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Watching GoPro videos online really gets the adrenaline flowing, especially when the clips feature the exploits of Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima and Sebastien Loeb. These record setting drivers have plenty of accolades to their credit, but in Colorado, the only one that really counts is the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Larry Chen The 2014 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb marked the 92nd running of the “Race to the Clouds.” Just last year, Sebastien Loeb attacked the 12.42-mile course, smashing the standing record and raising the standards with a 8:13.87 elapsed time, an…

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…

Forecasts with a 40% chance of thunderstorms, tornado warnings and a thick morning cloud would usually spell disaster for any outdoor event. Fortunately, Colorado’s import performance enthusiasts don’t consider the IDRC Street Tuner Mayhem just any outdoor event. The annual one-day event that features IDRC drag racing, the INSTAFAME car show and burnout contest has become the place to be in the first week of June. Despite a gloomy forecast, over 300 race cars, 140 show cars and over 3,000 spectators rolled the dice that Mother Nature wanted to see some great import racing action. Text by Michael Ferrara //…

Wastegates are the mechanical devices that keep your turbocharged engine in check. Based on the strength of the pressure signal it receives, a wastegate lifts its valve to relieve exhaust flow away from the turbine inlet of the turbocharger. This allows a wastegated turbocharger system to set a target boost pressure below the level that would be realized if the tturbo system had no wastegate. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Jun Chen NO WASTEGATE A number of turbocharged diesel engines (especially those used in marine applications) do not incorporate a wastegate. As a result, the specifications of the…

Dingleberry hone, ball hone, glaze buster or bead brush. Whatever nickname you might have for the tool, the original Flex-Hone was designed in 1972 to refinish cylinder walls in automotive applications. Used by machine shops, do-it-yourselfers and just about everyone in between, the Flex-Hone tool allows users to achieve a plateau finish free of cut, torn and folded material. Advantages of this type of surface include faster engine break-in, better piston ring seal and increased performance. And while the cylinder-specific Flex-Hone has been offered for years in different bore sizes and abrasives, the new Flex-Hone for Rotors uses the same…

Purchasing used doesn’t always mean purchasing abused. However, when it comes to used cars, it seems like there’s always something that needs to be fixed, replaced or repaired. When replacing basic things on a car like brakes, suspension, wheels and tires, sometimes it’s tough to find quality, affordable replacement parts. Most people who look to replace parts may never think about upgrading, but the aftermarket now offers some very affordable upgrades that may make you think twice. Text and Photos by Jun Chen ROLLING SAFETY HAZARD One of the benefits of the Honda/Acura platforms lay in the interchangeability of parts…

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…

Out with the old and in with the new. Infiniti’s Q50 comes bearing a new nameplate but its not one of those scams like a “brand new” restaurant with the same old menu. As the successor to the G37 sedan, the Q50 features a number of improvements and refinements. Although the engine, transmission and basic chassis platform carries over from the G37, the Q50 looks, feels, and drives very different than its predecessors. With aesthetic revisions inside and out paired with a plethora of new technologies; the Q50 brings a modern touch to the aging G37. Text by Jun Chen…

For most of us in the tuning market, warranty claims become a huge hassle when the dealer denies service based on modifications. Although some dealers are “mod-friendly”, service managers come and go and usually the hook-ups don’t last long. In the aftermarket world, tuning companies looking to offer a factory warranty-friendly package must adhere to higher quality, drivability and reliability standards. Text by Jun Chen // Photos by Jun Chen, Richard Fong and Courtesy of Mountune Turbo Advantage From the factory, Ford’s latest Focus ST hatchback boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. While a four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive hatchback platform is…

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…

Lousy neighbors and noise complaints practically killed the legitimate quarter-mile drag racing scene in Southern California. But after more than a year of silence at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, the newly constructed sound attenuation wall signaled the return of drag racing action. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Rafa Herrera, Kyle Lewis, Andrew Linga and Andrew Mah Relaunching The IDRC For the 2014 season, the IDRC forged strategic sponsorships and secured support from key manufacturers in the industry, locking in thousands of dollars in contingency prizes ranging from cash to gift certificates and products. With a revised…

Today’s performance spark plugs perform feats never before attempted by spark plugs of years past. Factory engines and race engines are pushing more horsepower per liter than ever before thanks in part to forced induction and direct injection. Both of these technologies put an additional stress on the engine’s ignition system. With the spark plugs representing the soldiers in the field, we decided to take a look at the technologies in use. Today, platinum and iridium have replaced nickel-alloys in many performance and long-service applications. So are a set of Iridium plugs right for you? What about the latest generation…

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,…

The Smaller, The Better? Don’t go to the grocery store when you’re starving. Why? Because you’ll probably end up with mountains of junk food. Despite most people’s best intentions to diet and eat consciously, obesity now plagues more than one-third of U.S. adults. Unfortunately, the “more is better” motto has also latched onto automakers and their new vehicles. Text by Jun Chen // Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company When it comes to cars, it seems like there’s no reason to hold back. Who doesn’t want more power, more room and an impressive list of standard features? However, in a…

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