Fred Gibson on Kevin Drage
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.”