1998 Nissan Primera (P11)
The BTCC Super Touring era wasn’t limited to hugebudget factory competitors. As well as the top manufacturer-based teams battling it out for the podium, there was a separate cup reserved for independent teams.
These, more often than not, relied on machinery that was a season or two old, and while the hardware may not have been top tier, the racing among the independents was equally cutand-thrust. The quicker competitors among the independents could often be found vying for minor places with the less competitive of the factory efforts.
Easily the most prominent of the independent drivers was Matt Neal, who spent the Super Touring years largely driving for his father’s Team Dynamics outfit, first in BMWs, then Mondeos, and ultimately finishing up at the wheel of a P11 Nissan Primera. One of those Primeras is now here in New Zealand, in the custody of Canterbury’s Phil Mauger.
The Team Dynamics P11 is very closely based on the last of the NME-built P10 cars, such as the Spanish Primera detailed earlier, and, in the metal, the similarities are obvious. Taking one of the ’97-spec factory cars, the Team Dynamics guys secured the latest-spec shell from NME and set about integrating the mechanicals to the bodyshell for the 1998 season.
Built around its extensive roll cage on a jig, the Primera uses all steel panels, as per the regs. Front and rear aero reflect the development invested in this aspect of super tourers at the time, particularly in the aggressive front-splitter arrangement seemingly hanging from a factory-issue Primera front-bumper upper. Radiused front guards house the same 19-inch Rays as the ’96 P10, with an equivalent water-cooled AP twin-caliper front arrangement. Koni shocks and fabricated suspension components at each corner complete the chassis. Interestingly, a stock FWD Primera used a rear beam axle; these cars use the independent-rear-suspension (IRS) arrangement found in the 4WD model P11.
Peering into the engine bay of the Team Dynamics car reveals an arrangement akin to that in the P10, with the same lowmounted set-back engine with reversed head, eight injectors, Pectel engine management, and, again, around 224kW.
The gearbox is an Xtrac sequential unit, with fully interchangeable ratios allowing gearing to be tailored to the track along with the diff — a trick combination of plate and viscous-type LSD.
This is the second time this car has been brought to New Zealand — its first visit to our shores was at the hands of Historic Touring Car stalwart Rick Michels, before it was spirited back to its home country in 2008 to run the following year at Silverstone. Now that it’s returned to New Zealand, expect to see Phil chopping through the gears at 8000rpm at selected Historic Touring Car meetings.
EXPECT TO SEE PHIL CHOPPING THROUGH THE GEARS AT 8000RPM AT SELECTED HISTORIC TOURING CAR MEETINGS