by Martin Gonzales
With almost 400 horsepower and weighing in at a little over two tons, slowing down the hefty BMW E39 M5 safely and consistently is definitely no easy task. Aside ensuring all stock braking components are in tip top shape before we start on the inevitble road of power and handling mods, we will also be making a few improvements to the already well engineered braking system of our new/used Bavarian fun machine.
So far we have improved the handling and shifting on our Project Ford Fiesta ST with some stuff from ST Suspension and mountune USA. We are very impressed with the base car. If you are into tuning FWD Sport Compacts you can really appreciate just how good this car is from the factory. If you have built Turbo Hondas or perhaps a Sentra SE-R we equate the Stock ST to one of those cars with a T28.
The car is a lot of turbo fun but with solid OEM reliability, great handling and OEM refinement. On the track the car has proven to be exceptionally reliable putting down lap after lap with not a single problem. No overheating, no fade, no unbalanced handling and most of all, the brakes are up to snuff for track abuse even stock!
One of the things we noticed on our two trips to Europe in the last few years is that there are NO pickup trucks on the roads like you see all over here in the United States. There are some luxury type SUV’s running around but much more common are “estates” or what we call station wagons and lots of little cars—our Golf being a popular choice. So how do people haul around all their crap? Trailers! We don’t want to say most, but there are a lot more cars in Europe with trailer hitches and pulling all sorts of trailers of all different sizes around. It makes sense though, how often do most pickup truck users USE their truck for hauling stuff around? Probably not every day for most people. So why not have a car when you want a car that gets good fuel economy, carries around people comfortably and can fit into tight parking spaces most of the time, and then when you want it to be a pickup truck, hook up a little trailer! Well that’s what we aim to do with our Golf.
The Team America crew has been busy and the car has really come together in the past couple of weeks. The goal is to be able to have the car dyno tuned and track session tested before it has to go into a shipping container and hopefully end up in Australia this time (if you have been following our story, two years ago, instead of going to WTAC, the car ended up in China for a few months due to the freight forwarder making a huge mistake).
Eric Hsu and Gary Castillo have been working around the clock to get the car done with everyone else on the team pitching in on the weekends. The major fabrication is nearly complete and the engine has been started and run. What's left is to finish up the top secret Andrew Brilliant designed aero package, do the final installation of the wire harness and to clean up and work on the cosmetics of the car like the Team America inspired wrap.
Team MotoIQ in conjunction with 5523 Motorsports and Specialty Cars Fabrication set a new H/PS land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats during the recent USFRA World of Speed event. Their experience on the salt however was not entirely drama free.
The NSX’s stock 155lph fuel pump reportedly maxes out around 400whp which will not suffice for our turbocharged 500whp+ goal. We upgrade the factory pump with the new Walbro 416 E85 compatible fuel pump and visit our friends at Brown and Miller Racing Solutions for motorsport-grade alcohol approved fuel lines, fittings, and electrical wiring. We finish the build by taking our hanger to be PTFE coated by Calico coatings.
If you follow us on our Instagram or Facebook page (and if you don’t why the F not? seriously, click up there on the top right of the page and connect!) you know we received one of the first batch of FD RX-7 Rocket Bunny kits to come into the states! If this seems out of character for us, it is—never in our history have we put a bodykit on one of our project cars—and for good reason, most of them look terrible, are molded poorly and are difficult to install.
Each year before Speed Week, it seems like we face some serious obstacles in our speed week preparations. But each year, the team pulls together and manages to cheat Murphy’s Law of its satisfaction. This year has been no different.
Everyone who has experienced trying to design parts to get more power of the S2000 naturally aspirated can attest to Honda not having left much on the table. Honda was of course limited by pesky general consumer things related to NVH. If you throw those concerns off the table, is there anything to be gained?
In parts 1 and 2 of the Blacktrax Performance S2000 Motorsport Makeover coverage, Irene, the Blacktrax Performance S2000 was stripped down to the bare shell, was seam welded to increase rigidity, had the doors and hardtop roof gutted for weight reduction, and received a full multi-series legal racing cage from the front suspension to the rear suspension at CT Engineering in Rancho Cordova, CA. Then, the car was rolled away to be put back together between Blacktrax Performance in Milpitas, CA. and 5Fifteen Autobody in Burlingame, CA.