Well gentlemen (and the occasional lady) we here at TSM have been silent for a while now. I have hinted here and there that we were working on some pretty in depth Porsche development, but for the most part I’ve refrained from being public about it. I wanted to do the marketing campaign from a little different angle than what is usually traditional in the car community. I have watched a lot of companies try to work their way into specific markets over the years. I have analyzed and watched as other’s “marketing strategies” was used in a community of enthusiasts. Not just the Porsche community, but within other communities as well. I have been doing this for 13 years now, so while I haven’t seen it all, I’m no stranger to the tactics. That said, at this point in my company’s forward motion I’m really not into selling products based on anything less than true quality, proven knowledge, and top level performance.
As a car guy Porsche has always been one of my biggest passions. My first high end sports car was a 996 GT2 that we won One Lap of America in. Ever since then I have known that adding this iconic brand to the very niche market of my company was a top level goal! As some of you may know we here at TSM are mostly known for our big HP GT-Rs. We build more high HP GT-Rs than anyone in the United States and have worked very, very hard to have some of the most reliable and proven street cars in the world. We have erected a program with our engines and turbos that has taken a decade of commitment to construct. Our engines for the R35 GT-R get shipped all over the world to people making over 2000hp with them. While our success and reputation might be impressive to some, it honestly means nothing to this community of Porsche enthusiasts. A GT-R isn’t a Porsche, and there are very specific learning curves that have to do with every car.. especially one as wonderfully advanced as a P-Car. I’m not so arrogant or ignorant to think we could just jump in head first and be among the best without a lot of learning!
While the learning never ever stops when it comes to pushing the limits of the fastest cars in the world, I first wanted very in depth top level knowledge about the intricacies of the 991 before the “marketing” started. Just over a year ago it began with me purchasing a 991 Turbo S development car. I have dedicated the last year to our 991 R&D program. This program included dissecting the platform all the way down to engine internals and learning everything possible about how they work. While we know cars and engines really, really well, I wanted to know every little specific thing about the 991 that we could before tackling the market. Along with the in house development car, we are been privileged enough to have a customer that decided to entrust us with building his 991 Turbo S! The goal… aggressive yet simple…. build the fastest 991 Porsche on the planet! Put it on top and keep it there.
We decided to start by trying to be the fastest 991 in the US. That quest for the US half mile record started late last year. We knew the car needed to make around 1100hp which was going to require a fully built engine, upgraded fuel system, turbos, and a billet intake manifold to name a few. Some of you may know this car, as it is no stranger to racing the last couple years. The owner has had it in and out of a few shops around the US and has enjoyed it with a stock engine for a while. When it was time to go big, he called us! I want to share with you guys some of the process we went through so you can appreciate the level of commitment to this new platform that myself and my team possess. Please allow me to take you through the journey in building what is now the fastest 991 in the country.
Our engine program is something I am very proud of and have been borderline obsessed with for many years. We work with some of the smartest people in the world when it comes to high horsepower engine development. I have been blessed with partnerships that have advanced TSM’s builds far beyond what I could have ever dreamed. We have built engines for Porsche’s before, but never have we gone this far into custom processes as we did on the 991. We developed completely custom pistons and rods with CP/Carrillo that are 100% proprietary to TSM. We have been using them in other HP applications for years so they were very excited to create a program for us in the Porsche world. We then moved on to the cylinder walls. The factory processes are certainly not strong enough to handle big power, so we used a process that we implement for other big power aluminum blocks in order to provide a much stronger cylinder wall that can hold up to the abuse of high boost/torque applications. We also called our friends from ARP and had them develop some stronger case bolts and head bolts than are available on the market. Along with the bottom end we contracted our friends from GSC to help us with the entire valvetrain. For those of you who don’t know, GSC is a US based company out of SC that does fully billet camshafts and entire valvetrain products for a plethora of applications. I wanted to be able to spin this engine to well over 8000RPM, so developing a full valvetrain and cam setup was necessary. We have a couple more very exciting things coming in the coming months as far as highly upgraded engine internals, however as of now, I’m extremely excited and confident in our built 991 engine program.
For turbos we are almost done developing the turbos for our ELITE1300 system, but we just couldn’t get them done in time for this build. In the meantime we decided to use a smaller turbo that was readily available. This left a lot of potential on the table but it was what we had to work with so in interest of forward motion on the project we decided it was worth the “sacrifice”. I’m really excited about the turbos we are developing. They will most certainly be on the car for the next event! The current turbos on this car are 30R sized ,with a 57mm inducer, and run out of breath in the high 20ish PSI area. Our upcoming turbos will be capable of much, more power.
Fueling is tricky on these cars as you all know. The car is direct injected similar to the newer Lambo and R8. There are no upgrades to direct injection systems currently for the Porsche so creating something from scratch was necessary. We teamed up with Gosha Turbo Tech, who built a billet intake manifold in order for us to add port injection on top of the DI system of the 991. We then provided the secondary rails with fuel from dual Walbro pumps completely separate from the factory system. What this means is that driving around during your daily commutes the car drives 100% on the factory DI system. That ensures a like stock driving experience until you hammer the loud pedal. At that point the secondary system engages and provides the port injection with the fuel it needs to sustain well over 1000whp.
While we do most of our bolt on and upgraded turbo Porsches on Cobb, this build required something a little more complex. We needed the ability to control a secondary set of injectors as well as truly manage the power. The factory ECU does a great job up to a certain point, but once you go beyond it’s capabilities it turns into a real struggle. With this level of build you really need a full standalone. The ability to have full motorsports style traction control, trigger outputs for fuel systems, and get by all of the factory torque limiters made it necessary to call Syvecs and order their PNP 991 Turbo kit. The system is certainly a step in the right direction from the factory ECU when it comes to high HP. The gentlemen at Syvecs provide good support and are always willing to help in a pinch. Traditionally we use Motec on our big HP GT-Rs, but given they do not offer a solution for the 991 we chose Syvecs, and they have been great to work with.
The transmission in this car remains a PDK as the customer really wants to retain the amazing drivability of the dual clutch transmission. It has upgraded clutches by Dodson, but otherwise is stock. I’m personally pushing very hard for the next level of development on the PDK with our friends at Dodson and Shephard Transmission. We are hoping in the not so distant future to be able to build a rock solid 1500hp capable PDK trans… time will tell on that.
The car came together without drama honestly. We fought a few things with the fuel system making sure it was operating perfectly, and then worked with Syvecs on some little advancements that they happily helped with. Otherwise it was all straight forward in nature once all of the components were in place. The goal was to head to the Pikes Peak Half Mile event put on by SHIFT-S3CTOR this past weekend. On the dyno the car behaved flawlessly! Once the learning curve of the Syvecs was pushed through it was smooth sailing. I assumed that the car was going to be turbo limited around 1100hp which was pretty much spot on. With the turbos all in at about 29psi, the car made a beautiful 1130whp dyno graph. (See below)
All of this information builds up to this; the SHIFT-S3CTOR event at Pikes Peak where we would go after the 991 US record. Frankly I was a little nervous about the outcome of this event. The DA at the Colorado Springs Airport was almost 9500ft the entire weekend. With little 57mm turbos I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to make the boost in thin air to hit my personal goals. While the US record was 179mph I didn’t want to just beat that… I wanted to go 190mph or better in the half.
While the customer was there he had me drive the car the first few passes in order to shake it down. The first pass I shifted super early and didn’t go full throttle until 3rd gear just so we could review the data. After looking it all over it couldn’t have looked much better. So without any changes we went back out and spun the engine much higher for a full pass.…. crossing the line after it’s first full pass at 181mph. We officially had broken the US half mile record! Everyone was so ecstatic when I pulled back in! The owner was hooting and hollering, the staff was fist pumping…the only person not satisfied was me. It wasn’t 190!
Through the day we adjusted and tweaked. Keep in mind we had 7 other cars there ranging from 180mph to 225mph so we were trackside tuning and supporting more than just the Porsche. Every little adjustment picked up power.. from the boost curve by gear, to the timing and fueling. We were making adjustments pass after pass just to find out just exactly what this flat 6 wanted to make her happy! Understand that in most cases in the GT-R world I could tell you down to the MPH how much we will pick up from any given tune or driving adjustment. However when it comes to the Porsche that wasn’t the case. Instead of just making random adjustments I instructed my tuner to make very specific adjustments in order to see just what the car wanted in the half mile at elevation.
So, Saturday about mid day we had our friends at BBi mount a challenge to our speed. They came out swinging with their built engine 991 running 182mph, besting us by just over a half mph. Well in the spirit of healthy competition we couldn’t have that. A couple more small adjustments in the power delivery through the 1/8th mile and the next pass was an enthusiastic 188mph! Ok so the entire team including myself was pretty happy with that! I’m not gonna pretend that if that was where we finished the weekend I would have been disappointed. We were very close to my personal goal and had completely surpassed the customer’s expectations. Saturday closed without any advancement in the 188.4 MPH pass.
There was a very nasty head wind that day so we decided to not push the car it’s last little 5% to try and make 190mph when Sunday looked more promising for both temps and wind. Sunday morning came around and sure enough the wind was much calmer than Saturday afternoon. With a few more adjustments it was time to make a pass shooting for the 190s! I was confident giving the winds, air, and tune adjustments that we would hit my personal goal... however I wasn’t prepared for the amount we were about to surpass it by!
By the end of the day Sunday we had managed another 6 passes in the high 180s and once the air was right we went for it…. ONE HUNDRED NINETY THREE MPH!!! We had destroyed the US half mile record by over 10mph, met and exceeded my personal goals for the platform, and made for one very happy customer! Myself and my team could not be happier with the results. Our customer Jeff feels the same and we appreciate his dedication to the platform so much! We can’t wait for the next event to be able to run at a more reasonable density altitude and hopefully take down the world record for the 991 Turbo!
Make no mistake, this is just the beginning of you gentlemen hearing about TSM and our progression in the Porsche community. We have developed products and pressed forward into tuning strategies in order to make us a commanding force at an international level in this market.