EngineLabs made the trip out to Fonse Performance this past Saturday, January 17th, to check out their annual gathering of horsepower, Dyno Wars III – Business Never Personal. Put on in conjunction with Fonse’s affiliated chassis shop, K&S Race Cars, along the help of with Strange Engineering and numerous other aftermarket sponsors, Dyno Wars III was a way to attempt to escape the frigid temperatures and make some huge horsepower during the January doldrums.
Eleven cars were lined up ahead of the festivities as competitors; with the intent of the competition to determine the vehicle with the most street-legal wheel horsepower (determined by legal registration and insurance) the festivities weeded out the pretenders and crowned the champion after a marathon, 14 hour day of blown-up engines and massive horsepower on the Fonse Performance dyno.
The winner, Matthew Ayres, showed up in a nicely-engineered, 2JZ-powered turbocharged and nitrous-injected Chrysler Conquest, of all things. When all was said and done, Ayres spun the roller to an awesome 1,035 wheel horsepower and likely killed some eardrums in the process with the high-winding ear-shattering powerplant.
Ayres’ Conquest uses a 76mm turbo, a shot of squeeze, and some judicious computer tuning to achieve the big number. For his efforts, Ayres took home a check from Fonse for $1,350, a $250 gift certificate from Mickey Thompson Tires, and an Aeroforce gauge courtesy of Powerhaus Performance – not a bad haul for a couple of dyno runs!
Video of Matt Ayres’ Turbo Conquest’s winning runs courtesy of George ‘Zlumlord’ Watters
The second-finisher spot in the competition wasn’t without drama. At last year’s Dyno Wars II event, Paul Vaughn took home the second spot with his turbocharged, small-block Ford-powered Lightning. Vaughn he was back this year with a vengeance to take that top spot, but managed to hurt the engine the day before. He showed up anyway – with cleaning supplies in the back of the truck – to take his shot at the dyno.
One of the rules of Dyno Wars is that the contestant needs to be able to drive the vehicle off the dyno in order for the runs to count, and Vaughn entered the dyno cell with full intent of doing whatever it took to take over the top spot. Despite kicking out the head gasket (check the video below), he took the second spot with 1,031 wheel horsepower – just four ponies short of Ayres’ winning effort. A massive cleanup operation took place just after his shot on the dyno.
Vaughn took home the second-place, $900 check, along with his own $250 gift certificate from Mickey Thompson Tires.
Complete Event Video Courtesy TalonTSI97 Videos:
The rest of the top five was dominated by turbocharged entries, although the third spot was taken home by local racer John Razler, who earned $300 for his efforts – which included spinning the roller to 924 rear-wheel horsepower with his gorgeous nitrous-injected big-block Chevrolet-powered ’68 Camaro.
Fourth place and $100 was taken home by Pennsylvania resident Jason Eberle’s Pontiac Firebird Firehawk, whose 6.0L LS engine also relies on a turbocharger. Eberle runs a body shop in Pennsylvania along with his father, and puts his spare time (and money) into the Firehawk.
The rest of the contestants included Jason Lord’s turbocharged SBC Supra (875 rwhp), Garth Ruggie’s turbocharged BMW M3 (760 rwhp), Rich Rainey’s Caddy CTS-V (716 rwhp), Carl Ondusko’s nitrous Mustang (710 rwhp), Salvatore Mattiaccio’s Shelby GT500 (672 rwhp), Nicholas Way’s tri-turbo 6.0L Power Stroke Super Duty (583 rwhp) and Mike Nestore’s supercharged C6 Corvette (476 rwhp) – nearly 8,000 horsepower in all.
In addition to the horsepower contest, shop owner Al Fonse, Jr. put his own nitroused, Yates-headed, FAST-controlled small-block Ford onto the shop’s Superflow dynamometer for a demonstration, cranking out 1,148.8 horsepower and 942.7 horsepower in the process.
Fonse races the car, newly sponsored by Strange Engineering, in the Atco Raceway/Cecil County Dragway 8.50 Index class.
It was a great day for horsepower in New Jersey!