NZ Performance Car - - Contens -


It’s been a few years in the mak­ing, but New Zealand’s most iconic im­port drag car has made a re­turn to the strip, at the re­cent V 4&Ro­tary Na­tion­als. Now owned by Hamil­ton-based An­drew Brown­ing, the car was orig­i­nally built and de­vel­oped by Ron­nie Lim, and graced the cover of NZPC twice — first in 1999 when it was still in street trim (of sorts) and blast­ing mid 12s down the quar­ter, and then later in Is­sue No. 74 circa 2003 in a wild, full race trim sport­ing a 438kW (587hp) B18C equipped with some of Ron­nie’s in­fa­mous head­ers and a Tur­bo­net­ics turbo.

Ron­nie and the In­te­gra ruled the roost when it came to FWD drag cars, and held the Aus­tralasian record for well over 10 years at 9.88 at 236kph (147mph). But af­ter re­tir­ing the car from rac­ing, it was stripped and passed through a few pairs of hands un­til late 2011, when An­drew pur­chased the bare shell. Over the past few years he has worked away, fit­ting a B18C block equipped with a B16A head, a HyTech replica ex­haust man­i­fold and a Hon­data S300 ECU. The driv­e­train con­sists of a ’96 Type R In­te­gra gear­box, Exedy twin-plate clutch and 745kW-rated In­sane Shaft axles. Things have been kept sim­ple (light­weight) in­side, with only an al­loy Kirkey seat, TunerView RD1 dash, ARC 8000 (Auto Rod Con­trol) switch­board, and the same min­i­mal roll cage Ron­nie had run.

The cur­rent en­gine is only there to get An­drew out on track and familiar with the chas­sis be­fore a turbo en­gine finds its way back into the shell, as he ex­plained. “There was no point putting to­gether a big­power en­gine and get­ting out there with­out hav­ing tested it. I have learned so much in the two meet­ings I’ve raced. If it had the big en­gine in I would have been stress­ing way more.” This is not to say the $150 en­gine hasn’t out­per­formed its ex­pec­ta­tions, “I based it on Adam Plews’ old DC2, which had a sim­i­lar en­gine set-up with DOT slicks and ran 13.5. I thought if I could run that I would be happy, but in two meet­ings I have gone faster than that with a PB of 13.459 at 99.86mph (160.7kph). I wasn’t ex­pect­ing that at all, and my goal now is to run a 12 on the $150 en­gine.” Over the win­ter An­drew will fin­ish off the methanol-fed 1800cc turbo en­gine that he is cur­rently piec­ing to­gether, which should pro­duce up to 520kW (700hp), max­ing out his turbo, although An­drew will run it at around 300kW to begin with, then move up from there.

With plenty more rac­ing be­tween now and the sea­son’s end, we have no doubt An­drew will lower his PB again. It’s great to see ad­di­tional fwd drive cars out and rac­ing, we only hope it spurs on a few more guys to slap on some slicks and join them.

An­drew would like to thank Adam from Speed Science for his help with the project so far.

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