LIAM SYKES FC

NZ Performance Car - - Demon Energy D1NZ -

“The FC is so much eas­ier to drive and to put where you want it”

De­mon En­ergy D1NZ Pro-Sport driver Liam Sykes is amid his rookie year in the na­tional cham­pi­onship. He is no stranger to the sport, although he honed his craft in a more laid-back en­vi­ron­ment and be­hind the wheel of some­thing a lit­tle less pow­er­ful than his FC RX-7.

So head­ing into his de­but sea­son, the team de­cided to step it up with the pur­chase of a bat­tle-hard­ened ex-D1NZ FC RX-7 chas­sis orig­i­nally built and cam­paigned by Matt ‘Chuckie’ Jack­son.

The pur­chase of the RX ac­tu­ally came about as a joke be­tween mates. Liam ex­plained, “My best mate sent me the link for the FC and said he wanted to buy it, so I told him I was go­ing to.” It’s sur­pris­ing no blood was shed when Liam ended up with the rolling body. The 13B was long gone, and he wasn’t go­ing to go back there af­ter pre­vi­ous bad ex­pe­ri­ences, so he even­tu­ally de­cided on a 1JZ-GTE backed by a Tre­mec T56, Quar­ter Master triple-plate, and OS Giken LSD.

The 1JZ isn’t heav­ily mod­i­fied in­ter­nally, although it was re­built by Daryl at Efi and Turbo with ACL race bear­ings, ARP studs, and Cometic gas­kets. The boost party con­sists of a Master Power R596 turbo with a .68 ex­haust hous­ing, TiAL 44mm wastegate, and un­muf­fled three-inch ex­haust. There is also anti-lag ready to go, but as he is yet to test and learn to drive with this, it hasn’t been used in com­pe­ti­tion. Tuned by Daryl, the 1J makes 343kW and 550Nm, which is a huge step up from Liam’s pre­vi­ous SR20 set-up, though it’s prov­ing just as re­li­able thus far.

Luck­ily for the team, the chas­sis came some­what di­alled in from its time with Chuckie, who has plenty of drift car set up experience. Sus­pen­sion-wise, the car runs Bil­speer knuck­les, a Maz­da­trix su­per an­gle kit, Su­per Now toe arms, ex­tended lower arms, MMR solid bushes, and Maz­da­trix rear camber links. The dif­fer­ence be­tween step­ping from the KE to the FC has been huge for not only Liam as a driver, but also the pit crew. The fact both cars use a sim­i­larly short wheel­base has made the tran­si­tion smooth — but the two chas­sis ca­pa­bil­i­ties are worlds apart. “The FC is so much eas­ier to drive and to put where you want it, the KE would be fight­ing you the en­tire time. The hard­est ad­just­ment has ac­tu­ally been chas­ing in the smoke — it’s tak­ing some time to get used to that.”

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