"I just wanted a nice, fun driver (2009 Ferrari F430 Scuderia) that made about 700 hp," explained Sriyantha Weerasuria. It sounds reasonable. Like wanting to exclusively date supermodels, or making Friday casual beer day, or never having to visit an in-law for the holidays—all totally reasonable requests. Underground Racing was there to answer the call.
While we joke, Weerasuria's request sounds far more reasonable if put into context. You see, he's the owner of Elite Motorsports in Austin, Texas, and has been modding cars since before most of us were born. So his collection of tuned vehicles leaves us drooling every time we think about it.
While surveying the fleet in his garage, he walks past a 700hp Mercedes SL65 and this Ferrari F430 Scuderia set up for the track. You'd think he'd get into his MP4-12C or the Aventador, but he might pass those to reach the 1,750-whp Underground Racing (UGR) Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 with the rare "R" package. But actually, Weerasuria passes them all and opens the door to his Ferrari F430 Scuderia twin-turbo.
"It's my favorite by far," he told us. "The Scud is raw. The shifts are violent, it sounds like an F1 car, and it's a lot more nimble. I love the handling. It's just the perfect package."
He claims it's even better than the Ferrari 458 Italia he once owned, but found it "too smooth" and lacked emotion.
When considering the options for his "700hp fun driver," Weerasuria test-drove an Ferrari F430 enhanced with a Novitec twin-supercharger system, but apparently wasn't impressed. "They make 720 hp to the engine, but UGR makes 700 at the wheels and sounds much better," he told us.
So he shipped his '09 Scuderia to Underground Racing in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the company's stage 1 twin-turbo system. Noted for its work on Gallardos, such as Weerasuria's aforementioned 1,750-whp weapon, Underground Racing branched out and started modifying the Audi R8 (which shares much of the Gallardo's DNA) before eventually turning to Ferraris. We assume this is because the Ferrari guys were tired of being beaten by Lamborghinis at high-speed shootouts like the Texas Mile or shorter half-mile events.
Underground Racing doesn't adhere to the tenant that Ferraris are too precious or complex to be modified. In addition to Ferrari F430s, they also offer packages for the 360, 599, and 458. For Weerasuria's Scuderia, they kept the internals stock and left the 11.9:1 compression ratio unchanged. As a result, the owner ensured the low-end power and torque didn't suffer. But once the turbos kick in, "it pulls like an 800ci big-block!"
The kit uses a pair of billet 67 turbos from Precision Turbo. These cram more air into the 4.3L V8's chambers, while the intake air temperature is lowered by the Underground Racing water-to-air intercoolers and larger injectors. In fact, it has an upgraded fuel system and MoTeC 800 ECU to meter more fuel.
Tial wastegates and blow-off valves keep the pressures precise, and what doesn't flow into the chambers, flows out through 3.50-inch tubes and Burns mufflers. Peak boost on 93-octane is a "safe" 6 psi for 700 whp, or 900 whp on C16 race gas at 9 psi.
To sharpen the handling, the car was lowered on the stock coilovers and optimized through corner balancing.
In place of the stock wheels is a set of 20-inch HRE P47s, with Michelin Super Sport tires keeping it glued to terra firma. The axles and other driveline components were deemed sufficient and remain untouched.
His Underground Racing Ferrari F430 wears the license plate "TTSCUD," and if you were to see it take off under full throttle, you'd think it was powered by the same rocket engines in the Gulf War missiles of the same name. Those Scuds, however, were known for not going where they were aimed, something Weerasuria had a taste of when he put C16 in the tank. "I had race fuel in it once, but at 900 whp, it was just too much. It would spin the tires in Fourth and Fifth. It was crazy, but it was enormous fun!"
Billet Precision turbo nestled under the intercooler.
Custom exhaust has a distinct F1 sound. Sat on 20: HRE wheels and lowered on its stock coilovers, the mild mods don’t hint at the 430 Scuderia’s 700hp biturbo potential.
Custom exhaust has a distinct F1 sound. Sat on 20: HRE wheels and lowered on its stock coi
Reservoir holds water for the air-to-water intercoolers.
2009 Ferrari F430 Scuderia
4.3L V8 with Underground Racing stage 1 twin-turbo system using billet Precision 67 turbochargers, water-to-air intercoolers, Tial wastegates and blow-off valves, larger injectors, upgraded fuel system and MoTeC 800 ECU, 3.5" exhaust tubing, Burns mufflers
Stock six-speed auto/semi-auto
Stock 15.6" drilled, carbon-ceramic rotors f, 13.7" r
Stock coilovers, lowered and corner balanced
Wheels & Tires
20x9" f 20x12" r HRE P47 wheels, 245/30 R20 f, 325/25 R20 r Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires
Motec four-position boost controller