Sidewinder Duramax Type-R
Since Banks is a proponent of the "clean diesel" theory, which is to say that a diesel engine should be efficient and powerful without spewing soot into the air, he decided to field two different race trucks to prove the point. The first is the Sidewinder Type-R, which stands for Road Race, a sliver of the racing world that is usually dominated by sports cars. Gale wanted to build a race truck centered on a highly modified Duramax engine to exploit the inherent durability of the diesel engine and its awesome torque output with the Banks touch. Everything about the truck is custom and race-bred, but the technology and data acquired on the race track always makes its way onto the street via Banks Engineering. That means that what Banks has learned about hot-rodding the Duramax in the Type-R will eventually make its way into consumer-level products.

The heart of the Type-R is a modified Duramax block that Banks outfitted with a dry-sump oiling system with 16 quarts of capacity, which is necessary for high-rpm oil control. The block is stuffed with a custom-lightened and cryogenically stress-relieved crankshaft. The bore size is a secret and so is the displacement, but Banks did say the pistons are forged, and the compression ratio is 14.5:1. The engine is further strengthened with shorter-than-stock roller lifters, and output is enhanced with a ported intake manifold and oversized valves in the heads, designed to increase flow.

The turbo system relies not on stock GM spec parts, but Honeywell/Garrett turbos mounted on Banks manifolds and plumbed with custom stainless steel tubing. Banks wastegates keep the pressure on lock, and custom twin intercoolers cool the air from the hairdryers. To fuel the beast within, Bosch common-rail fuel injection is employed, drawing from a single CP3.4 fuel pump and controlled by a Bosch EDC16 ECU. All told, the Type-R engine produces 650 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque without covering trucks behind it in black smoke.

To harness the incredible torque, Banks had to abandon conventional gear-shifting devices and contract Weissmann to build the ultimate six-speed manual gearbox. The stick shift features beefed-up internals and an internal oil pump with external cooler to increase its longevity at wide-open throttle. The torque is transferred to a Speedway Engineering Track-Nine Ford-style rear housing with floating hubs. The rear end also features an internal oil pump and external oil cooler, just like the tranny.

This truck handles like a sports car on steroids, thanks to a tubular chassis and coilover front and rear suspensions. Koni Mark II shocks and Eibach springs keep road surface imperfections in check, while a three-link locates the rearend and unequal-length A-arms locate the front hubs. Banks relies on high-end Wilwood brakes to bring the party to a halt in the corners. The Endmass STR system features 13-inch discs with enhanced cooling veins, and the body also features cooling ducts that funnel fresh air to all four corners of the suspension.

The body of the Type-R should look familiar because it is modeled after a GMC Sierra pickup. Banks designed the custom carbon-fiber body panels in-house. The company also crafted the aero wing and a full pan to seal off the bottom of the chassis from the ground and improve aerodynamics. At press time, Banks was gearing up to begin testing the Type-R for the upcoming road-racing season.