Team J-Spec Performance from Switzerland have confirmed entry into the hotly contested Royal Purple Pro Am Class at WTAC 2018. This team have long been a fierce competitors in the European time attack series and with a fresh build have decided to head down under to take on the worlds fastest in Sydney. The team comprises of Swiss power couple Olivia Merlini and Serse Zeli who when they are not racing running the successful tuning shop J-Spec Performance in Quartino Switzerland. We caught up with Olivia as she was busy loading the container to head down under.
WTAC: Hi Olivia tell us about your Evo it looks incredible?
Olivia: Yeah it’s hard to believe it looks like this now when just one month ago it was still an almost bare shell! We assembled the car in 1 month. From the mechanical point of view the car is a pretty simple build with many off the shelf parts and it still retains the OEM engine ECU.
WTAC: Tell us about the engine what power it makes and who built it etc
Olivia: The engine is the standard 4B11T model but has been upgraded with sleeves and forged internals. The engine itself has been running for 2 entire time attack seasons without needing to be rebuilt. It currently makes around 550 hp at the wheels running on mild boost. The turbocharger is a Precision Turbo PT6266 and there is plenty of room for more power. All the motor assembly and ECU tuning was done by the two of us at our shop.
WTAC: What sort of running gear do you have in the Evo X?
Olivia: The transmission is a 6-speed sequential from KAPS. The transfer case has an upgraded ring and pinion and an ATS LSD, the rear differential is standard with an ATS LSD. Axles, hubs and uprights are OEM and the driveshaft is a carbon unit from the Drive Shaft Shop. The suspension is TEIN Super Racing.
WTAC: And that aero looks like an Andrew Brilliant design. Who manufactured all of that?
Olivia: Yes correct, Andrew Brilliant designed the aero package and we are very happy with it. We started working with him a few years ago when he designed a package for a different EVO 10 we run with full tunnels. This is different chassis we are working on and it will not be using factory suspension geometry. The current aero is a milder package which is more suitable for the current chassis and with reduced building costs it is ideal for eventual customers wanting to purchase the kit.
WTAC: You have been doing well in Europe what have been some of the highlights?
Olivia: We have been competing successfully since 2013 at Time Attack Italy. I am the current Street 4WD champion and Serse is the current Pro Street 4WD champion, as well as Semi slicks champion and Overall Runner Up.
In Europe there isn’t a real ‘european time attack series’, the various countries do their own championships. We really enjoy competing at Time Attack Italy because there is fierce competition, many good drivers, many good cars and roughly 100 vehicles competing. The race tracks are also the best in Italy and some of the nicest of Europe (Mugello, Monza, Imola, etc).
WTAC: What are your goals for WTAC 2018?
Olivia: First of all to have fun and to see how it competes in a different world from ours here, with different amazing cars from all over the world. We have never been to Australia, so this will be the first time at SMSP. We built two cars with this same aero package, one of them is currently competing and leading the championship at Time Attack Italy and is driven by Serse. The other one, which is my car, is the one that we are bringing to WTAC.
WTAC: And tell us about J-Spec Performance. What do you guys specialise in?
Olivia: We specialise in high performance parts for Japanese cars, we have a large stock of parts at our warehouse in Quartino. We also do parts installation, engine building, suspension setup and dyno tuning all in house.
WTAC: Sounds fantastic Olivia we cant wait to see you guys in Sydney!
“One thing for certain the Pro Am field is going to be insane this year” said Superlap CEO Ian Baker “We have more international teams than ever and it is certain to come down to the wire. Bring on October!”
For More Info check out the J-Spec Website: j-specperf.ch