TOY­OTA PURIST

NZ Performance Car - - Con­tents - WORDS: RENE VER­MEER PHO­TOS: ADAM CROY

ADEN OM­NET’S 2JZ-POW­ERED TOY­OTA AL­TEZZA DRIFTER

There aren’t many drifters out there who can claim they first got side­ways in a 350 Chev-pow­ered ’78 States­man on steel­ies. Sure, many peo­ple have got them side­ways, but none were as well known in their lo­cal cir­cles as Aden Om­net for pulling off some of the crazy stuff the large chas­sis would muster back in 2005. There are also not that many peo­ple in the in­dus­try who have sac­ri­ficed what Aden has to pur­sue his drift­ing dream, while help­ing oth­ers pur­sue theirs.

Even­tu­ally he re­al­ized his dad’s beloved ’78 States­man wouldn’t get him any­where in his new­found drift­ing pas­sion, so a Nissan Sil­via S12 was pur­chased. The S12 was an im­prove­ment, but still not quite what he had in mind to pour his heart and soul into to progress his skills, so when a Ja­pane­se­built Nissan 180SX came up for sale from fel­low drifter Kahu Camp­bell, Aden jumped on the op­por­tu­nity to buy it. Sport­ing a highly-strung SR20DET mak­ing 400kW at the wheels, it was all lag and plenty of prob­lems, but Aden sol­diered on and honed his skills in his new weapon, which was serv­ing him well un­til it was stolen and stripped. Not one to be beaten, he de­cided to move on and start build­ing some­thing from the ground up, which is the car you see be­fore you — the Toy­ota Al­tezza.

He’d known he wanted to use JZA80 run­ning gear, in­clud­ing the en­gine, gear­box, diffs and axles, he just needed to find a chas­sis wor­thy enough, and the Al­tezza came up at the right time, for the right coin. “The to­tal set-up was thrown to­gether in around three months, and I was rar­ing to get out on the track to see what it could do,” Aden said. “In 2010 I de­cided to en­ter my first drift event, which was D1NZ’s rookie event. The car ran ex­tremely well, and shaped up to be a fairly com­pet­i­tive pack­age.”

He has al­ways been a huge fan of the Toy­ota Supra, so he de­cided to make use of the bul­let­proof JZA80 gear wher­ever pos­si­ble

Af­ter he’d com­pleted one more D1NZ rookie event Bren­don White got in touch with Aden, and he de­cided he’d be bet­ter off in the Pro class.

Aden’s drift­ing ca­reer was start­ing to get se­ri­ous, and he knew the only way he could par­tic­i­pate com­pet­i­tively would be to move from his Oa­maru home to be closer to the ac­tion. So he packed up his en­tire life and busi­ness and made the move to Tau­ranga, which is an easy lo­ca­tion to get to most tracks where D1NZ rounds are held. Such a move would ter­rify most, but Aden has set­tled in well in Tau­ranga, Adens Tyres is do­ing ex­tremely well in the new lo­ca­tion, and he con­tin­ues to sup­port up-and-com­ing driv­ers. “I’ve spon­sored driv­ers ever since I opened my busi­ness — I rarely say no to peo­ple, as there is al­ways some­thing I can do to help out,” Aden told us.

He has al­ways been a huge fan of the Toy­ota Supra, so he de­cided to make use of the bul­let­proof JZA80 gear wher­ever pos­si­ble. The Al­tezza runs a stock 2JZ-GTE en­gine and six-speed Ge­trag gear­box as they are known to han­dle what­ever’s thrown their way — some­thing es­sen­tial in any drift or race car. Ex­tra power comes from a few sim­ple, well-thought-out bolt-ons, which in­clude a larger Gar­rett GT3582R turbo sit­ting on a cus­tom steampipe man­i­fold, a large GT-R–style in­ter­cooler to keep air temps down, and Sard 850cc in­jec­tors to sup­ply the large amounts of fuel needed to help pro­duce a tyre-shred­ding 465kW (623hp) at the wheels. Tur­bosmart com­po­nents were cho­sen to take care of waste ex­haust gases and charged air due to their sound reli­a­bil­ity.

To re­main com­pet­i­tive in D1NZ, driv­ers are now shelling out for qual­ity sus­pen­sion com­po­nents wher­ever pos­si­ble.

Racelign built a set of cus­tom Tein coilovers for the Al­tezza, with cus­tom spring rates and an EDFC ( in-cabin ad­just­ment unit). Be­cause of the en­gine con­ver­sion, the spring rates needed to be cus­tom­ized to work prop­erly, and Racelign has achieved op­ti­mum bal­ance with the cur­rent set-up.

As Aden is a tyre tech­ni­cian, sen­si­ble tyre-and-wheel fit­ment has been con­sid­ered to com­ple­ment his sus­pen­sion, aero, and en­gine pack­age. Rota MXRs were cho­sen for their ag­gres­sive ap­pear­ance, which suits the Al­tezza’s four-door lines. The rub­ber mea­sures up at 18 by 9.5 inches up front and a much larger 18 by 11 inches on the rear, both sizes fill­ing the steel wide­body guards that were built in-house. Aden runs a Falken semi-slick tyre up front and a com­bi­na­tion of Sunny Street tyres and West­lake Sport RS tyres down the back, depend­ing on how much speed and trac­tion are re­quired at a given cir­cuit.

Al­though brak­ing up­grades aren’t as im­por­tant as sus­pen­sion in a drift car, Aden still opted to run with a large brake set-up. D2 eight-pot calipers are mounted up front with six-pots down the back, ac­ti­vated by a D2 hy­draulic hand­brake. Brake bias is con­trolled via the Til­ton line locker. “How we have the car set up now feels great, we are con­fi­dent it will re­main com­pet­i­tive, but it has taken a lot of fine-tun­ing to get to this point,” Aden ex­plained.

Al­though he feels he has achieved a great set-up with the Al­tezza, Aden still wishes he could spend some time in a few other chas­sis. “The Al­tezza is good, but there may be another chas­sis out there that is eas­ier to drive. The Al­tezza is quite full-on. I will build a Toy­ota Aristo mis­sile with a sim­i­lar en­gine and gear­box pack­age, and see how the chas­sis han­dles the power. If it’s bet­ter, I may make the move to the Aristo to com­pete in, but we’ll see.”

If Aden does choose to stick with the Al­tezza, he will end up go­ing to a se­quen­tial gear­box and up­graded cams, along with a bunch of head work to help sup­port a larger turbo. If this is the case, ex­pect power lev­els to ex­ceed 550kW with ease, and tyres to be de­stroyed even faster, some­thing which can only add to the al­ready com­pet­i­tive driver-and-car pack­age.

Either way, with Aden’s de­ter­mi­na­tion you can be sure his cho­sen mount will be well set up to com­pete in — and a fit­ting bill­board for his Tau­ranga tyre store.

“The Al­tezza is good, but there may be another chas­sis out there that is eas­ier to drive. The Al­tezza is quite full- on. I will build a Toy­ota Aristo mis­sile with a sim­i­lar en­gine and gear­box pack­age, and see how the chas­sis han­dles the power. If it’s bet­ter I may make the move to the Aristo to com­pete in, but we’ll see.”

042

What you might not know is that Aden and the team ac­tu­ally hand-built the steel wide­body guards in-house at Adens Tyres. They were def­i­nitely needed to house the 18x9.5-inch Rota MXRs up front and the even big­ger 18x11-inch MXRs down the back

The tur­bosmart blow-off-valve fea­tured on Aden’s car is ac­tu­ally quite a trick bit of kit. When the in­take charge is re­leased the unit lights up and il­lu­mi­nates the en­tire en­gine bay and un­der­car­riage, some­thing for those much-loved night rounds of D1NZ

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