DAYNOM TEMPLEMAN STEPS UP TO THE DEMON ENERGY D1NZ GRID THIS SEASON IN A NEW CHASSIS, BUT WITH A VERY FAMILIAR 900KW 2JZ-GTE POWER PLANT AND HOLINGER SIX-SPEED SEQUENTIAL. ADD NITROUS OXIDE TO THE MIX AND YOU HAVE THE MOST POWERFUL CAR EVER TO COMPETE IN THE SERIES.
Hey, we aren’t here to fu#k spiders!” exclaims Daynom Templeman as we sit around examining his ohso-close-to-being-finished BMW E46 — a car that will line up later this month for the first round of the Demon Energy D1NZ National Drifting Championship. For Daynom, this will be his sixth season competing in the national championship, and the first not behind the wheel of an FD RX-7. “Looking back, we were the last ones left running that chassis; we have been stupid and built three RX-7s when we should just have given up after the first,” Daynom states.
It’s not that their RX-7’s was unreliable or not capable of turning out a good performance, but that the team has long battled the steering characteristics that made it extremely hard to chase. It’s all well and good
to have a killer car that can lead and quaify, but it also needs to be able to chase.
“Look at any of the cars running that aftermarket steering; they do it easy — they can let go of the wheel. Whereas, in the RX-7, if you let go, you’re going to the scene of a crash real fast — so that’s the whole thought process behind the new build,” he explains.
Daynom recalls the turning point being the last Whangarei D1NZ round. The RX-7 was handling like a pig, and, at every turn, it seemed as if it was going to go into the wall. He said right then and there that he would build a BMW; no one believed him, and the project very nearly didn’t happen. Hell, by late 2014, they even had a Toyota GT86 shell sitting in the workshop ready to cut up, until a conversation took place with American driver Ryan Tuerck — a man with more experience than most drifting the 86 chassis. Daynom remembers, “He told me he wasn’t 100-per-cent happy with how the Wisefab kit worked in that chassis. Well, there was no way I was going to build a car that didn’t steer, as that has been our sole problem.”
The Wisefab front lock kit moves the strut top outwards to the limits of class rules, while also moving the entire hub outwards and rearwards to correct kingpin inclination. With the recommended wheel and tyre package, it will reach 60 degrees
The build began with a 2001 BMW 330i E46 around midway through last D1NZ season. On paper, the E46 stacked up — being 11 inches longer in wheelbase than an FD — and any of the bad points associated with the 330i wouldn’t be used anyway. Team member and head fabricator at BNR Engineering Brendon Thomas would take lead on the project, with most of what you see before you being his handiwork. After the shell was stripped and caged, the car sat dormant for a few months while the team got the competition season out of the way. It’s really been the last two months of hard slog that has seen it all come together. However, while not a lot was seen to be happening, parts were being collected from all corners of the globe, ready for the sprint to the finish line — or, in this case, the D1NZ grid.
Despite the short time frame, the project was by no means a slap-up, she’ll-be-right kind of exercise. The longer you study this car, the more you’re rewarded — the amount of thought that has gone into each handcrafted component and into where to mount off-the-shelf stuff can only come from experts who have been sniffing around race cars their entire lives.
While Daynom might somewhat jokingly say that the team has wasted all these years building version after version of the FD RX-7, we feel it was not in vain, as it has all led to building this car and any that will follow. You see, the driveline the team selected for the E46 comprises tried and tested components taken from the FD known as ‘Ginger’. It was the first FD to receive the 2JZ swap from the rotary they had so much trouble keeping apex seals inside, and it has proven a reliable choice since. Hell, they spent two and a half years throwing huge amounts of power, boost,
and nitrous at this particular 2JZ, yet, when it was stripped down prior to going into the BMW, it was found to be mint. The team did, however, take the opportunity to upgrade a few of the components in the cylinder head, using a few tricks it has learned over the years, which will now allow Daynom to rev as high as 9000rpm. We’re told it will make the torque all the way there. So while, yes, it’s a new shell, what’s under the right foot is all too familiar. Each and every driveline component has been through the Templeman prep school of 1200hp in the RX-7; from the radiator to the rear axles, the team knows the components and how they will stand up to the unique punishment of competition drift inside out.
The only new bit that has been added to the mix is the Steve Murch custom-built Holset turbo. Daynom explains, “He basically took the engine characteristics from what the FD was doing on the dyno, and from what I wanted it to do, and built the turbo to be competitive against the torque the V8s are producing.”
The other weapon — although not new to the team members, as they have run it overseas for some time — is nitrous, an addition to the D1NZ regulations for 2015. Says Daynom, “The nitrous will
run to 4500rpm. It’s basically just to get the turbo going and allow me to drive it during the chase, so I can get on and off the throttle without it deciding to wheel stand and gain a ton of grip.”
Like many teams, the Templeman’s see nitrous as a big leveller against the instant torque of the V8s. Even so, that doesn’t mean the allure of a V8 didn’t see them contemplating jumping ship. “We were contemplating going the V8 route,” Daynom continues, “but with the success we have had with the 2JZ and the fact we didn’t want it to be D1V8, we stuck with the old turbocharger. If we went down the V8 route, it would have cost a shit ton to get it to go right and then to maintain it. The blessing with staying six-cylinder is that it [the E46] has always been a sixcylinder, so the weight characteristics should be very similar, and the 50/50 weight split shouldn’t be messed up.”
That perfect weight balance, along with the availability of off-the-shelf parts, played a big factor in the decision to go E46. Teams in Europe and the US have run and developed many components for the chassis, parts that have won championships on both sides of the Atlantic and can now be found in New Zealand — parts like the HGK rear subframe for the Winters 10.5-inch Quick Change diff, and, more important, the coilovers and steering componentry from Fortune Auto and Wisefab, respectively. The Wisefab lock kit corrects Ackermann, kingpin inclination, and castor and camber control. It’s a kit that’s been tried and tested, and something that Daynom is looking forward to putting all 60 degrees of to the test in a few weeks. Even pushing it around at the photo shoot, the team was excited with how the car steered. One can only imagine what it’ll be like on lock at 140kph.
By the time you’re flicking through this issue, the BMW will have been shaken down ahead of the opening round. There is only a small list of tasks to complete, then the E46 will be strapped on the DDT dyno. Just how much power will it make? An educated guess would put the figure north of 1150hp without the boost in a bottle — a figure that would make the car the most powerful on the D1 grid. Now, with a chassis and steering that are proven to be championship capable, it’s going to make this season of D1NZ one hell of a nail-biter. Buckle up and grab some popcorn, folks, as you’re about to see Euro logic in full effect.
SEATS: (F) NZKW FIA-legal,
NZKW six-point harness STEERING WHEEL: NZKW INSTRUMENTATION: Link
Dash2 Pro EXTRA: Speedwire switch box, suede re-trimmed dash
PERFORMANCE POWER: 1150hp at the wheels