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2011 Tuner Grand Prix

In an orgy of European power and speed, we pit North America’s best tuners head-to-head on the dyno, dragstrip and road course in the eurotuner GP.

TUNER PROFILES

AWD Class

Bluewater Performance

2007 VW Rabbit
Location: Westminster, CO
Founded: 2008
Contact: 303/800-7193
bwperformance.com
Best AWD dyno
Best AWD drag

Bluewater Performance specializes in VW/Audi performance installation, fabrication and aftermarket tuning parts. It’s best known for high horsepower R32 VR6 builds, such as the turbocharged car they entered into etGP10.

Recently, owner Gabe Adams was inspired by the potential of the 2.5-liter five-cylinder, which he plans to push further than anybody has done before. So a ’07 Rabbit was the ideal car, but they knew AWD would be needed to put down 600hp.

With a plan to build a Rabbit that would sweep etGP11, the team fabricated an AWD system in just two months using an Audi TT quattro transmission paired to a ‘08 R32 Haldex rear diff.

When it came to the drag event, the AWD system launched the Rabbit down the quarter-mile stretch in 11.757sec at 128.09mph, giving them the win.

On the dyno they slipped into second place with a pull of 619hp. Gabe had thought about designing the engine to provide quick access to changing the turbo for different disciplines to put down bigger numbers, but couldn’t fit it into the short build time.

When it came to the track event, Gabe mentioned the Rabbit handled better than the previous ’04 R32 thanks to the suspension layout and Haldex set-up.

However, the driver hadn’t seen the course before, and cooling issues limited him to a handful of practice laps at a time.

For next year they plan to address the cooling issues with an icebox and bigger radiator for starters.

Eurocode Tuning

2010 Audi S4
Location: Torrance, CA
Founded: 2001
Contact: 310/294-8108
eurocodetuning.com
Best AWD track

Eurocode Tuning is dedicated to Audi, Porsche and VW tuning. The shop also develops and tests its own new parts, along with building high-performance cars. Some of these development parts were on the B8 S4, including long-tube headers, Kreuz aluminum drivetrain stabilizer, adjustable sway bars with drop-links and an adjustable short shifter.

Eurocode removed the exhaust at the dragstrip to improve its times. And as the S4 screamed down the quarter mile, it ran a 12.138sec at 113.97mph, putting them in fourth position overall.

The following day the team was pulled over by the police for driving to the dyno day without passenger seats and numbers on the doors. Fortunately, company owner David Sarabi was able to talk his way out of a ticket and put down a 398hp.

To remain competitive at the track, the keys were handed to friend Ian Baas, who’s familiar with the B8 S4 platform, which he’s currently developing with APR for Grand Am racing. Finishing third at Streets of Willow with a time of 1:25.727, they secured fourth place overall in etGP11.

Forge Motorsport

2009 Audi TT S
Location: Orlando, FL
Founded: 2002
Contact: 407/447-5363
forgemotorsport.com

Forge Motorsport is a British parts manufacturer that has been in the US for eight years. This was its first year competing in the GP, having driven up from Orlando for our event.

The company’s catalog offers a range of items to transform many cars, including VWs and Audis using bolt-on parts and software.

To compete, they entered an Audi TT S for its tunable engine and lightweight chassis. Making the 2565-miles journey, they got accustomed to the higher elevations with a few sightseeing tours.

When it came to the first day of competition, Forge’s plan was to break into the 11sec quarter mile times, and HPA’s stage three DSG software was a key component in achieving consistent results. This earned them third place overall with a 12.29sec quarter-mile pass. Unfortunately, the team ran out of time before achieving their 11sec goal.

They worked with Revo to obtain stage 2+ software that achieved 317hp on the dyno.

The DSG software also came into play at the track. In manual mode, the car holds the gear selected, no longer up-shifting or kicking down gears of its own accord. Using experienced driver Clint Boisdeau, he was able to set a 1:27.802 lap time and show what was possible with a mildly-tuned TT S.

Raven Motorsport

2000 Audi A4
Location: Long Beach, CA
Founded: 2009
Contact: 562/495-1300
ravenms.com

This is Raven’s second etGP, and Matt Baumann was looking to improve on last year’s fourth place overall. The company consists of four staff that are both factory -trained and aftermarket-experienced. Handling everything from oil changes to performance builds, they entered etGP11 with the same daily-driven Audi A4 as last year. This time they added a Garrett GT3076 and Stasis/Ohlins 700/900 suspension, making it more suited to the demands of the event.

Matt also prepared himself for etGP11 by conducting two practice weekends at Streets of Willow to learn the course and the car.

When it came time for the drag event, Matt ran a 12.865sec quarter mile at 110.07mph. Compared to last year, he lost a few tenths with clutch issues that would become more pronounced on the dyno day.

Replacing the clutch before the track day, Matt surprised himself with his lap times. He chose to go with 245/35 R18 Continental DW tires instead of last year’s 245/40s. The low-profile sidewalls appeared to pick up better lap times and the extra practice dropped his time from a 1:35sec last year to a best of 1:29.157 in etGP11.

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