Supra Tuning’s Titans, then and now
One of Chris Rock’s best-known sketches centers around Robitussinan over-the-counter cough suppressant that was obviously a panacea in the comedian’s childhood home.
In many ways, Toyota’s venerable 2JZ-GTE engine has become a similar silver bullet in the performance automotive world. Show car needs a hook? 2JZ. Does the car have rust? A 2JZ will help you outrun him. A quarter mile passes too slowly? Just add 2JZ. And the almighty 2JZ-GTE solves problems even faster when factory twin turbos are jettisoned for a single, usually quite large, turbine.
None of the six-cylinder engine’s praise is unwarranted, mind you. With the right rubber compound applied to the rear wheels of a drag car and a properly built 2JZ up front, the dirt might just turn in the opposite direction when the light turns green.
Hyperbole and joking aside, 2JZ’s development has been incredibly impressive for a very long time. In North America, Titan Motorsports has been at the forefront.
The Florida-based operation has built a name for itself with its extensive knowledge of the 2JZ and a certain copper-colored MkIV Toyota Supra drag machine. The car is legendary and keeps the name Titan familiar in any discussion of 2JZ performance.
Titan has been synonymous with 2JZs and high-performance Supras for so long that before gathering information for this article, I had no idea that the company’s founder, Nero Deliawal, was originally a car radio enthusiast. In the late 90s, Nero entered his first “Mexico” street race and the hunt for higher SPLs was replaced by a hunt for lower ETs. Describes himself as “very competitive”, Nero got lost in figuring out the ins and outs of what makes a car go down the quarter mile faster.
Even back then, his car of choice was the Supra, and Nero was able to make up for his relative lack of driving skills by generating more engine power. Eventually, Nero’s driving skills synced up with his mechanical skills and he started winning quite a few races. Back then, drag racing a successful imported vehicle was akin to black magic, so Nero began documenting and sharing his successes.
There is no one in the world who would describe drag racing as a frugal pastime, and very soon Nero realized he needed a way to fund his racing program. In this regard, Titan Motorsports started out of necessity. If Nero had the knowledge of the platform and people were already asking him for coins, might as well sell him some to cover his operating costs.
Parts that were performance-oriented in nature—which for the most part were—were tested extensively. “Run on Sunday, sell on Monday” is a term coined long before Titan was in business, but it applies directly to business success.
Business growth and the growth of Titan’s drag racing program happened in parallel, and it wasn’t long before everyone knew who they were. If you wanted to build a fast Supra from proven results, it was hard to ignore Titan Motorsports.
The quarter-mile records broken in their wake didn’t hurt the company’s credibility on the street, either.
In 2002, just two years after the company started, Nero and his team sent their Supra over the quarter mile in 9.42 seconds at 157.6 mph (253.6 km/h). They achieved this by using street radials, a virtually unfathomable feat at the time. Titan also contributed to the efforts of Ebrahim Kanoo and Gary White to build a Supra capable of completing the quarter mile in the 5-second high zone at 240 mph.
A business that once fit in a standard garage has become an operation that occupies a 25,000 square foot facility. The expansion has not only been physical; Titan Motorsports has grown beyond the Supra and today dabbles in everything from imports to exotics.
Their new facility includes a manufacturing workshop, an R&D department and a few work bays. Whether you need lower ETs or just need your engine oil changed, they are well equipped for both.
The next chapter
So why the sudden admiration of Titan Motorsports? Well, even though the internet feigned disinterest in the GR Supra when it was released, it’s still a pretty capable car with good bones. Yes, the engine for the A90 was developed at the BMW factory, not at Toyota, but ultimately the B58 required proper private development.
Titan Motorsports could have stuck its head in the sand and stuck with the old trusty 2JZ, but how fun would that be? In a world where the MkIV and the MkV Supra exist, why not have both? Using their knowledge of turbo engines and drag racing, Titan was one of the first to bring a B58-powered GR Supra to an 8-second quarter mile.
With nearly a quarter century of race-specific development behind them for the GR platform, it might be a little scary to think about where Titan Motorsports is going to take these cars. In partnership with companies like FSCTitan has all the trail necessary to make the A90 Supra as fiercely competitive as its predecessor.
Can they do it? So far, all signs point to it, and we can’t wait to see how.
Photos by yaheem murph