Chris Forsberg Set to Return to Backup Car for Orlando

Posted on Apr 23, 2017 In Chris Forsberg Formula D


Forsberg has announced that this long hyped VQ engine cannot hold together still and he will be back in his backup V8 car for Orlando.  A huge bummer they cannot figure out this motor package and possibly bit off more than they thought with this ambitious project? This sure doesn’t feel like a championship team that cannot debut a new car after two Formula Drift rounds. I have to imagine they have a plan to get back on track by Atlanta or possibly be way far behind in points for a repeat championship.

I attended my first drift event at Road Atlanta in 2005 while shooting for Import Racer Magazine (RIP). Since then I have produced drift content for PAS Magazine, Modified Magazine, Drifting Magazine (RIP), and many more publications. I was the producer of the movie Slide America and then helped found this website in 2007.


  1. kpa says:

    The VQ motor has been a platform many have tried to conquer with very little success. The power plant has known reliability issues and heating issues. At this point in the game moving over to the proven VR motor seems the only smart path. I doubt the VQ motor will go back into that chassis and the move over to VR will happen.

    It takes at least a year to bring a new engine program together at a minimum. Designing ,building, testing then breaking, then testing again. Is the normal path but you don’t want to be doing that during the season.

    Hope MA’s motor keeps together until the new one can be rolled out since I think Chris sold all his spare parts a little too early

  2. wesismyhero says:

    Maybe he should get in touch with Dynosty in Ky. They had a 1000hp VQ they drove to the track.

  3. kpa says:

    They just need to contact AMS to get a long-block VR motor and be done with the wishing the VQ will work. I heard they are on the 3 motor already and it’s ran a total of roughly 2-3 hours between all three. Chris is just lucky the MA’s motors is still getting him some points.

  4. WingZeroCustom says:

    Or they can just go old school, RB25/26, stroke and tone down the power to a reliable level. Not like he doesn’t know how to drive a RB series motor either.

    Overall I feel the VQ CAN work… But I think they really need to SIMPLIFY what they’re doing. Twin Anti-lag on a Twin Turbo VQ is just asking for it to blow up. It would be easier to just run it as a regular Twin Turbo dial the power back to about 800ish and keep it reliable.

    Or even Twins and Nitrous… lot of ways they can go about simplifying the build to be more reliable than it is. And its not like the VR motors can’t have the same or worse issues as bad as the VQ. Charles NG Last year is testament to that. VR wouldn’t stay together for a single pass let alone a entire event.

    Then there is Daigo also who had nothing but motor issues with the VR… So they can be just as bad if not dealt with right.

    In the end I hope they get the car figured out. Maybe try not to go so extreme with it and I think they’ll be good the rest of the year. My words of advice… Single Turbo… Anti-lag.. 800ish hp. Boom.

  5. Hosford Hugger says:

    since they’re in florida, maybe they can call up mazworx. worked for dave briggs for a few spinouts

  6. kaiser says:

    he just posted videos of him testing at adams in California the little cart track and had a caption of I cant wait to release this amazing package to the public….

    sounds like some wires are crossed here

  7. kpa says:


    I would also agree. There is really no point to the anti lag on that twin turbo system. If you sized the turbo’s right you should be able to have them spool just fine and have plenty of power needed for drifting.

    You use anti-lag when you oversize the turbo and need it to help keep it in spool. I could see them using it if it was a huge single turbo on that motor. I thought I read the motor was also stroked so, again no need for the anti-lag. They just must be carrying over the inherited anti-lag from Tuerck’s program. The boom.boom! pop pop! seems to be a hit with all the fan boys. Now the only thing going POP POP! is the all the motors.

  8. KBanks says:

    Yup, this is why James came over and wrecked shop. Too much vehicle development and not enough driving. Build something reliable, make a back-up and then put in laps. Has anyone done the stats on average time for a new build to return podium results vs. “developed” cars that have at least two seasons?

  9. Cody says:

    Does Formula Drift have any rules against diesels? If not I think the Cummins in the new Titan would be cool, and it would make Nissan happy since it’s a modern engine.

  10. Justin Yamashiro says:

    Nope. Diesels are eligible. Just no one spends the minute to build one here stateside like in Europe. I understand the supply is easier over there but I’m sure sourcing couldn’t be too difficult and it’s not like the car has to be street legal in the end.

  11. kpa says:

    The Audi Q7 6.0 TDI would be a nice power plant to try. 500 hp and 740 tq stock specs V12 twin turbo. Might be a little heavy but I’m sure it would “Rolling coal”

  12. kaiser says:

    no one uses the new cummins from Nissan because there simply terrible. I see them on a daily basis and I could tell you terrible things about there degradation

  13. Doof says:


    Engine problems? That’s crazy. It’s not like these guys are doing anything crazy. It’s only 1000+hp. /sarcasm

    Imagine how much more reliable a lot of the setups would be if there wasn’t this never ending horsepower circle-jerk war going on. Doesn’t Odi’s car run like 700hp? I can’t recall a single time that car has suffered from engine failure, yet he’s down on power compared to a lot of others on grid and is one of the fastest guys in the series.

    Now if only he could drive with big angle and fill in the outer zones, he’d be unstoppable

  14. ToLiveNDieInNJ says:


    But then wouldn’t he need more power? It’s always a give and take.

  15. Blaze1 says:

    Outer zones + big angle = horsepower wars

  16. Turbology says:

    From what I gather, having spoken with Jason and John at Nameless about it, they are having trouble finding headgaskets that can hold the power.

    They were supposedly on the right track with a custom-spec’d one from a reputable, well-known brand, but it ended up not fitting correctly and let go again.

    They did say that the first time Chris test drove the VQ set-up with very mild ALS, he was taken aback by its brutal power and immediate torque.

    The idea being, since they are running two smaller, quicker spooling turbos, they do not need to run nearly as aggressive ALS as in Tuerck’s car.

    I have faith: if they are able to make a rally RWD 86 competitive against even some open class AWD cars, surely it will be only a matter of time and the right parts.

  17. kpa says:


    So, defective head gaskets has taken out 3 different motors? Sound like a river in Egypt “De-Nile”!

    Maybe the fact when you use a ductile iron sleeve in an Aluminium motor and generate high levels of heat due to Anti-lag might cause a sleeve to sink. This sounds a little closer to the real issue. Pushing the blame on not strong enough head-gaskets seems like a cop-out.

    More critically, not testing this before making all the claims is really egg on someone face. Hearing Chris hype this motor in Long Beach and now to hear they are having issues you can find out by using Google seems like someone is not doing their job. Maybe GayAndy will swing in here next to defend Chris.

    Has far as your faith they can build a rally car has something to do with building a VQ! Care to bet on seeing this VQ at Atlanta? I should add that seeing it means it makes it to at least qualifying. Seeing it tore down in the pits doesn’t count.

  18. Turbology says:


    I do not know nearly enough about the high-boost related shortcomings of the VQ, so I will take your word for it, since you seem to have credible understanding. I am certain the Nameless guys have considered your supposition.

    As for the head gaskets, I could not speak to the other instances, but the failure leading into Long Beach was directly related, and Jason and John were even on the phone with said company during practice to get to the bottom of what happened.

    And my faith in their results with the FA platform in rally has everything to do with competently building a VQ. The FA clearly was not intended to endure the constant abuse of a rally powerband, so why would they not be able to solve the VQ for drifting?

  19. kpa says:

    @ Turbology

    To answer your question. First, rally is not about making 1000hp and staying on the limiter for 10 seconds. So, taking knowledge from that FA program really doesn’t carry over. I also see that they just now found success in Rally even though they have been in it for awhile. So again, the miss step is thinking its that easy.

    I know a little about working on race programs and what it takes to build up a winning program. I’m giving them shit for boasting their accomplishments before delivery. This does no one any good. Then to toss manufactures under the bus without justification another failure. How about you do the work and do the testing then talk about the accomplishments.

    We would all love to see Chris out there in his car with a new motor. He lost this weekend to Ryan Tuerck which I think is the first time I’ve seen this happen. To take last year champ and deliver him back in with this type of program is horrible. Coming from one if, not the strongest program in the field has to make someone a little disappointed.

    Question for you/them why take a VQ that’s never proven to be a competitive engine for the sport and not use the VR engine that has been proven. Seems a waste of time and money which we all know the sport doesn’t have.

  20. Turbology says:


    Fair enough, and I enjoy talking with you because you are a polite, respectful and rational person, which is an unfortunate rarity these days. The whole point of public forums like these is to cultivate constructive dialogue, so cheers to you for upholding that idea.

    I tend to agree with you that this new engine program was heralded prematurely it seems. There is no arguing with the validity of your point concerning the reliability and success of Chris’s VK set-up comparatively to this new VQ, which has yet to see competition.

    I do not know the details of Chris’s parting of ways with MA, but perhaps there was some NDA-shielded clause that will never see the light of day regarding the engines? The fact is, I cannot recall any serious mechanical gremlins when he was running the V8.

    And to be honest, it seems maybe even the VR is not a great choice, since I seem to recall both Daigo and Charles Ng having issues with their respective set-ups. I suppose Nameless could always add some boost to the VK, though it still seems powerful enough as is.

  21. kpa says:

    @ Turbology

    On those points. While I know a fair amount of what happened with MA and Chris not really my place to drop that on the internet here.

    The VK MA did develop came from Nissan’s Off-raod race truck program and was limited by supporting parts and the high cost to replicate needed service parts. If the motor could handle the stress of NOS in cylinder pressure and heat expansion which are typically worse with NOS then with boost. I wonder why MA never invested in going FI? I seem to recall something about clearances on the motor or valves that might be limitation.

    The VR will work and the issues that Daigo and Charles both had were easily fixable. Daigo had more diff and power steering issues that caused that car not to do well here in the states. The GTR motor can support well over 2500whp for at least 6.98 seconds so turning down to hold together at 1000whp should make for a reliable Nissan platformed engine program.

    While I enjoy seeing teams push the envelope in racing. If it prevents the teams from competing in the events it hurts the sport, the team, the driver, sponsors and the fans. Taking quick actions to resolve the situation is the only course of action. They were lucky to have a back up car. Where would Chris be right now if they didn’t.

    Good chat!

  22. Turbology says:


    Well that definitely sheds some light on the matter of choosing a new engine program versus simply refreshing or updating the VK. I did not know those were essentially trophy truck motors, I thought they were built and tuned production Titan units.

    I can understand the difficulty and expense of acquiring spares then, so it would make sense to work with a new engine. The Nameless guys are smart, and they seem to believe in ‘if it ain’t broke’ as far as developing and refining the 2J in Tuerck’s car.

    Interesting points about the VR, and I agree that it is indeed a stout motor, as you pointed out with AMS’s recent record-setting passes. And, GReddy seemed to figure out competitive reliability with Kawabata’s car in D1.

    Maybe there is more to the VQ story than we know. I know Chris works closely in partnership with the Fast Intentions guys, and their bread and butter is the VQ. Maybe some kind of agreement they worked out? Just speculation of course.

  23. KPA says:

    @ Turbology

    From what i hear now. Nameless is ditching the sleeves and just going to use a factory block, forged internals and block guard insert. Kind of like a budget Honda build. This has a better chance to keep the head to block sealed but at the cost of strength of the block. It should work for dyno life and some laps but they better have a few of these in the trailer and start working on how long it will take to swap it out.

  24. Turbology says:

    @ KPA

    Very interesting indeed, but I guess the path of least resistance is generally the best place to start. At the very least, it is my understanding that the VQ37 was originally created by increasing the height of the VQ35 block versus removing material from the block itself.

    That being said, I cannot recall if all of Forsberg’s competition motors are stroked to 4.0-liters, but I do not believe those Brian Crower kits require removing material from the original block for installation. So the choice to use the block guard strikes me as a bit odd.

    Then again, I am certainly not an engine builder, but I guess with the added cylinder pressure from the ALS set-up, the insert in the water jacket will add some rigidity. Though I am curious if it will potentially cause over-heating concerns? Beyond my pay grade.

  25. Turbology says:

    Seems like they figured something out, sounds pretty good in this test session video!

  26. kpa says:


    Yes, they scraped the sleeves and just built a forged internal VQ with a upper block guard. This set-up will work for awhile but not nearly strong enough to get the 1000 plus WHP they were pulling for. I assume they will run maybe 15 -20 psi and net 750 -850 whp. At that power level the car should work ok.

    The main issue at that point will reliability. The coolant system on those is not great. While you can changed the flow path which helps, drifting is a sport that taxes cooling system with high revs and low air flow. I expect to see the motor in Jersey but whether it make it to the end is still questionable.

    Its seems so odd to me to spend that all the money and time but, still not out perform the V8 with NOS motor program, Also. the VQ is horrible for serviceability due to mod construction. They could have been far ahead by just putting in the VR from the get go. Also at the failures they have had are all well known issues. This is an example of poor research and over engineering in my opinion. As they have not pushed forward this platform any further then it already was and maybe still have bugs to work out.

    So, did i win the bet to not see it in ATL 🙂