Text by Wooley (& Bob) Photos by Tony J. Serna
I’m old school. I subscribe to the philosophy of, “Why buy a 4-cylinder when you can have a V8?” Bigger is always better when it comes to an engine. So, 3 years ago I bought a new Ford Mustang GT 5.0. What a blast to drive around town. Love the car!! Ford really got something right with that car. A friend talked me into hitting a local track day, and boom… hooked!
I spent the next 2 years adding better suspension, better tires, high performance brakes, hi-flow exhaust, new airflow, a tune, and lots of other aftermarket parts. The car was strong, but no matter what I did, 2 things kept occurring:
1) I ate up tires & brakes like they were popcorn.
2) Those little cars just kept passing me.
It made no sense!!
Bob’s quest for answers ultimately led him to Motor Werks Racing – Exclusively Porsche. He met with Matthew Forte, and they began walking through the philosophy behind the 1.8-turbo swapped Porsche 944s:
- Ultra-responsive engine
- Drastically less weight
- Far superior weight distribution
- Cost-effective, trackside-capable maintenance.
You know… real race car stuff.
Bob left Motor Werks Racing completely flipped on his head. A week later, Bob called Matthew, “I’d like you to build one for me.”
Motor Werks Racing already had this Castrol Edition 944 in the shop, freshly prepped as a roller. It was going to be the next car in their Tribute/Heritage series. Using the Castrol car, and building it to Bob’s specs would certainly save time & get him on track sooner, as the car had already been stripped, lightened, bracketed, caged, rebuilt with lightweight panels, and painted inside & out. The only hold-up?? Bob’s is a conservative guy, and his tastes in cars/colors are more… ummm subtle.
Matthew assured Bob that removing the livery & respraying the 944 in a more neutral color would be no problem if it made him more comfortable. Little did Bob know, he was about to get totally sucked into the Porsche engineering philosophy… and that livery wasn’t going anywhere.
They proceeded. And together, Matthew & Bob began to discuss the heart of the build – the Audi/MWR 1.8T.
Motor Werks Racing can build these 1.8T engines RELIABLY to hit anywhere between 300-600hp. But MWR really makes a point to clarify, that these are full-blown race cars. 320hp in this car, is a COMPLETELY different experience than 320hp in your street/track Mustang. And with an upgrade-plan in place, Motor Werks Racing can build these engines to grow with their driver’s experience levels.
In Bob’s case, a strategy was made to build the 944 to hit similar horsepower numbers as his 5.0 Mustang… but with HALF the weight… and TWICE the balance, grip, & stopping power. All components of this car will work in harmony, and that should give Bob a soaring new confidence at the track. Huge smiles & improvements, rather than frustrations.
I just finished my second track day in the Castrol 944 built by Motor Werks Racing. And today I can confirm I made the right choice! The car is so well balanced – it’s absolutely insane! A 300hp go-cart. I can’t believe the way this thing sticks to the ground, and pulls out of a corner. And I can’t stop grinning.
Crazier yet?? It has a 4-cylinder. Yep. I bought a car with a 4-cylinder. Who would’ve thought.
But the thing has well over 300 HP to the rear wheels… and I only got the Stage-1 turbo kit they offer… which was probably smart based on my skills, or lack of them. I can drive this car in 3rd or 4th gear exclusively and never run dry on power, as the power band is so strong from 3000 all the way to 7000 RPM.
It just rocks!!!
It’s such a confidence booster to finally be in a safe, predictable, affordable, and FAST car – thanks to Matt and the team at MWR.
How do I know??
Because today I took 5 seconds off my best lap-time ever in the Mustang GT (Atlanta Motorsports Park)… and I wasn’t close to pushing the limits of the car yet.
Gotta go fast?? You don’t need a V8! I don’t know of anybody who really likes that beverage anyway. Unless you stick vodka, Tabasco, and celery in it.
I think I’ll stick to the 1.8-Turbo from MWR instead, and then have a beer. There’s much more variety to choose from… especially the German beers!
1983 Porsche 944 chassis
6-point roll cage
Fiberglass bumpers, hood, fenders, splitter & flares
924 GTP Wing rear wing with lexan
Fuel cell with quick fuel filler
Lexan quarter windows
Cup Car hood pins
Stripped, lightened & color matched interior
OMP Head Containment seat with 6-point harness
Quick disconnect Alcantara steering wheel
VDO white face gauges
Spa electric fire system
Audi 1.8T 20V with IE forged connecting rods
Stainless steel exhaust valves
Motor Werks Racing custom oiling system
K04 Sport turbo with billet compressor wheel & inconel exhaust wheel
315 hp 365 ft. lb. Torque with 7,500 rev limiter
Deka 630 injectors with 3 bar fuel regulator
Custom inter-cooling & inducer pipes
Front mount bar & plate intercooler
Stainless Steel short tube header
3” Exhaust with 3” downpipe
016 Gearbox with short 5th gear & 2 way limited slip
Motor Werks Racing custom axle driven alternator
Suspension & Brakes
Bilstein adjustable shocks with 968 club sport springs
Adjustable camber plates
Adjustable sway bars & drop links
Manual steering conversion
Wilwood 4-piston calipers
Motor Werks Racing custom brake booster delete
17×9 wheels with 275/40/17 front & rear