NZ Performance Car - - Contents -


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,


Dash2 Pro EX­TRA: Speed­wire switch box, suede re-trimmed dash

PER­FOR­MANCE POWER: 1150hp at the wheels

with­out ni­trous

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