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StopTech Engineers Moonlight on Formula D Crew
by Frank A. Filipponio | Sep 27, 2012

People who work at Centric Parts tend to be a special breed. The percentage of gearheads on staff is probably much higher than at most companies. That starts at the top with our CEO who has competed in several forms of racing over the years, and in the SCCA Pro Pirelli World Challenge for the past several years.

While most of our focus in the StopTech Racing department is on production based race cars, we are not limited to that type of racing. Our team's interests cover a wide range of racing disciplines such as Time Attack, Off-Road, Circle Track, Historics, drag racing, F1, NASCAR and even drifting.

In fact, a few of our engineers are currently readying for the final race in the 2012 Formula Drift championship, with their driver Daigo Saito just 26 points behind leader Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and 19 points clear of third place Rhys Millen - the man who just broke the record at Pike's Peak using a StopTech Trophy BBK on his Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

Technician Steve Chan and Engineer David Lim have helped build this team into a championship contender. Saito’s Lexus SC430, also known as the Toyota Soarer in Japan, was one of the most anticipated professional drift cars of this season.

Under the hood of this salvaged luxury car is a fully built 3.4 liter Brian Crower stroker 2JZ-GTE with a Garrett GTX42 "baby-eating" turbo helping it pump an estimated 1,200 hp to the wheels through a Holinger full sequential transmission. By the time all of the luxury equipment is stripped out and the safety and performance upgrades installed, this SC430 weighs in at just 2,800 lbs. You can probably imagine how that much power would feel in a car that weighs that little. Well, maybe you can't.

Photos and videos of drifting focus mainly on the smoking tires of these cars as the drivers delicately control their slide - or drift - through complicated patterns and track configurations. The focus is on precision, not all out speed, but with 1,200 hp to play with, you can bet that performance is not lacking.

The new Hennessey Venom GT supercar is probably the closest street car in terms of numbers with 1,244 hp and a curb weight of 2,733 lbs. That car has a claimed top speed of 270+ mph and can do 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. While the Lexus isn't likely to match those numbers, it gives you an idea of what that much power is capable of.

Be sure to catch the Formula Drift season finale from Irwindale on October 12/13.

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