Corvette, Lamborghini, Porsche, Subaru and Viper win during Whelen US TimeTrial Championship at VIR

Philip Grabow set the fastest time of the weekend

The state motto might be ‘Virginia is for lovers’, but over the past weekend, surely it was for lovers of all high-end and high performance sports cars, as Virginia International Raceway (Alton, VA) played host to rounds 9 and 10 of the 2011 Whelen US TimeTrial Championship.

Sunday also saw George Whelen match his father’s Saturday performance to take the top step of the GT-Unlimited class podium- his first ever win in the US GT Championship’s premier class.

The weekend was expected to be a battle between two different breeds of horsepower- that of boost four-cylinder turbos and big American made cubic-inches. However, a surge of late entries not only gave the VIR rounds of the Whelen USTTC a record number of competitors, but another type of contender. Exotic European thoroughbreds joined the large contingent of American muscle and fast-fours that usually make up the Whelen USTTC ranks, and they certainly made their presence felt.

The bright orange Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera of Jim Booth wowed spectators and competitors alike as the V-10 screamed around the challenging 3.37 mile VIR circuit.
Booth dominated both days of competition in the TT-1 class, posting a 2:06.77 on Saturday before turning up the heat on Sunday to set a 2:04.172.
Interestingly, Booth also participated in his V10 Viper on Sunday but could only manage a 2:05.666, confirming the Lamborghini’s superior price tag over the Viper is indeed warranted.
Booth’s nearest rival was Doug Wind. Given that Wind’s weapon- a Modern Performance tuned turbo Dodge SRT-4- couldn’t be further from the Lamborghini in every way, shape and form, it was impressive that his times were only just over a second slower around one of the longest and fastest tracks in North America.
And while Wind could only manage second place on both Saturday and Sunday, he stamped his authority- albeit only by two tenths on Sunday- on TT-1 championship rival George MacDonald (Viper Competition Coupe), who finished third both days.

George MacDonald finished third both days in TT-1.

And while the strong points haul extended Wind’s TT-1 championship lead, MacDonald has now fallen behind Tanya Mazyk (Dodge Viper) who, all season, has been quietly building a solid points tally.
European might also proved too strong for the turbo fours and American muscle in the TT-2 class.
Alex Reznikov set a blistering 2:04.164 pace on Saturday afternoon in his black Porsche 997 GT3- a time that beat that of Booth’s Lamborghini on Saturday.
It was too much for David Tenney’s Dodge Neon SRT-4, who finished second, and Tim Jelle’s Dodge Viper GTS, who was third fastest in class on Saturday.

Reznikov didn’t match his Saturday pace on Sunday, however it was still enough to fend off the competition. Jelle, however, found nearly two seconds to close the gap, leapfrogging Tenney to take Sunday’s second placed trophy. Tenney finished third.

The SpeedSouth Corvette of David Leonard won Sunday’s TT-Unlimited competition. © NARRA

Again though, the fastest times of the weekend came from the TT-Unlimited class.
Philip Grabow and team from Element Tuning again threw down the gauntlet to the nation’s top tuning houses. On Saturday their heavily modified Subaru STi was the only car on Saturday to break the 2 minute mark, setting a 1:58.890. The fast-four was a staggering 6.5 seconds faster than the V10 might of TT-U championship points leader Carl Kafarowski’s Dodge Viper ACR, who set a 2:05.682- his personal best of the weekend. John Weigel, in another Viper ACR, finished third.

However all was not lost for American muscle, as a new contender entered TT-Unlimited for Sunday.
The Leonard brothers David and Tom, from SpeedSouth Active Power Racing, had brought their Corvette all the way from Pelham, Alabama to compete in the Whelen USTTC’s sister series, the US GT Championship. After blowing a transmission on Friday evening, their weekend looked bleak. However, the hard work of sourcing and overnighting a new transaxle to the circuit, and installing it with their backs in the Virginia dirt, paid off. Not only did they score two podiums in the USGTC, but they took the time-trial series by storm.
With brother Tom racing,

SpeedSouth’s Leonard brothers pose with their Whelen USTTC and USGTC trophies from VIR. © NARRA

David took the helm of the Corvette in the time-trial competition on Sunday morning. In a salute to the might of cubic-inches he ran over one second faster than Grabow’s Subaru, to set a 1:57.643. The time not only meant SpeedSouth was the new top-dog in town but would also take home the first place trophy in Sunday’s TT-U competition.

With over-heating and electrical issues plaguing Grabow’s Subaru, he had to settle for second place, while Carl Kafarowski took the third step of the podium.
And while by 4pm the competition runs had come to a close, Element Tuning had not given up in their quest to extract more from the STi. With the issues fixed, but on a far from perfect heat-soaked afternoon track, Grabow went out for the final session. While slightly bitter-sweet, Grabow showed what the Subaru was capable of, running a staggering 1:55.996- nearly two seconds faster than Leonard’s Corvette.

So while SpeedSouth’s cubic-inches may have taken home the trophy, one could argue the boosted four-cylinder of Element Tuning’s Subaru still reigns supreme in the Whelen USTTC.
All the action from the weekend was captured using GoPro cameras by the Internal Production Group and will be broadcast later this year on, hosted by motorsport television personality Tom Hnatiw. The battle of the countries best engine tuners, and some of the world’s fastest cars in the Whelen US TimeTrial Championship will continue next month at Motorsport Park Hastings, Nebraska as part of the 2011 Super Sports Car Weekend.

Event images, commentary and results can be found at .

New Element Tuning TA Race Car sets Summit Pt TTU Lap Record!

Just as we started to get the new car and myself sorted out our season is over but the new STi is performing better than we could have ever imagined.

New graphics from Speedesign look great. We wanted to do something new and different but keep that mean look the car had in all black. We couldn’t finish completely as the vinyl wouldn’t stick to the unfinished bumpers so we need to get those painted before the whole look is put together.

Rota DPT from in 18×10 Matte Black hold the Hoosier 285s on very nicely!

New Sparco Circuit Pro Seats, Belts, and Steering wheel from OG Racing and Sparco USA keeping me safe.

One of the single largest and most critical improvements on the car is the Fulcrum Aero wing. John went above and beyond building us a reinforced with with improved double lap joint mounts.

Notice the heim joints for reduced stress on the mounts. The wing is also very easy to adjust because of this mount.

The final race of the NASA Mid Atlantic Championships was this past weekend at Summit Point Raceway. We updated our Element Tuning custom BC ER Series Coilovers with new valving and Swift Springs to increase front roll stiffness on the car in attempt to settle the rear end down under acceleration. We tested this at VIR warming up and ran a 1:59 which would have been good enough for 4th in the UTTC race so things were looking good.

On day one we set FTD breaking the old TTU lap record of 1:16.07 with a 1:15.4 lap but the cold track made it tough to get the heat I needed in my Hoosiers. On day two we tweaked the Fulcrum rear wing for about +45 lbs more downforce with only a 6 hp penalty in drag, dropped tire pressure on the driver’s side, and we adjusted the front and rear clickers on the BC coilovers. With the track temp coming up we were able to set a new TTU track record at 1:14.439!

Enjoy the video, From a 148 MPH Crash To A New Track Record:

Phil Grabow

James’ Element-tuned STI in Maxx Tuning Magazine

The 2006 STI owned by Element Tuning customer James “MULE” Mulherin Jr. has a short feature in the September 2010 issue of Maxx Tuning Magazine.  You can view the article by clicking on the image above, or by downloading the 9.1MB PDF here.  This is just a preview feature though, so stay tuned for the full feature with dyno numbers once his car is retuned by Phil!

Element Tuning GT65 Bolt On Turbo, Hydra EMS, E85 fuel, 532whp, 07 STI 2.5

This is really impressive for a bolt on turbocharger running E85 and pump gas. On this tune the customer swapped out the header and it appears we lost some bottom end power over the old but peak power stayed about the same (on pump gas). All the dyno plots on this tuning session had the “blips” where the WG opens and I just noticed this time around the dyno was set to 150 instead of 120 so that could have something to do with it.

Dyno Dynamics @ Pina Motorsports, WA
Tuner: Phil Grabow Element Tuning
Wheel HP: 532whp UNCORRECTED
Wheel TQ: 513wtq UNCORRECTED
Target Boost: 26 psi
Target AFR: 11.5
Fuel: E85 and 92 Octane pump gas
Ambient Temp: 50
Elevation: 0

Initially I tuned the car with DW 1000cc injectors but for E85 we stepped up to RC 1600cc with the base fuel pressure set to 50 psi but the regulator diaphragm failed so we had to replace the regulator with an Aeromotive A1000 (don’t waste your money on anything else!). We also swapped in a TurboSmart BOV to better manage peak boost pressure and not blow open.

Car Info
Engine Management: Element Tuning Hydra EMS
Turbo: Element GT65 Bolt On
Intercooler: APS
Meth Kit: None
Injectors: RC 1600cc, Bosch 044 Fuel Pump, A1000 regulator
Engine: Element Tuning Rods, CP Pistons, Cosworth cams, stock block and bore.
Intake/Inlet: Magnus, APS
Headers: AMR
Uppipe: AMR
Downpipe: ?
CBE: Invidia

The Element GT65 Bolt-on really shined on E85 fuel especially given the car didn’t have anything done to the heads but a set of cams.

Phil Grabow
Element Tuning

More information and discussion can be found here:

“Prize Fighter” from Grassroots Motorsports

by Scott Lear From the April 2010 issue

When it comes to our no-holds-barred Ultimate Track Car Challenge, the more cylinders, the better. Out of the 55 track-prepared beasts that entered the most recent competition, the top five finishers all had big V8 power. The next two spots went to six-cylinder racers—one with a turbo, the other with lots of revs and an exceedingly low curb weight. Squarely in eighth place overall, however, was a comparatively diminutive 2.5-liter four-banger.

The boxer engine in the nose of Phil Grabow’s 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI had less than a third of the displacement of some of the other cars. However, that didn’t prevent the Subaru from running at the sharp end of the pack with a 2:00.197 fast lap around Virginia International Raceway. A big turbo certainly helped, but power isn’t the only answer in the search for a quick time on track. In fact, due to heat issues, Phil’s Subaru was running in limp mode when it beat every other four-cylinder turbo at the event—as well as two Dodge Vipers and a full-race Ferrari F430 Challenge.

Continue reading ““Prize Fighter” from Grassroots Motorsports”

Element Tuning Time Attack 06 STi Hydra EMS 570 whp

Starting the new Time Attack season we wanted to freshen up the engine and test a few new parts. We started out rebuilding an Element Tuning Pro Comp engine but we switch up the bearings and the compression ratio of the pistons to see how they hold up over a season of racing.

Dynojet Altered Atmosphere Gaithersburg, MD
Tuner: Phil Grabow Element Tuning
Wheel HP: 570whp UNCORRECTED
Wheel TQ: 492wtq UNCORRECTED
Baseline: 185 whp 08 WRX
Target Boost: 27 PSI
Target AFR: 11.8 AFR
Fuel: Sunoco 110 Octane with Hydramist (80% water)
Ambient Temp: 50
Elevation: 0

With a new engine I really didn’t want to run it too hard on the dyno so I stopped at 27 psi. I made quick work of the tuning with the Hydra 2.6 software and had all tweaked in as few WOT pulls as possible. In my previous dyno sessions the 1000cc fuel injectors were maxed out so this time around I bumped up the fuel pressure to 55 psi giving me about +20 more flow so I could have a little safety margin on the injector duty cycle. Maximum fuel injector duty cycle was 83% with the 1000cc, A1000 fuel pump, and 55 idle fuel pressure.

I totally forgot that I didn’t like the billet compressor wheel I ran late last year which netted me about 30 whp loss over our standard GT65 wheel (GT35R). With the higher compression and the BC STG 4 cams it looks like we gained back that loss however. The numbers are good for this dyno so I’m happy for now with the improvement.

Car Info
: 2006
Engine Management: Element Tuning Hydra EMS 2.6
Turbo: Element GT65 (testing new wheel)
Intercooler: Custom
Meth Kit: Hydramist 80/20 water/methanol
Injectors: UR 1000cc, Element Tuning Competition Surge Tank, Aeromotive A1000
Engine: Element Tuning Pro Comp: ET Rods, Manley 9.8:1 Pistons (custom ring pack), ET Big Valve Heads +1mm valves, BC STG4 cams, stock block and bore.
Intake Manifold: Subaru RS
Headers: Element
Uppipe: Element Tuning GT65
Downpipe: Element Tuning
CBE: Element Tuning
Other: Element Tuning Competition Catch Can

The BC ST4 cams required me to work on the AVCS mapping as compared to the Cosworth cams. I found that I had to carry the advance farther into the RPM range but in the end the Hydra EMS allowed me to get it exactly how I wanted it.

Having made some new changes to the car I wasn’t sure what the car would weigh in at so I had to have options available for HP so that I could stay in NASA TTU classification. At about 15.3 psi the car made 452 whp which should be low enough to keep me legal in that class.