A Different Approach To Time Attack: The R8 1:1
Different Approach, Same Goal

Australia’s geographical isolation has never been more apparent than in this new age of hyper-connection. The World Time Attack Challenge‘s ability to attract quality international competitors makes the world feel just a teensy, tiny bit smaller.

Japanese competitors are all but guaranteed; after all, time attack was originally their sport. But as Australian teams have moved from the shadows and onto the podium more often, more and more international teams are taking up the challenge and shipping their cars to Sydney to find out if they have what it takes to be crowned the world’s fastest in their respective classes.

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Finland’s Audi R8 1:1 team made one of the longest journeys to this year’s event. Their weapon of choice is also one of the most recognized European time attack cars of the past 12 months, a build with a goal of 1hp to 1kg. I’d been loosely following their progress leading up to WTAC 2017 via social media and also their charming, self-made YouTube series.

The Audi R8 brings a welcomed fresh approach to building a time attack car. The majority of time attack vehicles are based on platforms that are light, accessible and relatively cheap. The R8, on the other hand, is no featherweight. It’s also a rare sight Down Under, probably because they usually sell for supercar money.

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In other words, it’s as far removed from conventional Australian and Japanese time attack racers as you could get. Is that a bad thing, though?

A very different set of ideas and philosophy behind going fast shaped the final build, and win, lose or draw, the R8 was guaranteed to turn heads. Fortunately for fans, this alternative approach resulted in a very serious challenge for this year’s Pro-Am title.

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After watching the team’s first day of practice, it was clear the Audi was no show pony. The R8 1:1 group’s aim is to build the fastest time attack car the world has ever seen. While that’s still a work in progress, it’s a solid contender for the world’s most reliable time attack build.

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I’ve never seen a time attack car complete so many consecutive laps. Ever.

The 30,000km Test
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Driver/owner Sami Sivonen and his team of “professional amateurs,” as he likes to put it, dedicated the past year to building the fastest time attack machine within their capabilities. The end product is a car they are exceptionally proud of, but there was still unfinished business.

Their project needed real-world testing. Instead of throwing out outlandish claims, they packed the Audi into a shipping container, and the team boarded their Sydney-bound flights for the final experiment.

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Finland to Australia and then of course back again is a really, really long way; an estimated 30,000km (18,641 miles) round trip if you wanted to get specific. Throw in the complications, expenses, and risk of completing that journey with a car you intend to push beyond its limits, and it sounds like fun, right?

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In Sami’s opinion, WTAC is the highest level of time attack racing in the world. It’s the ultimate test of what the team is capable of, and also how the Audi’s speed compares to the Pro class cars.

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This year’s Pro-Am class was dominated by MightyMouse, a very special CR-X that has featured on Speedhunters more than once before. Following Rob Nguyen’s giant-slaying Honda all weekend-long, a nail-biting battle between Sami’s R8 1:1 and Will Au-Yeung’s Honda Civic from Canada ensued.

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During the event, Will and Sami bested each others perfect lap at least four times. Second place really could have gone to either car, and that made for some exhilarating racing.

One On One Time With 1:1

The chassis is a 2007 Audi R8 that was initially equipped with a 4.2-litre V8 engine and R-Tronic transmission. A lot has changed over the past 12-months, though. What was originally a very desirable street car has been transformed into an extremely desirable race car.

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The factory-fitted engine has been replaced with a 2012 R8+ 5.2-litre V10, complete with aftermarket connecting rods and valvetrain components. During reassembly, the new engine was balanced by Pro Engines to help extract as much power as possible and also to reduce the chances of failure at higher loads and RPMs.

Then there’s the forced induction, which a pair of Honeywell Garrett/TiAL GTX3576 turbochargers takes care of. All of the supporting plumbing for the turbos, exhaust manifolds, and dual chamber inlets were fabricated from raw materials in-house. Well, in-garage is perhaps more accurate.

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With the majority of the engine bay covered by carbon body panels, you’ll have to trust me when I tell you the turbos are fed cool air through a pair of side-mounted intercoolers. Again, these were fabricated from scratch in Sami’s garage to fit the unique setup.

A 60-litre fuel cell installed in the cockpit flows through to twin in-tank fuel pumps, then out through another three Racinglines high-output fuel pumps. The extreme pressures are kept in check by a Turbosmart FPR2000 regulator. Ten 1,690cc Finjector injectors deliver the fuel to 10 very thirsty cylinders, while a Racinglines billet surge tank maintains pressure, even through high-speed cornering. When at full throttle, the R8 is capable of consuming 11.8-litres of E85 every single minute!

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A MoTeC M150 handles both the engine and transmission management, while a MoTeC power distribution module and custom center console provides a neat and light solution to reducing the vehicle’s wiring. Sami is relayed important telemetry while driving, including tire pressures. Between runs on the track, even more data can be downloaded for analysis through a MoTeC C187 dash and data-logging system.

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The V10 is capable of spitting close to 1,300 horsepower at the rear wheels on 1.4bar (20.6psi) of boost pressure, allowing the R8 to run the quarter-mile in a confirmed 11.6-seconds with a terminal speed of, get this, 242km/h. Talk about top end power! A custom chrome-moly triple-plate AP Racing clutch and Holinger LG6 6-speed pneumatically-actuated sequential gearbox transfer those massive power figures to the tarmac through Audi Sport 24hr GT3 driveshafts. It’s no wonder that the R8 is so damned reliable.

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The car’s 1,370kg (3,020lb) weight is quite heavy compared to the bulk of its competition, however, with its cleverly designed suspension fitted, the Audi looked to be just as nimble as the lighter cars around Sydney Motorsport Park. The suspension is based around race-tested Öhlins TTX40 four-way adjustable, twin-tube dampers. They’ve been matched with a set of in-house-designed spherical bearings and genuine Audi Sport LMS Ultra 24hr-spec rear uprights. Anti-roll bars were again designed specifically for the task at hand and fabricated by Sami’s team.

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A set of BBS 18×11-inch center-lock wheels wrapped in WTAC control tires, Yokohama Advan A050s, in beefy 295/35R18 sizing can be found on each corner. Brembo calipers and Endless pads handle stopping and slowing down for corners, and an aftermarket Bosch M4 ABS kit has also been fitted to the R8 to help avoid accidents in Finland’s sometimes less than ideal weather conditions.

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The R8 1:1 is a fantastic build, and to have come this far within just a year is a testament to everyone involved. It’ll be interesting to see how the car evolves with what the team learned in Sydney.

If the Audi taught us anything, it’s that there’s always room for an entirely different approach when it comes to building cars for speed.

Matthew Everingham
Instagram: matthew_everingham
matt@mattheweveringham.com

The Cutting Room Floor
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56 comments

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1

I just love when teams like this take their own approach and build one of a kind car. Exiting to see what's been added or fabricated by themselves.
Doing an engine swap and fitting project with aftermarket stuff is exiting and all, but to see someone approaching project as thoroughly as would the initial engineer is just staggering. And that applies to all one of a kind builds that has been featured here.
And loved the video series. Charming is the exact word that describes it :D

2

How can you not appreciate this .... Remarkable effort, and what an animal!

3

Amazing car .... but it came 3rd against a CRX and Civic.

4

it also has 1400 hp and somehow only manages a 11.6 1/4..........surely thats a typo

Author5
Matthew Everingham

11.6s is not impressive. But 11.6 paired with 242kmh [just over 150mph] IS very impressive. That's "don't come back without a parachute" time.

6

lotsa wings lotsa drag. all that aero slows it down

Author7
Matthew Everingham

And lotttsssss of power to rush home at the end.

8

Also, not set up for drag racing.

9

No matter how you slice it that's a horribly embarrassing time for a car with 1400 horsepower. Yeah, it has a rear wing, but it's not a 14x14 concrete wall on wheels. "Not set up for drag racing" ? What do you think corner exit is? To dismiss this time because setup is ridiculous.

Either a typo or the car / conditions / other factors were dog shit. I would expect a car of this power to weight ratio given the tires even with a huge rear wing to run in the high 9s or low 10s at least. Hey wait a minute....it could be operator error, but that's blasphemous to assume.

10
Rory Downshiftaus

You clearly have zero idea on Drag Racing! Matt mentioned it went 150mph/242kmh in the trap, which means that it is WELL capable of a 9sec pass, 135mph would net you a 10.5 pretty easily. Obviously, as the guys from Speedhunters stated, it IS NOT setup for Drag Racing. Which means he clearly didn't want to load it up and just babied it off the line.

11

I'm well aware that 150mph is an insanely high top speed for an 11 second quarter mile. To say "it's not setup for drag racing" is incredibly vague and doesn't tell anyone why.

If he babied it off the line why give a performance figure for it? If you're going to say it has 1400hp and runs 11s people aren't going to be very impressed. A quote about 40mph to 150mph would be more accurate for the type of environment the car competes in.

Hypothetical "it's capable of" arguments don't matter. What does it actually do. If it's getting 3rd place to front wheel drive cars I have to say it's not that impressive.

12

John B, Dude, wow!

You spend a whole lot of energy in hating. By the comments of others, I can tell this is something You do frequently.

I'll give You an advice, that will make Your life a hell of a lot easier. If You get this upset of someone's hobby project, rather than ranting about it, shoot the owners a message asking about stuff that got You off rails. Your blood pressure will go down, and You don't need to pretend that You don't care, because it is pretty obvious You do.

There are a couple of things people seem to forget here. One is the driver.

I'll turn Your last sentence around: "If he's getting 3rd place to Nguyen and Au-Yeung, that is not impressive". Sounds wrong does it?

The other thing is, we still did a 1:29.1 lap time, almost 2 seconds faster than Carrera Cup Porsche lap record, or just 1.2 seconds slower than GT3 sports record.

Minding they are half a million euro racecars, driven by full time pros, I am really happy how our home built hobby project did, considering it's steered by a shopkeeper who has zero experience in door to door racing. On threaded rubber.

You also hated our quartermile effort. Fair enough, 11.6 is not very fast, but like stated above, 242 kph is quite fast, paired with that time. While You said commentary is vague, it's not vague at all. Again, if one would understand how it works on quartermile, 11.6/242 says it all.

Again, rather than ranting here, You could have asked how it did over different speeds, and I could have told You:

100-200kph 3.1 sec
200-250kph 2.5 sec
200-300kph 6.1sec

But yes, I am happy to answer questions, or respond to comments, so keep them coming.

But please do not hate us. We do our best, and unfortunately it was not enough to beat the best of the world this time, and try to do this without making people mad.

13

Thank you for the reply. I have tried in previous posts to ascertain information like this and the staff has been less than cordial. There is absolutely no hate from my end, just someone who follows the scientific method when it comes to numbers and tuning as cars and performance are rooted in data.

The rolling acceleration times are very impressive. I like your approach to time attack. Again, I didn't hate on your quarter mile time. I simply questioned the authors intent on quoting as a performance figure. You wouldn't comment on a Top Fuel car's lap time around Silverstone the same way you wouldn't comment on a Formula 1 cars 1/4 mile time compared to Top Fuel. It was a misused performance quota.

Asking for justification and clarification is not hate. It is simply objectivity. In 2017 that seems to be one and the same thing. Please send me a link to your website or email. I'd like to shoot some emails back and forth with you. Thanks. -Jb.

14

Ok, that's fine. You just use strong words to say a simple thing, which gets - as You can see, a lot of people derailed, so I suggest a milder tone in future.

You can find us from Facebook, searching R8 1:1. This site won't allow me to share links or email addresses on the comments - field. Safety thing I am sure.

I tried to share my email, but the whole post disappears, don't know if it's a safety feature or something, so You can contact me via that FB site. I'll be the one responding to messages.

My name is Jyrki Repo, and I am the face on those Youtube videos.

If questions or comments are of this article, I'd rather talk here, so other readers get the same info.

15

Ill contact you in the next week. Thank you for reaching out to me. Looking forward to speaking with you.

16
Rory Downshiftaus

Of course it's vague mate, my name isn't Sami Sivonen, I can't tell you why he did what. But a RWD, 1400hp Time-Attack setup car will never bode well on the 1/4 mile. I had a Mk6 GTI that went 13.6 at 115mph in the 1/4. Shocking E/T, but a 12.0sec capable MPH, doesn't mean I am slow, but my 2.9sec 60ft is a prime example of why my time was so lacklustre. If his 60ft was the same of even worse, than you have the answer you so begrudgingly wished for.

Matt was using the info he had at hand, he wasn't there with a stop watch trying to time them to get stats and specs, he wrote what information he was told. Go PM them on their Facebook page if you are so up in arms about it all!

A FWD also placed first in the Open Class category and the funny thing is, there isn't anyone else in their respective classes IN THE WORLD who could beat them. So you can harp on about 'not beating two 700hp 1000kg FWD cars, but at the end of the day, neither you or anyone else in the world has anything for those FWDs. That is like saying "Dan Ricciardo placed 4th in the F1 this year, if he can't even manage to beat 3 guys who are older than him, that isn't very impressive"

Solid logic mate...not!

17

Really, really tall first gear potentially?

18

I see two things in this picture I don't like.

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19

I am one of the guys who built this whole thing.

Can You please be more precise, so I could perhaps fix the issues, found.

20

I'm guessing the aluminuim hardline cable tied to cage. Could chaffe over time.
Also possibly doesnt like the pushlock festo fittings. Ive only used them with plastic hose but they hold over 10bar no probs so I'll let matt elaborate on this.

I can see a whole lot i like about this machine though.
Props to all involved in getting this thing to where it is and good luck in the future.

21

Ah, that's extinguisher.

All fuel lines in this car are braided ptfe.

22

Again...what a shocker. You take a RACE CAR to a time attack event and it can turn more laps than time attack cars. This is surprising? The reality is Time Attack has been around for about a hundred years now. It's called qualifying. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to drive for a few minutes? I'll pass.

The Japanese didn't invent it much like they didn't invent drifting. People have been sliding cars through corners since the 30s. You have to laugh at stuff like this as the world of motor sport becomes more and more diluted.

This article is a great testament to why events like the 24 hours of Le Mans will always be greater achievements than any tinsel trophy from these over glorified "racing" series. You show up with a race car and you're somehow on the cutting edge of something different.

Author23
Matthew Everingham

I agree with you man. I mean you're comparing an apple to a potato but whatever.
You know what else I think is overrated... That Usain Bolt guy. If he ran a full marathon he probably wouldn't even win. What a loser.

24

Your constant hostility and ranting is getting tiresome, John. By all means, feel free to disagree and have an opinion, but do so in a mature manner and not with snide remarks. If you feel that you can't do this, then move on to the next story. Thank you.

25

Dude has long since crossed the line into "hater" territory. I for one won't argue anymore with the guy. Talking crap about builders with massively more skill than him and batter projects than him, even gets called out by the car owners on many occasions, still can't apologize for being a straight-up a-hole. This self-righteous prick is exactly what's wrong with many people in the car scene. Dude, learn some humility and try just giving a compliment, instead of back-handed ones and flack.

John, real question: do you go to motorsports events and ask the 3rd place driver why he sucked compared to the two ahead of him? Do you go to motorsports and ask questions like you do on speedhunters to the team engineers? If you did, you'd have had your teeth handed to you in a bag.

26
Ill Have The Tuna

Careful Paddy, John B has some friends that are accomplished racers, and he's not bad behind the wheel either (as per himself) so apparently his opinion reigns supreme. It's as if a fan of Time Attack or Drift can't be aware of the multiple other established forms of racing or their history and significance. Hey John B, chill out buddy, your soapbox is made of cardboard.

27

Unless the 'B' in his name is initial of 'Bowe', his opinion doens't hold much weight aye.

28

I agree Paddy, I really agree!

(But on a brighter note) This is still a machine that had a good chunk of man hours put in to be built so I respect this build very much! Also, 1.4K horses on tap is still something to look at. (Sure, it's not a beast by today's standards but my Fusion is a dwarf to this Audi!!!)

29

Cool to see something different :).
Concerning the "base price", I'm not sure that it make such a difference when you see all the investments made by the top Time attack cars in the end.

Author30
Matthew Everingham

What you say is true. Once you add up the build cost the chassis is quite low on the expense sheet. Having said that, I've still only seen one super expensive original chassis race and that's this R8.
I might talk to some teams and find out if there's a reason we haven't considered.

31
Dominic Bruys Porter

Maybe it's because you have 100k less to spend on your engine and suspension, and aero work, if your chassis cost you 100k more than a used up S14? That would be my way of thinking.

32

We bought this car from a small time car dealer in Germany, when we were on our way home from ETAC in Assen 2015.

It was unregistered, in poor condition, and cost 32 000 eur. I sold over 10 000 eur worth of stock parts, making the chassis cost 20 000 ish eur.

So unless they give You 80K when receiving an S14 somewhere, Your calc is a bit off, haha.

33

i don't know the exact rules, but I gues this car would be king with the Quattro drivetrain still in it. Can't see the use of 1400hp on rear wheels only in track racing

34
ReallyForeverAlone

AWD in a race car actually hinders as the driver gets better because of two reasons: weight and weight.

35

Fastest car is an S13 Silvia ;)

36

Again, S13 Silvia was fastest, when it was steered by Slade.

If I drove it, it wouldn't. Please do not forget there is a driver even in a TA car. :P

37

All the - proper - Audi R8 race cars (GT3, LMS etc.) were rear wheel drive, just as an aside.

39

Would love to know whether the AudiSport R8LMS driveshafts are still stock or have been modified to take the power, having seen around the 2014 - 2017 R8 LMS Ultras with the Australian GT Championship. If they are still stock then that is a testament to the design of the GT3 cars. So much so that I originally thought it had started life as a 2010 LMS given the profile from some of the photos

40

The 24h spec stuff is a lot beefier than stock ones. e.g. just the wheel bearing weighs over 2.3kg.

41
Mark Joseph I. Argoso

And really, that speaks a lot as to how Audi was able to nail down the R8 LMS Ultra. Simply one of the best GT3 cars ever made.

42

It was great seeing this car out on the track, looked and sounded awesome. Hope to see it back next year, along with more Europeans to mix up the field a bit.

43

Thank You. I think it sounds good, too. Pity it's so quiet to the grandstands - at least when comparing to the cars with side exit exhausts.

44
Sean Klingelhoefer

Really nice work Matthew.

Author45
Matthew Everingham

Thank you, Mr 'K'!

46

First of all, we talked about how an R8 is considered heavy. It is a heavy girl indeed, but an r35 is a monster truck compared to this.
Second: props to Sivonen, he needs blls of steels to drive a time-attack car with 1400hp of monstrosity all to the pair of rear wheels.
3rd of all: about the drive train. AWD vs RWD. The R8 itself already comes with great weight distribution so AWD here would only add weight to it. Rwd might be responsible for launching (11.6 1/4 mile), but I've never heard of 11.6s@242, which means this thing probably hook up between 2nd-3rd gear, and it pulls hard as hell ( a stock Aventador Lp700-4 1/4 mile is 10.8 @ 212 kph)
Lastly, thank you sir Matthew for bringing us a informative piece of essays

47

In my opinion this is the future of time attack, sport cars built by factory to be fast on the straight and corner.
Its a lot cheaper if you start with something half way done than start is from scratch like evos sti or nissans.

To build a similar body like a lambo or the r8 stiffening costs about 15-20.000, a good set of knuckles with decent bearings that wont flex in the corner another 10.000 (we buy wrc bearings for 1500 for one corner). While a flooded r8 costs about the 30.000, a running one around 50.000 and your getting a fantastic gearbox, heavy but fasts as hell, and an over 100hp/liter n/a engine.

Than again its stupid to build the v10 engine when the v8 can deal with 8-900hp with just a short block build, and if that's not enough power to beat all the cars find the cure elsewhere.

48

Agree,

4.2 R8's and older Gallardos are getting cheap in mainland Europe. You can get one for way less than 50K eur.

Both of them can do 800hp without even changing the spark plug, and there are plenty of track proven bolt on kits available for those.

Not even mentioning, the 4.2 engine is hefty 50kg lighter than 5.2. (180 vs. 229kg)

The big punish comes with minimum weight. S13 can weigh 900ish kg, when R8 minimum weight is 1200.

It would be fair for all the cars in class to have same miminum weight, but this way WTAC can keep the old sedans and coupes still valid against the supercars.

However, when ever we see similar investment of engineering and money and a pro driver in a Huracan, as we see MCA putting in to the S13, or the PR Tech guys putting in to the 968, the S13 won't be that superior.

All should keep in mind, we built this car in Sami's shed, and there are engines at WTAC pit that cost the same as building the R8 did, so although it looks like mega money build, it was by far the least money invested of whole pro grid this year. Trust me.

49

dont think the weight is a super big problem till you can run extreme aero on the 295 rubbers good cars should beat the DTM class cars.
Btw, is this still a awd? if not I would consider making is back with that power. For ~500hp the 295 are maxed out on one axle.
We are building an e46 with rb30 and 4x4 for timeattack, and with 7-800hp we are going to maxi out the 300 dtm slicks on all corners. With a good management and electronic controlled mid diff it can be bloody fast.

50

Weight is a killer. It is. Trust me.

In a GT3 car, 15kg is 0,1 seconds, 150kg is a second. And that's with a pro paddling, on 1380kg (race ready with pilot in) 500hp car on slicks. We tip the scales a hefty 550kg over Mighty Mouse. Put 500kg in his trunk, and see what happens. :D

Yes, DTM's should be Hammerhead speed at SMSP on their own tyres I assume. 6-7 seconds faster than GT3 in Zandvoort.

Our car is RWD, there is so much changed in front suspension geometry, the front diff or the driveshafts wouldn't fit. Weight penalty would be well over 100kg. Making traction control gets tricky. Not worth it.

"Extreme aero" is easier said than done. Especially on a mid engine car, with low mounted motor, such as ours. That's why Porsche has mid engine in their newest GT3 race car.

I hope Your RB turns out good. I am personally not a fan. Would deffo use Bimmer motor rather than an RB.

We run 950whp on second gear, about 1000whp on 3rd, up to 1400ish on 6th. It gets off traction control at 210-220kph.

That's why 200-250kph is so close to same time as 250-300kph. I also limited the boost from 285kph up, to keep it from going too fast on that straight. longitudinal G is 0.9 up to 200ish kph. Toivonen had 1G with 700whp, because he is 300kg lighter than us, and has more aero.

51

Height is a problem but not an excuse why it cant beat DTM or GT class times cos those are heavy also.
If you have traction control till 200 than youll need the stock front drivetrain. 1300+ kg and 1400hp its impossible on that shitty tires, alms cars went 800+ hp and 360 almost 400 tires to make it stick and those ware tall ones so a lot more grip.

we opted for the 46 cos its interestin in a awd config, and cos there isnt any :)
also we have some rb laying around with hks box and it has a pretty good mid diff that can send around 300nm to the front.
Just came in a e46 m3 for next year and it will have an s54 turbo engine with about 700 hp, last years it was nice to see it pass all the Ferraris and Porsches in the straight but in corners...mostly on exits its drifting like hell on 300mm slicks, to much torque.

52

R8 makes a wheelie on 3rd gear with slicks, so I suggest You work a bit on Your geometry and suspension, if You are blazing 300mm slicks with 700hp. Haha.

53

What a beast. Torille

54

Super cool to see the owner on here defending his car in the comments. Don’t get to see that every day. Way to go to Jyrki for building an awesome car and doing something only a few of us only dream of. I can’t imagine how long this to to build. Keep working on your driving and I’m sure we’ll see you on the top of the podium soon!

55

I am not the owner, or the driver. Sami owns and drives it.

I just built most of it, including but not limited to engine, turbo package, fueling, suspension changes and exhaust system.

56

Guys, You just got into my head and DO my dream, yeah!
And really amazing car and teamwork.

BTW it's so different from usually JDM-based monster cars, so it's just a pure pleasure to see R8 at the scene.
*need to watch your videos

Grats one more time!

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