We saw the JK and it looked good. That’s how we first ran across Road Race Motorsports and its 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. But what the heck was a shop that specialized in building sport compact and rally race cars and designing bolt-on upgrade parts for the same doing building a Jeep? After speaking with owner Rob Tallini and Johnny Rocha, director of 4x4 operations at Road Race Motorsports, we got our answer. The market was there and so was the crossover of its research and development. They built race cars that found the podium almost every time they spun the track, so why not apply all that knowledge to the ever-growing 4x4 market, particularly the JK?
Though the Road Race Motorsports team may have been building cars that rarely if ever saw dirt all of its years (2WD and 4WD rally cars aside), Rob and most of the crew would escape the sport compact scene many weekends a year hitting local trails in their 4x4s. Work is work, no matter what you do, and the Road Race team found ’wheeling and wrenching on their 4x4s was a great break from pavement racing. Aware that their use-and-abuse Jeeps weren’t the typical Road Race Motorsports poster children, they set out to build a brand-new 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon that would represent their brand to the fullest extent.
With its Dana 44s and factory lockers front and rear, as well as its NVG241OR Rock-Trac transfer case with 4:1 gearing, the Wrangler was already a capable ’wheeler. The Road Race crew set out to make it an even better one. The front axle was sleeved and gusseted and fit with Synergy ball joints and 4.88 gears while the rear received chromoly axleshafts and 4.88 gears. Both the front and rear was equipped with Road Race Motorsports’ JK Big Brake kit, which includes new slotted rotors that are 1-inch larger than stock. With the axles fortified, the crew moved to the 3.6L Pentastar V-6, installing its Stage 3 Power Pack, which includes a Road Race intake system, fuel calibrator, and an axle-back exhaust system.
With 37x13.50R17 Toyo Mud Terrain tires and 17x8.5 TrailReady HD World Series bead locks on the build sheet, the JK’s suspension had to be up to the task. The front received a Rock Krawler 2.5-inch mid-arm lift system and was paired with a set of Icon 2.5-inch remote reservoir shocks with custom valving. The rear was equipped with a 3.5-inch Rock Krawler mid-arm kit and also uses Icon remote reservoir shocks. Almost ready for action, the Road Race crew finished the build with a slew of quality armor from Poison Spyder Customs to ensure the JK could be ’wheeled without worry. Poison Spyder bumpers are installed front and rear as are Poison Spyder tube fenders with rocker guards at the sides. The underbelly of the JK is fully protected by Asfir 4x4’s aluminum skidplates that stretch nearly from stem to stern.
With its power, braking, and suspension upgrades, the Road Race Motorsports JK is part rally racer and the rest of it adds up to a stellar 4x4 that can be used for weekend ’wheeling or extended adventures and everything in between.
|Vehicle:||2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon|
|Owner/Hometown:||Road Race Motorsports/Santa Fe Springs, CA|
|Engine:||3.6L Pentastar V-6|
|Transfer case/low range ratio:||NVG241OR Rock-Trac/4:1|
|Ring and Pinion:||4.88|
|Front Differential:||Factory locker|
|Rear Differential:||Factory locker|
|Suspension:||Rock Krawler mid-arm system, Icon remote reservoir shocks|
|Tires:||37x13.50R17 Toyo MT|
|Wheels/Backspacing:||17x8.5 TrailReady HD World Series beadlocks/4 inches|