Raise your hand if you miss the V-10 era at Le Mans

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Formula D ace Ryan Tuerck is one of those people with a vision that seem to have erased the word impossible from their dictionaries. His main drift car is a 1,000 horsepower Toyota Corolla Hatch that’s been carrying him to constant top-10 finishes in Formula D competition, but Tuerck’s first big shocker was another car, the Ferrari-engined Toyota GT86 he unveiled at SEMA four years ago. This latest project that involves an A90 Toyota Supra and a Le Mans V-10 engine will top that one. His words, not ours.

Who’s to say cramming a race car engine in a road car is a bid idea?

Someone Is Cramming An LMP1 V-10 Into a 2020 Toyota Supra A90
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The fifth-generation Toyota Supra, a product of the unlikely collaboration between the Japanese side and BMW, is still everyone’s favorite car to mess with and upgrade. We drove one in 2019 and found it to be amongst the very best sports cars that you can buy today; a statement backed up by its 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline-six engine that lays within the confines of one of Toyota’s finest chassis to date.

But some people simply aren’t content with 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque even though we’ve seen that’s enough push to see the Supra both exceed its official top speed by almost 10 mph and also outgun its sibling, the Z4, in a drag race. Yes, we know, dyno runs showed that the Supra may make as much as 420 horsepower and 530 pound-feet at the crank. But even that doesn’t cut it for a guy like Ryan Tuerck.

Someone Is Cramming An LMP1 V-10 Into a 2020 Toyota Supra A90
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The 35-year-old from Derry, New Hampshire, has been making waves on the American pro drifting scene for 13 years now and has come close to winning the Formula D title on more than one occasion, with his best title assault ending with him on the second spot at the end of the year. As we all know, drifting requires buckets of power, and Tuerck’s got power aplenty in the drift car he’s been abusing during the past few seasons, a Corolla Hatch built by Papadakis Motorsport. We actually got to ride shotgun in it and, well, it’s a breathtaking thing even when limited to ’just’ 650 horsepower. Let loose during an FD event, Tuerck’s tiny Toyota makes some 1,000 horsepower thanks to some massive boost pressures in the turbos and nitrous.

Now, Papadakis Motorsport has been busy building an insane Supra of its own that makes 1,000 horsepower while still featuring the B58 Toyota inline-six under the hood, albeit with new pistons and connecting rods. Tuerck, however, couldn’t care less of what you could extract from the B58 as he had one dream and one dream only since he laid eyes on the Supra: a Judd swap.

Someone Is Cramming An LMP1 V-10 Into a 2020 Toyota Supra A90
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For those of you unfamiliar with the name of Judd, it’s the last name of Briton John Judd, an engine builder who established Judd Power all the way back in 1971. In the 50 years that have passed since, Judd has become one of the leading engine providers in the world of historic racing and hill climb racing alike, although the company cut its teeth in Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship during the Group C days.

The manufacturer powered Williams in 1988, but its tenure as an engine provider in motorsport’s highest echelon ended merely four years later, by which time the team struggled to extract more performance out of its GV-10 3.5-liter powerplant. Following its days in F1, Judd refocused and channeled its resource into improving the reliability of the GV engine to make it more suitable for long-distance racing after Mazda’s attempt to use it in the MXR-01 revealed some of the unit’s shortcomings.

Someone Is Cramming An LMP1 V-10 Into a 2020 Toyota Supra A90
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As the years rolled by, Judd began selling engines to more and more privateer teams that realized the potential of Judd’s package when taking into account how cost-effective it was. In 1999, Judd introduced the four-liter version of the GV-10 engine. Designed to power the latest generation of open-top Le Mans prototypes (soon to be called LMP-900 due to the 900-kilo weight limit imposed by the regulators on these cars), the Judd found its way into anything from Dallara’s Chrysler-funded SP1 LMP to the Courage-Pescarolo C60 that almost won Le Mans in ’05 and ’06 fighting Audi’s mighty R8s and R10s.

The GV4 as it’s now known is still in production, and you can buy it if you have a car designed to be powered by it. The Toyota Supra isn’t such a car, but Tuerck, who’s previously crammed a Ferrari 458-sourced 4.5-liter N/A V-8 in a Toyota GT85 thus creating the GT4586, was never going to be deterred by this fact. He was also encouraged by the fact that the engine is, as you’d expect, reliable (taking into consideration the performance figures). It can run 3,000 kilometers between rebuilds, and everything is enclosed, running via reduction gears, so there’re no belts or chains hanging about.

Someone Is Cramming An LMP1 V-10 Into a 2020 Toyota Supra A90
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Having said all this, the Judd’s party piece has always been its soundtrack. Revving all the way up to 11,000 rpms, this engine really sings quite like no other, making it easily recognizable in the sea of Zytek, AER, Chevrolet, and Nissan engines that were also used around the time this design was new. Oh, and it’s always nice to have the same engine that powered one of the winners of the 24 Hours of Daytona, right? Tuerck thinks so despite the fact that Doran Lista’s Dallara SP1 is quite different from the Toyota Supra.

We think this Supra will probably end up boasting the best engine sound of them all, so good that, in fact, nobody will ever care that the GV-4 V-10 actually develops 750 horsepower unrestricted, which is more than what a modern Gibson V-8 LMP2 engine can offer. Before we actually see this 320-pound beast pounding again in front of the cabin of a Supra, we recommend you take some time to go through Ryan’s breakdown of the build - it’ll make the wait a tad bit sweeter. Oh, and we also suggest binge-watching a whole bunch of Judd V-10 videos on YouTube!

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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