News Turbosmart to take the Open Class head on

Turbosmart has been a loyal supporter of the World Time Attack since day one. Renowned around the world for their boost controllers, wastegates, bovs and fuel pressure regulators, they are also known for their penchant for fast rotaries.

It came as no surprise then, that they’ve decided to convert their R&D RX-7 into a race car. The car’s first competitive outing at the 2010 WTAC proved to be rewarding and motivating at the same time.


Turbosmart’s 2010 entry was the basis upon which this year’s car was built.

“In 2010 it was basically a modified street car,” recalls the company’s CEO – Nic Cooper. “We were quite pleased with the times it did, but the competitive bug has bitten big time, and we knew for 2011 we had to up the ante.”

And up the ante they did. The car was pretty much stripped bare and rebuilt with a clear objective of making it lighter and faster. The bridge-ported 13B engine went to PAC Performance for some extra horsepower, while the Garrett T04Z turbo remained, the gearbox was changed to a Supra box coupled with PAC Performance adapter plate, clutch, tail shaft and a Cusco Type RS 1.5 way diff . The whole package now produces in excess of 500bhp on E85 fuel. The engine management is handled by a tried and proven Haltech Platinum Sport 2000 hooked up to a Haltech Racepak dash.

Needless to say, the engine bay is full of Turbosmart products; wastegate, BOV, fuel pressure regulator, silicone hoses and clamps all feature the familiar “T” logo while inside the cabin a prominently placed e-Boost2 takes care of boost control.

The suspension consists of Whiteline adjustable swaybars and suspension bushes, Bilstein coil overs customised by Heasman Steering and Suspension and Eibach springs. The brakes are Project Mu Forge Sport 6 Piston calipers with 355mm Project Mu Two Piece Rotors at the front and 4 Piston calipers at the back. The car rides on Advan RS18x8.5 wheels with sticky Advan AO50s wrapped around them.

“Whiteline has spent a considerable amount of time helping us get the suspension right,” said Stewart Mahony – Turbosmart Production Manager and the designated driver, “and the results speak for themselves. On our first shakedown runs the car was more balanced, stable and faster than last year.”

“One of the most striking differences between the car 12 months ago and now is the aero and the graphics. We’ve invested in a Shine Auto body kit, bonnet and diffuser and APR GTC 300 Carbon Rear Wing. Apart from making the car look more aggressive they actually work and contribute to the cooling and overall handling”.

To finish things off, paint and polish was supplied by Juice Polishes with paint work done by Contagious and graphics by Artmaster.

The car has been a real “labour of love” for the Turbosmart team, with most of the work done in-house by the Turbosmart staff.

“I didn’t want to just pay someone to build a car for us,” said Nic Cooper, “it was a real team experience. We all got our hands dirty, we all contributed in one way or another. Seeing first hand how our products work in a real race environment gives our staff an invaluable insight and a better understanding of what’s required of the products.”

With the Open Class being so competitive this year, can the little RX-7 take it to the new, high-tech Evos and WRXs?

“I think we’ll surprise a lot of people,” smiled Nic Cooper nodding his head, “there are some fast cars in the Open Class this year, but they should be checking their mirrors for a little RX-7 gaining up on them!”

Want to see a full build diary of this car? Click here.

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