AMS Alpha 9 GT-R At The Super Lap Battle Finals
To provide additional proof to the GT-R community regarding the reliability, drivability and track capability of the Alpha 9 Package, the AMS Alpha 9 GT-R began its journey to the Super Lap Battle Finals with a 2000+ mile cross country performance review conducted by the owners and admins of NAGTROC.org, Chuck Hannold and Davin Patton. AMS gave the two free reign to do their worst with the 800 hp they had on tap allowing them to subject the Alpha 9 GT-R to the most punishment they could muster up as they made their way to Vegas for SEMA and then Buttonwillow, CA for the event. From snow in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the blistering heat of the Nevada and California deserts, Chuck and Davin took the Alpha 9 through every condition imaginable on their voyage.
Although this was AMS first outing to an organized Time Attack event with the GT-R platform, they were optimistic it would place well. The Alpha 9 Package is capable of 800 hp on pump gas, but well over 900 hp on race gas while maintaining stock like spool and drivability. To handle the power, AMS sent the transmission to Shepherd Transmissions for an upgrade with Exedy clutches and Dodson Motorsports hard parts. AMS timed the car in recent runs at 9.95 @ 141 mph in a quarter mile on 93 octane pump gas so power and transmission reliability was not going to be a problem.
AMS is no stranger to road racing and Time Attack, having campaigned cars through multiple seasons, setting records, and taking home championships. This was however the first time a modified GT-R would be put through its paces on a road course by AMS. With virtually zero development time, AMS knew they would be working their way through the GT-R chassis to make it turn as well as it went fast in a straight line. The only suspension upgrades being a set of JRZ Suspension triple adjustable sprung for street use and an educated guess at a safe alignment suitable for the 2000+ mile cross country trip.
At Buttonwillow, the GT-R proved to be a handful – very loose in the corners and the big power on tap overwhelmed the 295 Continental rear tires. Full on 4th gear power slides were easily achieved with just a slight push of the gas pedal. The Continental ContiSportContact 3s offered tremendous grip, but in retrospect, AMS will have to step up to a wider rear Continental tire next time in order to handle the huge torque and power of their Alpha 9 Package. At high speeds the Aeromotions R2 wing did its job – providing enough downforce to keep the rear end planted during high speed turns and transitions. Running two cars in the event limited the development time on the GT-R so AMS President Martin Musial just concentrated on driving clean and neat to reduce lap times.
It felt like I was parallel parking a bulldozer in downtown New York Martin commented, noting the restraint it took to push the 4000 lbs car with too much power for narrow street tires. Nonetheless, Martin was able to run a 1:55.9 second lap, only 0.1 seconds behind his record setting AMS EVO 900X lap. The AMS Alpha 9 Nissan GT-R placed second right behind the AMS EVO 900X. Both cars besting the previous Street Class record by over half a second. AMS plans to do some major suspension and chassis changes for next time and Martin thinks the GT-R will be much quicker. Thanks to AMS sponsors and supporters, the 1-2 finish was a tribute to the hard work and efforts of the team and the companies behind them.