Global Time Attack at Road Atlanta

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Road Atlanta and Global Time Attack are a match made in heaven. If you combine a 2.54 mile road course that rolls through the green hills of Georgia with an open rule set where maximum speed and minimum lap times are all that matters, you’re bound to have an incredible event.

Thanks to GTA series sponsors like Continental Tire, Whiteline Suspension, Garrett Turbo, Spec Clutch and Meister Watches, the battle for Road Atlanta certainly did not disappoint, with new competitors in the mix, newly set fastest lap records, and even big crashes!

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

From the perspective of Professional Awesome Racing, Road Atlanta was a shakedown and tuneup for the heavily revised 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII. Gone were the Active Center Differential and Super Active Yaw Control rear differential, replaced with mechanical differentials front, center and rear.

Having switched from Street Tire to Limited class at the Global Time Attack finale in November 2012, it was also a time to learn the nuances of driving differences of the Hankook Ventus TD in comparison to the Ventus RS-3.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Unfortunately, Day 1 proved to be a challenge from start to finish. Chasing issues of excessive oil consumption, the car would not run consistently enough to put together one flying lap. Having a never-say-die attitude, team members Grant Davis, Mike Lewin and Jordan Gilsinger embarked on a parts search throughout the greater Atlanta area, devising a solution that proved to work extremely well by the end of the day.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Tony Szirka Unlimited Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Jason Dienhart Kyle Lewis

With the problem solved, the crew proceeded to help fellow competitor, Tony Szirka, replace a transmission in his Unlimited Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Tony Szirka Unlimited Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Jason Dienhart

Szirka and Professional Awesome have a long history of working together under the most adverse circumstances to fix record breaking cars at the last possible moment!

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

A threat of rain was in the forecast for the second day of competition, but feeling confident that all major issues had been addressed, Professional Awesome hit the track hard looking to gain lost time from the previous day.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

The car performed flawlessly in the first sessions of the day, and I with became even more comfortable with the vehicle changes as the day progressed. Minor tire pressure and alignment changes were all that was needed to maximize grip and to dial in the balance for optimal performance, though a new issue had peaked its head.

The car was running perfectly, but low on boost at only 22psi. The car had already set the new limited record with a time of 1:31.717, but quick adjustments were made to the tune to see if more power could be coaxed from the Evolution. Based on the previous year’s data, the team believed a  lap was possible and expectations were high for the fifth session.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 CRASH Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart Kyle Lewis

The fifth session proved to be the final session of our 2001 Evolution’s life.

Following another 1:31 second lap, I entered turn 1 and lost control of the car after an outside tire dipped into the Georgia clay. A hard crash ensued, but luckily I walked away with only minor bruising and a good headache.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Following the crash, the final session ran and everyone prepared for the awards ceremony.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

At the podium ceremony, champagne was sprayed, big checks collected and fast lap Meister watches given to competitors.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Much to the surprise of Professional Awesome, new Limited Front Wheel Drive record holder Doug Wind (left) gave his event winnings to the team to help the rebuilding process and Tony Szirka (right) followed suit, also donating his winnings.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

It was an incredible ending to an incredible event which saw competitors from the West Coast, East Coast and everywhere in-between.

New lap records were set in Street Rear Wheel Drive, Front Wheel Drive, Limited All Wheel Drive and Limited Front Wheel Drive which will give new goals for 2014 competitors to strive for.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

At the end of the day, it was amazing to see how tightly knit the time attack community is, helping out fellow competitors from start to finish! We look forward to seeing what will happen in November at the Global Time Attack Finale in Central California’s Buttonwillow Raceway on November 15, 2013.

MotorMavens has thousands more photos from GTA Road Atlanta! Stay tuned to MotorMavens for the next GTA photo update!

:: Dan O’Donnell



One of the things that fascinates me most about car culture is the different ways automobiles are perceived and loved across the planet. The cars themselves be nearly identical physically, but as you visit new places you begin to see them in different ways.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in particular is a car that will have a very different following depending on which part of the world you come from. You may live in a place where the Evo was known and loved since its debut 1992, when it began dominating rally events and building its legendary reputation.

Here in the United States for example, the Evo has a slightly different history. For most of us Americans, it was through the magic of video games that we were first exposed to this and other high performance AWD cars from Japan. I can clearly remember playing those games as a youngster and wondering how these strange four door cars could be so damn fast.

It wasn’t just a case of using the car in the game because we really liked it. No, using the Evo was simply the easiest way to win money and advance through the game. A lot us had never even seen one with our own eyes, but we dreamed of driving one of these Lancer Evolutions in real life.

It wasn’t until 2003 that Mitsubishi finally wised up and decided to import the Evo 8 to the USA. The rest is history, and a fascinating example of how a car’s reputation can be built.

Across the world in automobile-obsessed Dubai, Motaz Abu Hijleh also dreamed of owning a Lancer Evolution. Working as an aircraft tech for Emirates Airlines, Motaz had always loved mechanical things, cars in particular. He had driven and modified everything from a Volkswagen GTI to a Mercedes E-Class, and a Honda Type R. What he really wanted though, was an Evo.

In 2007 after being encouraged by his friends, Motaz finally headed to the dealer to make the dream a reality. I’m not sure how popular the Evo was in Dubai at this point, but Motaz says he had to convince the salesman that the Evolution model actually existed.  After some argument (that included turning down the base model Lancer that dealer tried to sell him), Motaz had ordered his Evolution. A white Evo 9 GSR to be exact.

The Evo is not the sort of car you buy just to cruise around town, and right after taking possession Motaz was hitting every track event he possibly could. As he learned the car and honed his driving technique, he began installing modifications that would enhance the driving experience – adjustable HKS Hypermax coilovers, and HKS titanium exhaust for example.

He also beefed up the stopping power with a set of Endless brakes with CCRG pads. Motaz says he’ll never forget feeling the braking power under his foot for the first time. As the modding continued, he had a clear concept of building a functional and reliable track beast that he could punish without worry.

Around this time, Motaz began working at a shop called TAM Auto Engineering. The Evo became one of TAM’s official projects, and the modifications were taken to the next level.

In between working on customer vehicles, TAM fully attacked the engine of the Evo. The entire thing was rebuilt as 2.3 liter stroker with a heat-treated crank. With reliability being the primary goal, all of the engine’s internals had been upgraded for maximum strength.

When it comes to building a hot 4G63, there are fewer brands trusted more than HKS. The head gasket, 264 cams, cam gears, injectors, fuel rail, and more were all sourced from the Japanese tuning giant.

HKS was also called upon to supply the its potent GT3240 turbo kit, along with the downpipe, blow off valve, and R type intercooler.

The tuning of the motor was handled by MPS Engineering from Germany, who came to Dubai to lend a hand. Running on C16 fuel, the car made a stout 465 horsepower to the wheels. The MPS guys wanted to push for more power, but since he wasn’t attempting to build the fastest Evo around, Motaz figured that number would be sufficient and ensure reliability.

With performance being upped significantly from factory spec, it was also decided that the Evo’s exterior needed a makeover. Not just for looks, but for function as well.

There’s really no one better at making functional aero parts for the Evo than Voltex. The entire car was stripped down and sent off for body work, returning with a full Voltex wide body and a completely custom orange paint job. Motaz says it took several tries before the color was perfected to his liking.

With the body redone in orange, the interior  coated in a custom bronze color.

It would just be wrong to have a Voltex aero kit without a matching Voltex wing, wouldn’t it?

Sitting beneath the pumped out fenders are a set of 18″ Volk Racing CE28Ns with 265-35-18 Pirelli P-Zero tires. The car also runs more aggressive Pirelli race-spec rubber during track sessions.

The interior of the Evo is actually very civil given the fully built motor and wind-tunnel proven exterior treatment. Custom alcantara was laid over the headliner, dashboard, door panels, and the pair of Bride Zeta III seats. The matching alcantara steering wheel is from Tanida Motorsport.

Sabelt harnesses are also there to keep the driver and passenger secure during those track day adventures.

A custom carbon fiber mount was built to house the HKS EVC controls and F-Con V-Pro system.

The factory gauge cluster was also replaced with an HKS Camp 2 system, mounted with its own carbon fiber housing.

The car you see here has been a long time coming. There were many times when the Evo project had to be set aside to focus on customer cars or other ventures. Motaz recently opened his own business, Parc Ferme Workshop, which specializes in car storage and tuning. It was only recently that he was able to put the finishing touches on the Evo project.

While Motaz is very satisfied with the car in its current state, we all know that project cars are never truly “done”. Next on the list is to upgrade the differentials and perhaps add a sequential transmission.

The Lancer Evolution is car with loyal fans across the world, all of whom discovered it in different ways.

I’d say Motaz has done the legendary name well on the skyscraper-lined streets (and race tracks) of Dubai.


Photos by Larry Chen

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 GSR 6-Speed


2.3 stroker kit with heat treated engine crank
274 HKS cams intake and exhaust
HKS valve springs
1mm over sized valves
Port and polish job
ARP head and block stud kit
HKS Kansai intake manifold
Big throttle body with custom idle valve control unit
HKS super SQV
HKS 1000 cc injectors
HKS fuel rail
HKS 1.2 head gasket
HKS 3240 turbo A/R .70 with HKS manifold
HKS down pipe
Port and polished head
HKS cam gear
HKS engine belt and timing belt
Air-condition and heater has been deleted
HKS heat range 8 spark plugs
HKS spark power upgrade
HKS earthing system
Cusco oil catch tank
HKS air intake 3” with MAF delete
HKS Kansai carbon fiber air intake box
Carbon fiber coil cover
Carbon fiber cam pulley cover
HKS oil cap cover
HKS titanium exhaust straight no cats

HKS R type intercooler
Custom upper intercooler pipe
HKS custom engine oil cooler
HKS power steering oil cooler
Koyo radiator
Slim line fan with controller
Samco silicon hose kit
HKS Radiator cap
HKS oil thermostat

Fuel System:
Surge tank
Aeromotive Pro Series external fuel pump
Aeromotive Pro Series 100 micron fuel filter
HKS fuel pressure regulator with gauge
HKS fuel rail
Aeromotive steel braided fuel lines
Aeromotive fuel connectors
Walbro in-tank fuel pump

HKS V-Pro gold box with all sensors
Mivec HKS valcon controller
HKS EVC  boost controller
HKS A/F knock amplifier
HKS Camp 2 system

HKS twin plate clutch
HKS flywheel
Aftermarket release bearing

Chassis, Suspension, & Brakes
Endless 6 piston front and 4 piston rear caliper upgrade kit with CCRG brake pads
Endless RF650 brake fluid
HKS Hypermax suspension
Cusco full body re enforcement kit
Front fender triangle bars
Front and rear camber kits
HKS camber/caster plate top mounts
ARP wheel studs

Voltex Circuit Version wide body
Voltex Type 5 rear spoiler adjustable
Vortex generator
Carbon fiber formula mirrors

Tires and Wheels:
Volk Racing Ce28N 18″
Volk Racing wheel studs
Pirelli 285/35/18 Pzero tires
Pirelli slick tire and semi slick tire

Custom orange paint job,
Bronze interior body paint

Bride Zeta III seats front with brackets
Sabelt harnesses for driver and passenger
Tanida Motor Sport alcantara steering wheel
Custom center display panel
Custom driver information display screen with carbon fiber screen mount




2013 Mitsubishi 311RS Evo X

By and large, Mitsubishi isn’t the first automaker you think of when you’re thinking of a high-powered sports car. But they do have one model that’s almost always in the discussion: the Lancer Evolution.

Now on its 10th iteration – or “X,” as the Japanese automaker prefers to call it – the Evo has always been one of the most popular models in Mitsubishi’s lineup, so much so that circuit racer, Ryan Gates, decided to build an ultra-limited edition model of the Evo X.

He calls it the 311RS and it has a load of aftermarket goodies in it, something Evo X fans will come to appreciate.

Gates only has 11 models of the 311RS at his disposal with one already headed to the White Bear Mitsubishi dealership in White Bear Lake, MN. Should you be interested in taking a good look at the car, you can also go to the 2013 Minneapolis Auto Show where the car will be prominently displayed.


The Mitsubishi 311RS Evo X doesn’t look too different from the “standard” Evo X, which is a good thing because the Evo X looks pretty sweet in its own right. Having said that, there are some add-ons installed, including a JDP front lip that not only makes for a cleaner-looking body, but also provides aerodynamic enhancements to the car. Additionally, a carbon-fiber Voltex rear wing was also installed, replacing the OEM version and provides the kind of aero balance that the 311RS needs to keep itself coordinated.

The 311RS also gets a new livery, one designed by Jon Sibal, with a simplicity that’s been designed to keep the focus on the car’s performance. Rounding out the exterior modifications is a set of 18-inch Volk CE28 wheels wrapped in Nitto NT05 tires.



Not a whole lot of modifications on this end, except for the use of Etnies E-suede, which is supposedly three times more durable than traditional suede.


For the seeming lack of overwhelming upgrades done on the Evo X’s exterior and interior, Ryan Gates did do some wonders on the car’s performance credentials, thanks to a number of AMS components, including a new intake that increases air flow to the turbocharger for increased horsepower. The program also has lightweight, polished-aluminum intercooler piping that provides less turbulent and freer-flowing air flow for maximum efficiency.

A new intercooler, a wide-mouth downpipe, a new cat pipe, and a new racing series cat-back exhaust system were also installed.

Finally, an engine tune was also made to the Evo X, increasing the output of the car to 353 horsepower and 359 pound-feet of torque.


With an engine tune as extensive as the one done on the 311RS Evo X, Gates also took up the task of improving the car’s suspension and he certainly spared no expense putting in the best components. One of the items is the RS1 suspension from JRZ, whose valving was designed to be adjusted from street comfort to racing damping characteristics in seconds. In addition, the kit also comes with customized spring rates and adjustment range. Aircraft aluminum suspension top mounts from – again – JRZ were also used to transmit suspension loads directly to the chassis, giving unparalleled response and driver feel.

Likewise, Gates also went about the business of improving the braking dynamics of the Evo X, doing so by replacing the OEM models with Girodisc two-piece rotors that not only reduce unsprung and overall vehicle weight but also increases the ventilation and cooling capacity of the brake discs, while retaining its original dimensions. Stainless lines, heat shield and new brake pads were also installed, rounding out the dynamic braking package befitting a car of the Evo X’s stature.


Reportedly, only 11 models of the 311RS Evo X will go on sale, each costing $49,000.


The ultra-limited status of the 311RS Evo X makes it a must-have for any fan of Mitsubishi’s rowdy sports car. But in the event that you’re in the market for options, Subaru’s Impreza WRX STI is a pretty good alternative. Performance numbers certainly point to the side of the 311RS Evo X but the good thing about the Impreza WRX STI is that it’s completely aftermarket worthy. What that means is that even if you do get a stock Impreza, there are plenty of options moving forward on how you can exceed the technical upgrades done on the 311RS Evo X.



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