Big Im­pact

NZ Performance Car - - Under Construction -

Those with a good mem­ory will re­call the build fea­ture we ran on the rear-mounted VQ35-pow­ered March back in NZPC 241. But you may not be aware that on its de­but the car took a bru­tal hit into the wall at Hamp­ton Downs. Builder and driver Glenn Hodges was at the helm that day, and said that the crash was down to a num­ber of fac­tors.

A few set­backs along the way had put pres­sure on the de­sired dead­line — to be at the NZ Su­per­lap Se­ries round on De­cem­ber 3 — but, by 2am that morn­ing, he was ready for a hand­ful of shake­down laps. The car was show­ing huge po­ten­tial, and it rat­tled off a 1.20s lap time, though he was only giv­ing it the odd squirt on the straights, but, un­for­tu­nately, early in what would have been the last ses­sion of the day, things went very wrong. The re­sult was an im­pact with the tyre wall at the Hamp­tons pit en­trance. Go­ing in back­wards, the car com­pressed the en­tire tyre bun­dle, smash­ing the con­crete wall be­hind and fir­ing the car up­wards — as high as the catch fence be­fore it landed on the front left cor­ner, up­side down. Yep, it wasn’t pretty.

Fol­low­ing his re­cov­ery, Glenn con­tem­plated call­ing it a day … How­ever, the good sorts at Race Cars in Sheds or­ga­nized for a re­place­ment shell to be de­liv­ered from the deep south, and, al­though the orig­i­nal car may look like toast, a few key com­po­nents can be saved to bring the new one to life. Glenn says that the big­gest dif­fer­ence be­tween the two cars is that the new ve­hi­cle won’t be tested un­til ev­ery­thing is 100 per cent. The plan is to tear the munted car down and sal­vage what­ever can be used, safely. The new car’s sus­pen­sion will fea­ture ad­justable ev­ery­thing, re­vised body flares, a lower drive height for bal­ance, and aero — es­sen­tially, all the badass stuff that never made it onto the car the first time around.

We’ll catch up with Glenn once the car is fully com­plete and ready to cut some laps prop­erly.

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