At 3am my iPhone alarm went off but this early wake up had me getting up with a smile. After a hot shower, a quick breakfast and some caveman butter coffee I was making the long, but enthusiastic drive to Northern California (NorCal) to see the folks over at Sharkwerks.

Sharkwerks is one of the premier Porsche tuner shops in the world and I was taking my 2015 991 GT3 to their shop for some “Shark treatment”.

At 4am on the dot, my buddy and ace photographer James Law arrived at my place to hop in the car and join me on the ride to NorCal. This was the perfect time to not only beat the traffic here in LA but it also meant we could make the drive without having to worry about police officers on every corner.

James hadn’t been in my car yet as it was new so we spoke at length about the car and why I chose it. That eventually lead to conversation about enjoying life, positivity, relationships, love, change and culture (it’s a long drive). We were on a roll and got in some good jokes along the way.

While some had warned me about the boring drive along the I-5 North, I felt it was quite beautiful to see the plethora of cow farms and trees that lined up along the highway. The occasional rain and ominous looking clouds made for a beautiful backdrop.

After one spirited run along the highway, a CHP officer who was pulled over along the side of the road pointed furiously at us like a cartoon character. For some reason my immediate reaction was to just smile and wave so I did. Maybe we woke him, but either way, it was funny.

While we did rev the car nicely as we passed him, we stayed within the limits of posted speed signs. I swear, we really did. Like, double super serious pinky swear. After a couple of pit-stops and approximately 5 hours of driving we had finally made it to Sharkwerks in Fremont California.

Upon arrival, a very friendly James Hendry was there waiting to guide us into the shop. James owns and runs Sharkwerks along with Dan Kennedy and Alex Ross who were next to come into the garage and say hello. As James got started on the exhaust-bypass install for my car, Dan & Alex gave me a tour around the shop.

I was introduced to Joe Rogan’s gorgeous “GT3RS 3.9″ which was in the shop undergoing even more modifications and upgrades. In their pristine garage was two of their famous projects, the Sharkwerks 997 GT2 and the Sharkwerks 997 GT3RS.

Both have been featured on “Jay Leno’s Garage” and have been written about in various publications around the world. My eyes lit up when I saw the cars and I grilled Alex and Dan with questions about the “beasts”.

After the tour, some UFC talk and many laughs, Alex & Dan had a special treat for me. They asked me if I wanted to drive their GT2 and GT3RS. After I did my best to stay cool like it was “no big deal” they pulled the cars outside to warm them up.

I had my eyes set on the heavily modified, naturally aspirated 540hp GT3RS and drove that first. What an experience! The engine was angry, no, furious at the roads for thinking they were any kind of challenge. The response of the accelerator is immediate and gives you a turbo-esque takeoff with all of the glorious sounds of the naturally aspirated Metzger engine.

A few shifts on the manual had me get familiar with the car and relatively quickly I was eating up the twisties in the stunning Riviera Blue 911. Somehow Sharkwerks managed to make “THEE Porsche” even more Porsche.

This process didn’t come easy however and nor did it come cheap either. Countless hours and 7 engines later lead to the creation of the 4.1 and everything about it is spectacular. Not sure I’ll ever drive a more exciting car than that.

Sharkwerks wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble if they weren’t massive Porsche fanatics and wouldn’t have done all of this if they didn’t want to be the absolute best in their field. You just get the sense that they really approach this business as a passion first, an art form as a close second and a way to make money as third on their list of priorities.

The Sharkwerks GT2 is a collab of sorts with the design help of Porsche fanatic Magnus Walker. Typically Magnus only deals with the air cooled Porsches which have about 200hp or so. The GT2 has been modified by Sharkwerks to have around 800hp and launching that thing is definitely a little scary.

For a turbo it has a lovely sound that is evident from the first turn of the ignition. While it isn’t the ideal car to take around the Canyon road twisties, it is an exciting car that gets the blood moving on the straights of a highway. It’s an absolute rocket that had me nodding my head “yes” again and again. I did this because I now understood the “why” in the 800 horses and with the insane torque of the car, it was all I could do as it launched me down the road.

After a good lunch with the fellas at Sharkwerks, it was time to head back to LA and test out the new sounds of my car. The Sharkwerks exhaust-bypass was exactly what my ride needed and really unleashed the true sound of the flat-six DFI engine. I know because we revved it again and again all the way back to LA.

The evil sound of the engine is a perfect pairing with the sinsiter look of the jet black, matte gray & red colors of the car. Mission complete. 10 hours of driving in one day on public roads has never been sweeter. Big thank you to Alex, Dan and James at Sharkwerks for their hospitality and for doing what they do and thank you to James Law for snapping some great shots of this little adventure.