Chris Forsberg Builds a Twin Turbo Nissan 370Z, a Big Shift From Previous V8 Setup

Photo by Larry Chen

Chris Forsberg switched from a V8 engine program to a Twin Turbo engine program for the 2017 season

After becoming Formula Drift Champion for the third time in 2016, Chris Forsberg decided to change things up with his program. Forsberg made the decision to move away from the V8 engine program that powered all three of his championship wins. Now, a turbocharged engine package with a reduced number of cylinders in the motor but increased power output via a pair of Garrett turbochargers powers his 370Z. The shift in engine choice also came with a staffing change in the pits of Chris Forsberg Racing. Forsberg would join Ryan Tuerck in trusting Nameless Performance with support duties, aligning the racing team with the friendship that Forsberg and Tuerck had formed away from Formula Drift many years ago that has lead to many off-track projects away from Formula Drift. Together, Forsberg and Nameless Performance would revamp the same Nissan 370Z chassis that Forsberg drove to his third championship last year to become the fireball-spitting car that you see on track today.

Photo by Larry Chen

Chris Forsberg captured his first podium under twin turbocharged power at the Formula D Texas event

Moving to the VQ37 motor gave Forsberg an opportunity to return the factory engine back under the hood of his Nissan 370Z, a scenario that’s becoming increasingly rare in drifting competition. This also helped increase the visibility of several sponsorship partners that Forsberg held with projects away from Formula Drift competition, most notably via the pair of Garrett GTX3071R turbochargers. The turbos were paired with Nameless Performance turbo manifolds, a Nameless Performance AntiLag kit, and a pair of Turbosmart wastegates that shoot flames out of the hood between shifts. With more than 40 pounds of boost pressuring the entire system, the setup pushes more than 1,000 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels.

Some early season testing caused some head gasket issues, and the Nameless Performance team tested a few different configurations before finding the right balance of power and reliability. The current setup uses an RJ Manufacturing engine block that has been increased to a 4.0L displacement via a Brian Crower 98mm stroker kit, with 11:1 compression JE Pistons, Supertech Performance valve springs and retainers, Jim Wolf 272 degree camshafts, and a custom drysump oiling system to keep everything lubricated. Air is ingested through a pair of AEM filters before flowing into the Greddy GTR upper intake manifold, which is fitted to the block via an RJ Manufacturing lower intake manifold conversion. The VP Racing C85 fuel is injected via Deatschwerks 1500 cc injectors into the cylinder, while a full catalog of Motec electronics take care of the electrical side of things. That catalog includes a Motec M150 ECU and a pair of Motec PDM15 power distribution units that are controlled by a Motec 15-button keypad and monitored by the Motec C125 dash.

Photo by Larry Chen

Forsberg's suspension setup on his Nissan 370Z remains largely unchanged from previous seasons

Overall, the rest of the chassis and suspension remains largely unchanged from previous years. Forsberg did switch to BC Racing XR coilovers this season, but the full catalog of Voodoo13 billet control arms, camber arms, toe arms, traction arms, and steering angle kit are the same suspension units that Forsberg utilized in his championship-winning season last year. Several other parts like the Advanced Clutch Technology triple-plate clutch, Hollinger 6-speed sequential transmission, Winters quick-change differential, and Wilwood calipers (including dual calipers on the rear axle to help initiate and control drifts) are all longstanding partnerships that Forsberg continues with this latest chassis. Outside the car, the Nismo body kit and spoiler, Seibon carbon fiber panels, and APR Performance splitter and mirrors are also carryovers from previous years. Each pass Forsberg makes on track happens through SSR GTX01 wheels and, most importantly, Hankook RS4 tires in 275/40R18 sizing in the rear and 245/40R18 sizing in front.

Photo by Larry Chen

Forsberg and his Nameless Performance team tested a few different engine configurations in 2017

After a few events of learning the chassis and getting used to the power delivery, Forsberg finally strung together several strong tandem battles at the Texas Motor Speedway event in September. Forsberg eliminated Robbie Nishida, Michael Essa, Vaughn Gittin Jr., and Odi Bakchis in tandem battles before finally falling to current series leader James Deane in the final. Overall, the second place finish was Forsberg’s record-setting 34th podium finish in Formula Drift, with no other driver holding more than 24 podium finishes. While Forsberg isn’t in the chase for the 2017 championship, the team is confident that they will return to championship form in coming seasons.

Photo courtesy Chris Forsberg Racing

Chris Forsberg's 370Z utilizes a Greddy GTR intake manifold thanks to a RJ Manufacturing adaptor