NZ Performance Car - - Contents -

While it might be bet­ter known for its long white-sand beaches and pro­mis­cu­ous New Year’s cel­e­bra­tions, for rally driv­ers, the Coro­man­del Penin­sula is home to some of the coun­try’s most chal­leng­ing rally stages. It’s the per­fect back­drop for the Gol­drush Rally of Coro­man­del, this year spon­sored by Hyundai, Round 5 of the na­tional cham­pi­onship, cov­er­ing 114km over eight spe­cial stages (SSs) based in and around Whi­tianga. Start­ing off by nav­i­gat­ing the road from Colville to Kennedy Bay for SS1 at the top of the Coro­man­del, be­fore tour­ing south to do SS2 through the well-known 309 Road, then on to the Tapu Coroglen Road for SS3, the cars then re­turned to Kennedy Bay for SS4 and com­pleted the loop again, fin­ish­ing off in the Whi­tianga town­ship for the Su­per Spe­cial stage — SS8.

Com­ing into the penul­ti­mate round of the na­tional rally cham­pi­onship, the over­all re­sults had World Rally Cham­pi­onship (WRC) driver Hay­den Pad­don in the lead on 118 points, Josh Marston on 85 points, and Ben Hunt trail­ing just five points after. Be­hind Pad­don, it was a close race for the mi­nor cham­pi­onship stand­ings head­ing into the rally. With the overnight down­pour soak­ing the tight, wind­ing roads, which would re­main that way for the du­ra­tion with spo­radic show­ers dur­ing the stages, it would re­ally test the driv­ers’ re­solve.

First on the road for SS1 was Hay­den Pad­don and his co-driver Mal­colm Pe­den, who were in the Pad­don Rallysport Hyundai i20 AP4. With Pad­don de­ter­mined to make this his first Rally of Coro­man­del win, he made a blis­ter­ing start, run­ning the stage 44 sec­onds faster than sec­ond-placed Bren­dan Reeves, who was driv­ing a Mazda 2 AP4 with Rhi­anon Gel­somino read­ing the notes. Greg Mur­phy, in the num­ber 51 Holden Ba­rina AP4, was an early ca­su­alty of SS1 when the right rear drive­shaft popped out. Mur­phy wasn’t alone, how­ever, with 19 other re­tire­ments dur­ing the day.

Mur­phy wasn’t alone, how­ever, with 19 other re­tire­ments dur­ing the day

The Pad­don/Pe­den pair­ing also diced with this fate through­out the rally, win­ning only five of the eight stages while deal­ing with an in­ter­cooler pipe con­tin­u­ously blow­ing off. This al­lowed Ben Hunt and Tony Raw­storn to sniff vic­tory in the larger Subaru WRX STi; how­ever, in the end, they fin­ished 18 sec­onds be­hind Pad­don and Pe­den, with the Audi S1 AP4 of Dy­lan Turner and co-driver Mal­colm Read fin­ish­ing an­other 33 sec­onds be­hind Hunt. The win en­sured that Pad­don — who had skipped Round 4 due to WRC com­mit­ments — would wrap up his fourth na­tional cham­pi­onship with one round re­main­ing, while Ben Hunt was able to leapfrog Josh Marston to se­cure sec­ond place head­ing into the fi­nal round.

In the other cat­e­gories, the cham­pi­onships were also de­cided, with lo­cal boys the Mo Bros (aka Matt Adams and Carol Lis­ten) tak­ing out the Sta­dium Fi­nance Group A Rally Chal­lenge in the Galant VR4. Young guns Dy­lan Thomp­son and co-driver Amy Hud­son se­cured the Cat­e­gory 2 2WD Cham­pi­onship and the over­all 2WD Cham­pi­onship, both for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year. They will be a pair­ing to look out for in years to come.

Fin­ish­ing off a suc­cess­ful day was the run­ning of SS8, which is a spec­ta­tor stage through Whi­tianga town­ship on Joan Gaskell Drive. At just 1km in length, it was an op­por­tu­nity to show­case the cars to those who weren’t able to make the jour­ney into the sur­round­ing hills. It was also used as a chance to let off some steam, with a few dough­nuts, as well as some ‘hot laps’ for spon­sors and the like. The new Hyundai i30 N was also brought out for some tyre smok­ing by Hyundai am­bas­sador and WRC man Hay­den Pad­don.

The fi­nal round of the cham­pi­onship will take place on the roads around Raglan, in­clud­ing along the world-fa­mous Whaanga Coast, on 13 Oc­to­ber.

NZ Per­for­mance Car : Hey, Bren­don. We un­der­stand that you’ve owned this Al­tezza for some time now. What made you buy it in the first place?

Bren­don: Hi, NZPC. I had al­ways wanted a man­ual rear-wheel-drive car since my first car, and, after look­ing around, there wasn’t much that I could get in­sur­ance for while be­ing 18. It ba­si­cally had to be non turbo, which meant an Al­tezza or S2000 for the most pow­er­ful nat­u­rally as­pi­rated two-litre range. I’m more of a Toy­ota lover than a Honda lover, and liked the idea of the ex­tra doors to cram in five peo­ple when nec­es­sary. This one ticked all the boxes: facelift model, TRD kit with the Neo V2 front bumper, six-speed, low kilo­me­tres, and fac­tory LSD!

Hard not to then! What sparked the first turbo in­stall?

After at­tend­ing a cou­ple of track days at Taupo, the power bug hit, and I wanted more, es­pe­cially after get­ting a few rides in other Al­tez­zas fit­ted with GReddy turbo kits. I sourced a sec­ond-hand GReddy kit that had done lit­tle driv­ing time, with a gen­uine GReddy front-mount in­ter­cooler, and chucked it in the car. Lin at CDM [Con­cept Dy­namic Mo­tor­sports] in Tau­ranga did the tun­ing, where it made 150kW at the rears on an e-Man­age Ul­ti­mate ECU, but with con­stant fu­elling and stall is­sues, as well as bog­ging down on boost, caused by the ECU. I opted to fit a new Link G4+ plug-in when they first came out, straight away mak­ing 172kW on 10psi. That was enough power for the next three–four years of learn­ing to drive prop­erly.

But that’s not the kit you’re run­ning now; why the change?

More power, of course! I did some drag rac­ing at Mere­mere and man­aged a 14.21[s] but was still get­ting blown away by the faster, more pow­er­ful cars, so I wanted to chase a bit more power. I was al­ready plan­ning on build­ing a forged mo­tor on the side and de­cided that it might as well get a new hot-side fit­ted at the same time. While the forged mo­tor was be­ing built by Glen­dene En­gine Re­con­di­tion­ers [GER] — which did all the ma­chine work and fit­ted the crank, CP Pis­tons, and Ea­gle rods in the bot­tom end, and as­sem­bled the head with the new Fer­rea stain­less valves and Kelford springs — Jon at Strange Work­shop was able to work on the new hot-side. He sourced the HX35 and Sinco man­i­fold and pro­ceeded to carry out all the fab work to make it fit.

Was there a big dif­fer­ence in re­sponse and power?

Def­i­nitely. Back at CDM for a fresh tune with the new set-up, I was blown away! The car made 286kW on 13psi (low boost) and 302kW on 16psi (high boost).

So, with this new set-up, what kind of driv­ing does it see reg­u­larly?

It’s mainly a week­end car that does beach runs, long drives, and track days. Ev­ery time the car gets out of the garage, it’s driven hard to make use of all the work that’s gone into it. The Cusco 1.5-way LSD re­ally helps to put the power down, no mat­ter how you’re driv­ing it, and shoots it out the cor­ners some­thing wild.

And is there any­thing else you want to do in fu­ture?

Just a cou­ple of grem­lins to sort over the next few months: get­ting the cold start and cruis­ing load zones tuned in prop­erly. Maybe one day I’ll look at a set of Kelford or Toda cams that re­tain the dual VVTi, and pos­si­bly a big­ger fuel sys­tem to make use of the turbo set-up.

A build is never re­ally done, huh? Thanks for shar­ing it with us, Bren­don.

EN­GINE: Toy­ota 3S-GE Beams, 1998cc, four-cylin­der; CP Pis­tons .5mm over­sized 9.0:1 pis­tons, Ea­gle forged rods, ACL Race Series bear­ings, ARP main studs, ARP head studs, OEM re­place­ment head gas­ket, Kelford valve springs, Fer­rea .5mm over­sized in­take and ex­haust steel valves, GReddy ex­tended and baf­fled sump, Holset HX35 Su­per, Sinco top-mount ce­ram­ic­coated man­i­fold, Tur­bosmart Comp­gate 40 waste­gate, three-inch ex­haust, Adrenalin R res­onator, Adrenalin R can­non muf­fler, GReddy front-mount in­ter­cooler, Hyper­tune 77mm throt­tle body, Tur­bosmart fu­el­pres­sure reg­u­la­tor, Tur­bosmart Ra­ce­port BOV, In­jec­tor Dy­nam­ics 1050cc fuel in­jec­tors, oil cooler, power-steer­ing cooler, Link G4+ plug-in, Link boost so­le­noid DRIV­E­LINE: J160 six-speed, TRD short shifter, Laile Beatrush shifter bush, cus­tom six-puck sprung clutch, Manon Rac­ing Prod­ucts (MRP) 2000-pound (907kg) pres­sure plate, Cusco 1.5-way RS 4.3:1 LSD, Wil­wood four-pot front calipers, Toy­ota Supra DBA 330mm slot­ted front ro­tors, EBC Yel­low Stuff front pads, Znoelli DDS rear ro­tors, Znoelli SP500 rear pads IN­TE­RIOR: TRD triple-gauge dash pod, boost-pres­sure, oil-tem­per­a­ture, and wa­tertem­per­a­ture gauges; In­no­vate MTX-L wide­band gauge; Bride seat rails; Bride replica seats; Ul­tra Rac­ing room bar; TRD gear-shifter knob EX­TE­RIOR: TRD facelift body kit, Neo V2 front bumper, fac­tory high-in­ten­sity-dis­charge (HID) lights, HIC rear-win­dow spoiler, smoked in­di­ca­tors WHEELS/TYRES: (F) 18x8.5inch Work D9R, 225/40R18 Falken ZE912, (R) 18x9.5-inch Work D9R, 235/40R18 Falken ZE912 SUS­PEN­SION: BC Gold coilovers; Ul­tra Rac­ing front, mid, and rear un­der­body braces; Hardrace rear ad­justable toe arms; Hardrace ad­justable rear cam­ber arms; Cusco front and rear strut braces; Cusco boot brace POWER: 302kW TORQUE: 460Nm BOOST: 15.8psi FUEL TYPE: BP98 TUNER: Lin at CDM THANKS: Lin at CDM, for the tun­ing; Jon at Strange Work­shop, for all the cus­tom fab­ri­ca­tion and ex­tremely fid­dly jobs; and my fi­ancée, Frances, for sup­port­ing me all the way to get it fin­ished

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