The Forged Performance Motorsports team has returned home after a very successful TX2K12 event in Houston Texas. TX2K started as a small gathering of local Supra owners in the Houston, TX area but quickly grew into one of the country’s largest and most infamous GT-R, Supra, and Lamborghini meets. Infamous is a fitting word and undoubtedly putting it lightly. As the sun goes down, the streets of Houston are transformed into an illegal street racer’s heaven with impromptu racing and burnouts happening on just about every corner often within earshot of local law enforcement.
Our 14-hour road trip from Atlanta started Wednesday morning at 7am with me sitting shotgun in our Ford F-450 tow rig. Our 48ft goose-neck was loaded with two very potent R35′s including the legendary Forged Performance Time Attack GT-R and a customer’s FP1-R GT-R packing 1000hp+. While these cars are modified for two very different purposes, they both would be heavy hitters in their field of competition. With such precious cargo aboard Alex, our Motorsports Crew Chief and I traded off the task of burning off 65 gallons of diesel at a time. Ryan had also joined us for our journey across the lower southeast toward Houston. Sharif opted to remain at the shop for an additional work day so he could assist the staff that was holding down the fort while we were gone. Our drive was entertaining yet pretty uneventful, which is a good thing when hauling 20,000 lbs of Nissans and gear. We arrived at the Omni Hotel shortly after sunset and managed to maneuver our massive rig into the parking lot, which was already quickly filling up with groups of high horsepower cars. Within seconds of exiting the truck, I could already feel my jaw starting to drop as I attempted to take in my surroundings. I instantly saw multiple turbo LSx cars, Evo’s on drag radials, big turbo Supra’s, and many other high end, tastefully modified cars north of the 600whp mark. Ryan quickly informed me that this was the “slow night” and I could not help but laugh. Ryan notified me that Doug, our customer that owns the black beast keeping our Time Attack car company, had just arrived at the hotel as well. Doug and his family met us at the Omni Restaurant for dinner and then we returned to the parking lot to check out all the horsepower where we met up with Sharif, whose flight had landed an hour after our arrival.
For the Forged Performance Motorsports team, the event started bright and early on Thursday for the 45 min drive to the country club setting of Motorsports Ranch Houston (MSR).
With Peter wrapping up the driver’s meeting and safety discussion, we looked forward to tackling this gorgeous 2.2 mile circuit which offers a wonderful variety of corners, elevation changes, and challenging terrain to test even the most skilled drivers.
Sharif proclaimed that it felt great to get behind the wheel in competition mode again with the GT-R that marked our entrance into the GT-R world!
Given this was Sharif’s first time laying eyes on Motorsports Ranch, he went out for some sighting laps during the first session and quickly discovered that the track was incredibly bumpy, making it impossible to brake deep or accelerate early coming off the corners; combined with the very technical layout of the track, that meant we had our work cut out for us to dial in our GT-R. The team went to work to soften up the suspension significantly and adjust tire pressures. Next session out, the car was feeling much better and our lap times came down almost 10 seconds per lap. The big laptime reduction was mostly the result of getting familiar with the track layout, but things were looking better. With a comfortable lead on the other GT-R’s Sharif set his sites on the very fast GT1/SU class tube frame Camaro of Paul Costas. This was our same nemesis from last year that ended up winning by default, since he had the fastest laptime prior to the event being canceled due to a bad wreck. Paul and Sharif never had a chance to compete against each other, so we were looking forward to the chance to put Godzilla back on top!
Throughout the day, Paul and Sharif were within a tenth of a second of each other or less. After our second “hot” session Sharif felt our setup was about as good a we could achieve that day, and rather than wearing out our tires, he decided to sit things out until the official Time Attack session. He knew that the Forged Performance GT-R still had a little more boost, and Sharif still had a little more anger to unleash on Motorsport Ranch.
Running 18psi and 650whp on the original OEM engine, the Top Five fastest drivers made their way out to click off their fastest lap. The rules were simple. One warm up lap, 3 hot laps, and the fastest single lap wins. When the green flag dropped, Sharif was full throttle entering the short front straight then dive bombed into the super tight double apex right-hander exiting in 3rd gear, then a short shift into 4th gear at WOT hanging onto the track…barely…which lead onto the quick right left chicane and onto the first sweeping straight. We had a feeling this would be his fastest lap of the day and it was.
In Sharif’s words:
“Getting overly confident in road racing/time attack is always a bad signal, and as I began my 2nd lap I pushed it just as hard, but this time with the benefit of full heat in my tires. As I charged towards the first hard braking zone at about 145mph, I stabbed at the brakes just as I had done dozens of times before and then, for a split second, my foot slipped off the brake pedal. With no margin for error, I knew I wouldn’t be able to slow the car nearly enough to navigate the blind entry, decreasing radius off camber nasty right hander but that wasn’t going to stop me from trying! So I tossed the car to the right, drifted sideways over the hill and then bailed straight through the grass and then back on the track. I don’t think it even cost me any time! Quick check of gauges and mirrors and I was back at full throttle without missing a beat. Unfortunately, with my now wet tires I got a clutch overheat warning and car went into a temporary limp mode. I slowed, and pulled to the side to allow Paul in his GT1 Camaro pass by. And then something magical happened. As if Gozilla was reawaken by this fire breathing Camaro’s exhaust, the AWD clutch overheat light went off and I was back at full power! Now Paul and I were separated by about 100 yards and I attempted to chase him down. Let me tell you, his car is very fast but the GT-R was a bit better on the brakes, and at corner entry which allowed me to just barely pass him on the inside of Turn 1 right in front of the Grand Stands. Wheel to wheel action isn’t usually something you see in Time Attack because the competitors are separated by 20 seconds as the event begins. But the rules dictate that if for any reason you encounter traffic, then it’s wheel to wheel and open passing. Paul is also an experienced racer, and I knew the he’d probably make some room for me…as I would for him. After the pass in Turn1 we continued pushing hard throughout the lap with the two cars very evenly matched. I was faster on corner entry, but with his big slicks and downforce, he was faster off the corners and much faster in the straights. On the longest back straight, he was able to pull even with me so I made a bit of room for him and we were side by side at 120mph into the long fast sweeping left and then nose to tail for the final 4 corners leading onto the front straight. On the final lap, we were separated by an unbelievable 3 one thousandths of a second! We ended the event with a mutual thumb’s up…sure beats the other finger!”
So by less than a blink of an eye, the Forged Performance GT-R took home the first place trophy and notched a big win for the GT-R community as a whole!
Special thanks to Team Boulder Nissan and Jason and Eric for loaning us some Mechanix gloves! It was great to finally put some faces with names and once again, Peter and the gang put on a flawless event.
To celebrate our victory we all went racing! MSR Houston also has their own karting circuit where after a long day at the track it only felt right to top it off with even more competitive driving. After battling it out on the kart track we packed up our trailer and headed back to our home base at the Omni Hotel. By the time we returned, the pre-meet was in full swing and the parking lot was stuffed with so many performance oriented cars that the meet had spilled over to adjacent parking structures. The night was filled with the sounds of large displacement V8′s camming, turbo’s spooling well past the 30 PSI mark and the smell of race gas.
Words just can’t truly describe the insanity that went on throughout the night. No doubt, this was the most epic night meet I have ever had the pleasure of attending.
Friday began bright and early with the always popular Dyno Day and car show at the Hennessey compound in Sealy, TX. With two dynos running consecutively all day and offering free dyno pulls to anyone present this was sure to be an extremely active day. The Forged Performance Team arrived soon after the gates open and set-up camp by the entrance. We quickly unloaded both GT-R’s, our tent, cooler and our newly acquired TX2K12 Time Attack Trophy, which was proudly displayed atop the Forged Performance GT-R. Within an hour of being at Hennessey I was quickly filling up my memory cards with photos and videos, with the quality of cars within eye sight I just couldn’t resist pounding that shutter button. The cars in attendance were all top tier performance cars and were all very heavily modified.
Towards the end of the day, we decided it would be fun to put the black beast on the dyno for a quick test. With Doug, the owner/customer in attendance, he quickly agreed and Alex got to work removing the front shaft which would allows us to run it on Hennessey’s 2wd Dyno Jet. At just 31psi of boost, the car made 971whp despite nearly slipping sideways off the dyno the first pull! To our surprise, that was enough to take home 1st place for Highest GT-R Dyno! Doug, was all smiles!
The entire Forged Performance Team was just ecstatic that we now held two first place trophies from what is one of the largest events in the states!
With excitement in his voice Sharif quickly exclaimed “That’s two for two, guys!”
After a quick dinner we returned to our hotel to prepare for official after party at Frank-N-Steins Bar & Grill. Ryan, Alex and I arrived at the location just as the bikini contest was getting started and the mass of intoxicated human bodies surrounding the stage in the parking lot was just unreal! Instead of standing 50 feet away from the stage we decided to make our way inside this fine establishment for a beverage to quench our thirst. I will spare you the boring details of our bland night on the town in Houston Texas
One thing I can truly say about my co-workers and friends that help make up the Forged Motorsports Team is we truly are hardcore car guys! Despite our long night and only a few hours sleep we had no issues pulling ourselves out of bed and ready to get our Saturday started at Lonestar Motorsports Park for the TX2K12 Test-n-Tune Drag Race Event. Word on the streets was that today is when all the really big horsepower guys were going to be out and in kill mode. Once arriving at the track it was clear that this really was when and where the fastest guys in the states got together to go to war. Twin turbo Vipers, Supercharged Z06′s, Built Supra’s, UGR Gallardo’s, heavily modified GT-R’s and more were in attendance! The vast majority of these cars were filled with C16, on slicks and ready to do battle. These guys were serious.
As the day progressed the cars continued to drop their ET’s and raise their trap speeds, it got to a point where low 9 second passes at 160+ MPH was pretty average. This was clearly the fastest drag race event I have ever seen.
After a long day at the drag strip, we concluded we were deserving of a nice dinner and a long night of sleep. Thankfully, we all were tucked into our comfy beds at the Omni by midnight (which is early for a TX2K night!) and drifted off to sleep within minutes of crawling under the covers. We decided that instead of spending Sunday at the drag strip, we would load up and make our way back to Atlanta, with our two first place trophies. By 6am we were rolling onto I-10 East in the Forged Performance F-450 propelling us back to Georgia. Again, Alex and I traded off driving duties while Ryan napped in the back, cuddling our TX2k Trophies. With the pedal to the floor and only the necessary stops we made it back to the shop, safe and sound before sunset.
For additional photos of this event please see the: FORGED PERFORMANCE FLICKR PAGE