Global Time Attack at Road Atlanta

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Road Atlanta and Global Time Attack are a match made in heaven. If you combine a 2.54 mile road course that rolls through the green hills of Georgia with an open rule set where maximum speed and minimum lap times are all that matters, you’re bound to have an incredible event.

Thanks to GTA series sponsors like Continental Tire, Whiteline Suspension, Garrett Turbo, Spec Clutch and Meister Watches, the battle for Road Atlanta certainly did not disappoint, with new competitors in the mix, newly set fastest lap records, and even big crashes!

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

From the perspective of Professional Awesome Racing, Road Atlanta was a shakedown and tuneup for the heavily revised 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII. Gone were the Active Center Differential and Super Active Yaw Control rear differential, replaced with mechanical differentials front, center and rear.

Having switched from Street Tire to Limited class at the Global Time Attack finale in November 2012, it was also a time to learn the nuances of driving differences of the Hankook Ventus TD in comparison to the Ventus RS-3.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Unfortunately, Day 1 proved to be a challenge from start to finish. Chasing issues of excessive oil consumption, the car would not run consistently enough to put together one flying lap. Having a never-say-die attitude, team members Grant Davis, Mike Lewin and Jordan Gilsinger embarked on a parts search throughout the greater Atlanta area, devising a solution that proved to work extremely well by the end of the day.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Tony Szirka Unlimited Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Jason Dienhart Kyle Lewis

With the problem solved, the crew proceeded to help fellow competitor, Tony Szirka, replace a transmission in his Unlimited Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Tony Szirka Unlimited Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Jason Dienhart

Szirka and Professional Awesome have a long history of working together under the most adverse circumstances to fix record breaking cars at the last possible moment!

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

A threat of rain was in the forecast for the second day of competition, but feeling confident that all major issues had been addressed, Professional Awesome hit the track hard looking to gain lost time from the previous day.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

The car performed flawlessly in the first sessions of the day, and I with became even more comfortable with the vehicle changes as the day progressed. Minor tire pressure and alignment changes were all that was needed to maximize grip and to dial in the balance for optimal performance, though a new issue had peaked its head.

The car was running perfectly, but low on boost at only 22psi. The car had already set the new limited record with a time of 1:31.717, but quick adjustments were made to the tune to see if more power could be coaxed from the Evolution. Based on the previous year’s data, the team believed a 1:29.xxx  lap was possible and expectations were high for the fifth session.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 Evo7 CRASH Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart Kyle Lewis

The fifth session proved to be the final session of our 2001 Evolution’s life.

Following another 1:31 second lap, I entered turn 1 and lost control of the car after an outside tire dipped into the Georgia clay. A hard crash ensued, but luckily I walked away with only minor bruising and a good headache.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Following the crash, the final session ran and everyone prepared for the awards ceremony.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

At the podium ceremony, champagne was sprayed, big checks collected and fast lap Meister watches given to competitors.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

Much to the surprise of Professional Awesome, new Limited Front Wheel Drive record holder Doug Wind (left) gave his event winnings to the team to help the rebuilding process and Tony Szirka (right) followed suit, also donating his winnings.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

It was an incredible ending to an incredible event which saw competitors from the West Coast, East Coast and everywhere in-between.

New lap records were set in Street Rear Wheel Drive, Front Wheel Drive, Limited All Wheel Drive and Limited Front Wheel Drive which will give new goals for 2014 competitors to strive for.

Global Time Attack Road Atlanta GTA Professional Awesome Racing Dan O'Donnell Jason Dienhart

At the end of the day, it was amazing to see how tightly knit the time attack community is, helping out fellow competitors from start to finish! We look forward to seeing what will happen in November at the Global Time Attack Finale in Central California’s Buttonwillow Raceway on November 15, 2013.

MotorMavens has thousands more photos from GTA Road Atlanta! Stay tuned to MotorMavens for the next GTA photo update!

:: Dan O’Donnell

THE NORWEGIAN’S HAMMER, UNVEILED

Can you believe it’s already April again? While I associate April first with my Speedhunters anniversary, for drift fans it means something much more exciting – the official start to the Formula D season. Long Beach is round one on the calendar and brings with it many highly anticipated build debuts. Today we’ll take a look at what the boys at Papadakis Racing have been doing in the offseason to prepare our very own Fredric Aasbø’s chariot for battle.

Since the Scion tC was first built the team has spent a lot of time developing its potential, and when they finished the 2012 season they had a pretty competitive machine on their hands. That said, much of the platform remains the same as did for the last season, but there are definitely some changes that have taken place since I last saw the car at Irwindale back in October.

Some of the improvements – like the new 2014-model facelift –  jump out at first site, while others take a more trained eye to spot.

In fact, even Fred’s helmet will be undergoing a full refresh. For the time being though, he’ll be sporting a Speedhunters-sticker-sheet-on-bare-carbon scheme. Not a bad look if I do say so myself.

As cool as the new lid is, it pales in comparison when you take in the new front end of the car. There was always something about the car that just didn’t seem quite right to me, but I think that the update has improved its appearance ten-fold. At the very least, it’s gone up a few clicks in the ‘menacing looks’ stakes.

But although drifting is a motorsport that’s partially judged on style, a drift car has to do a lot more than simply look good. Knowing that, there’s a lot more that has gone on underneath the surface to ensure Fred has a fighting chance at the title this season.

The livery remains largely the same as it did in 2012, with the trippy asymmetrical highlighter orange graphics you all know and love.

The low-key wheel and tire package utilizing massive Motegi Traklite wheels wrapped in Hankook’s very popular Ventus R-S3 rubber, is unchanged too. The tried and true Wilwood brake system has also been left in place.

So what exactly has been changed? Well, we’ll get to that in a minute, after taking one more gratuitous look at that badass front end. I think that saying this is a 100 percent improvement might be an understatement…

Anyway, inside the cabin we can begin to spot a few changes, starting with Takata Race LE seats, which are a new addition to the harness belt maker’s catalog for 2013.

The Race LE’s come wrapped with a pretty cool mesh fabric that’s different than almost every other racing bucket I’ve seen. They’re also HANS-compatible which is a good thing since Fredric was telling me he’s thinking about running such a device this season. I’m definitely interested to hear his thoughts on these after a few rounds.

In any form of motorsport it’s important to make sure that you first have a safe car, then worry about making it competitive. Obviously the main pillar of safety in a Formula D car is the roll cage, in this case one custom-built by Rob Miller Race Cars – a legendary fabricator in the world of drag racing. And yes, that pink bottle in the background is indeed nitrous, but we’ll get to that later…

The four-speed G-Force GSR gearbox used in the car might have been designed for circle track duty, but if you think about the speeds and demands of drifting, this type of transmission makes perfect sense. Because corners are taken at relatively similar pace to racing there isn’t a need for a full set of conventional gears, and that makes the transmission both lighter and stronger, and therefore well-suited to the application.

Other than that, the cockpit is pretty straightforward. Everything you would imagine needing in an all-out-drift-run is there, and anything not needed in that minute or so of fury is removed. I’m really digging the industrial looking handle on the e-brake!

In the rare circumstance that Fredric suffers from a case of amnesia, there’s this message on the startup screen to remind him exactly what he does for a living. That, or it’s yet another The Fast and the Furious reference, but either way, I like it.

As cool as the rest of the car might be, I think the real magic is in what lies under the hood. Many of you will remember that prior to this build Stephan Papadakis and his team had built another RWD drift monster tC for Tanner Foust. In that instance the team decided to tap power from Toyota’s NASCAR program and installed a massive race-prepped V8. While that engine proved very successful, they decided to take another route this time around.

For 2013 the tC’s factory-spec 2AR-FE is the base, albeit stretched in capacity and re-oriented 180 degrees to align it in a more RWD-friendly longitudinal layout. While there is unquestionably a fair amount of fabrication work done to fit the engine in its new location, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in making the car competitive.

On paper the numbers don’t lie: over 800 wheel horsepower and 700 wheel torque – and that’s without firing up the nitrous system. Clearly a lot of that can be attributed to the star of the show – a massive BorgWarner EFR turbo. For those of you unfamiliar with the EFR line, take a few minutes and Google it. Having one of the world’s most technologically advanced turbos bolted to the engine is certainly a great start, but it’s the supporting team and the minor details that bring the package together, and ultimately make reliable power.

Shockingly, many of the engine’s internals remain standard items. Some pieces, like the camshafts, have been made slightly more aggressive, while other factory components have been borrowed from Toyota siblings like the 2.7L crank out of a Highlander. Once you take that foundation and massage it in all the right places like head work, Supertech valvetrain, JE forged pistions and an Infinity programmable engine management system from AEM, you’re ready to make some serious numbers.

For most tuning shops this type of performance seems borderline unfathomable, but if you grew up like me you’ll know that Steph was a world-record holding drag racer in the late ’90s. Nothing he does surprises me these days. To put it lightly, the dude is a legend who is relentlessly looking for gains, which is probably why they made another breakthrough in this year’s build that can be seen by following these inconspicuous looking water lines…

Or the massive new openings in the quarter-windows…

…which both hint at a new rear-mounted radiator setup. The advantages of having a radiator in the back are at least three-fold and I believe we’ve discussed them at length in the past. However if you missed those discussions here are a few benefits: you shift some of the weight to the back of the car which can improve balance; you take one of the most delicate and critical components and put it in a better-protected area; and it frees up more space in the front for a larger intercooler or more creative routing of other components.

I think it goes without saying that reassigning a drivetrain configuration requires a lot of miscellaneous custom fabrication, and a lot of that hard work can be seen in the suspension. At the front of the car Papadakis has utilized an S14 strut and in doing so had to create custom knuckles, steering linkages and lower control arms…

…which have pretty trick provisions to allow the use of a top-mounted hollow sway bar. I presume that due to the new engine configuration either part of the oil sump and/or gearbox now reside where the standard bar would go, so moving it to the top was about the only solution – and an ingenious one at that.

I was joking with Fredric at the time of the shoot that I knew shockingly-little about the car before. The sad fact of the matter is that during the course of a drift weekend everyone is very busy. The crew is feverishly preparing the car and as journalists we’re running around frantically trying not to miss ‘the shot’. Therefore, opportunities to sit, examine and really appreciate a car’s intricacies are scarce.

As much as I had enjoyed giving the car a good once over I could tell that Fredric was eager to get back behind the wheel and start shaking down his freshly sharpened blade.

The car was transported back to the pits briefly and the team spent a few minutes going through fuel maps before Fred was finally cut loose and left to do his thing.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been shocked, but within seconds Aasbø was back to his old self and tearing up the makeshift Long Beach test course that he and Ken Gushi laid out over Irwindale’s tarmac.

Yes, he did indeed “smokeum”…

For fear of jinxing anything, I won’t say too much more than you have to rate the team’s chances this year. When you have a hungry driver with his head on straight, a very sharp crew chief and a team of eager guys backing up the car only good things can come. On behalf of all the Speedhunters, I wish Fredric, Stephan and the rest of the team the best of luck. See you guys in Long Beach!

Sean Klingelhoefer
Instagram: seanklingelhoefer

Additional photos by Larry Chen

2014 Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC built by Papadakis Racing

Numbers:
800+whp, 700+lb-ft
Engine:
Toyota 2AR-FE, 2.7L inline-four, 10.5:1 JE pistons; Supertech valvetrain, Portflow ported cylinder head, AEM Infinity EMS, Universal fuel rail, 25-201 fuel filter, BorgWarner EFR8374 turbocharger, dual 38mm TiAL MV-S wastegates, Injector Dynamics 2000cc injectors, Torco oil
Driveline:
G-Force GSR 4-speed dog box, ACT 3-puck clutch & flywheel, Driveshaft Shop driveshafts, TRD LSD, Torco fluids
Suspension/Brakes:
RS-R coilover suspension, custom front &rear geometry and sway bars, SPC adjustable links, Wilwood brakes, Rob Miller Race Cars custom Formula D-spec roll cage
Wheels/Tires:
Motegi Traklite wheels – 17×8.0J (f) 18×10.0J (r),  Hankook R-S3 tires – 225/45R17 (f) 265-40R18 (r)
Exterior:
Custom widebody kit by Seibon including carbon fiber doors, hood, trunk, bumpers & over fenders
Interior:
Takata Race LE seats, Takata harnesses, AEM serial & UEGO gauges, AiM Sports digital dash

 

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COUPE DE THRILL: A TURBO WITH A HONDA FITTED TO IT

It’s not often I get stopped in my tracks. I’ve been a lucky boy over the years and have seen a lot of different things around the globe. I’m not jaded or tired of it, no, but usually I can take in the details with relative calm. Not today though. What you see above is the very first picture from the very first moment that I saw Phil Penny’s Honda S600 coupé. I actually uttered the words ‘Oh man…’ as I raised the camera up to my eye. As natural reactions go, I’m pretty happy with that. At least I can type it here.

I am a massive fan of obscure vehicles with what appear to be random modifications. When I first saw the four-rotor Lexus that Brad shot recently I got the same feeling. I boldy said that it might end up being my car of the year – words with weight considering it was only January. Now here I am in February, at Willowbank Raceway just west of Brisbane and this little Honda has just stolen that title. If this is an omen of things to come, it’s going to be the best Summer.

Because yes, that turbo sucked me in from a hundred feet away. Just look at it. In fact, I dare you to try anything else. I don’t care if you think the air flow from the bonnet edge causes disturbance problems or it’s aerodynamically flawed. Just look at that sucker. It’s so offensively large, so seemingly out of place with its home, as though the Honda coupé has been attacked by an alien lifeform that’s clamped on and is burrowing its way under the metal skin.

With the small bonnet removed by releasing these exquisitely simple, old school clips…

…it all makes sense. I genuinely didn’t know what to expect. Maybe an SR? But surely the capacity couldn’t need such a large turbo. Could it be a blown F20 Honda engine? The trouble is with such an off-the-wall build, you can’t predict anything. So when I first saw the Toyota 2J, inline-six I laughed with joy. I’m not sure where you cross the line between necessary and overkill, but just one cylinder from this engine is nearly equal to the entire original capacity of 600cc. Oh and it runs on methanol. This thing just gets better by the second.

In fact I do know where you cross the line: it’s when you go drag racing. I don’t know a racer who has ever had enough power – they always seem to need more, so if you’re going to fit a turbo, fit a really big one. And if you’re thinking lag, think again. Phil specified the Billet turbo with a .96 air ratio, meaning it can spool up far quicker than you’d expect looking at the size of it. Trust me, I’ve seen it go from idle to Defcon-scream in a second or two – hardly a long wait when you’re sat on a dragstrip start line. Remember, this is no circuit racer.

In total there are three Turbosmart wastegates taking care of the boost, their high-end quality matching Phil’s immaculate build ethos. He’s a big fan. The detail is seriously impressive everywhere you look on the engine, but there are just so many questions I have about the whole car as I look at it.

Phil tells me he’s been a fan of the baby Honda since he found one years back. The fact he also loves the lines is undeniable too, which is another thing I noticed as I took a look around. There are some really well thought-out angles and details here.

He’s kept the standard body trim all over, as it’s not like he has to worry about weight saving with the 2J up front. Power? Not a problem my friend.

So let’s get to the figures. All up the Honda weighs 1,000kg. For a start look how small it is compared to that Dodge Ram. Unreal! There are 12 1,500cc methanol injectors feeding the Toyota engine and Phil is running it at 28psi today, which equates to roughly 870bhp at the wheels, but he has the ability to wind the boost up to 35psi and more.

The engine was put together by a very gifted builder named Dave Stevens, whose work has been used to great effect by a number of the fastest space-framed import drag cars in Australasia. In its current guise it can generate 1,650bhp… Yup, the surface hasn’t even been scratched yet. If Phil fancied, with another rail of six injectors fitted the engine has been built to generate and handle 2,000bhp. No messing around: Phil figured he’d do things right the first time. Although he grins and tells me somebody else can try it with that much power.

Another reason Phil loves the S600 is that it comes with a separate chassis and body, lending itself to such wild modification, and with the motor mounted as far back as possible in the tiny 79-inch wheelbase it’s almost mid-engined. His self-proclaimed fascination with boost means drag racing gives him the purest platform to explore the potential it gives him.

Obviously he’s put a lot more strength into the frame now, with the cage…

…and driver safety cell. Just like the gorgeous standard external chrome, Phil has kept the full interior trim too, although that Kirkey alloy seat is anything but standard.

Because when this thing spools up, things get serious pretty quickly and you’d want to know you’re strapped in safe, right?

The fury that emanates from the tiny racer is crazy. The noise and sight of it make me smile and retreat at the same time, all the while taking pictures like a grinning loon.

I turn to a nearby photographer as Phil reverses back to the start-line after another smoky burnout. Smiling manically I nod and he just looks back at me with a deadpan face. Man, I hope I never get that jaded. I don’t care if this is your ‘thing’ or not – he should probably check his pulse.

Along with minimal lag, the other surprising skill the Honda has is its ability to leave the line straight and true. After the drama of first seeing it and the explosion of power in the burnout, I kind of expected it to point both front wheels somewhere in the sky and fire off the line sideways, spitting fire whilst playing this through speakers that could equal a sonic boom.

But just as you’d want it if you were in the driver’s seat, there’s no drama: it just squats on the single rear wheelie bar and goes.

Proper goes… This run was a personal best for Phil, but he insists it’s still early days with somewhere around six to seven passes under the wheels so far. He has some interesting data from this run thanks to the Racepack iQ3 dash unit: in first and second gear he’s pulling 3.5G until roughly half-track, with a time to the 60-foot mark of 1.3 seconds and 5.6 seconds and 130mph at half-track.

When Brad put up a picture of the Honda in his Jamboree 22 coverage, (which is kind of odd, as today I’ve been stood where Brad was last year) there were a lot of comments about the turbo position and how Phil could physically see around it, so asking permission I climbed into the hot seat to see for myself. This is that view: so yeah, pretty distracting… But what a place to be sat. It feels as if you’re connected to the turbo itself, Phil saying of the position that he figured instead of having it poke through the bonnet, this way he didn’t have to lift it to show people.

Everything has been so well packaged inside, Phil saying that the original S600 transmission had two chain drives for the rear wheels, so although there are now dedicated tubs in place to deal with what the C4 auto hands out, the original 14-inch wide items were actually ideal for his early wheel and tyre upgrade plans. It’s almost as if this thing wanted to go fast right from the outset.

Now, an 8.65-second run is quick – quicker than quick in fact, and it’s all too often that we take things for granted. The work Phil has put in to get here is immense. The Honda was his daily driver for nine years – it then ran a blown Fiat twin-cam motor.

But he’s nowhere near stopping yet.We’ve hinted at the potential of the coupé, and as Phil says: “My goal is to run in the low seven seconds at 185-plus mph. It’s a reality; the power is there… It’s still very early days”. Splitting his time between drag racing, building a twin-turbo Porsche 930 and surfing, Phil has got plenty of plans and we’ll be seeing him again for sure.

No matter which way you sway, you can believe in Phil Penny and his ability to entertain, enthrall and make things happen. The man’s a legend in my book.  This is not the end, this is just the beginning.

 

Bryn Musselwhite

 

Engine

3.2 stroker 2J inline six, resin-filled to core plugs, GRP aluminium rods, Arias ceramic/thermal coated pistons, piston pins 22mm and 8mm thick, factory 3ltr crank offset ground, hardened steel main caps, ARP stud kit, line bored, ATi balancer, 3mm Chromoly flex plate, Dave Stevens modified standard oil pump,  2JZ turbo head, flowed, Ferrara valves, titanium retainers, collets and springs, Sure Cams (NSW) with Dave Stevens grind, head machined for lobe clearance, L19 head studs, Titan front pulley wheels, Hypertune manifold (Sydney), twin fuel rails, 12x1500cc methanol injectors, 102mm throttle body, Engle 110 mechanical fuel pump, custom high rise inlet manifold, 60mm Turbosmart wastegate off the manifold plus another from the turbine housing, Billet Turbo (Gold Coast) 88mm front, 94mm rear, rear housing .96 Air ratio, 5in/120mm dump pipe, turbo to intercooler is four inches, turbine, manifold, exhaust is coated by competition coatings in Brisbane ceramic chrome, PWR water to air intercooler, runs 18 litre water and ice tank inside the car which is pumped through with -16 lines, PWR radiator, Haltech Sport 2000 ECU, PRO 16 M&W CDi box, Racepack data iQ3 dash including GPS! measures G-force, Haltech exhaust gas temp sensors, factory coil packs, factory timing belt and factory turbo multi-layered head gasket, Eboost 2 race control

Transmission

Ford C4 automatic box, Als Raceglide (NSW), custom-built 1350 series shaft, Ford nine-inch, Strange 33 spline shafts and spool, Mark Williams nine-inch alloy carrier

Suspension

Torsion bar front, Koni adjustable shocks, rear four link, panhard rod, Strange coilovers, adjustable rebound and compression, single wheelie bar with single shock

Brakes

Wilwood four-pot callipers, 260mm vented disc, AP two pot rear callipers, 1999 BTCC Mondeo (Paul Radisich) discs and bells, Wilwood twin circuit master cylinder, bias to rear wheels

Wheels & Tyres

E45 polished Simmons,  10x15in, 4x15in, 22inx15, 28×11.5×15 Mickey Thompson ET.

Bodywork

1965 Honda S600, stainless flutes in front guards, five-inch fuel cap on passenger side wing, rear wing, parachute, aero on rear window, stretched rear arch aperture, bumpers and grille original, voodoo metallic blue

Interior

Kirkey aluminium seats, ERG five-point harness, OMP steering wheel

Standard door trims, factory dash, carbon fibre fascia housing Racepack dash, firewall and tunnel 3mm steel, 1in 5/8 Chromoly cage, strengthened standard box chassis

Thanks

Dave Stevens for the most awesomest engine, Turbosmart for their support with their excellent products, Phil Laird (he’s the tuner, an excellent guy),  Christian my son… All the guys that help.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 – Bloodred Livery

Woe unto thee, the youth of Japan. It’s a known revelation that the Generation Z of Japan has little or no interest in automobile tuning, let alone feel the slightest need to acquire a driver license these days. This is coming from the country that endowed upon the world the almightiest Japanese renaissance supercar, the iconic Nissan Skyline GT-R. In current times, the last model of the Skyline GT-R series—the BNR34—is becoming increasingly affordable to the average consumer, particularly in the land of its origin. For us, it is also a cruel reality that none of the Skyline GT-Rs were ever made available as a North American production model vehicle. Sure, a handful of these sought after machines managed to skip the Pacific to the American soil, but the importation methods that were utilized remain ever so questionable. Both lawfully and illegitimately, a few entities have challenged this overseas importation through various means but have inadvertently managed to create this seminal of controversy involving the DOT, EPA, and the Feds.

Regardless of the situation in the United States, the Japanese unquestionably have it easy when it comes to owning one of these automobiles. All they have to do is simply purchase and register—without any hassles like going through loads of paperwork, searching for regulatory loopholes, or buying one for close to $100K. But what about the R35? This one finally became available for purchase at any local Nissan dealer in the United States but failed to continue the RB26DETT legacy. In the realm of the enthusiast mindset, R34 and R35 are two completely different vehicles. In fact, the R35 lost its hierarchical inheritance when it was stripped of its Skyline badge and loaded with overcomplicated electronic gadgetry and chain-driven camshafts. The great R34 GT-R was known to excel in all forms of driving, even grocery getting whilst spitting out that distinct enraged sound that only a force-fed, cast-iron inline-six engine can produce.

For Sun Line Racing in Okayama Japan, the R34 represents the philosophy that an affordable and extremely capable machine doesn’t have to be high maintenance or a dust-covered garage queen. But every vehicle Sun Line touches doesn’t really turn to gold; instead, a definitive bloodred color that serves as the livery of the company’s tuning aptitude. With the only exception being the full dry carbon R34 that was built recently, this blood red is a trademark warning sign to the other vehicle tuners out there to get out of the way and make room.
Since this Nissan Skyline E-BNR34 is Sun Line’s staple representation of a street vehicle, the key factor when tuning the engine was efficiency, reliability, and comfort. Large turbochargers require a lot of maintenance and the higher the power output, the more chance that things will breakdown thermodynamically. Therefore the factory turbochargers were kept in tact, with emphasis on small but vital surrounding components such as Tomei valvesprings, 1.2mm head gasket, and NISMO motor mounts. The target goal for this machine was an estimated 500 “streetable” horses, which is plenty for an all-wheel-drive GT-R to handle in terms of laying the power to the ground without getting all squiggly like an FR-configured vehicle. Furthermore, since the factory turbochargers are forced into pumping more air into the engine than its stock specification, fuel must be compensated to avoid detonation. Sun Line chose to go with the tried-and-true combination of using a Tomei high-volume fuel pump, NISMO fuel pressure regulator, and Sard 700cc injectors. The HKS Type R intercooler handles the cooling department along with the Trust oil cooler and a custom radiator keeps the air, water, and oil temperatures down efficiently.
The transmission was kept stock. Although not entirely factual, the word Getrag is synonymous with the word bulletproof to many enthusiasts. Getrag is a German transmission manufacturer that builds and provides superior gearboxes to vehicle manufacturers typically for high-end sports cars. The only other vehicle that was worthy enough to receive this brawny Type 233 six-speed gearbox from the factory was the MK4 Toyota Supra. With an upgraded clutch, it is known to withhold some serious torque well above and beyond the intended factory numbers. Sun Line had chosen to go with an Exedy twin-plate carbon clutch and flywheel, solely because of carbon fiber’s immense grappling characteristic under high inertia load.
Tein plays a vast role in the vehicle’s suspension makeup. The vehicle was going to be used primarily on the streets but Sun Line needed a suspension system that could also be used competitively on the racetracks. The Tein Circuit Master Type N1 coilover system was the textbook verdict. Yes, this unit is made strictly for the track, but don’t forget that it features a wide compression and rebound parameter that can be set precisely to almost every kind of situation. Besides, an external reservoir suspension always looks so menacing in the wheelwell! Other accompanying components include NISMO front and lower arms, with Sun Line’s own front and rear camber adjustable arm setup.
A full-fledged tuning shop must consider the affect one modification has to another no matter how trivial or unrelated they may seem. A perfect example is that once a car is modified to accelerate quicker, it must be counteracted with an approach to make the car decelerate equivalently—unless it’s a drag machine packing a chute in the rear. The factory Brembo brakes are an outstanding package but Sun Line decided that a circuit vehicle required more precise braking control so the Endless brake calipers, rotors, lines, fluid, and pads were chosen. The massive front six-pot and rear four-pot calipers are dimensionally harmonic with the oversized rotors as well as the MA22 brake pad compound for maximum initial bite, braking control, and longevity. A couple drawbacks to this modification are the hardened ceramic metal blend pads, which make a lot of squealing noise and are designed to work optimally with R-compound tires.
The interior of the vehicle remains very much like how a street car should be—no jungle gym rollcages or various gauge clusters littered about. The only indications from the interior that this is a tuned machine are a Blitz SBC DC sequential boost controller, Bride GIAS reclinable bucket seats, and a Nardi Classic steering wheel.

The R34’s full NISMO Z-Tune body kit was shot with Sun Line’s trademark red paint and topped off with a Sun Line 3D GT Wing Type II and cooling hood. Be careful staring at the exterior, you may experience arc eye symptoms from the contrast emitted off the gold SSR Type F 18×11 wheels and the popping red paint. Yokohama Advan AD08 compounds were selected because of its Micro Silica + Hyper Density Carbon composite properties, which provide great traction on wet and dry surfaces.

To have an automobile of this caliber that’s readily available for purchase with its price dropping every year should be considered a blessing. Plenty of aftermarket go-fast parts are available on the market, still far from becoming discontinued. For us, Americans, it first starts with envy, then irrepressible jealousy, followed by uncontrollable rage, since the Skyline GT-R is our forbidden fruit of the automobile world. We, the people, who inhabit this great nation of the United States recognize this cycle of emotions whenever gazing upon one of Nissan’s greatest creations. As long as vehicle manufacturers keep producing four-wheel machines, tuning companies like Sun Line Racing will continue making them faster than no other.

Behind the Build

Owner
Sun Line Racing

Location
Okayama, Japan

Occupation
Tuning Shop, Parts Manufacturer

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

490 ps at 7,000 rpm

Engine RB26DETT, Tomei 87mm bore 1.2mm head gasket, fuel pump; NGK Racing spark plugs; HKS Racing suction air intake; NISMO fuel pressure regulator, catalytic converter; Sard 700cc injectors; HKS Type R intercooler; Sun Line Racing titanium front pipe, GT-spec EX 90RS titanium exhaust, radiator; Trust oil cooler; SAMCO hoses; Plasma Racing coolant

Drivetrain Getrag transmission; Exedy twin-disc carbon clutch

Engine Management HKS F-Con V Pro ECU tuned by Sun Line Racing

Footwork & Chassis Tein Circuit Master Type N1 (18kg springs); NISMO lower arms; Sun Line Racing camber control arms

Brakes Endless Racing six-pot caliper (front), four-pot (rear), MA22 racing brake pads, brake lines, brake fluid

Wheels/Tires SSR Type F 18×11 +22, lug nuts; Yokohama Advan AD08 265/35-18

Exterior NISMO Z-Tune aero package; Sun Line Racing 3D GT Wing Type II, GT cooling hood

Interior Bride GIAS reclining bucket seats; Takata racing harness; Nardi Classic steering wheel; Works Bell steering hub; Blitz dual SBC-ID boost controller; NISMO cluster

source: importtunner.com