GUN­NING FOR SEV­ENS

NZ Performance Car - - Line Inside -

If you’re keep­ing tabs on the In­ter­na­tional Hot Rod As­so­ci­a­tion (IHRA) Com­pe­ti­tion Se­ries, which, at the time of writ­ing, is head­ing into its fourth meet­ing at Mere­mere Drag­way (Fe­bru­ary 25), you’ll have taken note of Kris Robb in his pro-im­port 13B-pow­ered Se­ries 4 RX-7, which con­tin­ues to break his PB at each con­sec­u­tive meet­ing.

At the start of the sea­son, his best run was an 8.71 at 149mph (240kph). He brought that down to 8.5s at 160mph (257kph) at meet­ing one, fol­lowed by an 8.22 at 168mph (270kph) for meet­ing two, and now sits on 8.13s at 169mph (272kph) af­ter meet­ing three at Master­ton. He told us, “We have been pro­gress­ing the tune af­ter switch­ing to a Mi­croTech ECU in Oc­to­ber last year, and have seen sub­stan­tial re­sults.” Kris also men­tioned that, af­ter the base tune was com­plete, he learned the ropes to take over di­alling in the tune. Although he has gained the bet­ter part of a sec­ond, the set-up hasn’t oth­er­wise changed, and still runs the Gar­rett GTX4718R — which may be re­placed by a Gar­rett GT55 Gen2 be­fore the sea­son’s up — and the half-car chas­sis, which es­sen­tially has a stock front end with plenty of ex­tra bars added for strength. “It weighs in at 1070kg with driver, which is quite over­weight com­pared to the other pro-im­port cars … I’ll see how things go this sea­son. We may end up pulling the car off the road for next sea­son to re­design it a lit­tle bit, maybe put a new chas­sis in and see if we can con­tinue to push the bracket,” he said.

The orig­i­nal goal had been to bet­ter the car’s time of 8.9s when it was owned by Al­sop Rac­ing and ran a su­per­charged small-block Chev; need­less to say, the goal­posts have now shifted, and he aims to crack the 7.8-sec­ond mark, although he says that he doesn’t want to go any faster than 7.5s in the car with­out a de­cent chas­sis in it and a chro­moly roll cage. “The walls come up pretty fast if you’re go­ing to hit them. You don’t ever plan on it but have to come to re­al­iza­tion that it may hap­pen,” he told us, “You’re bet­ter off be­ing pre­pared if that hap­pens.”

Kris, who will run at Mere­mere for the fourth meet­ing, cur­rently sits sec­ond in Su­per Sedan, and hopes to see the sea­son out with at least a sec­ond­place fin­ish, if not the win, run­ning, “a few fast times when we can get away with it.”

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