Fred Gib­son on Kevin Drage

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle engineer -

re­ally is one of the unsung he­roes of Aus­tralian mo­tor­sport, and nowhere more so than in the pro­grams we ran for Nis­san Mo­tor­sport and Gib­son Mo­tor­sport in the late 1980s and early ‘90s,” AMC colum­nist Fred Gib­son says.

“Kevin worked closely with our in-house en­gi­neer­ing team to pro­duce high-strength but light­weight wheels when we were chas­ing ev­ery gram of weight we could pare off the GT-R. It wasn’t just a ques­tion of the car’s inherent weight, as dur­ing 1992 we were be­ing in­creas­ingly hand­i­capped by CAMS – the price we were pay­ing for the car’s con­tin­u­ing suc­cess. Ev­ery time we were hand­i­capped, it meant adding weight to the Nis­san. We were al­lowed to put that weight where we wanted, as long as it raced at the spec­i­fied min­i­mum weight. The idea was to put the weight – lead shot – in the rear cross-mem­ber, to keep the car’s cen­tre of grav­ity low and to­wards the rear to com­pen­sate for the en­gine in the front.

“Wheels were one place on the car where could make im­por­tant sav­ings, so Kevin de­signed a hol­low five-spoke wheel to bring us to our au­to­mo­tive equiv­a­lent of a Jenny Craig tar­get fig­ure. That is, in fact, the wheel cur­rently fit­ted to the four GMS-built GT-Rs now be­ing cam­paigned in his­toric rac­ing’s Her­itage Tour­ing Cars class.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.