Article by Matheo Perez. Video and Photography by Ryan Randels, additional Photography by Matheo Perez.
You may be unfamiliar with OB Prestige Auto if you’re not living the mod lifestyle. The Quebec-based private dealership deals in exotic and unique cars, and they can build or source any project or car a client has in mind. For those of us who have been in the aftermarket #ModLife scene for the past couple of years know that OB Prestige Auto and Heffner Performance are synonymous with velocity.
This was never more obvious than when their two twin turbo Gallardos annihilated the half-mile trap speed records at Shift-S3ctor's 7th Airstrip Attack.
This beautiful madness started when Olivier Benloulou was introduced to Haig Kanadjian, co-owner of Elite Garage Operations of Montreal, which is known for high-end, custom modifications and race operations. OB was looking for a local tuner to manage their endeavors. Haig and his partner, Harry, have been servicing OB’s projects and operations ever since. Fast-forward and we arrive at these breathtaking Italian machines they currently unleash at multiple races around the country. That’s right, plural: a blue 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and a red 2012 Super Trofeo Stradale.
Watch the short clip of the OB Prestige "Double Trouble" Superleggera setting a new world record
The Super Trofeo Stradale was OB's first project that quickly went from a street build to a half-mile monster. Wanting to add another car to the roster as a developmental chassis so upgrades could be tested without sacrificing race day attendance or results, they acquired their second Lambo, the Superleggera from an owner who had built it to around 1400 hp.
The SL and STS chassis are great platforms given their lightened carbon parts and upgraded suspension and brakes. For the majority of the population, a base Gallardo’s 500+ horsepower is more than sufficient. For those of us who aren’t content with OEM levels of power, there are a few companies that offer upgrade packages that can double that of a factory Gallardo. Then there is that small niche who have completely lost touch with reality, whose need for sheer speed borders on insanity, who desire a level of power that would turn most smiles into twisted grimaces of fear at wide open throttle… cue Heffner Performance.
With weeks of research and calls to the top Lamborghini tuners of the U.S., Haig was able to assess a sense of comfort and trust with one particular builder. Jason Heffner was straight to the point and very honest about his products and potentials. He had also recently delivered a powerful Gallardo to a local owner in Montreal, and that gave Haig a chance to examine his craftsmanship up close. After a very thorough inspection, Haig found that Heffner’s kits were all about function and form, and being a very analytic person, Haig decided that Heffner Performance was the right fit for their program.
By now, we all know that these aren’t your average run-of-the-mill Gallardos. The Super Trofeo Stradale, affectionately named "Don’t Blink,” is the slowest of the pair, and I use that term very loosely in reference to the two maniacal machines. Retaining the factory block, sans internals, this V-10 pumps asinine levels of power. With the 67 mm turbos on "low boost” she hammered a hair over 1500 wheel hp, but since has seen an increase in turbo size and boost with estimates around 1800-1900 wheel at 34-35psi. Overcoming the OEM fueling was a process of eliminating the factory direct injection system in order to meet the increased demand of fuel to complement the increased airflow from these now twin 76 mm snails.
Now let’s address the power levels of the Superleggera (Double Trouble). If you thought Don’t Blink was mental, then this blue car is on the brink of psychotic. 1800 hp? 1900 hp? How about pegging a 2000-hp dyno at 32psi? And it would have no problem taking 40psi of boost, around 2300-2400 hp. No, that’s not a typo; theoretical 2400 WHEEL hp as in five times the factory amount. With that kind of power being forced to the pavement, one does not simply run pump gas; both cars require a healthy diet of VP C16 fuel. Obviously the engines have been built to sustain this amount of stress, but what about the remainder of the components? Both transmissions are very similar: modified 6-speed gearboxes, factory case and upgraded internals. The clutch is actuated hydraulically and controlled by the computer, and the row modified to paddle shifters. The factory e-gear system doesn't allow much (if any) adjustability to how the car is launched. With these new modifications, they can launch the cars at any rpm they want, optimizing for various track and environmental conditions.
With the transmissions upgraded to handle the power coming from the engine, what about getting it to the tires? They upgraded the rear axles, but the front axles, driveshaft and front differential all remain factory. Utilizing a stock 30/70 power distribution with viscous coupling in the front, it allows only 30 percent of the OEM power to transmit to front wheels while sending all the rest of the OEM power plus all the extra to the rear wheels, pushing them to the edge.
With these upgrades, Heffner needed to make sure the brain of the car could handle properly communicating with all of the vehicle's components. An obvious choice with a machine of this caliber is MoTec's advanced engine management solutions, which are utilized in both cars. Heffner worked closely with Sakata Motorsports Electronics, which is very knowledgeable when it comes to chassis electronics. While the engine tuning was completed by Heffner, the traction and transmission tuning was dialed in by Sakata.
With the experience that Heffner and Elite Garage learned from racing the Trofeo for nearly a year, they wanted to work toward perfecting the platform and incorporate solutions from those lessons into the new Superleggera.
The first noticeable issue was, in stock form, these cars are not designed to be easily serviceable. Ever tried changing spark plugs on a Lamborghini? There's a reason why service costs are outrageous—it takes a ton of time for basic service procedures. Major provisions were required to make basic maintenance quick and painless. Equally important, if the team incurred a failure at the race track that warranted repair, it needed to be easy enough to work on. With this direction of thought, Heffner made intelligent modifications by relocating key components. While this makes the components more accessible, it diminishes the space available for the power-adders, the twin turbochargers and supporting hardware.
This obstacle spawned innovation. Heffner decided on doing some pretty outside-of-the-box fabrication to the car. A custom intake manifold that incorporates the air-to-water intercooler was fabricated. This allowed for a much larger intercooler core and freed up a substantial amount of much-needed space. A larger intercooler surface area equates to cooler intake temps, which equates to more potential power. But not without increased airflow. Pushing the air into the intercoolers are larger, less-restrictive turbos; essentially the same between both builds, but the compressor cover on the Superleggera is larger, thus allowing more air.
Fitting all these larger components under the OEM deck lid became impossible. Specifically, the custom intercooler plenum was too tall to fit, so they had a custom deck lid fabricated. This also allowed for additional larger diameter air intake piping, which resulted in more power when turned up.
The final and most important keys to racing and winning are tires and suspension. Both cars utilize Penske racing shocks and are shod in Toyo R888s. Heffner put an incredible deal of research and invested countless hours trying to find an optimal tire for their big power cars. Their conclusion was that the Toyo R888s seem to be the best balance of low-speed grip and high-speed stability. With all of this extra power and high speeds, safety is always a concern. Making sure the drivers of these cars return back unscathed should the unforeseen happen, each car has a 10-pt chromoly roll cage and a Safecraft fire suppression system.
When dealing with cars making this much power, certain road blocks and obstacles can slow progression. Don't Blink has been running for exactly one year. During that time, they tested and modified some aspects of the car's engine, transmission, aerodynamics, suspension and electronics to get the car to perform as it does today. The road to get there was a journey, with ups and downs, but they pushed through and today can enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The learning curve of Double Trouble was far quicker due to their past experiences, and she broke the world record speed pass at her second participating event. It took an overall of only 15 passes since she was built to dial her in and run 230 mph in a standing half-mile. Heffner's efforts and Olivier's driver inputs combined to make the car as efficient and productive as possible, and this was a huge part of their success. Now they hold the world record.
After sweat and perseverance, it's a great achievement for everyone involved and their supporters. The future of OB Prestige Auto Race Team is as bright as its past, with new additions coming in 2015 and new drivers to help build this growing family in future achievements. As long as they are moving forward, they will grow and encourage other fellow team members to do so as well. As OB once said, "There are no limits to our accomplishments, only the time that separates us between them.” We’re all looking forward to 2015 and the many surprises that OB Prestige, Elite Garage Operations and Heffner Performance have for us.