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Track & Race Car
April 2007
Track & Race Car April 2007
Company Profile
SBD Motorsport
SBD Motorsport have earned themselves the reputation as one of the leaders in Vauxhall and Duratec tuning. Si Jones makes the short trip down the A3 to see what SBD are all about.
 
Started by Steve Broughton in 1992, SBD initially catered for the Vauxhall side of the market, before broadening their catalogue to include Duratec & Hayabusa kits. Prior to SBD, Steve was working for British Aerospace, with Rallying one of his hobbies. As he got more involved, he soon made the move from working on rally car engines in his spare time, to working on them to make a living. Since SBD's inception 15 years ago, they have become one of leading specialists in club Motorsport and track tuning circles. At first it was a struggle for Steve, but it wasn't too long before 'word of mouth' had weaved its magic and people began to utilise his skills more and more.
 
Track and Race Car April 2007 It's a team effort down at SBD though, and Steve is joined by long-term friend Dick Hulbert. It was Dick that provided the Rally car for Steve to tinker with at the very beginning, and Dick now races the SBD Duratec Westfield to 'apparently' keep Steve on his toes (The Westy is also a development tool for SBD). Carole Torkington and Kim Kingham buck the stereotypical view of women in places like SBD by handling all the tricky technical queries that customers throw at them, and they both race. Kim recently had a major shunt at Cadwell in the OMS, breaking both ankles, and when TRC pitched up to their premises she was showing us around on crutches. She'll be back in the forthcoming season through, racing alongside Steve. The OMS car utilises a popular outlet for SBD's kits in the shape of the Hayabusa bike engine. The same level of development of testing goes into the bike engine kits from SBD and invariably, the finished engines find their way into single seater sprint and hillclimb cars.
SBD originally made a name for itself in the world of Vauxhall tuning, and still cater for the wide range of people using XE and Ecotec lumps. The Vauxhall engine has a reputation for being in small number of production engines with a large built-in tolerance to tuning. The majority of the components are good for 250bhp, nice forged pistons come as standard, and the bottom end is nigh on indestructible. The rise of the Duratec engine was spotted early by SBD, and the wheels were soon set in motion so that the same level of expertise found in the XE kits, was available for the Duratec too. The plus points of the Duratec are there for all to see in terms of availability and price, but tuning is where it has made a name for itself, and SBD have been at the forefront. The Duratec kits (like the Vauxhall) are available in stages to suit both budget and power requirements. The first stage is the basic taper throttle kit that was developed around a standard Duratec engine, aside from rod bolts and new injectors. The end result was 203bhp and 173lbft, available for a touch over £2000. The subsequent stages deliver more power with the additions like new cams, Omega forged pistons and head works. The 2.0 kit can be seen in the SBD red Westy, that should be nudging 300bhp in the very near future, with the kit available soon after.

The brain behind the kits is the MBE management, of which SBD are the main distributors. Whether you choose an ECU, for a car or bike engine, the ECUs come with software already programmed, but can be adjusted later by the user. The MBE units are incredibly powerful units, something that often gets overlooked with other easy to map systems at the moment. These systems don't offer the features of MBE, but are often sold on the back of being easy to understand and map, but that's where the features stop. SBD have been heavily involved with the development of the ECUs, and Steve often finds himself out around the world mapping for race clients. The kit is reasonably priced and the SBD OMS car uses the 992 system from MBE, designed for the high rev demands of bike engines. As well as controlling fuel and ignition settings, new software has been developed for clutch-less changes and clever blipping, allowing you to concentrate on working fewer pedals.

The support for the MBE management from SBD is readily available, and on our visit Steve was guiding a customer over the phone. It's typical of the customer support you get from SBD, and it's refreshing to see guys like this around. Their website is another example of the up-front nature with the information they give out on tuning 'do's and don'ts'. They certainly won't be giving you hard sell, preferring to let the kits do the talking. There are also fitting guides for products and software available for downloading should you require it.

Given that SBD specialise in a limited number of engines, their work can be seen in a wide range of cars and disciplines. Caterfields are an always-popular segment for SBD, along with everything from Hot Rods to Rally cars. All the necessary parts to fit the kits into different applications be it front or rear wheel drive, is available from stock, meaning that lead times are kept to a minimum. SBD has a large following in the Retro Ford and Vauxhall scene too, given the popularity of the XE, and the torque happy Duratec (perfect for the Mk2 Escorts).

Being heavily involved in club racing pays dividends in a number of different ways. All of their development work is testing in race conditions. If something doesn't work one round, it gets refined for the next round & so on. The knock on effect is that week in week out testing filters down into every kit SBD sell, meaning that the customer can be sure they're getting race tested kits, suitable for racing or the often harsher demands of regular track days. Another benefit of club racing involvement is that all of their claims are on show for people to see, along with the results. The downside is that 'egg on face' potential is high, so SBD kits simply have to be good. Of course, getting to race frequently is a bonus that the whole team enjoy.

Track & Race Car April 2007
The guys are SBD have a great reputation in both club racing and road tuning and a visit to their premises shows why. The development work and testing sets them apart from the others, as does the support you get when buying into SBD's product range. Their ethos is refreshing in the this day and age, and with that mind, we can't recommend them enough.
 
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