PHIL SUTHER­LAND MAKES A HASTY RE­TURN

NZ Performance Car - - Drift News -

It was only a few months ago that Phil Suther­land wrote off his Nis­san Ce­firo when he rolled it af­ter hit­ting the con­crete walls of Mt Smart Sta­dium at round two of the De­mon En­ergy D1NZ Na­tional Drift­ing Cham­pi­onship. Thank­fully Phil walked away from the crash un­in­jured, but the dam­age to the Ce­firo proved too great to eas­ily fix, as it in­cluded a bent fire­wall and shifted roll cage. Phil, who is first to ad­mit he has the bug for drift­ing, wasted no time hunt­ing for a re­place­ment shell, as he ex­plained to NZPC. “I bought Simon Hunter’s 180SX shell, which he had pulled out of the SR20. It has a chro­moly 10-point cage, it’s tubbed, with Tein coilovers, and Drift­works hubs. But I knew I was run­ning out of time for round three, so I picked up the R34.” Un­like the 180SX, the R34 was a com­plete run­ner with an RB25 and gear­box, tube-framed front and rear and a ba­sic sus­pen­sion set-up. Phil col­lected the car a week and a half out from round three of De­mon En­ergy D1NZ. “We did all the ba­sic stuff, swapped over the brakes, hy­dro hand­brake, hubs, steer­ing, and lock stops. The en­gine was re­tuned on E85, and we added an Ac­cusump. It was tuned on Satur­day, panel and paint on Mon­day/Tues­day, and Wed­nes­day we were on the road to round three.” The new R34 per­formed well on its de­but, although Phil ad­mit­ted he wasn’t push­ing the car to its ab­so­lute limit. “It’s too late in the sea­son to make a dif­fer­ence, so I held back a lit­tle. It re­ally went well, it’s the first car I have ever driven with a new wheel align­ment and left it. The chas­sis feels bril­liant. We put some Keto Knuck­les in, it just gets men­tal lock and feels like you’re driv­ing a fork­lift.”

As for the 180, Phil plans to con­tinue that build as the ‘Moth­er­ship’, and it will ei­ther re­ceive the Ce­firo’s fully-built 745kW-ca­pa­ble 2JZ, along with a four-speed dog box and Win­ters rear end, or pos­si­bly a Ford V8 sim­i­lar to that found in Curt Whittaker’s R34. In that case the 2JZ will find its way into the Sky­line to re­place the RB, which Phil says has seen bet­ter days. Phil would like to thank: Doug Smith Panel and Paint, th­ese dudes love my or­gan­i­sa­tion, Chris Belcher, Mitch Gibbs, Jor­dan Suther­land and Rue Ben York for the quick patch up and tune to get us to round 3 as this mo­tor is on bor­rowed time. He would also like to thank his part­ner Anna who is a lady that keeps it all to­gether and puts up with his

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