Written By Jason Reiss
Photography Courtesy of Modern Racing
The El General/Q80 Racing Team have been longtime proponents of boost—specifically of the twin-turbocharged variety—perched in front of the team’s Pro Line Racing Hemi powerplants. But with the admission of the new gear-driven F-3R 140 ProCharger into competition for the 2020 season, the team decided it was time to make a change. With the help of Justin Elkes and the Modern Racing team in Mooresville, North Carolina, the Q80 Camaro received a recent upgrade in preparation for the 2020 Pro Mod season.
“Pro Line Racing helped bring ProCharger into NHRA competition, and we are happy to have played a part in development, as we partially built and campaigned an Elite Motorsports car for a demo last year,” says Elkes.
“Pro Line’s El General Camaro has been a turbo car seemingly forever. The trend right now is to go to ProCharger, as power management is more straightforward. The ProCharger builds boost linearly, just like with any supercharger. So it makes staging and tuning easier, as we don’t have to worry about building boost via exhaust pressure. A turbo car requires a lot of different systems to work together to make for a good run, where a supercharged car doesn’t.”
The conversion components were laid out in a way to make it easy for the team to change combinations between events. With the ProCharger entering competition for the first time this year, the NHRA may make parity adjustments as necessary should they be required, so the team wanted to retain the ability to switch back and forth between the two when necessary.
To convert the car over, the Pro Line Racing engine build team had to install new 2.400-inch intake valves into the cylinder heads rather than the 2.450-inch valves permitted for turbocharged cars. A new camshaft was also developed to take advantage of the ProCharger’s power curve.
“The conversion requires a new Modern Racing fuel cell, which we developed just for such a project. It allows for airflow straight into the ProCharger. The mounting for the fuel cell had to be changed as well. We also had to create a new intake opening in the body. The steering rack had to be moved back in the car, so we used our Modern Racing steering arms to correct the steering geometry. The zoomies are built in-house, as well as a tight radius intake plumbing with two blow-off valves,” says Elkes.
El General has many race wins and even a PDRA Pro Boost title in 2017, and one of the world’s best race teams as part of the program. It’s only a matter of time before the car is in the winner’s circle again, this time with a ProCharger.