Posted on: January 7, 2014

Summer break - sounds like a great time to relax, but in motorsports it means; BUSY TIMES!


Becoming great at any sport requires the team to review every single performance, the competition and identify every piece of improvement potential. Doing this continuously while growing and finding our direction as a new team in Formula Drift is how we ensure that every time we line up on the grid we are better than the last time.


So our mid-season summer break was our chance to make a significant upgrade based on what we learned from the season so far. For us that meant serious summertime madness.


We pulled out the trusty Nissan V6 motor as soon as the car returned from New Jersey. It was nothing wrong with it, but we simply needed to raise the bar.

We tested the new motor package in the scorching summer heat at Willow Springs International Raceway. 

Instead of building the Nissan V6 motor with all forged internals and turn up the Garrett turbo boost, that original plan changed radically and instead we dropped an earth-shattering 6-litre aluminum GM V8 into the Z, allowing us a much higher power limit for future development. This raw piece of American muscle car heritage is really loud and powerful already but we plan to turbo charge it to really create a beast!


Garrett has run the simulations needed to pick the ideal turbocharger for our power target and it's ready for us. Time is limited however even with a mid-season summer break and we will never compromise on reliability, so adding turbo is an exciting card that we will pull out when we can do it reliably and test it prior to competition. This means we are still approximately 250 hp below our ultimate power target for 2014 but we're on a good way!

We have used every possibility to test and practice in order to dial the car in with the new motor character and to utilize the grippy Hankook tires even better.


Our decision to "go V8" was greatly supported by the Arizona-based company Fueled Racing, who manufactures bolt-on V8 swap kits for several car models, Nissan 350Z being one of them. The Fueled Racing kit makes it a very enjoyable affair to grab any modern GM V8 and simply drop it into a 350Z chassis.

Even though installing the V8 was almost a breeze, we still had to do a lot of maintenance work and replace broken parts and repair the front end after bashing on the guardrails in New Jersey.


Godspeed Project came to our rescue and with their high performance 350Z radiator and from testing and practicing with the new engine we can attest that the car has never run cooler even under extremely heavy gas pedal use on 105 deg F test days. We should be doing ok in Texas! (knock on wood)

One crucial part of our Formula Drift PRO Championship program is to connect our sponsors with fans and car enthusiasts, so last Sunday we brought the car to Nissan Race Shop's annual car meet & track day at the Auto Club Speedway where we made sure to get the crowd excited with parts raffles and opportunity to ask questions and check out the Z up close. We hope these activities help you in your efforts to achieve your marketing goals.

We also sent out Berk Technology's Sandra Wong to tour the event during the day, armed with Search For A Champion flyers and swag, to help our sponsor Champion Spark Plugs promote this year's contest. We will continue this effort at Formula Drift SHOWDOWN, Texas Motor Speedway and at the TITLE FIGHT, Irwindale Speedway in October.


Check out Carl's Youtube channel for videos where you can see and hear the Berk Technology Rydquist Racing 350Z powered by Champion Spark Plugs' new motor package.


The sixth round of the 2013 Formula Drift PRO Championship will take place in Fort Worth, Texas on Sep 13-14. Tickets can be purchased at, and news, livestream and all event info can also be found there.

Please check out and support our team partners who are providing first class products and services for our 2013 Formula Drift PRO Championship program!