PRIDE OF THE NA­TION

NZ Performance Car - - Contents - WORDS: MAR­CUS GIBSON, RENE VER­MEER PHO­TOS: ADAM CROY, CHRIS SMITH

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

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