Red Victor 3 Engine Build – World’s Quickest Street-legal Car

block

Photos Courtesy: Andy Frost

The Red Victor 3 Vauxhall driven by Wolverhampton, England’s Andy Frost has been billed as the world’s quickest and fastest street legal Pro Mod. Frost recorded an insane 6.40 at nearly 230 MPH – twice – with the machine, which is still street driven around Frost’s hometown and in different parts of the British countryside.

Using the services of Marc Lamude of Lamude Racing Engines, “Frosty” has recently undertaken a complete rebuild of Red Victor 3’s engine in preparation for the 2014 racing (and street driving!) season. EngineLabs was granted an early preview of the build with Lamude’s insightful commentary. Building a street-‘n-track bullet that will stand up to the types of stresses put on it by Frost’s take-no-prisoners driving style is no easy feat, and Lamude leverages a variety of methods developed over years of research and development.

Cylinder heads and block are cut for o-rings by Lamude using this BHJ fixture, then the heads are checked for true after the grooves are cut. The steel o-rings are a requirement to keep the boost in the cylinder. The rings are subsequently checked to ensure alignment.

“I have a low 8-second ’55 Chevy that weighs 3,800 pounds and does 6,000 miles a year on the street. What I’ve learned from that has stood us in good stead on Red Victor 3. All the parts I use in RV3s combination are the best money can buy. T&D stainless rockers in this type of application are a requirement. Machining is also of the highest caliber, as one wouldn’t want to start off with a bad foundation with a 3,000-plus horsepower engine,” says Lamude.

Measuring combustion chamber volume is critical to determine the compression ratio. Measurement of the main bores along with every other dimension is taken and recorded in Lamude's extensive notebook on the engine's construction.

In perusing the photographs of the engine build, one observation is apparent – extensive time is spent measuring the tolerances of each component to ensure the dimensions are as required. “On this type of build I typically spend somewhere around 350 hours getting it right,” Lamude explains.

Lamude uses this nifty laser-pointer-equipped degree wheel to ensure that the camshaft is dialed in.

Lamude uses this nifty laser-pointer-equipped degree wheel to ensure that the camshaft is dialed in.

Both Lamude and Frost come from a street-race background, and much of the engine development has occurred over a long period of time, with the team constantly testing parts for both longevity and performance.

The engine is based around a New Century Performance 4.84-inch bore space cast aluminum engine block that has been machined by Dave and Danny at Performance Unlimited.

It displaces 539 cubic inches through the use of a 4.125-inch stroke billet Winberg crankshaft and cryo-treated GRP billet-aluminum connecting rods. 

The block features a priority-main oiling system, replaceable ductile-iron sleeves, billet-aluminum main caps, and the camshaft location is raised .250-inch for increased stroke clearance.  

Parts used in this build are of the highest order in every facet – building 3,000 horsepower is not an easy task, especially when it’s expected to live through street miles.

To that end, the team has selected a set of hard-coated and anodized Diamond pistons to go with a set of Trend tool steel DLC-coated piston pins measuring nearly one inch thick. Total Seal rings keep the boost sealed in. 

There are a number of changes in the program for the 2014 season, most notably a new set of cast-aluminum cylinder heads from Curtis Boggs at Race Flow Development. Last season the team ran a set of experimental billet-aluminum cylinder heads that had water passages machined into them. “Andy wanted to do a lot more street stuff this year, and RFD stepped up with this new head design that should make more power this year than last,” Lamude says.

Last year the team used a set of experimental billet cylinder heads equipped with cooling passages (left), but this year they've switched to a cast set of heads with the same port and chamber profiles.

Last year the team used a set of experimental billet cylinder heads equipped with cooling passages (left), but this year they’ve switched to a cast set of heads (right) with the same port and chamber profiles.

“We are changing them to the cast ones because the billet ones didn’t quite work as we wanted cooling-wise. They worked power wise! That is why we have the same port configuration as the billet set, with updates to make a little more power,” Frost adds.

Placed in the heads are a complete set of Victory 1 Performance DLC-coated titanium valves, DLC-coated locks, and titanium retainers. A custom 55mm solid-roller camshaft from Bullet Racing Cams spec’d by Steve Morris runs through .937-inch Jesel dogbone lifters and monster 7/16-inch Manton pushrods to actuate the valves. This year they are trying a new set of cryo-treated valvesprings from PAC, which are expected to last all season with the camshaft profile they run in the car.

Due to the contour of the pistons, Lamude needed to cut back the chambers slightly over and above the machining provided by RFD, and after consultation with Boggs, a profle was established, and Lamude got to work with the rotary tools to make it happen.

Left - Machining the cylinder head for pushrod clearance. Left Middle - Checking the depth of the o-ring groove in the cylinder head. Right Middle - Valvetrain parts are selected for performance and longevity - Victory 1's titanium valves and locks have been DLC-coated. Right - Red Victor has sown excellent durability through the use of these T&D steel rocker arms.

There are no “bolt-on” parts with this engine, and the rocker stands also needed to be machined for pushrod clearance, as well as the cylinder head. Careful measurements were taken before Lamude fixtured both cylinder heads and rocker stands for the cutting process, after which the cylinder heads were sent out to Cylinder Head Services to have pushrod sleeves installed.

“As with everything it’s all development – we’ve tried stuff and it didn’t work, so we go back and change it again and hopefully move forward with the development of the engine,” explains Lamude.

Checking piston-to-valve clearance is done through the use of blu-tac, which covers the piston entirely. The engine is rotated over by hand and the valves leaves an imprint int he material, which is cut away to check thickness and clearance.

Checking piston-to-valve clearance is done through the use of blu-tac, which covers the piston entirely. The engine is rotated over by hand and the valves leaves an imprint int he material, which is cut away to check thickness and clearance.

The engine is boosted by a pair of Precision Turbo GEN2 Pro Mod 91mm turbochargers and controlled with a pair of Turbosmart 60mm wastegates and Race Port blowoff valve, and is tuned using a MoTec M800 engine management system, MoTec dash, and other parts along with Injector Dynamics fuel injectors by none other than Shane Tecklenburg.

“The challenge isn’t tuning it for the street as much as trying to make it fast on the tracks they run over there and not being able to hurt anything. Andy races on a shoestring, if we break anything early, he’s done for the season. What allows us to run on the street and maintain street car air fuel ratios at cruise is the ability of the injectors to deliver consistent volume at low flow rates which is where most large injectors fall short. Other than that, its not much different than most other projects,” says Tecklenburg.

The internals laid out on the bench for assembly.

Some of the internals laid out on the bench for assembly.

The Vauxhall’s chassis was put together by Webster Race Engineering Ltd. A Lenco tranmission is used along with a Neal Chance torque converter to achieve the insane elapsed times. The transmission has been modified by Frost using a Turbowerx pump to create a forced lubrication system for longevity.

“We’ve been proud to build and develop the world record setting engine in RV3 for the last 3 years, in which time the car has changed the game. We think this is a great opportunity to show the world who is behind the engine, and help the Red Victor team progress through the 2014 season. We thank Andy for giving us the opportunity to work even closer together to achieve both our goals,” says Lamude.

EngineLabs has been promised a followup story when the engine completed. Meanwhile, there are more photos and information about the race team over on Red Victor’s Facebook page and website, so check both pages out and stay abreast of the Red Victor team’s performances in 2014. Frost is looking for 6.30’s and possibly quicker as a result of the winter upgrades.

Andy-Frost-12-640x426

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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