A friend came over today, he wanted to show off his new Audi A3 S Line. I met Adam in an apartment building I lived in when I bought the Veloster and he’s seen quite a few mods come and go on that car. We joked around about how he never thought I’d get the car to the state it is today. I had taken the car to High Plains Raceway for an open lapping day to celebrate a fellow racer’s birthday. The day was supposed to be lighthearted and fun, just hang out in the sun and get a few laps in. It was between sessions and I had taken one of the drivers there for a lap in the Veloster when my engine blew. A completely non-competitive setting on a easy, “fun lap”.
We were casually chatting as I came out of turn 3, just below my red line. I heard the rev limiter bounce and I went to shift out of third gear into fourth and somehow downshifted into second, hitting almost 10k rpm and snapping a couple valves and vaporizing a piston.
I hadn’t planned on building the engine until it was time for a new one. Well, it was definitely time for a new one. I had been in touch with Josh Sadler at KDM Tuners from my early days of the now dead Veloster Turbo forums (sadly everything moved to Facebook) his track build had inspired me to go in that direction and almost all of the information I had about the car came from his experience on the track. He had been developing parts with some of the major aftermarket engine parts fabricators for the VT for some time now. He had partnered with Molnar Rods, King Bearings, CP Pistons and so many others that the platform finally felt real, like a part of the larger tuning culture.
After talking about what we wanted to do, I finally decided we should throw the kitchen sink at it. We would build for big power and absolute reliability: CP Pistons, Molnar Rods, King Bearings, 10mm ARP Mains and Head Studs, Golden Eagle sleeves, ported head, competition valve job, Supertech valve springs and +1 valves. We also decided to do a couple non engine related things along the way like an external wastegate modification on the OEM exhaust manifold.
At this point the car already had a Cusco “clutch type” 1.5 way limited slip differential, 2 way K Sport coilovers and a some incredibly beefy four pot Brembos up front, it only made sense to push the boundaries a little more. The turbo had been upgraded to a K03/K04 hybrid, why not go all the way? Working with Josh on the build was one of the best decisions I ever made, not only did we forge a great working relationship and partnership, but we also forged a strong friendship along the way. We thought that this would be the start of a new chapter for the car, but we didn’t know what was to come.