JFC Racing has been bringing its Wolf chassis to Thunderhill for a couple of years now, and it’s usually one of the fastest ESR cars on the track. Last year the car was equipped with a Honda K20 engine, which was good for 240 horsepower and a fast lap of 1:41.819. But the engine didn’t make it through the night after spiking oil pressures necessitated an engine swap.
For 2016, JFC Racing upped the ante by fitting the car with a Hartley V8. At 2.8 liters, the Hartley V8 dyno-tested at 430 horsepower with “conservative” camshafts. Splayed at 90 degrees, the Hartley V8 block is machined from one piece of billet and topped with cylinder heads from a 1340 cc Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engine.
The Hartley V8 uses gobs of trick pieces, such as a flat-plane crankshaft, billet Carrillo rods, a three-stage dry-sump oiling system with a water pump attached and driven by the same belt, a coolant cavity between the cylinder banks, and cam drives on either end of the engine. If you’re an engine geek, Google “Hartley V8” and start drooling.
“JFC has always been interested in the V8 engine and when they contacted me again I’d already had the V8 about 90 percent completed, and we started talking about working on a relationship to bring this new engine to the racing market,” said John Hartley of Hartley Enterprises in Pewaukee, Wisc. “So, it started with an order. We built a prototype together. We built the prototype and shipped it to George Dean who built it up as a complete engine and we began testing about March 2016.”
George Dean Racing Engines assembled the Hartley V8 for JFC Racing’s 2016 effort and unlike last year, the team started and finished the race with the same engine, with lap times in the 1:38s. Dean, who has been building motorcycle-based racing engines for 40 years, is the sole constructor for the engine, which can be enlarged to 3.0-liters.
“The JFC guys want to put this thing into production and make them available to other racers or guys who are building kit cars, track-day cars or whatever,” Dean said. “We think it’s an awesome package. The 3.0-liter produces 460 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque in an engine that I can actually pick up. It weighs just a little over 200 pounds.”
That’s a lot of power for a small package. What’s even cooler is that the engine itself was developed to handle twin turbochargers —— and make even more power.