Performance Racing Industry 2014: PART 2


Turbonetics was showcasing its group of big-horsepower turbos.  The company has been around a long time and has turbo sizes for all sorts of applications, including the lowly few-hundred horse guys to the 2500 hp monster in the middle—yes, that much power from just one turbo.

Turbonetics and I go back a little ways.  I ran a top-mount turbocharged E36 BMW M3 with Turbonetics’ T66 ball-bearing turbocharger, which had a P-trim (wow that sounds old school now) turbine wheel in a .81 housing.  It made around 600 WHP on pump fuel and methanol injection, which was plenty for the poor 255-size tires in the rear (I drove it with a detuned 500 WHP on the street and it was still nuts). 

In this day and age, a 66-mm turbo is good for 900whp, and it would be extremely overkill to run this size when only pushing 500 or 600 WHP.  Shoot, you can make that kind of power on a 56-mm turbo now!  But back then many of us “500-600 WHP” guys ran T66s because it was a popular street turbo.  Turbo technology has truly come a long way.

Around 2004 I also ran a 60-1 HiFI ball-bearing turbo with .68 AR housing and P-trim wheel on a Porsche 944 Turbo (Type 951), which was probably a little big and laggy for that little four-banger, but it was still a lot fun with an everyday 335 WHP and 350 LB-FT of torque at just 17 PSI on straight California 91 octane.

Turbonetics also owns Spearco, the well-known intercooler company.  I used dual Spearco cores on a custom intercooler built for the aforementioned BMW M3, and I also tested Project Supra with Spearco’s Supra-specific intercooler setup while the car was still twin-turbocharged.  I remember that test well.  The car went from a 347 WHP baseline at 16 PSI to 359 WHP at 15 PSI with just the addition of the intercooler—no tuning.  Putting the turbo boost back to 16 PSI took us to 374 WHP. 

So, for people attempting to make power on a Supra through the stock side-mount intercooler, you can do it (I remember being in one with 600whp), but you’re leaving a lot on the table, with unnecessarily higher intake air temps to boot.


Here’s a shot of Turbonetics’ street turbos.  On the left is an internally-wastegated TNX20 Series, which features a T4B compressor housing with 52-mm compressor wheel, and is good for about 450hp.  The two on the right are boost controlled with an external wastegate.  TNX30 Series turbo in the middle uses a T04E or TNX D compressor cover, and can take a 56- or 60-mm compressor wheel good for 550-650hp levels.  On the far right is Turbonetics’ TNX40, which uses the TNX D compressor cover and 64-mm compressor wheel, and is good for up to 800hp.

There was an ARCA Racing Series racecar at the show, and I figured you'd like to see its Chevy V8 race engine up close.

This is a look inside the ARCA racer, driven by 2014 Champion, Mason Mitchell, who with just one win in 20 races was able to still beat out 2nd place Grant Enfinger, who had 6 wins to his name.  Mitchell's eighteen top-10 finishes over Enfinger's fifteen were to thank, I suppose, and the two had twelve and eleven top-5 finishes, respectively.  I don't know–I think I'd be ticked if I were Enfinger!

Click to the next few pages to check not only more cool parts, but also a close-up of a NISMO GTR GT3, as well as some more twin-turbocharged (and even centrifugally supercharged) NHRA Pro-Mod engines!

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