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Slippin' Sideways: Mobil 1 FD Camero

P rofessional drift racer Ryan Tuerck’s story begins not with cars, but with bikes. The New Hampshire native always seemed to have an itch for speed, putting it to good use initially with BMX and Motocross. When you were just getting ready to take off the training wheels, Tuerck was already competing off-road in dirt bike racing, going so far as to earn his American Motocross Association (AMA) license at the age of 16.

Shortly thereafter, he heard about the sport of drifting. The concept made sense: if you could break away the tail of a dirt bike, why not do the same thing with a car on pavement? So, armed with a Nissan 240SX and lots of guts, he went head on into the world of Formula Drift, and his two-wheeled lifestyle was relegated to leisure time.

Early success in the sport earned him the attention of sponsors, and in 2008 he signed on with Gary Gardella as part of the NJ-based Gardella Racing squad. For 2011, the team has gone back to the lab to create an all-new Mobil 1 Chevrolet Camaro drift machine for Tuerck.

First things first: let’s get right to the heart of this animal. The Camaro’s original motor was swapped out in favor of a LS7. It’s an engine that is normally found in the front of a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 making a respectable 505 hp. The Gardella crew has gone far beyond that, tuning the GM Racing 7.0-liter V8 to put out in excess of 700 hp for the Camaro.

A quick glance under the hood reveals a few of their tricks. Carbon fiber Kinsler LS Crossram Individual Throttle Bodies (ITBs) replace the standard intake piping for maximum breathability towards the Brian Crower internals, while a C&R radiator keeps engine temperatures in check. Further back, custom headers by Kooks are mated to a unique exhaust system that is shortened to exit under the body, saving weight. Finally, Stef’s Fabrication Specialties provided new oil and breather tanks to ensure the Mobil 1 fluids are well distributed, keeping everything lubricated under stress.

A new G-Force GSR 4-speed transmission was selected to compliment the big V8. Not only does it feature an easy to use Long shifter, but get this, it’s also cast out of magnesium to help with the Camaro’s diet plan! An ACT clutch and flywheel handle the input and a Driveshaft Shop driftshaft feeds back to a Winters quickchange rear end. It all adds up to a very natural power delivery so that Tuerck knows just how much gas he needs to hold it sideways around the track.

Slippin' Sideways: Mobil 1 FD Camero Slippin' Sideways: Mobil 1 FD Camero

On the outside, lighter materials were used to replace the stock sheet metal while still keeping the Camaro’s signature look. A Pratt & Miller carbon fiber front bumper, hood, roof, and rear decklid along with Norm’s fiberglass fenders and doors all help lower the car’s center of gravity. No rear wing is used, similar to many of the other muscle cars in the Formula Drift series.


Slippin' Sideways: Mobil 1 FD Camero

If you are feeling inspired by Tuerck’s car, but don’t want to swap out your own motor or fenders, look no further than the wheels and tires. Enkei RPF1s are wrapped in Nitto NT05 rubber with a dash of negative front camber for an aggressive stance. The RPF1 design has been around longer than Facebook, yet tSlippin' Sideways: Mobil 1 FD Camerohey still look fresh in a custom Red Bull paint scheme. It’s an affordable combination that is perfect for just about any driving application.

Past the wheels lie the brakes. A Wilwood 4-piston big brake kit with drilled rotors provides front and rear stopping power. Although it is popular among drifters to use a dual caliper setup in the back (one for the foot brakes and one for the hand brake), Tuerck chose to stick with a single caliper for both. This setup is what he ran on his previous cars, so it made for an easier transition to an untested chassis.

Drifting is all about taking corners with maximum angle, and this can’t be achieved without nimble steering response. That’s where the suspension comes in. Eibach springs and struts replace the stock setup on the four corners, while a Pfadt sway bar, bushings and camber kit stiffen things up even more.

On the interior, a Sparco Evo bucket seat and Schroth six-point harness hold Tuerck steady so he can twist the Sparco steering wheel and nail every clipping point. Although the carpeting, consoles, door panels, and rear seats were ditched to make room for the custom roll cage, a black matte front dash panel was kept, molded in the shape of the original, to reduce glare coming through the windshield. Instead of traditional analog gauges, a Racepak IQ3 dash/datalogger displays the vehicle’s speed, rpm, engine temp, and other information from the FAST XFI ECU.

For many years, Tuerck has been a part of the Drift Alliance, a crew of drivers that pushes the limits of the sport and each other. They have performed in countless drift demos, and produced a full-length DVD of their antics in 2008. Tuerck is also a Red Bull athlete, which means he will have many opportunities to show his extreme nature in front of the camera - the first came earlier this year when he and Rhys Millen got sideways through the streets of downtown Atlanta. Look for more from Tuerck and his Mobil 1 Gardella Racing Camaro as he continues to chase down victory in the 2011 Formula Drift Pro Championship!


Slippin' Sideways: Mobil 1 FD Camero


Vehicle: Chevrolet Camaro

Driver: Ryan Tuerck

Owner: Gary Gardella

Location: Howell,NJ

Engine: 7.0L LS7 Naturally Aspirated V8

Horsepower: 700hp

Suspension: Eibach Springs and Struts

Brakes: Wilwood

Tires: Nitto NT05

Wheels: Enkei RPF1

Exterior: Pratt & Miller Carbon Fiber

Interior: Sparco seats /steering wheel

Sponsors: Gardella Racing, Mobil 1, Red Bull, Nitto, CLAB, Eibach, Enkei, Stef’s, Ignite, BC, Kooks, NGK, Fuel Safe, Pfadt, Wilwood, AEM, ACT

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