Project Infiniti G20 Racecar: Even More Power

By Steve Rockwood

In kid's soccer, everyone gets a trophy, regardless of finishing order.  No winners, no losers.  Motorsports, on the other hand, is completely defined by whether you're winning or losing.  Unfortunately, our normally aspirated SR20 was not so mighty when compared to the other MPTCC cars, so we forced some air down its throat in the hopes of finally getting some hardware.

See, even in the Tuner Under (TU) class, our car was seriously underpowered.  Really underpowered.  The rule set allows for a weight to power ratio of no less than 12lbs per horsepower measured at the wheels.  Our car weighs 2450lbs with driver, and belted out 160whp on the Road Race Engineering Dynapack at the California Speedway event.  This left us short 40-someodd horsepower with a ratio of 15.3:1.  While I'm not a mathematician, I do know that 15.3lbs per horsepower is not as good as 12lbs per horsepower, especially when you consider we have the car most likely to be confused with a piece of masonry.

Rather than continue to describe how slow our car is, I'll just show you video from Mike's car at California Speedway.

 CLICK ABOVE TO WATCH OUR DOORS GET BLOWN OFF!

Yes, our doors remained attached.  I'd like to tell you that pass happened on the latter part of the oval.  It didn't.

 X marks the spot of epic pwnage.

By the time I exited the oval on that lap, Mike and Richard had already disappeared into the infield.  Not good.

Obviously, we needed to do something about our problem, but where to begin?  First, we needed to make at least 200whp, with 204whp putting us right on the money.  Second, it had to be reliable.  Third, since we’re a privateer effort on a Lilliputian budget, it had to be relatively cheap.  Luckily, 204whp isn’t all that fast, so we weren’t looking for fast, cheap and reliable (read: impossible).  Our first thought was to rebuild our motor for an all-out NA monster.  Port the head, high compression pistons, fabricated header.  The dollar signs rolled through our head and left no room for this expensive ridiculousness.  The next set of chemical signals to wander through our brains was getting an SR20VE.  Those engines already come with higher compression and ported heads, and can now be had for less than \$1000 from most importers.  Scratch that, still costs money, and we’d need to throw some more money at it to get to the 200whp level.  Constantly revving an SR20 to 8000RPM is not really good for it either, and these motors cost more to replace.  The last nail in the SR20VE coffin is its uniqueness makes it so we couldn’t just reach into our SR20 graveyard to come up with a replacement part, and overnighting parts from Japan only exists in the movies.

 We contemplated going with an SR20VE like in Mike's Dog II, but dismissed the idea due to cost and parts availability.