Not too long ago crankandpiston was grabbing a quick chat with the guys at Alpha Logic, discussing this, waxing lyrical on that and trying very hard not to trip over – or get in the way of – everything else.
Every so often though as I spoke with Alpha Logic owner Ali Albeshir and Hally Auto Spare Parts owner Sukhbir Singh Sabharwai, something would flick past my field of vision. The garage was awash with activity true, but one blur in particular continued darting from corner to corner, from engine bay to dyno and back again, and rarely stayed in the same place for long.
The ‘blur’ in question is Sharif Abdelbaset, whose name the tuning elite amongst you may already be familiar with. He is the Owner, General Manager and chief tuner of Forged Performance, the Northern Carolina-based tuning specialist whose expansion has been pretty remarkable since it was first established in 2004. Back then there was a solitary tuner in a loan workshop. Now there’s an army of 15 concentrating on Nissans, Mitsubishis, Subarus and Porsches in a property covering 6000 square feet. With eight years of tuning experience already under his belt before the doors to Forged Performance blew open, Sharif’s experience and enthusiasm has carried him a long way.
So far in fact that on this day Sharif is in Dubai to help with the influx of trade at Alpha Logic. Despite the twelve-hour flight (each way), this is just a brief hiatus away from his American responsibilities, three or four days tops. And while that may detract even the best of us, it’s nothing new to Sharif, whom I’ve finally managed to collar thank to a Dukes of Hazard-esque slide across several car bonnets.
“I’ve been here around ten times now since early last year,” says Sharif. “For years Ali [Albeshir] was one of Forged Performance’s biggest customers, so when he opened his own shop in Dubai I started flying over once every couple of months to help out. Usually this meant between ten and fifteen Nissan GTRs for me to tune!”
And just the GTR. Sharif assures me he’s well-versed to working with pretty much every performance machine but that Nissan’s beefy bruiser has gradually become his specialty, a forte that arose almost by accident.
“Probably 70% of our focus at is on the GTR,” Sharif explains. “We kind of let the market dictate what we focus on and it’s been GTR madness since 2008. As luck would have it, we were one of the first shops to buy a GTR and start initial testing and parts development, so we’ve been working on the cars longer than pretty much anyone in the United States!’