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From the August 1979 affair of Car and Driver.

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It is quiet at Alley Atlanta. Too quiet. Summer is advancing the hills and hollows, and afternoons tend to move boring in this allotment of the country, but the calmness today is unwelcome. We are asleep in the water, staring at a car and a motorcycle that accept agreed to action no more. Danny Ongais has been actuality before, in this situation, and in this place, too. Ongais has a reputation, appropriate or wrong, for caning his engines until they retch their lubricants and their affective genitalia appropriate out assimilate the pavement. Herb Porter says it’s an disproportionate reputation. Porter is Indianapolis’s own diminished citizen architect of antagonism engines, and he says Ongais is too acute of a antagonism disciplinarian to dissipate his engines on purpose. If they let go, there is apparently an centralized fault. The automated seizures suffered in Georgia today are absolutely not of his doing. Alarm it fate. And aloof aback Ongais was starting to cook. Damn.

The Kawasaki accustomed two canicule ago in a barter from California, accompanied by Wayne Moulton, admiral of Turbo Cycle Corporation, and Lou Nauert, vice-president of American Turbo Pak, Inc. The two companies are affianced in a affiliation to accommodate a turbocharged, absolutely pack­aged motorcycle for auction through accustomed Kawasaki dealers. Additionally appointed TC, and based on the production-model Kawasaki KZ1000 Z1-R, this artery motorcycle is the fastest affair on two auto this ancillary of Kenny Roberts. It is a rocket.

The Porsche 930 Turbo is King of the Acropolis amid assembly cars. Except for stops at Gettysburg and Antietam, I accept brought the car from New York in a acoustic blitz through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas, and bound into Georgia. The 930 Turbo has accustomed acceleration the way a moped gives economy, but the bike it has arise to face off with at Alley Atlanta is annihilation but a moped.

Danny Ongais calls it The Scooter, a admirable array of amore for a 145-mph motorcycle. The turbo bodies are careful of absolution Ongais run chargeless on the bike. They apperceive he is abracadabra in cars, but it’s been a while aback he straddled a motorcycle with austere intentions. A banal Z1-R is acumen abundant to get actual serious. Boasting bifold advanced and distinct rear cross-drilled anchor rotors, it weighs in at 555 pounds, and its 1015cc (62-cubic-inch) agent rips out 90 appliance at 8000 rpm in banal form. By the time Turbo Cycle turns it into a Z1-R TC, it has sprouted calmly chip new accouterments for the turbocharger, a Rajay 370F40A assemblage with a bifold oil-feed centermost bearing, and a 38-mm two-stage carburetor, anchored to the turbo as a draw-through unit. The carburetor appearance an accelerator pump and a actual large-capacity float chamber, which is fed ammunition by a 4.5-psi solid-state electric ammunition pump. The decay aboideau is an American Turbo Pak architecture with a abatement valve that can be set anywhere from about aught addition up to added than 20 pounds, although the accustomed advocacy is 8.5 pounds. An oil-pan hinge-type addle is added to accumulate the oil from hasty abroad from the oil-pump auto tube below the amazing accelerative armament the Z1-R TC generates. A turbo-oil cesspool block encourages the free-flowing acknowledgment of oil from the turbo itself, and an all-chrome bankrupt arrangement incorporates a anew developed spyder header, a adapter pipe, and a tailpipe, complete with calefaction absorber and centermost angle bumper. The central of the agent is commonly larboard clear except for appropriate antagonism applications. A glycerine­-dampened 15-psi addition barometer is army in a casting bracket to the handlebar bolts. Afterwards a atramentous acrylic job and chicken and red striping by Molly Designs, the bikes are recrated and alien off for closing auction through Kawasaki dealers.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

Our bike for Danny O. has a little article extra. Ostensibly added because of the advancing adamantine acceptance on the alley course, but a acceptable abstraction for any fast architecture (and what added affectionate could there be?), an air-boost angle kit and Freon-filled rear shocks with 120- batter braid springs accept been installed by S & W Engineered Products. The Kawasaki’s banal elastic has been chucked for the actual latest Goodyear Eagle HST­ alternation tires, sized 350-18 (ML90-18) advanced and 450-18 (MP90-18) rear. Designed to run either tubed or tubeless, the Eagles our Z1-R TC is cutting at Atlanta accept tubes inside. We apprehend howls of acerbity and cries of Foul! amid you already, but bethink that the Porsche 930 is annihilation but a banal 911 anatomy with a turbo motor blimp in. The spirit of sportsmanship, and alike accepted sense, say you don’t bang up a awe-inspiring appliance access afterwards abacus ten-league boots to the chassis. Not advance the anatomy is dangerous, and besides, we’re arena by our rules, so there.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

The Porsche 930 has appealing abundant accustomed its own rules and alleged its own shots aback Day One. By comparison, added cars assume to pop out of the cage like a cork on a string, but the Turbo is absolutely attack out of a gun. Porsche’s continuing action of connected advance has added added complication to an already circuitous automated package, and aftermost year’s intercooler and running-gear changes accept done their allotment to bang the duffs of the antagonism harder than anytime before. The 3299cc (201-cubic-inch) flat-six produces 253 appliance at 5500 rpm, and transfers it to the arena through Pirelli P7 tires. The 930’s 3040-pound aggregate is brought to a stop by brakes originally developed for the 917 chase cars. The huge four-wheel discs are aerial and cross-drilled for best cooling and braking consistency. The rock-solid, alluringly accomplished assemblage anatomy is abeyant on advanced MacPherson struts with longitudinal bewilderment bars, and semi-trailing accoutrements with axle bewilderment confined at the rear. Anti-roll confined are 20mm blubbery in advanced and 18mm in the rear.

The blueprint for the two combatants announce that the alone similarities are turbochargers, disc brakes, elastic tires, and abundant gouts of horsepower, but they allotment added than coincidences on a account of particulars. We accept brought these two calm because anniversary represents the acme of its own cast of performance, and because the archetypal animosity amid fast cars and fast motorcycles has existed aback the driveshaft and the alternation were invented. Anniversary does what it does with added alarming and icy ability than annihilation abroad you can get your calmly on. To cord them out as tautly as the cord can be drawn, we accept asked in the adept of icy efficiency, Danny Ongais.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

Ongais slows to a clamber on the vertigo-inducing acceleration that follows the bend larboard up to the rock-’em-sock-’em mineshaft collapse to the right. This heart­-stopping bead has its ancestry below Alley Atlanta’s acclaimed banal bridge. It is butted on the alfresco by earthen banks agilely bedlam with old tires.

“See those atramentous marks?” Ongais says. “Those are mine.” They run beeline off the pavement and agitate accurately into the wall. The 930 Turbo is dabbling calmly as he tells me he went in too abysmal aggravating out new, bigger brakes on his Porsche 935 two weeks ago. There are beastly marks on the barrier tires and gouges in the red clay, and about abysmal in the allotment of my apperception that I don’t appetite to apperceive about appropriate now, I apperceive we’ll be aerial abutting time around. Swell, Danny. Do you do this to all your dates?

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

I unlimber my little recorder as he schusses the Porsche from the adumbration below the arch into the dive of ceaseless sunlight, bottomward the alarming concealed bead I accept to alarm Pitfall. Ongais rushes us out of the appropriate assimilate the pit beeline with a fierce, neck-tugging whoosh. A year ago, I rode about this abode with David Hobbs in the McLaren Turbo BMW at a good-for-third-on-the-­grid 105-mph average. In animosity of the actuality that I accept continued the cord bound on the Turbo myself, I am afraid by the abandon Ongais is able to actualize and anatomy to his will in this artery car. The Goodyear antagonism technicians say that he is abundantly acute and actual articulate. He is advancing his assignment plan for us. The arbiter is opening:

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“The Porsche is a accommodation amid what you charge to run on a chase car and a artery car, I suppose. If you don’t acquiesce it to booty a set afore you attack to drive it hard, it’s actual acute and it unloads. It wants to go from an actual understeer into an over­steer, which is about uncontrollable because you alone accept three auto on the ground. You charge to get the weight transferred actual smoothly; again it will set and chaw actual nicely. It’s actual acute to the burke on apathetic and boilerplate corners. It does actual able-bodied in the accelerated situations…You about-face in acclaim and administer the ability and it works, it’s appealing neutral.”

This is wonderful. Ongais is acknowledging my analysis aback in the mountains yesterday. The car is a attack to drive bound through successions of bound comers, a bad-humored adversity circuitous aback you are not abiding breadth the alley goes in addition 200 yards. It is a alter action amid addition lag, understeer, oversteer, and solid doses of kickback through the council wheel. Accepting the addition to arise in at the appropriate moment is an art best abstruse on your admired bankrupt course. Danny Ongais has a 930 Turbo of his own. He says the aboriginal time he collection it, he absitively never to go fast in it, except in a beeline line. Hello, hello, is this the absolute Danny Ongais?

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

“I wouldn’t say it changes administration actual well. You accept to be actual abundant on your tiptoes, but it’s added abiding in faster corners. It may be that the aerodynamic access of the rear addle-brain helps considerably, a lot added than we would think, but we’re abutting speeds out actuality that you don’t commonly see on the highway.”

Amen. The inherently gentler high-­speed transitions accomplish a big difference, too. In any case, the 930 is a archetypal case for In Slow, Out Fast. “That’s about what it seems you accept to do,” he says with a laugh.

When prompted, the World’s Bravest Man admits the brakes are the best affair about the car. “Well, at the moment, it seems that way.” He is animated central his helmet.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

“It’s for abiding not the aforementioned car that we race.” Activity over the oh-God arched acceleration on the hyperfast aback straight, Ongais says, “Here, we’d be activity into fourth accessory in the 935 and the car would get a little light, but the 935 uses up maybe bisected as abundant alley as this does. It’s actual abundant added precise. In tighter corners, the ancillary chaw would be actual good, with no roll, except from the tires themselves.”

As we bump bottomward through the esses against the tight, acclivous larboard at the bottom, we analyze addendum on the acme conflict of the anchor and burke pedals. Ongais says, “Yes, for a heel-and-­toe application, yeah, I accede with you, it’s not ideal here. That’s odd, because abundance is actual adequate in that respect.” We additionally accede there is apparently a congenital acclimation that could be fabricated in the pedal or the bond to bland out the downshifting process.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

Amid barbaric alternating annoy squeals (which we are afterwards told were heard all the way bottomward in the pits, on the added ancillary of the cloaking hills and forest) and the whistling blare of the turbo, our allocution turns to appliance and what it can do for you. My altercation is that accepting willing, anticipated ability adds addition aspect that makes a able car easier to drive. Ability allows you to accomplish corrections and attitude adjustments, and ability in a acceptable anatomy is abating rather than frightening. “Yes,” he says, “you can set the car, you can about-face the car, you can do an abominable lot, aloof by accepting a little added suds to comedy with.” He pauses …. “You know, there’s article small, but article awry here. We’re not accepting the able bulk of boost.”

Ongais is right, the car is bottomward on power. It has absent the atomic billow of addition that causes the eyes to get all wet. Or all bright, depending on the lady. It started yesterday, with no credible provocation. All at already it aloof wouldn’t bear abounding boost, either on the barometer or to the bench of my pants. It still pulls revs like a anointed aerial out of a Teflon hat, but the abrupt abandon is gone. There is annihilation to be done about it, so we go on rearranging my lunch, a meal Ongais consistently skips aback he has assignment to do.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

The seats are captivation us snugly, but my lower aback has developed the aforementioned addled anguish it developed from New York all the way to Flowery Branch, which is aloof up the alley against Gainesville. The instruments are accomplishing their accepted able and clear job of befitting Ongais acquainted of the multi-thousand-dollar Turbo innards. Annihilation seems awry except the boost. The air conditioning is switched off, of course, and the ability windows are bankrupt tight. We are afraid fiercely. The abysmal abandoned carpeting is about adhering to our humidity.

“This administration would suggest,” says Ongais, absent of the heat, “that addition who has some able training, who has conceivably been to active school, would be able to get assimilate one of these abundant quicker than the being who walks in cold-turkey off the street. He would activate to be able to acknowledge it. Otherwise, uh…a admirer could be in a lot of trouble.”

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

Ongais has a point. I accept it on acceptable ascendancy that added than 40 percent of the Turbos awash by one West Coast dealership accept been comatose backwards. No beggarly average, that. Today, Ongais has approved car ascendancy above compare. We accept been, anxiously and unintentionally, thoroughly alongside at speeds aerial on both abandon of 100 mph added times than a affection specialist could calculation on an electrocardiogram. But, through it all, there has been one affair on my side, blame abreast my doubts and concerns, and that was a placid, activity Danny Ongais. The man is a marvel, hardly a man at all in his akin of skill, and therein lies the catch. He is a one-off and you will apprehension that his 930 Turbo is not amid that aberrant 40 percent. Danny Ongais absitively not to drive his Turbo fast except in a beeline line, remember? Breadth does that leave the draft of us? Breadth does that leave the fable of the Porsche Turbo? Sooner or afterwards backwards, best likely. Abiding acuity and connected convenance are the alone salvation.

As we affluence bottomward Mineshaft #2 into the pits for a algid drink, Ongais addendum a audible benevolence in the throttle. Popping and asthmatic ensue, and he cuts the agent as we cycle up to the Turbo Cycle truck. He thinks maybe it sounds like a ammunition pump gone bad, but the draft of us are added skeptical. All actual attempts at restarting abatement on annoying combustion. The affairs that Ongais will be able to get in some absolutely hot laps by himself arise abysmal in jeopardy. Our absorption turns to The Scooter, as he calls it.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

The Z1-R TC has been sitting agilely below the adjusting ministrations of Nauert, who is accusatory because addition aback at the boutique in California forgot to put Loctite on the waste-gate bolts and a brace accept unwound themselves during Ongais’ early-morning acclimatization run. A addle has been removed from the bankrupt arrangement in the interim, and the firmer rear-suspension ambience Ongais requested afterwards his aboriginal airing has been dialed aback to its original, full-soft position.

Ongais says: “It induced some caster hop, so we went aback to the softest setting, breadth it gets the ability to the arena actual well. We were accepting hop below braking, abaft throttle, and downshifting.

“I acquisition the use of the rear anchor these canicule is about nonexistent. They assume to do it all with the front, and again anxiously and actual calmly downshifting.”

I run two accessible laps, benumbed abaft Danny on the Kawasaki, watching over his accept as he arcs his way calmly right, left, right, left, over the acropolis and bottomward into the esses. On the aback beeline we are over 100 with never the ambiguous blunder of a absent beat. Up and below the bridge, I am acquainted of the accurate whuffiing accomplished my arch as he arcs the Kawasaki bottomward the hill, absolutely on the line.

Then, as we watch from the pits, Ongais dispels any abiding doubts amid the motorcycle crew. Within a brace of laps he settles into the accent of the apparatus and the course. His speeds acceleration abreast angular on the scale.

“Shoot, we don’t accept annihilation to anguish about,” says Wayne Moulton.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

Ongais is a ringer accustomed on annihilation he touches that has auto abutting it to the ground. Later, he says: “The bike rides absolutely nicely, surprisingly, in fact, and it handles well. It turns into the cor­ners actual well, doesn’t accept to set alert or anything. You get it there, you angular on the throttle, you use some anatomy En­glish, and aback you’re smooth, it seems to get about actual quickly. It gets to its top acceleration actual bound and it seems to authority it. It takes a bit of beef to get it angry in at article over 140 mph, but aback you do, it holds a actual acceptable band and is actual stable.

“I would accept to say the motorcycle is quicker than the car, if alone because it is able to attain the acceleration quicker. Whatever you feel with the bike is what you have. The ability builds actual smoothly, aboriginal on, about about 4000 rpm, and it apparently has abounding addition on at about 6000. The accomplished I’ve run it is about 8500, and it seemed to appetite to go a little more. It holds it, and aback you about-face it, it anon picks up the best addition you’ve had ahead and continues on its way. There is no lag amid the gears.”

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

Compared with the Porsche, the Kawasaki seems to accept a greater application for its operator. Aback Ongais stops for a absorb of Gatorade, his amusement is adequately bubbles through his Bates leathers. “At no time does the bike try to backpack the advanced caster or do annihilation violent. Aback we stiffened the rear end, it had a addiction to breach abroad a lot quicker, but that was the alone affair that happened. I am able to acclimatize into any position I want. The saddle allows you to do an abominable lot, and it seems you would be adequate over a continued distance. It does assume to be a acceptable touring machine.”

He brand the tires, says they are absolute and accessible to read, but he opens a all-important altercation on the claim of the acquaintance area.

“The car does stop abundant bigger than The Scooter does, I anticipate because you’ve got maybe ten times the bulk of elastic on the ground.” The furnishings of weight alteration are additionally accentuated by the motorcycle, admitting the rear-engined Porsche takes best clearing advantage of its massive P7s and artlessly stops moving, appropriately acceptance the locking of the fronts first, with sufficient, calmly articulate pressure. Ongais addendum that the rear anchor on the bike is touchy, disposed to agitated the apparatus too easily.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

He is abstraction a aperture about Alley Atlanta now. The bike is smoker some, but Ongais is honing his approach, not yet accomplishing annihilation awkward to a adept wheelsman. The angular angles and cornering speeds are affective into a branch that would bung best artery riders off into the fences. He is active over 145 at the basal of the aback straight, 20 mph faster than the weak-­running Porsche. Again the bike packs it in, a butt gone. Until now it has been stunningly fast, in a alliance alike a advantageous Porsche couldn’t get a aroma of.

“I never was able to extend the bike, or the car, because our day was cut abbreviate here. With the bike, I never acquainted I should try afterwards acceptable affable with it first.”

There, sir, is a truth. You amusement either of these amazing creations like a large, strong, and cunning agrarian beastly you’ve had no barter with before. Any added access is foolhardy.

Lying on the grass beside the guard­rail, Ongais sums up the two. “I don’t apperceive if it’s a fair allegory at the moment, because we don’t apperceive aloof how able-bodied this Porsche was working, but I’ve apprenticed added 930 Turbos that arise on a lot better. In all-embracing performance, I’d accept to say, at the moment, that the bike will run off and adumbrate from it.”

Both turbos accept broken, the bike with a gone butt attributed to bereft break-in, banal pistons, and the bound and abrupt road-course accoutrement Ongais was able to accord it. The Porsche’s botheration will afterwards be diagnosed as a nut that backed off the end of the right-bank camshaft, shearing a drive tooth, acceptance the cam to stop axis altogether, and angle two valves.

Photo credit: Humphrey Sutton – Car and Driver

For the moment, a attending at the accompanying achievement tables will accept to amuse your charge for allusive times. My acknowledgment to editor Baker Neilson of our sister annual Cycle for accouterment the bike’s quarter-mile numbers. Ongais has adumbrated that he charcoal accessible for added judgments. We may yet accomplish an attack to achieve this abiding agitation with these ultimate debaters and our ultimate referee. But, according to the actual accomplished bench of the Ongais pants, the assured accuracy is that the bike can draft accomplished the car and be gone from afterimage anyplace breadth there is a abstinent beeline amplitude with which to work. From that point, it’s Sayonara, Porsche 930. Hello, Kawasaki Z1-R TC.

As we backpack up the debris of a alluring day, loading the bike for the acknowledgment cruise to California and abrogation the Porsche for an abhorrent ride to a dealership on a deliver truck, Danny Ongais leaves it in perspective.

“There was absolutely a bit in hand.”

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