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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.

RWD
This was probably the most competitive class, with former etGP champions 034Motorsport and Groma Fab battling for honors, albeit in different cars from their winning years.

It’s fair to say 034Motorsport was perhaps the best-prepared tuner at our event, building its own mid-engined S4 V6 single turbo-powered Mk4 Golf GTI especially for the GP. In its first year they narrowly missed overall victory with some teething problems, so they were back for gold.

Being first to arrive, the GTI was strapped to the dyno but that’s when the problems started. The car simply couldn’t record any numbers. The dyno didn’t seem to know a car was running.

After hours of problem solving, we pulled it off the dyno and continued to look for a resolution with other cars. As a result, 034 patiently waited about 13 hours before finally getting on the dyno.

Having seen 807hp on their own in-house dyno, they predicted 700hp on the Wicked rollers and nailed it on the third run with a figure of 716hp. This was the most powerful car on the day, and you always feel 034 has something in reserve if another tuner gets close enough to challenge them. But with 100hp over the nearest rival, we called it a night and went home.

Behind the GTI were a phalanx of six BMWs, all within 60hp of each other despite different engine sizes and layouts. Up first was the E92 M3 from Sonic Motorsport with its stage two Active Autowerke supercharger conversion. This team was hoping for 650hp at the wheels but left rather dejected with only 486hp.

We’d suggest the two E92 teams were a little optimistic but the measured power didn’t seem to reflect what the cars were capable of. This also applied to the european auto source M3 with its VF-Engineeering blower, which only put down 457whp. With the tuner regularly seeing about 100hp more on its in-house dyno, they were also disappointed. Check out the quarter-mile times for another indication of what the cars are capable of.

The dark horse in etGP11 was the BMW 2002 from Groma Race Fabrication. As last year’s winners, they wanted to do well and had surprised everybody by turning up with a 36 year-old car. However, the turbocharged M20 325i engine under the hood meant they were confident of a good showing, and pushing the rollers to 433hp proved they were on the right track.

Unfortunately, it took a few too many runs to get the dyno to read properly, initially claiming the engine was developing 90hp. As a result, Groma suspect the engine overheated and possibly blew the head gasket, resulting in problems on the track day…

Close behind Groma was the Berk Technology BMW 135i. As a time attack contender, the team cared little about the dyno last year but had made more preparations for etGP11. As a result, the engine spun easily to 423hp, which was considerably more than the team’s original estimate.

Just 2hp behind them was the VF-supercharged M Coupe from LTBMW. This car was a little down on estimations but developed healthy power for such a light car.

In turn, the ESS-supercharged E46 M3 from Platte Forme AG was only 1hp down with 420whp. Built as a time attack car, like’s Berk’s 135i, neither team was as concerned by engine output as lap times…

DYNO

Team Car Class Measured HP Expected
034Motorsport ’01 VW GTI RWD 716 807
Bluewater Performance ’07 VW Rabbit AWD 619 650
Sonic Motorsport ’08 BMW M3 486 486 650
European Auto Source ’11 BMW M3 RWD 457 551
Groma Race Fabrication ’75 BMW 2002 RWD 433 400
Berk Technology ’08 BMW 135i RWD 423 400
LTBMW ’01 BMW M Coupe RWD 421 450
Platte Forme AG ’01 BMW M3 RWD 420 450
Eurocode Tuning ’10 Audi S4 AWD 398 420
Euro Sport Accessories ’01 VW Golf FWD 337 320
Forge Motorsport ’09 Audi TT S AWD 317 320
Raven Motorsports ’01 Audi A4 1.8T AWD 305 415

Wicked Motorsports
Wicked Motorsports was founded in ’05 by Audi fan Mike Ghaemi. He quickly became known in Southern California for building fast B5 S4 models, appearing at local drag strips and even a previous etGP. The shop is located in Los Angeles and features the latest tools and equipment, including its new Dynocom AWD dynamometer. It also has a team of experienced technicians to work on European cars, carrying out general servicing work or fitting performance parts.

Another selling point is the company’s discount scheme for genuine VW/Audi parts, as well as a warranty on fitting, free local rental or shuttle plus a free towing service in certain cases. The shop is open 9-5 weekdays and Saturday by appointment.

So if you’re in the Los Angeles area, and need an experienced European performance center, visit Wicked Motorsports (wicked-motorsports.net).

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