THE BAT­TLE RAGES ON

2018 STREET FIGHT­ERS

NZ Performance Car - - Contents - WORDS: JADEN MARTIN PHO­TOS: DANNY WOOD

There was once a time, not all that long ago, when, if you found your­self starred up in a triple-di­a­mond neigh­bour­hood, or vice versa, shit was about to go down heavy. This in­tense ri­valry be­tween Subaru and Mit­subishi own­ers raged al­most at a gang-war level. Although, in­stead of rum­bles at the skate park and be­ing jumped for your shoes, in the depths of the night, those on ei­ther side of the fence put in se­ri­ous work rep­ping their brand to prove that they are the undis­puted hardest, fastest, and most raw on the streets of Aotearoa.

Such dis­plays of prow­ess and ag­gres­sion may be a lit­tle more un­der­ground than they once were, but, thanks to busi­ness part­ners Guy and Tony of Choice Events, last year saw a new event printed on the cal­en­dar that promised to help end the de­bate once and for all — a prov­ing ground, if you will. The

aim was to set­tle the age-old de­bate be­tween Mit­subishi and Subaru own­ers the coun­try over: which fac­tion truly is the best?

Prov­ing to be a smash hit, there was just too much beef to sort out in one hit, so there was a need for it to hap­pen again in 2018. But, once again, crown­ing a king would take more than just a hec­tic blast through the back streets of down­town, and the team re-en­listed Bruce McLaren Mo­tor­sport Park in Taupo as the venue to host the mul­ti­dis­ci­pline com­pe­ti­tion — drag rac­ing, he­lis, track work, cruis­ing, and a good old show and shine. Which­ever brand could take out the most top spots would be­come the un­de­ni­able heir to the throne and claim ul­ti­mate brag­ging rights. Well, un­til the fol­low­ing year’s event, any­way.

Some 97 cars de­scended on the North Is­land’s most cen­tral district to rep­re­sent their re­spec­tive brand, with a near-on per­fect split for each fac­tion, but if you thought that the ten­sion may have died down after last year, you were wrong — there was blood in the wa­ter and every­body was hun­gry!

if you thought that the ten­sion may have died down after last year, you were wrong — there was blood in the wa­ter and every­body was hun­gry!

Stand­outs in­cluded Michael Kim’s tough-as-nails 4G63pow­ered Libero (fea­tured back in NZ Per­for­mance Car Is­sue No. 253), which was trans­formed into an early 2000s-spec show car, com­plete with mir­ror tints and chromies. Guy told us that Michael threw down all day and took home the award for Best Wagon, Best En­gine Bay, Run­ner Up in the heli comp, and a Pro­moter’s Choice award, which se­cured him a swag of prizes, in­clud­ing a fresh Link ECU.

The Kaspa Trans­mis­sions Drag Strip got a hid­ing, too. Un­for­tu­nately for last year’s Street Mas­ter and Drag Race win­ner Ben Cole in the ‘UP­2NGD’ Evo II, a break­age would see him out after only one hit, leav­ing things up in the air for any­one else to grab. It would come down to UMF mem­ber Nigel Nunn in his Evo III — bat­tling through a blown head gas­ket and re­quir­ing a tow back to the start line after each race — and Ha­roon Khan’s mighty ‘LOL­STI’ Mi­rage, with the lit­tle hatch­back tak­ing full hon­ours.

De­spite tak­ing home Top Mit­subishi in the Show and Shine, Kosta Paea’s ‘2MAORI’ rear-wheel-drive­con­verted Evo VI is far from a car-park queen, hit­ting the drags, track, and even heli pad for a solid smoke show

Michael Kim’s 4G63-pow­ered Libero was dressed up just for the event, but from its ap­pear­ance, most would think that they had stepped back into the early 2000s, with it rock­ing mir­ror tints and chromies

This match­ing pair of V8 WRXs chan­nelled their in­ner Pet­ter Sol­berg with 2005 Rally New Zealand liv­er­ies and match­ing ‘WRC 05’ and ‘05 WRC’ plates

You al­ready know that he­lis are rough on the gear, but chuck some­one like Tony Kay be­hind the wheel and you’ll learn real quick what rough is when chas­ing that top spot — wall tags and all!

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