Automotosport Inc. was started in March 2001 and based around the development of the AMS 2.3 Turbo Ford Cam designed by Martin Musial and Fritz Moore. Martin and Fritz found the cam selection for the Merkur XR4TI inadequate for high horsepower and set out to design the ultimate 2.3 Turbo Ford cam. Although this was a part-time venture for both parties the camshaft was a success and was even featured in the August 2001 “Muscle Mustang & Fast Fords” magazine.
Due to an unexpected decline in popularity of the 2.3 Turbo Ford market Fritz left the company. Martin turned to his childhood friend Arne Toman to help take AMS in a different direction. Martin had purchased and began tinkering with a 1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR4 in late 2000 and fell in love with the 4G63 engine. Arne soon followed suit and purchased a mildly modded 1991 Eclipse GSX. Martin, a mechanical engineer and Arne a heavy duty tow truck operations manager at the time decided to “quit their day jobs” to design, produce & install parts on DSM’s full time.
Martin quickly realized no one had a bolt-in intercooler kit for the car and worse yet, the largest turbo available at the time was the Mitsubishi 20G. Martin and shop manager Tim Salefski began designing and fabricating the bolt-in AMS GVR4 Intercooler Kit. In addition Martin looked into using the tried and true Garrett T3/T4 line of turbos. Knowing the power potential and the choice of the many housings and center sections available from experimenting on the 2.3 Turbo Fords, Martin found the perfect turbos to use on the 4G63. Since the bolt pattern was different between the turbo and the 4G63 exhaust manifold, Martin designed an adapter plate as well as an O2 housing and down-pipe for use with the Garrett turbos. AMS ended up with one of the first T3/T4 kits available providing quicker spool up and substantial power gains compared with the upgrades of the day.
As AMS grew, the need for a chassis dyno was inevitable for tuning and testing purposes. To accommodate the dyno, AMS took over another unit in the industrial complex attached to the main shop. In early spring of 2002 AMS took delivery of their Dyno-jet 248 two wheel drive in-ground Dyno. Soon after its installation they began a DSM camshaft dyno comparison test. Once the test was complete AMS found that the HKS 272 was the best overall cam available. To this day the AMS camshaft test is referenced for detailed information on the most popular cams available for the 4G63 Mitsubishi engine.
In 2002 the long awaited AEM EMS (engine management system) was introduced. The early software was good but needed refinement. Working with AEM & Jason Siebel’s, AMS was able to provide valuable input and feedback on the software and was involved from the beginning of a great product line.
In 2003, AMS employees campaigned three street class cars in Nopi’s NDRA race series. It was a rough first year as they were running against the Efantis and Titan race proven Toyota Supras. AMS was definitely out classed but made 90% of the events that year. It was a good learning experience for them as it was the first national racing circuit they attempted to compete in.
2003 was also the year the Mitsubishi Evolution VIII arrived. AMS was the first in the area to have one and immediately started work on improving the already potent platform. In mid 2003, AMS had already begun the development of the Evo 8 T3/T4 kit. The tubular header design was optimized and a lot of time was spent perfecting the ultimate combination of turbine and compressor sizes for the turbo kit. AMS was looking for the most power without compromising spool-up time. Twelve different combinations netted what has become the most popular spec’d GT35RLS found in most 4G63 applications for years to come.
In 2004 the AMS turbo kit really took off in sales. Almost immediately the AMS Turbo kit was powering the quickest street & drag Evo’s. A number of mid to high 10 second street driven Evo’s popped up quite quickly. In the fall Tim Salefski piloted the AMS Evo to a full weight Evo record of 10.53 @ 137 mph.
At the end of the 2004 season, AMS swapped in bigger brakes, sway bars, suspension, and 285/18 tires at all four corners in an attempt to convert the Drag prepped Evo into a Road Racing Evo. In the spring of 2005 they headed out for their first road racing experience, The Car and Driver One Lap of America in the converted AMS Drag Evo. AMS surprised themselves and the competition placing 7th overall out of 94 cars during the 12 races and 3100 miles covered for the event. For the rest of the season they were changing the engine, turbo & brakes between Drag & Road Racing events. Talk about a double-duty Evo!
In 2005 the AMS Evo 8 T3/T4 kit was powering most of the fastest Evo 8’s in the US and Europe. Curt Brown, Dan Bajalis, Thomas Nagorski & Al Friedman all piloted their AMS powered Evo’s to low 10 second and even 2 high 9 second quarter mile times. In September 2005 the AMS Drag Evo 8 shattered the long standing ¼ mile record for an Evo 8 by running a 9.41 @ 150 mph.
In 2006 AMS focused its attention on constructing a purpose-built Time Attack Evo 8. Built in only 3 months, its first race was the Car & Driver One Lap of America. The event was comprised of 11 tracks in 8 days and over 3900 miles were put on the odometer! AMS placed 3rd overall out of almost 100 cars, what a way to break-in the new car. From there they went on to win nearly every Time Attack they entered; Winged Warrior, Evo Tuner Shootout, NASA Time Trial @ Autobahn, NASA 2006 TTU Championship.
AMS also supported Marty Grand and CJ Moses, two SCCA racers, one of which placed 13th overall in T2 class at the SCCA nationals.
In Drag Racing AMS continued to run quicker times in the Drag Evo 8 working down to A 8.97 @ 165 mph. In addition to further advancing their Evo’s, AMS and technician Ivan Phipps began developing products for the Nissan 240sx. In contrast to most other 240 tuners, AMS focused their attention on the 2.4l “KA” motor that originally came in these cars while other shops focused on SR20 swaps. After seeing Ivan run a 9.1 at 162mph in his street-driven 1995 Nissan 240sx, AMS was convinced of the caliber of the often over-looked KA motor.
In 2007 AMS was on a mission to move into a larger facility. Their 6000 square foot Arlington Heights shop was packed to the brim with product and employees. After scoping all their options, AMS finally settled on a 17,000 square foot facility in the western suburb of West Chicago.
The move wasn’t the only thing they were busy with in the 2007 season. The AMS drag car was able to reclaim the title as World’s Quickest Evo VIII by beating the standing record of 8.95. AMS secured the record early in the season with an 8.75 only to beat the record again at the Buschur Racing Mitsubishi/Subaru Showdown with an 8.56 run. In addition AMS was also gained another 7 mph over the 2006 set-up.
That wasn’t the only Drag Car in the AMS stable running quick times. Ivan Phipps also continued to campaign his Nissan 240sx S14 and was able to take the fastest stock suspended 240sx title by running a 9.07 at 153mph.
2008 turned out to be the best season to date for AMS. With 40 victories, 8 track and class records and 5 championship wins in Road Racing and Hill Climb AMS won almost every event they entered. These included winning Magazine events such as the Sport Compact Car Ultimate Street Car Challenge, Import Tuner’s STI vs. EVO Shootout and Mitsubishi’s Baddest Evolution Challenge.
AMS also competed in the Castrol Top Shop Challenge where 7 of the industry’s top tuners were invited to see who could make the most horsepower on 100 octane fuel. AMS won this event making 1035 HP against some stiff competition including a Nissan RB25, a stroked SR20 and even a Twin Turbo Small Block Chevy!
Early in the season AMS sold their Time Attack EVO VIII (TA1) to David Summerbell in Jamaica. David, a seasoned Rally driver and US Pro Rally Champion, was looking for a competitive car to compete in the Caribbean Racing Championship. AMS flew Justin Wylde (former crew chief for TA1) to Jamaica, Barbetos & Guyana as the car competed in the series to assist the Summerbell team with the car. David drove the car to 5 first place finishes and came in second overall for the championship. In just 3 short years the AMS TA1 has racked up 25 victories and all on the original un-touched AMS 2.3 Stroker motor running over 4000 miles of racing abuse!
AMS also competed in the second annual Fireball Run, “The Race to Recover America’s Missing Children”. Each team was assigned a missing child and handed out flyers along the way. The 3500 mile, 9 day charity race consisted of solving clues, road racing, autocross and drag racing. The AMS EVO X managed to sweep nearly all of the racing portions where they were up against such high-end cars as Lamborghini’s, Vipers & Corvettes. AMS placed 5th overall and 3rd in class but most importantly spread the word about the Child Rescue Network.
The AMS Racing Team also posted wins in many sanctioned racing series in 2008. A win at Pikes Peak and Championship wins in the SCCA, MCSCC and NASA series rounded off the year for AMS. Exciting things are in store for the 2009 season as AMS sets out to build an EVO X expected to be the most advanced US based Time Attack car ever built.
2009 was truly a year of colossal undertakings for AMS. In addition to what was already on the table, AMS assumed an onslaught of responsibilities with the creation of the new time attack car and the development of the Nissan GT-R, BMW, Porsche and Hyundai Genesis product lines.
While AMS sponsored Ryan Gates, TA1 and ACP Rally were racking up dominant victories early on in the racing season, the AMS flagship TA-X Evolution X was undergoing its transformation into an unlimited class time attack car. With pressure from sponsors to have TA-X ready by Round 3 of the Redline Time Attack series, AMS engineers, fabricators and mechanics began to work diligently round the clock to meet the deadline.
The timeframe to completion was less than 6months, and without a strong performance from TA-X and drivers Mark Daddio and Paul Gerrard, it was uncertain whether or not AMS could continue the pace in order to best its record performance set the year prior. But with less than a week to spare, TA-X made its debut on time – practically dominating the competition right out of the box. The AMS TA-X was able to take home the Unlimited AWD Championship and break the world horsepower record for the EVO X chassis before the Redline series came to an end.
As the racing season progressed, it became more evident that AMS would surpass the 40 victories it set from the previous year. Driver Ryan Gates and his infamous blue EVO X helped solidify AMS supremacy in the Redline Time Attack Series by claiming the Modified AWD Championship – literally winning every race and beating the competition by almost 3 seconds in some cases. In similar fashion, David Summerbell and AMS TA1 won the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship. What was even more astounding was the fact that TA1 completed 4 years and over 6,000 miles on its original AMS 2.3 Stroker Motor.
To round off the season, Andrew Picard and his AMS Powered ACP Rally EVO X earned enough points to win the North American Rally Championship, and the AMS Street EVO VIII destroyed its competition in the Castrol Top Car Challenge – running over 700whp on E85. In all, AMS took home a total of over 60 victories for the year – including 4 championships, 12 track records and 4 world records!
The hard work also paid off on the AMS home front. Within the course of a half year, AMS was able to break the fastest quarter mile trap speed with the AMS Nissan GT-R and prototype SR800 package while still on pump gas. The AMS Porsche 996, with its AMS K16 billet turbo upgrade, reached 191.6 mph in the standing mile and claimed the title of highest horsepower K16 turbo upgrade on the market, and the company sold its 500th Mitsubishi Evolution turbo kit.
With such an accomplished year in racing, AMS decided to focus more of its attention and resources into its product line. By the end of 2009, the goal was set for AMS to develop more products and a full line of power packages for the Evolution X, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 996 & 997, Subaru STI and Hyundai Genesis. AMS engineers, fabricators, technicians and tuners have been logging long hours so expect to see an overwhelming array of quality AMS products available to the public in 2010.
2010 was undoubtedly the year of the GT-R at AMS. Creating quite the buzz on the forums, the GT-R community had its eyes on AMS at the Texas 2K10 Supra & GT-R Nationals event in March. Not only did Frank and Mike Lipani’s AMS Alpha 9 package powered GT-R win the dyno contest with a staggering 764 AWHP, it broke the existing world record for the quickest and fastest R35 Nissan GT-R putting it in the history books as the world’s first R35 GT-R to break the 9 second barrier running a 9.89 @ 145.98MPH!
Exceptional engineering and development carried on throughout the year refining the already proven Alpha 9 package and finalizing the AMS Alpha 10 package. In initial testing, Tim Sanders’ Alpha 10 GT-R broke the existing world record running a 9.33 @ 153MPH! It continued to break the record, later running a 9.19 @ 163MPH!
The shop Alpha 9 GT-R also did its fair share of record breaking but not before being meticulously reviewed by the pros at Motortrend, Edmunds and Modified Magazine. According to Motortrend, it was the quickest car they had ever tested. After returning from its California’s Magazine testing tour, the Alpha 9 hit the dragstrip were it claimed the title as the first GT-R to run a 9 second pass on 93 octane pump gas with an impressive 9.95 @ 141 mph. Stopping in Las Vegas to make an appearance at the SEMA show, it was onto Buttonwillow raceway for the Super Lap Battle Finals.
The guys behind NAGTROC documented the Chicago-to-SEMA-to-Buttonwillow journey, reviewing the car’s long distance performance through snow, sleet and the high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains. At the Superlap Battle the AMS Alpha 9, driven by Martin Musial, took home second place in the street class, barely being edging out another AMS prepped car, the AMS 900X EVO X, also driven by Musial! “The Alpha 9 had no suspension testing prior to the event,” Musial said, “so I know it will be faster the next time out. “
The 2010 GT-R records didn’t finish there. During preliminary dyno testing of the AMS Alpha 12 package, Tim Sanders R35 GT-R shocked the GT-R community laying down over 1100 AWHP.
But, with all the focus on the GT-R, don’t think for a second that the Evolution platforms sat on the back burner in 2010. During a dyno tuning session a 900X package powered EVO X broke the existing HP record producing a jaw dropping 782 AWHP! It was no surprise that the same vehicle went on to break the existing Quickest and Fastest EVO X record running a 10.17 @ 135MPH!
The shop 900X EVO X was also busy in the 2010 season. Edmunds put the car through its paces after it set a lap record at Buttonwillow Raceway for the Super Lap Battle. They were impressed by the 4 wheel burnouts on launches and the overall balance of the vehicle. According to Edmunds, the car was almost on par with their benchmark, the Porsche GT3! In addition, the car won the Import Tuner STI vs. EVO Shootout and the Super Lap Battle Finals, breaking the class record in the process. The AMS 900X proved itself to be the most reliable and potent power combo available for the X!
The arsenal of Evolution platforms campaigning the AMS flag also took home a plethora of victories. Marty Grand and his AMS Sponsored EVO IX swept the SCCA T2 season winning 7 of 7 races and took home the National Championship. As if that wasn’t already enough, he broke the class record at the final race. Nathan Pitcher and his AMS Sponsored EVO IX managed 11 first place finishes, 4 track records and took home the NASA Midwest TTA Championship. David Summerbell’s infamous AMS TA1 Time Attack EVO VIII had another successful season with 10 first place finishes and took home The 2010 Caribbean Motor Racing Championship.
The Texas Mile events also proved to be incredibly successful and productive for the AMS Team in 2010. Despite unfavorable wind conditions, Frank and Mike Lipani’s AMS Alpha 9 R35 GT-R forged into unchartered territory taking home the title of World’s Fastest GT-R at the Fall Texas Mile with a 205.3mph run. The AMS Drag EVO VII even came out of retirement to attend the event, shattering the existing Mitsubishi standing mile record with a 228MPH blast! Finally, the AMS SR700 Package powered Porsche 996 Twin Turbo reached a top speed of 197MPH during the spring sprint down the mile claiming the Fastest 996 stock framed turbo standing mile record. AMS has big plans for the 2011 season, better its times and performance in this new and exciting type of motorsports competition.
AMS flew out of the gate in 2011. With the finalization of the AMS Alpha 10 and 12 packages, a year of R35 GT-R domination was sure to ensue. As soon as the kits were released, the Alpha line of packages was powering the quickest R35 GT-Rs around the world.
The GT-R community expected big things from AMS knowing they would attend TX2K11 in March for preliminary testing of Tim Sanders’ Alpha 12. AMS did not disappoint, putting down a tarmac-ripping 1069 AWHP to take first place in the dyno competition and firing off 9.1 @ 159.97MPH setting the world record for the world’s fastest R35 GT-R.
AMS-sponsored drivers also fared fantastically in 2011.
Ryan Gates broke the world record at the spring Texas Mile event for the fastest EVO X, running 180MPH. Marty Grand’s AMS Sponsored EVO IX dominated the 2011 T2 Class securing numerous 1st place finishes gaining the title as the 2011 SCCA T2 National Champion! Nathan Pitcher secured nine 1st place finishes and set five track records during the 2011 season in the NASA TTA class.
David Summerbell’s AMS TA1 Time Attack EVO VII had yet another successful season with seven 1st place finishes and gained huge recognition by beating out a 2010 Audi DTM series rival at the JRDC Carnival of Speed. A true “David vs. Goliath” battle, “King” Summerbell came out on top displaying sublime driving skills and tactics. Finally, the Topspeed Motorsports GT-R, piloted by Leh Keen, dominated the 8 day, 18 competition, 3,651 mile One Lap of America event, taking fifteen 1st place finishes, including 1st in class and 1st place overall out of a 78 car field.
GT-R record-breaking became the norm for AMS in 2011.
Over the course of the year, AMS equipped R35 GT-Rs set, broke and re-set multiple records around the globe. The record for the world’s fastest was broken twice by two different Alpha 12 GT-Rs. Atomic Sports Car’s Alpha 12 GT-R was able to break the existing record by running 215.9MPH at the Moscow Unlimited in the rain. Less than two weeks later, that record was reset by Andrew Hadeed’s Alpha 12 GT-R running 216.9MPH at the Texas Mile October event. The record for the world’s quickest GT-R was broken three different times, once by Tim Sanders in his gray GT-R at the TX2K11 event and twice by the AMS Alpha 12 shop car running [email protected] and [email protected]at the local drag strip in Union Grove Wisconsin. The Alpha 12 Shop car was also able to break the record for a 60-130mph run twice clocking in at 3.46 seconds and 3.31 seconds!
With the success of AMS’ current GT-R program, an even greater commitment to its development was decided upon for 2012. AMS unveiled, for the very first time, its new test GT-R code-named Alpha Omega. It was completed the end of February to serve as the dedicated workhorse for testing GT-R prototype parts. On March 9th, it recorded a 1601awhp dyno reading on the AMS Dynojet. The new additions made Omega the most powerful GT-R in the world, but to some degree, the staff was on edge as its first ¼ mile attempt was slated roughly a week later at the TX2K12 drag event outside of Houston, TX.
With absolutely no time to test prior to the event due to winter weather conditions in Chicago, the achievements would prove to be even sweeter. Omega had a spectacular showing at TX2K12 – breaking the ¼ mile GT-R record with an [email protected] and logging an overall 60-130mph record of 3.13 seconds!
The second test was less than a week later. Omega appeared at the Spring 2012 Texas Mile and smashed the GT-R top speed record with a 233.1mph trap – doing so, within a one mile distance!
On May 4th, the AMS Alpha 12 GT-R ran a spectacular 9.61@149mph on 91 octane (California emissions) tune making it the quickest & fastest pump gas GT-R in the world. This was a significant achievement showing that mid 9 second performance was now available without the inconvenience of having to use race fuel.
The Alpha 10 Audi R8 Turbo Kit was released in August after more than a year in development.
The design was unlike anything envisioned by any manufacturer in the past – combining beautiful aesthetic qualities, performance and the seamless integration of all components into a true bolt-on package. Initial dyno tests illustrated the kit’s capability of producing well over 900hp on a low boost 93 octane pump gas tune. It proved to be a prime example of AMS’ engineering proficiency.
Throughout the racing season, AMS/Alpha equipped cars and sponsored drivers produced excellent results.
AMS/Alpha dealer, Predator Performance customers pulled of an incredible trifecta at the Puerto Rico ½ Mile #3 with an Alpha 10 (1st – Carro), Alpha 9 (2nd – Melendez) and Alpha 10 (Santiago – 3rd) GT-R. Santiago would claim 1st place at Puerto Rico ½ Mile Events #4 & #5 with Carro taking 3rd.
In a last minute decision, AMS sponsored driver David Kern converted his AMS Pike Peak Hill Climb Evo VIII to run at the Superlap Battle/GTA event. More familiar with the treacherous turns of Pikes Peak, Dave made it look like a walk in the park with his 1st place, 1:49.804 finish in the Unlimited AWD Class at Buttonwillow. This was his very first time attack event. To beat out a number of highly funded race teams made his victory quite the headline.
AMS sponsored driver CJ Moses and AMS president Martin Musial also took home 1st place finishes with their EVO X’s in each wheel-to-wheel SCCA T2 event they entered.
David Summerbell campaigning with the original TA1 Evo VIII broke the Dover Raceway track record with a 1:17.735 early in the season. In overwhelming fashion, he placed 1st in MP4 races 1 through 4 the day after at the Caribbean Invasion Event.
Vice president, Arne Toman, finished off the season in the odd-ball vehicle class – breaking the record for the world’s fastest hearse. His initial record of 11.5@116mph set November 11th was improved by 8/10ths of a second less than one week later with a 10.7@127mph.
With more power on tap, Omega started the year strong at the T2K13 – winning the award for fastest trap speed of the event with a 172.95mph. Elapsed time had suffered, down a tenth of a second due to traction issues that would not be resolved until later in the year. However, Omega was able to best a number of records in June at the Wannagofast Chicago ½ Mile Event. Omega logged the quickest 60-130mph of any street car running 3 seconds flat, as well as the quickest 0-300mph of any street car with an elapsed time of 10.15 seconds. Tripping the beams at the ½ mile mark, Omega recorded a speed of 214mph making it the fastest R35 GT-R for that distance. Awards for that day included 1st place for “Fastest Car”, “Fastest Sponsor” and “Fastest Forced Induction” vehicle.
A few months later, Omega made outstanding progress in the ¼ mile – shaving off over six-tenths of a second and becoming the first ever 7 second R35 GT-R with a pass of 7.98@186mph. Alpha and SPL traction and suspension components played a pivotal role in the massive improvement in elapsed time.
AMS was also in full swing with its European vehicle market.
The Audi R8 V10 Spyder Turbo Kit was released early in spring as well as the Alpha 9 Porsche 997TT Package. On its first trip to the track and airstrip, the Porsche 997TT ran a sub 10 second pass on 93 octane pump gas as well as a sub 6 second 60-130mph time.
Mercedes AMG packages were also focused upon with the release of the 5.5L Biturbo Upgrade and Alpha C63 Bolt-on Package. AMS was able to log a [email protected] with the full-weight shop 2012 E63 AMG and Biturbo Upgrade package alone. Previous track testing with the shop E63 AMG already revealed potency of this turbo & tune combination – logging quicker 60-130mph times than a number of high performance vehicles such as the Corvette ZR-1, Ferrari 458 Italia and SLR McLaren. Alpha turbo outlet pipes and exhaust system would later be added to for the full Alpha 9 Package.
As far as customer events… EK Racing became the first 8 second GT-R in the Middle East – logging an 8.96@163mph pass in their Alpha 12 GT-R. Predator customers in their Alpha GT-R’s continued the tradition of taking home 1st through 3rd place in the 7th Puerto Rico ½ Mile Event with the highest speed recorded at 197mph in the tropical heat.
The new world record for fastest R35 GT-R was broken by AMS customer Juri and his Alpha 12 GT-R with a new trap speed of 239.5mph. John Shepherd took home 1st place with an 8.23@173mph pass in the GT-R Eliminator Class at the Buschur Shootout. AWD Motorsports broke the world record for the quickest & fastest ¼ mile for a stock manifold GT-R with a [email protected]. The hearse ¼ mile record was also smashed at the end of the season when vice president Arne Toman drove the Madness hearse to a 9.94@137mph down the strip at Byron Dragway.