Competition: The act of competing; rivalry for supremacy, a prize; blowing your adversary out of the water in a test of skill or ability. Late last year, Turbo magazine received some exciting news that Castrol Oil and our wonderful Source Interlink Media proposed an idea of running a "friendly" competition among seven of the top Source Interlink Media publications. The initial rules handed down to each of the teams during the preliminary stages were stated to be as simple, non-competitive event that editors could enjoy. The rules stated each team was to build an engine of their choice, produce the most horsepower and torque per liter, and last throughout the entire event without blowing up. Simple and to the point, right? So they thought. Corporate media had one idea of how to run a challenge and regulate us on how to even the playing field, but for us editors we were playing a completely different ballgame. Funny as it seems, they obviously underestimated the fact that we live and breathe in the automotive performance world and in that world, no one thrives better than us in competition--not to mention the amount of men jacked up on testosterone involved in this event. Elliott Moran, Source Interlink Media's events coordinator, jotted some simple guidelines to abide by as the Turbo magazine team quickly tore into poorElliott with a battery of questions a month before we finalized our engine and builder.
A few weeks after our eventful meeting, we received an updated rules list and a firm warning from our managing editor to take our competitive level down a few notches. Obviously we turned a deaf ear to what Elliott said. While the new interpretations of the rulings continued to have a series of gaping loopholes--which brought smiles to our faces--we searched high and low, finally narrowing our engine builder down to SP Engineering located in the City of Industry. SP Engineering and their knowledgeable staff are regarded as one of the most respected tuner shops in California. Over the past 10 years, SP has built their reputation on tuning and catered to some of the fastest and horsepower hungry vehicles to date. SP Engineering, known as one of the industries trendsetters back in 1996, owned the exclusive bragging rights to building and dynoing their first high-horsepower Supra 2JZ with a simple piggyback fuel management system. The vehicle owned by the now-infamous Ken Henderson laid down 666 whp using a HKS GCC and VPC management system. Eight years after the triple-six power figure, Ken's Supra made headlines on the Nov. '04 cover of Turbo, delivering an amazing 1,110 whp while periodically driven on the streets. SP set the standard again in 1997 using the GCC and VPC layout, delivering 700 whp on another customer's car using a slew of bolt-on products. "We accomplished this power level without even touching the engine internals or even lifting the heads. Back then crazy high-octane gasoline was nearly nonexistent," says Alex Shen, SP Engineering owner and hard-core performance enthusiast. In 2000, SP was up to their tricks once again, benchmarking the 2JZ power limits with 822 whp on a daily driven Supra with the aid of a simple piggyback fuel management unit.