Homemade Hero – A British Built Quattro
The inspiration

When was the last time you saw something so inspiring that you instantly knew things would never be the same again? Everything you thought you knew and everything you thought you loved, changed in the briefest of moments. We have a word for this sudden change on Speedhunters: it’s called Gatebil.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-23

We’re acutely aware that we may have overdone things slightly this year with our Scandinavian theme, but being honest, I still don’t think we have conveyed just how influential the region is. It’s not just us that have become infatuated, as the methods and reasons why Scandinavians build their cars are infectious.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-26

James Dorey was one of those to be bitten by the bug. James made the pilgrimage to Gatebil at Mantorp Park some years ago and returned to the UK a converted man. The sight and sound of big horsepower, five cylinder Audis proved irresistible. He knew he must have one.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-32

As a man who works with his hands for a living – James is a chef – he wasn’t content with the idea of handing off his freshly purchased Audi S2 to a garage to do the dirty work for him.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-25

Far from it. James set out to build the car himself, from the ground up in whatever spare time he could muster. And that’s exactly what he did.

From the ground up
Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-34

Under no illusions of what lay before him, James knew that this car wouldn’t come together overnight. Today and countless lessons learned later, he’s still finding things he wants to improve before he runs the car in anger early next year.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-36

The build progressed methodically over four years. Built on a strictly limited budget from James’s own wage packet, things were done when they could afford to be done.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-35

Although the largest investment in this project wasn’t money, it was something far more valuable – time. One benefit from this is that the immaculate white paintwork remains free of sponsorship stickers, although I’m sure James wouldn’t begrudge financial support for the upcoming season.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-14

As you can already guess, the original car was stripped back to a bare shell before James started preparing the chassis for the substantial makeover. With plans to run the car in the UK based Time Attack Series, a regulation-conforming multipoint roll cage was welded into the car.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-24

A healthy dose of gusseting helps the to brace the cage against the original A, B and C pillars.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-15

His next step was a touring car inspired change, moving the driver’s seat as far back as possible in the car. Not only does this provide balance to the forward mounted engine, an Audi tradition, but also allows a wider field of view.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-17

A custom shifter tower was crafted to bring the gear selector back within driver’s reach…

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-18

… along with an adjustable floor-mounted pedal box.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-19

There are so many things that need to be accounted for with what is seemingly a simple enough idea of moving the seat back. The switch panel however is one of those token motorsport installs that would seemingly need to happen either way. I wonder, is the ejector seat FIA approved?

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-16

The standard clocks would not suffice in a build this comprehensive, so in their place is the proven Race Technologies Dash2 along with an accompanying data logger.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-28

On the theme of weight re-distribution, the radiator has been relocated to the rear of the car. I’m sure if Mr. Klingelhoefer is reading, he’s just ticked another box on his Gatebil Bingo card.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-12

The radiator is fed cool air from the ducting on the side windows…

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-11

… which is drawn into a custom-built box to ensure the air is sent where it is required.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-13

Just in front of the radiator box is an ATL 60 litre fuel cell where the fuel is brought to the injectors by three Bosch 044 pumps.

Inside out
Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-30

The bodywork is a mix of carbon and glass fibre composites, with the rear wing being mounted directly to the chassis to provide more effective downforce. James was primarily responsible for the vast majority of the work that went into the car, save for the odd occasion where a friend could help out (paint, aluminium welding, loom and geometry).

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-27

With no budget for wind tunnel or aerodynamic simulation testing, all the extra aero additions will be tested against the clock to see what improvements they make.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-33

Some of the bits you can’t immediately see are the three-way adjustable AST dampers which utilise Eibach springs and feature remote reservoirs. Stopping comes in the shape of Brembo manufactured and Audi RS-badged eight piston front and four piston rear brake calipers.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-1

It’s way out front however where the true magic is in this Audi build.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-4

Aside from that oh-so-distinctive five cylinder wail, these units have been proven time and time again to be capable of handling whatever is required of them.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-8

The triple ball bearing Comp Turbo should allow the car to run up to 800hp, although James would be happy to run a reliable 650hp whilst he concentrates on getting a feel for the car and dialling in a set-up.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-3

Taking no chances, James had the block and head blueprinted and balanced before rebuilding the engine himself. I won’t repeat the spec list from below but the highlights are custom JE Pistons, a Weaver Brothers dry sump system, Shrick cams and a Nuke fuel rail with Bosch 1800cc injectors.

Audi Quattro S2 James Dorey PMcG-40

Although James is still putting the finishing touches to the car, it’s clear that he has put together a balanced and considered build on a tight budget. I’m as big a fan of the no limits builds as the next guy, but I’ll always have more time for the guy working from scratch and learning from his mistakes until the small hours of the morning. You just can’t beat homemade…



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I love self built cars, they give me such hope for my future


The best thing about a home built car is the thought 'yeah I could do that', and the mental planning that comes with it. It's not only aspirational, it's inspirational. Now where did I put the garage door key...




Beautiful car.... but why not take the extra effort to align the diffuser and front bumper?


I don't know where you got the idea of Dare Motorsport Wheels but those are A-Tech FinalSpeed Erasers. I know this because I have a set.


It certainly isn't pretty, but I still think it looks stunning. I look forward to seeing - and hearing - this in UK Time Attack next year.


stayshift That what was on the spec list supplied to me plus Dare do make that wheel...


db2221 I can take onus for that, we broke the clip holding the bumper on the driver's side when manoeuvring about. You'll see that it's fixed once we got back inside.


I've been waiting for SpeedHunters to feature this build for ages now.
Some of the current modifications not covered in depth here include an entirely custom rear subframe, and now a second shell built for more adjustability. Think there was talk of a sequential shifter for the 01E box but I don't know what came of that though.


I should have clarified, "current" includes future plans...


Scandinavians has the best build. They are not into the Hipster BS that has taken over the car world.
NOW this is a cover story. Good job guys


Gatebil checklist:
Gutted & Caged - Check
Radiators in the Back - Check
Giant Turbo - Check
Enough HP To Kill You - Check

Looks good to me. Love that it's built, not bought.


PaddyMcGrath stayshift This is going to drive me nuts. Not because either of us may be wrong but because I want to know if you are right. :) I still can't find any information that leads me to believe that Dare actually produces the wheel. The new production of the Eraser looks different but here is the original website from A-Tech for those exact wheels (http://web.archive.org/web/20110201023456/http://www.marukanet.co.jp/a-tech/eraser.html).
Now if Dare SOLD them (and it doesn't look like they sell them any longer), then that would make sense as I was only able to obtain mine as MB Weapons through Discount Tire. After a long slog through Japanese forums, I located a decent high-resolution picture of the center cap and had the sticker made.


PaddyMcGrath stayshift Yeah and it's only the center wheel. They don't make them. They have the A-Tech stamp on the rim. You should probably inform James what they actually are.


Is it my American ignorance, or do Europeans have greater access to unbelievably high end motorsports parts, & machinery? These builds across the Atlantic seem par for the course, while back home, I rarely EVER see anything within 5 states of this level. I'm damn near clamoring to see some BASIC builds out of Europe so I can feel like America even has a pulse in this culture LOL


That is fantastic homebuilt car, no comprises, just race car. I love the "Ejector Seat" Switch too lol


I would love to drive that car for a day


Nice :)
The only thing im not sure will work, is the air going to the rear radiator setup, by my knowledge, the ducts have to be bigger. 
This car needs to join some Gatebil Extreme series next year :)


amazing car, amazing story, and as usual amazing way of telling the tale


MPistol I guess its like this everywhere, there are amazing cars being built all over the world. And there is a bunch of shitty cars being built. This goes for scandinavia too. But speedhunters know that we want to see, and they deliver :P


Very true, there are amazing builds on every continent. I just tire of the catalog builds I guess.


MPistol  I attribute it a bit to the lack of places to use such a quality build in the States.  Most people have no reason to go this far when there is no place to use it.


I would love to see this car in Norway next year, or gatebil Mantorp in Sweden also.
Love the work done to it and as you say Paddy it looks inspired from the insane Gatebil events.
Great work ! Best of luck next year.


i wanna see how it does against that volvo powered c-class time-attacker


MPistol I know you made this post awhile ago. But consider that you are speaking about the home of Audi. Sure they have access to a bit more stuff in Europe where it was a stronger market for the car.. but also this is a Gatebil car. So its a "shining" example of a build. There are not cars like this driving all over Europe. Its rare, in the world, period. Consider also the flipside. I know some guys who race American Iron in Europe and they always complain that we have the best muscle car stuff. Happens here in Japan too. They always look to Hot Rod and what we do in the states for newest and coolest in muscle car builds. The great thing about car culture is its like cooking.. each area has a specialty and they tend to do it "best". Everyonce in awhile a foreigner nails it and thats pretty special. Japan has some decent cheeseburgers.. but if I want a real one.. i go home to Georgia.. and vice versa. The US has some pretty cool import builds.. supras and such.. but if I want the "best of the best" I go to Japan.


We too have something similar, but not that tidy looking :)


We too have something similar, but not that tidy looking :)


We too have something similar, but not that tidy looking :)


Lovely build let down by a badly fitted body kit, looks like its been in a crash at the front and why don't the rear wheels fit in the arch?!