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It’s been said that records are made to be broken. After setting the quickest elapsed time record for a 2.0-liter 4G63 EVO, Emery Kapral and STM’s “Ricer” (an 8-second EVO VIII featured in Issue #97 of DSPORT) arrived at a crossroads. “We had to make a tough decision. Since Ricer was not built with the intent of becoming a full racecar, it still had all of its power features intact. To go quicker and faster, Ricer would have to become a dedicated racecar, losing much of what set it apart from the crowd. It seemed like a waste to strip…

Building a project car in your spare time and on no particular deadline is a hobby. Properly constructing a 1,000-plus horsepower showstopper after work and on weekends in just a few months requires passion and sacrifice. But in reality, such a feat requires more, it requires expertise and teamwork. With an “A-Team” behind a build, the results should be nothing less than awesome. Ernie Manansala Jr. owns just such a build, this award-winning 1,150 horsepower GT-R. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Michael Ferrara SAVVY DEALINGS AND LOFTY AMBITION Manansala had recently given up his EVO project plus cash…

Import drag racing was at its peak during the turn of the century. The quickest and fastest imports were just beginning to explore single-digit territory. Steven Conley was among the drivers defying physics and critics at the drag strip. In 2002, he built an H22-powered EG Civic running in the 10-second realm. In 2004, he switched from the H-series engine to a B-series engine. This engine setup had been tuned to 1,044 horsepower and propelled Conley down the 1320 to a best elapsed time of 9.38 seconds. However, this setup was littered with issues, as he faced engine management problems…

Working overtime, selling personal belongings, putting in elbow grease, and searching for deals; David Uy of Northern California has done everything possible to provide for his family and support his passion of automotive tuning. With that said, he quickly learned the value of a dollar early on and began hustling to acquire just about everything he has, including the 2009 GT-R on these pages. Text by Sami Sharaf // Photos by Watson Lu FLIPPIN’ KICKS As a teenager, Uy had amassed quite the collection of sneakers. He spent way more time cleaning and admiring his coveted shoe collection than actually…

Life comes packed with learning experiences, and some of them cost more than others. When it comes to project cars, you’ve got to pay to play. Though these lessons are often costly, the knowledge gained helps pave the way to bigger and better builds. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Brandon English has first-hand experience facing the disappointments of project pitfalls, gaining experience from a costly vehicle build, and persevering to see the project through. The story of his project began in 2003 with the purchase of a Subaru WRX. He chose the bug-eyed GDB because of its all-wheel driveline,…

Perseverance often tips the scales when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds and adversity. For those who stick with a project given all the possible challenges that come with automotive tuning, the reward of seeing a project completed can be great. While this sounds a little too melodramatic to describe a vehicle build, we can attest to this particular instance as it took over a year and a half to finally photograph this vehicle for the pages of DSPORT. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Andrew Linga Daniel Spielman had been set on the Z33 since it first came to…

Strategies revolve around the rules. Sometimes rule changes can be worked with while others send competitors back to the drawing board. In the world of racing, this is normal. At the pinnacle of motorsports, Formula 1, rule changes resulted in completely redesigned chassis, aerodynamics and drivelines for the 2014 season. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Rob Shaw // Back From Leave Photography CHANGES FOR SHAKE UPS In the homeland of professional drifting, Japan, the D1 Grand Prix (D1GP) provided drivers with the first professional, organized and sanctioned drift competition. With relatively loose rules and few restrictions, it was…

These days, few can claim to have truly built an entire vehicle by themselves. Since the tuning knowledge base and information online (both good and bad) have grown exponentially, automotive enthusiasts theoretically have more data about how to modify vehicles than ever before. But too often, use of incorrect information, along with misuse or misinterpretation of proper knowledge lead to damaged engines and bad experiences that prove discouraging. Jeff Chang stands among the few enthusiasts that refused to give up, and despite his early misadventures, Jeff forged ahead by learning and doing much of the work on his Subaru himself.…

If you’re going in, go all in. This is the mentality and motivation behind HKS Japan’s special projects workshop builds. HKS engineers and tuners pour their experience in racing and high performance into the machines that emerge from this workshop. Anything less than record breaking is not an option. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Dino Dalle Carbonare Time Attack Heritage In 2001, HKS unleashed its carbon fiber Track Attack Altezza, otherwise known as the Tsukuba Record Breaker Version 1.0 (TRB-01). It broke the standing track record with a 55.800 second lap time. A few years later, HKS developed…

Airstrips and long tracks have become the playground for high-powered machines putting down well over 1,000 horsepower to the pavement. According to 6speedonline.com’s standing mile list, even factory supercars produce some serious trap speeds. The Corvette ZR1 (184 mph), Corvette C6 Z06 (171 mph), Porsche 997 Turbo (171 mph) and Porsche 996 Turbo (165 mph) utilize every inch of that mile of pavement to reach these figures. Now imagine reaching 187.34 mph in half the distance with only four cylinders? Text by Aaron Bonk // Photos by Richard Fong In the early 90s, Acura never really considered or cared about…

One glance at the Universal Technical Institute’s 2014 Ford Focus ST will spark a nostalgic feeling deep within any car enthusiast. That emotion which bridges the past with the present is exactly what the collaborators of this vehicle had in mind. UTI, Gulf Racing, Ford Motor Company and Tjin Edition all banded together to craft an unmistakable tribute to the legendary race past of Gulf Racing and to highlight the modern-day technology and unprecedented capabilities of today’s automotive industry. Text by Sami Sharaf // Photos by Gene Tjin and Universal Technical Institute Solid Foundation The onset of this project began…

Mash ups are inevitable. Fusion can be found in foods, fashion and lifestyle. So what happens when European automotive style gets blended with JDM? Well, you might end up with a build like Patrick Estudillo’s turbocharged, E46 M3 GTR. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Estudillo first fell in love with the E46 while in high school and later purchased his E46 brand new in September, 2006. As the final model year of the E46 chassis, it was the last hour to get his dream machine off the showroom floor before the new E92 M3 went into production. Straight from…

An invitation to race in the Pro Class of the World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC) is like qualifying for the Olympics. Only a handful of teams receive an invitation to represent their country, and this fiercely contested class features the quickest time-attack cars in the world. In the first two years of WTAC, Japan’s Cyber EVO and America’s Sierra-Sierra Enterprises dominated the Pro Class, with the Cyber EVO capturing hard-fought, back-to-back wins. But the retirement of the Cyber EVO and the Sierra-Sierra EVO opened the door to new competitors in the field. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Rob Shaw,…

Since their invention, video games have impacted the lives of millions around the world. These simulators allow players to hone their skills on virtual racetracks from around the world. For fanatics of driving games, winning races and earning racecar upgrades fuel the gaming addiction. Alex Robinson, a business owner from East Yorkshire, UK, has played every version of Sony’s Gran Turismo®, which he admits had a great impact on his interest in cars. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Chris Wallbank Going from virtual to real was a gradual progression for Robinson. He explained, “I started my tuning fetish…

Credibility and experience, especially in the world of racing, can take years to develop. In the case of SARD Co., Ltd., this heritage began in 1972, when it was known as Sigma Automotive Company. Within a year, Sigma Automotive began competing on an international level, becoming the first Japanese team to campaign a Japanese car in the 1973 24 Hours of Le Mans with its Sigma MC73 racecar (though it was forced out after 79 laps). Sigma Automotive went on to compete in the 1974 event with its Sigma MC74 which completed the race but failed to cover at least…

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