GUNNING FOR SEVENS
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.”