PRIDE OF THE NATION
THE 2015 V 4&ROTARY NATIONALS IN FULL DETAIL: TWO DAYS, TWO VENUES, AND ONLY THE CREAM OF THE CROP FROM NEW ZEALAND’S MODIFIED WORLD
The V 4&Rotary Nationals — now in its 17th year — welcomed a few new attractions for 2015 as the Premier Events team looked to welcome in a few other subcultures to the event. This saw the welcome return of the Air Ride and Lowrider Nationals after a hiatus of a few years, and it was great to see most of the clubs getting in behind it and setting up displays. The New Zealand Muscle Car Nationals had its first appearance and the Auckland Tattoo convention was also a new inclusion. But for us as always the show and shine was the star of the event. Packed into the two main halls and spilling out in the NAC Live Action Arena, the star attraction showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, if anything, the level of the top cars appears to be improving, with no shortage of vehicle unveilings and an increase in those with wild conversions and extreme custom bodywork.
Dare we say it, but it would seem the all-aspects-covered builds are on the rise once again, something that bodes well for the future of the event heading into 2016. Something the crowds were enjoying too, as the halls and NAC Live Action Arena were absolutely packed despite the soaring temperatures above 30ºC; perhaps next year we will have a pool on our stand to cool down in? Thanks to all those that stopped by to check out our display, grab a subscription or and have a chat, and a big congratulations to all those clubs and car owners who put in the long hours and got their projects to the event. For those that didn’t make it, see you all in 2016.
Come Sunday we were eager to see what the effect on racing would be of offering the biggest-ever drag-racing prize in the Nationals’ 17-year history for the winner of both the Sport Mod and Pro Import classes. But sadly some major oil downs and scorching summer sun meant the track surface slowly lost grip as temperatures soared. This made for some hairy moments for those Pro-class cars pushing grip and power levels. >
Jeremy Hewson, piloting his newly built nine-second 13B turbo Toyota Starlet, battled through to the finals against Cory Abbott’s six-second FD RX-7 despite the two cars’ PBs being over two seconds apart. The Abbott brothers had struggled for traction on previous runs, and the final was no different — he crossed the centre line and handed Jeremy Hewson the win, crowning him Pro Import champion.
Sport Mod was as intense as Pro Import, with Ben Moorcock, Jason Horn, Ben Cox, Shane Herbert, Paul Dowdall, and Adam Wilson all fighting it out to make it to Australia. With nobody left to race, Cox was already in the finals, which left Dowdall and Moorcock to battle it out for the chance at the Aussie trip. Dowdall won with a 9.144-second pass at 164.23mph (264.3kph), allowing him to progress into the finals. But the race didn’t go his way, as he launched too early, red lighting and instantly handing the win to Ben Cox despite being quicker, at 8.545 compared with Cox’s 9.118. It’s safe to say Ben Cox is over the moon with the win, and he’ll head over to Australia to represent the Kiwis in the Sport Mod class in his SR20VET-powered Datsun 1200. Congratulations, Ben.
Tim Johnson’s LETHL2 RX-2 was easily the standout car of the show. Tim has obsessed over every small detail, right down to the smallest component that’s only seen via the mirrors placed underneath. We simply can’t fit all the detail on this page, but his award haul will explain it. His tally of five trophies included the Very Converted RX Master award and Best RX-2 in the rotary class, Best Engine bay; Best Undercarriage, Suspension and Brakes, and Best Displayed Vehicle in Open class. Cars of this calibre are few and far between, and don’t come along very often Azhar Bhamji’s R100 was being piloted by Aussie tuning and rotary guru Craig Dyson, who managed to dip into the
nines during the second half of the day, but he failed to better Az’s PB, as
it appeared the R100 was struggling for traction on the first half of the track. Craig did managed to take the win in
King of the Street
It was great to see Andrew browning debut his rebuilt ex Ronnie Lim’s Honda Integra DC2 drag car. Andrew ran into a few issues at the start of the day, but once those were ironed out the times started dropping considerably. The first pass of the day was a 15.548 at 88mp/h due to a 6400rpm rev limit. The second time of the day - with the rev limit increased to 8500rpm which meant vtec could engage - was a 14.770 at 99.27mp/h. Andrew really sussed it on the third run where he gave it plenty more revs at the line and managed a full second quicker with a 13.770 at 98.27mp/h. The plan for Andrew is to go turbo at some stage, with a low boost setup to start, then turn the wick up once he is familiar with driving a boosted Honda drag car.
Barry Manon’s 10 second capable Toyota Levin GTZ rolled off the trailer and laid down a solid 11.54 second run straight off the bat. With a 7AGTE engine under the bonnet that pushes out 340kW at the wheels on 26psi of boost, we were eager to see if Barry could crack a 10 second pass as the last time he ran a 10 was back in 2007. Unfortunately, there were a few issues getting off the line and Barry only managed a best time of 11.1 at 139mph. The Abbott Racing RX-7 piloted by Cory Abbott seemed to have a few hairy moments throughout the day, and even pulling more power out of it didn’t help as the track surface was far from ideal. Still, the team managed a very fast 7.5, although that was well off the PB
Aaron Keech pulled the covers off his 20B bridge-port turbo-powered Mazda RX-3 following an intensive build carried out over the last two years. It features some very serious chassis and tin work, a Strange nine-inch diff, Wilwood brakes, a Tremec TKO 600 and a Pro55 Holset turbo. With a serious engine combination like that we can be sure the Diest parachute is not just for show. Don’t be misled by the drag-car hardware, the RX-3 will be made street legal once the certifiers give it the big tick. It was was undoubtedly the wild faux-patina paintwork that shocked the crowds once the covers were pulled off
Debbie Wisneski continued her trophy haul in the Piston Class with her custom-painted S14 show car, walking away with two awards for the day, Best Six Cylinder, and Best Piston overall
Tony Markovina and the HVATOS racing team had burned the midnight oil swapping the Mazsport FC RX-7’s engine for a new 92mm Precision turbo and 20B motor. With the new turbo
on the car it is making some serious power, so hopefully we will see one of New Zealand’s longest-serving import drag cars dip a little deeper into the seven-second zone. Did anyone also
notice it’s now back to the original livery from the mid 2000s? Proving it still has it after all these years, Anthony Wong’s candy-red K-swapped EK Civic took home Best 1990–1999 Piston, Best Honda, and Best Extreme Paint in Open Class Tim Woods was once a big name in the import show scene thanks to what was arguably the best RX-3 ever built in New Zealand. After a stint building some nice V8s, Tim was back with another RX-3, only this time it looked as if it had left Mazda’s showroom floor only yesterday. Tim picked up Best Original interior for Open Class
The team from On Show Customs has clearly been busy, judging by the amount of crazy converted cars on show that included this V5 WRX–fronted SR20powered Nissan S14. A nice touch was the 555 blue paint job with gold wheels. It’s still a work in progress, and we’ll check it out in full detail once it’s complete
Taking out Top Judged Club this year was Auckland-based NZ Fiji Cars, which had a massive display packed with everything from high-powered GT-Rs to 400kW Civics. We will catch up with these boys at a later date to get a closer look at their cars
Taking home the award for biggest power output in Tough Street, Faizal’s IDEMON R34 GT-R now has its own purpose-built easy-load trailer, which he built in the weeks leading up to the event. Could this mean we will see the car hitting the track a bit more this year?
Podge Reid debuted his super-clean street/show first-gen RX-7 following a lengthy build. Podge plans to certify the RX-7 as is with no bonnet, and as low as it sat at the show. Who could blame him for wanting to show off the engine bay, with the 13B bridge-port looking that clean and absolutely dripping in chrome. It was also refreshing to see the car with a full custom-leather interior, something not seen so often these days and which the judges also noticed, as they awarded it best Series 1– 5 RX-7
Sky Zhao has taken a step back from D1NZ for the meantime, but that hasn’t delayed his rerelease of the 700Z with a full Do-Luck kit. But what was more exciting for us was his new Rocket Bunny–kitted 180SX. Sky plans to drop the 570Z’s old LS1 into the 180, and he’s even said we can skid it!
Jeremy Hewson picked up the win in the Pro import final, after Cory Abbott crossed the centreline. Jeremy was estactic with the win and the 10k prize package that came with it, but was still undecided if he would ship the Starlet over to compete or not
It’s come all the way from New Caledonia, but the Rockstar Energy WRX drift car gave few visible hints of its international origins. We suspect many didn’t even realize it was a prospec drift car in 4WD clothing
Ex feature car KFED who after winning Best Drag Style in the Show ‘n’ Shine ran some very impressive times throughout the day. Sporting a new set of slicks and a drag spec front bumper, the EG Civic looked the part. With around 300kW (400hp) and a weight around the 900kg mark, Hayden Barnett piloted the Civic into the mid-11’s. With plans to run 10’s on the cards. hopefully with Hayden and Andrew running slick tyre cars, some new contesters pipe up and take the challenge. NZPC trainspotters may remember this Jtune-built Mini built we featured in Under Construction last year. The tube-framed K24-powered pocket rocket is now finished, and only needs the big tick before it’s ready to hit the streets.
Joining Mark was Graeme Smyth’s S15, which ran in Feature Revisited two issues back. As Graeme mentioned in the article, the car now wears C’s Garage livery and fresh battles scars from his D1NZ Pro-Am debut on the walls of Tauranga the weekend before the show
Shaun Judd’s SS2000 FC RX-7 took home Best Time Attack– style car. The RX has undergone a full rebuild over the past year and a half, and could have put many show cars to shame given the level of detail Shaun has poured into it, but don’t let the pretty looks fool you
Evo engine bays don’t come much crazier than Adrian Lai’s LETHL7, built by BNR Engineering. Featuring the complete head from Zoheb Razak’s eight-second drag engine, it featured some crazy details and some wild stainless headers. It currently only runs a low-boost tune but should make some big power very soon. Adrian walked away with best Mitsubishi and Best 2000+ Vehicle
Not all smart cars are here to save the earth. With a 1200cc motorcycle engine stuffed behind the rear seat this would make a great city commuter, all to the sound of quad throttle bodies
Mad Mike Whiddett reworked his body-dropped Chevy family hauler and took out Best Engineering for the Air Ride and Lowrider Nationals, after stealing the show outside thanks to the half-swallowed 24-inch Alcoma truck wheels and distinct lack of rear tray to showcase the immaculate chassis work by Auckland-based The Drop Shop
The Air Ride and Lowrider Nationals made a return to the Nationals after many years’ absence. It took over its own hall and with all NZ lowrider clubs having a presence it was a welcomed return, and something that will hopefully grow in numbers over the coming years
We feel that what’s been lacking in years past are the super-insane displays, and one person making up for that is Joel Robinson, with MADS14. The pond — complete with waterfall and real-life goldfish — was a real showstopper, and he deservedly took Best Displayed Vehicle in Tough Street alongside Best Sound Install and Best Wheels
Brent Curran suffered an ECU fault, and on the first pass in the Castrol Edge RX-2 the four-rotor backfired, damaging the engine and causing a large oil down. It made for a hairy ride, as oil went under the front wheels, so pulling the car up was very difficult
It was good to see Grant Munro has made some great progress on the ex Rod Millen 4WD Pikes Peak RX-7, which is now up and running. The 20B made a safe run-in tune of 416kW at all four wheels on only 10psi! We can’t to see a car of such historical significance once the boost levels are within the turbo’s efficiency range, it’s
going to be a monster
The Ex Andrew Hawkeswood Pikes Peak 600kW tube-framed Evo is now in the hands of the Sloan Cox, and will make a serious assault on the upcoming Gold Rush Race to the Sky. Sloan even put it down the strip
for a few runs, the best of which an impressive 10.45 @ 217kph (135mph)
Between now and April 17 Sloan hopes to get in some testing to finetune the car before adding more power
The crowd favourite would definitely have to have been BOSDOG, the single-turbo V8 Holden Commodore VL owned by Shyam Patel. After taking out four Tough Street awards on the Saturday, Shyam made the switch to a set of slicks and headed out to the drag racing. It still ran low boost and it seemed that 10s were just not going to happen, with driver Troy Pitman running low 11s all day, and taking the win in C2
No SR inside here: D1NZ staffer Bronson Reardon’s 300kW CA18powered 180SX has only recently been finished, and rocks a set of nicefitting Work Meisters. We can’t wait to see it out at a few track days soon
Ben Cox’s Datsun 1200 is one immaculate piece of machinery. The stock SR20 block has forged internals, and the head has been switched for the VE item. The VE
cams were replaced by a set of custom Kelford units that don’t have
a small lobe, as the production VE items do. What this means is the cam duration and lift are extremely large, and there is no VVL crossover. Only a VE head could support this kind or airflow without much modification. With a touch over 745kW (1000hp) at the wheels, some of the earlier runs were “a bit of a scary ride,”
according to Ben Cox.
The immaculate Hardout Developments FD RX-7 of Kerrin Brady rightfully took out Best Late Model RX. Running a 13B turbo, an immaculately presented undercarriage and a fully stripped race interior, the RX-7 was one of many highly detailed cars that had us lying flat on our backs to stare underneath
The way cover cars shuld be treated
It spent around six years in storage after making only one run and breaking the transfer case. Suheib Kareem recently purchased the Mitsubishi Mirage off Trade Me — still so new there were no carbon deposits in the exhaust. The lightweight 4WD runs an HKS T51R, methanol and a Quaife LSD. The Mirage made a few passes on Sunday, although the suspension is still not set up, and it should be running quicker in no time
Another car of special interest to us is Joe Kyle’s Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R, which back in its day was an absolute weapon, and one to beat. Although the GT-R has been sitting in storage, it was as if nothing had changed, and it was up to its old tricks again, running extremely consistent mid-low 10-second passes.
Vick Bhatti was back with yet another crazy build, and as always he entrusted it to the team from GT Refinishers to bring it to life. Grant and his team had only a few weeks to graft an R35 GT-R front onto the G35 Skyline, alongside widebody guards to swallow the custom Nessen wheels, which nabbed him Best Suited Rims to the Vehicle. The paint, a crazy candy metalflake mix, also featured custom detail within the clear coat that many would have undoubtedly missed, alongside some very subtle kit details that set the build apart
Jay Singh has just finished his Vl Commodore with a factory single-cam RB30 turbo. The immaculate Commodore runs 20-inch Simmons and a very highly-detailed engine bay with plenty of custom touches from Sinco, alongside a Hypertune inlet manifold and Precision 6766 Turbo. It’s currently making 298kW (400hp) at the wheels, but plans are already afoot for a big-power single-cam engine, and to add some serious dish to the wheels