BRING­ING THE FIRE TO WTAC

NZ Performance Car - - News -

He was one of the most pop­u­lar Ja­panese driv­ers at Yoko­hama World Time At­tack Chal­lenge (WTAC) 2017, and now Yoshiki ‘Fire’ Ando is set to re­turn to the land down un­der ped­alling his wild Evo IX that has re­cently un­der­gone a se­ri­ous amount of work with the full sup­port of Ja­panese tun­ing house Es­cort. After their al­ready im­pres­sive de­but last year, Fire and the team at Es­cort have re­built the car with a sin­gle pur­pose in mind: to take out full brag­ging rights in Pro class.

The ver­sion-one car ran a 51.8-sec­ond lap at Tsukuba Cir­cuit ear­lier this year and fin­ished fifth in the Pro class at WTAC 2017 with a 1m 27.3s peeler. De­spite prov­ing com­pet­i­tive on the first at­tempt, the team has re­worked the car heav­ily for this year’s event in the hopes of shav­ing buck­et­loads of time off their 2017 ef­fort. The aero has been dra­mat­i­cally re­vised, with Fire and the Es­cort team en­list­ing the help of their mates in the Su­per GT series to de­sign a brand-new pack­age that was built in-house at Es­cort.

The team has also joined the bil­let big league with the ad­di­tion of a Bul­let Race En­gi­neer­ing bil­let alu­minium block and added a mam­moth GCG GTX3584RS — with a healthy dose of ni­trous ox­ide con­trolled by a MoTec ECU to spin up the snail — to push power lev­els up­wards of 700kW at the wheels on Mar­tini Rac­ing E85 — a far sight more than what they were danc­ing with last year.

The front and rear diffs have been switched out for a pair of trick ATS car­bon-fi­bre job­bies, while the brakes have also un­der­gone the full car­bon-fi­bre treat­ment, with a set of RPS ro­tors paired with bil­let End­less calipers. And what would a se­ri­ous Time At­tack car be with­out the hum of a se­quen­tial gear swap­per, se­lect­ing a six-speed Holinger unit for the job.

“We built this to take on the fastest in the world and that is the chal­lenge!” laughed Fire. “We will be push­ing hard for the win this year and have made the changes we hope will bring it to fruition.”

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