NZ Performance Car - - Inside Line -

The New Zealand Rally Cham­pi­onship (NZRC) is cur­rently go­ing from strength to strength, with no short­age of new cars en­ter­ing the grid for the 2017 sea­son. While Holden is not nor­mally a brand as­so­ci­ated with the sport, that’s set to change with a two-car AP4 Ba­rina team en­ter­ing the top-tier class in New Zealand. Holden Ba­rina Rallysport will see the re­turn of num­ber 51, with Mur­phy step­ping into the chal­lenge of rally along­side a new team­mate, 2013 NZRC RWD cham­pion Josh Marston.

Mid­way through 2016, RDL Per­for­mance team took de­liv­ery of its first AP4 Ba­rina from Force Motorsport as a rolling chas­sis, with the sec­ond chas­sis ar­riv­ing a month later. The power plant is the EcoBoost two-litre found in the new VXR As­tra, but, due to class rules, it’s been de­stroked to 1800cc. The di­rect-in­jec­tion en­gine runs a Gar­rett GTX turbo with MFS man­i­fold and class-reg­u­lated 34-mil­lime­tre re­stric­tor. The elec­tron­ics pack­age con­sists of a Life Rac­ing ECU, MoTeC power-dis­tri­bu­tion mod­ule (PDM), and MoTeC dash. Like all Force AP4 ma­chines, the Hold­ens run a Sadev six-speed, rated to 900Nm; bil­let hubs; and stan­dard­ized tubu­lar cross mem­bers. How­ever, unlike the other teams, the Hold­ens are run­ning Brembo R5 brakes and Su­pashock built up­rights.

The first of the two cars is fin­ished and com­pleted a shake­down at Lead­foot, with Mur­phy man­ag­ing to place sixth over­all. Marston had his first taste of how the AP4 Ba­rina per­formed on gravel at the West­land Rally in Grey­mouth, run­ning un­der the num­ber 000. “They are re­ally nice to drive; they give great feed­back,” he stated.

The team is now busy fin­ish­ing work on the sec­ond car, and both ve­hi­cles will have started the NZRC in Otago by the time you’re read­ing NZ Per­for­mance Car.

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