Dyno-Testing A Le Mans Racing V10 Engine Is Hardcore

Dyno-Testing A Le Mans Racing V10 Engine Is Hardcore

I’m sure you’ve watched a dyno video or two. The car thuds through the gears, slowly roars up, rising to a rev limit crescendo and zoom! It quickly winds down. This is not the case if the engine you’re testing is a Judd GV4, built with racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in mind. You get to the rev limit and you stay there.

Sports car endurance racing, the kind of motorsports the Judd GV4 was designed for, is an interesting one. Le Mans is home to the longest straight in the racing world, where cars find their way to redline and hum along at top speed. Porsche actually put a lot of development work in its ’60s and ’70s Le Mans cars just to keep its gearboxes together. Before the chicanes on the Mulsanne, you’d be at full throttle for a minute or more top gear alone.

Perhaps no big surprise, then, to hear a different kind of sound coming out of the dyno room at Judd, when Ryan Tuerck took his four-litre V10 there for testing and tuning. This engine is meant to live in his new Toyota Supra, which will be a dramatic build for Tuerck here in America. Best to have the engine set up properly at the factory where it was designed and built, sorted out there before returning to the States for the complete engine swap and build.

What’s fun is that the dyno team at Judd didn’t just touch the rev limit, they sat there. Hung out. Had a cup of tea. Thought about their day.

This is the fun thing about this build. While other teams have turned to very well-built road car engines and modified them for racing use — first Toyota 2JZ iron-block straight sixes, now 3UZ V8s  — Tuerck is putting a dedicated racing engine into a road car chassis. There’s a lot that’s different about the engine design technically that you can talk about — the way that the cylinder heads are split into two blocks, one for the cams and one for the valves, for instance — but it’s nice to actually hear the distinction. This is meant to be a fast machine. Hitting a redline of around 11,000 RPM speaks to that. But it’s meant to be tough. It’s meant to live up there. That’s what makes it different.