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.”
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