In the span of four years, the CSF Evo X has gone through a tremendous transformation. Purchased by CSF at the end of 2016, it went from a crashed Pirelli World Challenge car long forgotten and collecting dust at the back of GMG Racing, to being one of SEMA 2017’s stand-out builds. The media buzz circling the “World’s Best Evo X Ever Built” going into 2018 catapulted the car to three top magazine covers, numerous online features, and an episode on season two of Hoonigan’s Build Biology Series.
The momentum continued into 2019 as MotoIQ and CSF decided to transform the car into a serious and legitimate race car. A brief one event stint at Shift Sector in April 2019 (with Version 1.5 of the build) was fun, but was also enough to realize the true potential of this car, and how it could really excel. The team decided to focus the future of the car on being competitive in Unlimited Class of the Global Time Attack series. Serious fabrication and re-engineering of the car commenced in May 2019 with the goal to make it to last year’s GTA Finals in November 2019 (with Version 2.0).
An immense amount of time, effort, and resources from a handful of the best partners in the industry from Southern California made competing in this event a huge accomplishment for everyone involved in the build. Unfortunately, this day, the car suffered an engine fire caused from a fuel leak. With professional driver Michael Essa behind the wheel, the fire was put out in a timely manner – but still caused quite a lot of destruction.
With tens of thousands of dollars up in flames, this was extremely disheartening for everyone involved – we were unsure how to, or if we even should, move forward with rebuilding the car. But after about four months of it sitting, we decided to continue in full force with “Version 3.0” of the build to make the car better than ever before. No expenses spared, and no corners cut.
We enlisted the help of many of the previous build partners, including;
- Brian at Afterhours Composite Works to do major interior fabrication and rear aero
- The team at MotoIQ for the engine build, all new parts installation, assembly, project management, and continued efforts as leaders of the CSF race program
- LTMW for body and paint work
- Ryan at Rywire for expert re-wiring of the engine harness that had burnt down and new plumbing
- And more
Soon after the decision to move forward, the depressing vibe was gone – and the excitement was back. We reached out to some of our favorite industry media creators to cover the rebuild, so that we could share the highlights of the story with everyone.
- Documentary Style Videos by RJ at FrshMedia (IG: @frsh.media / @bred_x)
- Photography by Darrien (IG: @_crvn_)
Part 1: Back From the Ashes
Prior to part one of the series, the car had been at Afterhours Garage getting a new chassis mounted wing, fuel system with a “quick-fill” in the trunk, and tons of drivability upgrades to the interior – including an adjustable steering column, Tilton pedal box, adjustable brake bias knobs, modified dash pod, “Cool Suit,” fire suppression system, and more.
The journey begins at MotoIQ where Ravi, owner of CSF Race, goes over the car’s history and our plan to get the car back to being a competitive contender at Global Time Attack Finals 2020 on November 15th. The countdown is on…
Part 2: Fresh New Paint With LTMW
A brand new build deserves a whole new look. The CSF Evo X is back from fabrication and makes its way to LTMW for an exterior color change paint job and engine bay respray after the engine fire. We dive deep with LTMW owner, Long Tran, as he talks about the CSF Evo X, his close relationship with CSF, and what this car means to him. We get behind the scenes of prepping the car to get ready for paint and watch Long paint the car himself.
Part 3: Geeking Out With Mike From MotoIQ
With tons of parts burned, we’ve decided to replace or refresh everything under the hood. With the fresh paint job complete, the CSF Evo X heads back to MotoIQ where CSF Race owner, Ravi Dolwani, and Mike, of MotoIQ, go over the new parts from some of the best in the industry and geek out on some of the engine internals we’re using to build the 700whp 4B11T.
Part 4: The Rewire by Rywire
After building the engine in Part 3, the motor gets dropped back into the engine bay and things are starting to come together. We take the CSF Evo X over to Rywire Motorsports Electronics to finish off the wiring harness, plumbing, and calibrating of the fuel and electrical systems. After that, we head back to MotoIQ where driver, Micheal Essa, gets fitted in his new Sparco race seat and we have Version 3.0’s first ever startup.
Part 5: Going in on the Graphics
The CSF Evo X’s fresh new Ferrari Red paint color came in Part Two of our video series and, now that the rest of the car is complete, it’s time for the finishing touches at Rhino Films & Detailing before heading to the dyno and Buttonwillow Raceway for V3.0’s first shakedown.
Part 6: All Systems Go
In Part 6, with two weeks left before Global Time Attack Finals, the #CSFevoX makes its way to World Motorsports to get strapped onto their state-of-the-art wind tunnel dyno. Wayne Potts, head Syvecs tuner, flies in to SoCal from Texas to work alongside Jon from 5150 Racing to dial in the tuning before heading to Buttonwillow Raceway with the full crew, and Michael Essa behind the wheel, for our first track test day.
Part 7: A Racecar is Always a Show Car
With the 2020 SEMA Show cancelled due to the pandemic, Toyo Tires took their version of the SEMA experience to Downtown LA. This year, Toyo selected a dozen world debut builds from across the country to showcase in a virtual Toyo Treadpass. The CSF Evo X was honored to be a part of the first ever Treadpass3D, as the only “racecar” invited to be displayed. Featured on Toyo Proxes RS1 Slicks.
- Square Set-Up with 275/35R18 Toyo Tires Proxes RS1s
- Rotiform WGR 3-Piece Concave Forged Wheels (Front: 18″x11″+5 / Rear: 18″x11″-25)
- Chasing J’s Extended Open-Ended Cold Forged Titanium Lug Nuts
A quick pit stop before Global Time Attack Finals three days after Toyo Tires’ virtual Treadpass 3D experience. Check it out here.
Part 8: The Finale
It all comes down to this. Global Time Attack Finals took place on November 14th-16th at the world famous Buttonwillow Raceway. From last year’s engine fire, to complete tear-down and a full racecar transformation over the period of ten months – CSF Motorsports takes their #CSFevoX out to compete at the 2020 GTA Finals in the most competitive class, AWD Unlimited.
CSF brought the full crew;
- Mike, Martin, & Howard from MotoIQ crew-chief the car
- Wayne from ISC Tuning flies back in to work alongside Jon from 5150 Racing
- Brian Kono from Afterhours Composite Works also comes along to lend a key helping hand in the pits
- CSF team driver Michael Essa again comes along for the ride behind the wheel
This may be the end of the 2020 video series, but really the journey of the #CSFevoX is just getting started. Subscribe to our Youtube and other social media to get updates and follow along with further development and the 2021 race season.