pipe by swoops to clear FFE Manifold.
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.
Motul 300V 5w-40 Engine Oil
Motul DCTF Transmission Fluid
Castrol SRF Brake Fluid
No coolant - straight water with VP Racing "Maddative"
Completely stock motor w/ timing refresh by Excelerate Performance
APR Cat Back Exhaust (recently updated non-Corsa version - added APR optional resonator)
Audi R8 Coils w/ BKR8EIX's @ 0.024 (this may soon change as I continue to develop my tune)
SwoopsBuilt Custom Intake & Charge Piping
ARP Crank Bolt
RKX PCV Upgrade
Wire Wheeled all seam sealer, sanded and painted engine bay with Eastwood self etching primer, high build primer, more sanding, then 2K low-gloss engine bay paint
Wire Wheeled all seam sealer, resealed with fresh seam sealer, sanded and painted the fender wells & chassis rails with Raptor Liner (using their 'prep' kit)
Updated revision intake manifold & water pump (did not elect to go with the aluminum water pump due to issues I've read with the thermostat)
Removed factory firewall shielding and replacing with DEI "heat" tape for additional clearance for turbo kit. Sheathed factory brake lines in DEI / Design Engineering Heat Sheath to reduce heat transfer from the turbo into the brake fluid to improve brake fluid performance
Deleted Air Conditioning & replaced with 'idler' pulley
Eastwood Alumablast Paint for Transmission & Misc Engine components (prepped with self etching primer first)
Cobb Accessport tuned by Stratified Automotive
*coming soon, will add a Cortex EBC for boost-by-gear & water-methanol capabilities
SwoopsBuilt Custom VTA Catch Can
SwoopsBuilt Coolant Reservoir
SwoopsBuilt Brake Fluid Reservoir
APR DSG Catch Can (yes this fits the DQ250!)
Anti-Gravity H6 Lithium Ion Battery
034Motorsport track spec motor & transmission mounts
Audi TTRS LPFP (purchased from FCP Euro)
Nostrum "Big Bore" High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP)
Nostrum 645 Injectors
Engine & DSG Cooling:
Improved Racing 19 row dual pass oil cooler w/ remote thermostat
Iabed Racing Baffled Oil Pan w/ welded -10AN return line & 1/8 NPT port for oil temp
Iabed Racing Oil cooler Adapter Plate
ECS Tuning aluminum Radiator (see my review here)
Mishimoto Dual 12" Electric Fans
SwoopsBuilt Custom Fan Shroud
SwoopsBuilt Custom Aluminum Radiator 'quick connects' w/ bung in lower connector for fan switch
CE Auto Electric Supply Fan Harness
Forge Motorsports Silicone Coolant Hoses
Treadstone TR8L Intercooler
USRT "ICECAP" DSG cooler kit
*Will eventually run water methanol for IAT cooling, but that will be in a future phase of development
*NOTE that the dual electric fan conversion only works on my MK6 because the air conditioning was deleted*
G25-660 Turbo, 0.72 A/R
ForceFed Engineering Bottom Mount Tubular Manifold w/ Swain Tech "White Lightning" Exhaust Coating
ForceFed Engineering Custom Downpipe w/ Swain Tech "White Lightning" Exhaust Coating
Turbosmart Gen V 40mm Wastegate
Turbosmart Kompact DV (plumb-back)
Unitronic DV Relocation Kit
Integrated Engineering Turbo Outlet Pipe
SwoopsBuilt Custom Downpipe w/ welded bung for wideband
SwoopsBuilt Custom Dump Tube
WaveTrac Limited Slip Differential
APR TCU Software (this may change as I've heard that APR TCU software doesn't play well north of 400whp)
APR Pendulum Mount (Verkline subframe has their own mount)
iABED Industries Billet Rear Main Seal (more info here)
Verkline Tubular Front Subframe
Verkline Tubular Front Control Arms (lowered version)
Eibach Multi-Pro R2 Double Adjustable Coilovers
Vorshlag Camber Plates
Superpro 24mm Rear Sway Bar (on the stiffest setting)
Superpro Rear Lower Control Arm Bushings (SPF3353K / SPF3352K)
034Motorsport Spherical Front Endlinks
034Motorsport Spherical Rear Trailing Arms
034Motorsport Density Line Rear Toe Arms
034Motorsport Density Line Rear Upper Control Arms
APR AO1: Reversed Stagger - 18x9 +40 w/ 255/35/18 Front, 18x8.5 +45 w/ 225/40/18 Rear
SwoopsBuilt Custom 'bash bar'; provides mounting points for front splitter, among other things
FSPE Custom 5" Front Carbon Splitter w/ Louvers
FSPE Track Spec Canards
FSPE Track Spec Rear Diffuser
FSPE Side Skirt Extensions
TyrolSport Master Cylinder Brace
TyrolSport Front & Rear Brake Lines
Brembo GT 4 Piston BBK, 355mm 2 piece rotor (Girodisc Rings)
Golf MK6R Rear Calipers w/ 310mm rotors
Race Technologies RE10 Pads (Front)
Hawk HT-10 Pads (Rear)
Suzuka Gray full respray
Helix MK7.5 headlights for MK6
Euro LED Taillights
Euro/Golf R Side Skirts
Seibon Carbon Fenders
Revozport Vented Hood
Autopower Roll Bar (heavily modified by SwoopsBuilt for added safety)
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