– Words: Jason Hanif & Ryan Lewis. Photos: MJ Digital.
Nissan’s GT-R brand is a powerhouse. The evolution of the name has been revolutionary within the Japanese automotive market. In Australia the GT-R’s history is marred by controversy. In the early nineties we saw the R32 dubbed ‘Godzilla’ and outlawed from the Australian Touring Car Championship after a hugely successful campaign. With later models of the same lineage lapping around the Nürburgring in record times, it’s no surprise that this platform has received a major following from both enthusiasts and modifiers worldwide. For one enthusiast however, owning just one GT-R was not an option. With the development of each new model, this man’s love for them has grown in leaps and bounds. His garage has played home to R32, R33 and now an R34 GT-R, and he has provided us with an inside look. Allow us to welcome you inside the doors of Steve Ka.
Steve’s passion for GT-Rs has been evident for many years now. You may have seen his previous R33 GT-R pouncing upon local tracks early last year in the lead up to the 2010 World Time Attack Challenge. Unfortunately after numerous months of testing, the car had an unforeseen retirement from competition on the eve of the event.
Fast-forward these last 10 months, and Steve has now got his mind set on this year’s series with a new R34 in the build. With a passion for all modern Skyline platforms, and numerous models under his belt, Steve’s push to enter in this years World Time Attack Challenge has been fuelled by his obsession for motorsport.
Recently, we caught up with Steve to learn more about his history with GT-Rs, and to peek at what’s in the pipeline for his 2011 campaign.
T-LD: So Steve, about this time last year we had seen your R33 GT-R around local tracks in preparations for World Time Attack 2010. It’s no doubt that your passion for cars exceeds the standard levels of most modifiers. Tell us a little about your history with cars.
Steve: Well I’ve always had a passion for high performance cars growing up through my teenage years. I quickly found out through my time on the streets that the Nissan Skyline was the car that I had envied and more specifically the GT-R series.
T-LD: Sounds like you’ve developed a soft spot for GT-Rs early! Are you able to shed some light on the platforms you’ve previously owned?
Steve: The R34 has always been the series that I aspired to own, but due to career and family commitments my first taste of the GTR was with my white R33. Purchased in 2006, I had built it to be the ultimate street machine featuring the super responsive HKS GTSS turbines with a 100HP shot of NOS. It was hard to trade this legitimate 10 second street car for a few rocks on my wife’s finger! Although definitely worth it in hindsight, cause here I am now.
T-LD: Those other commitments generally seem to get the better of us in most cases! So how long after your white R33 did you get back into the scene, and which platform did you begin to modify from then on?
Steve: In September of 2009, after numerous years of thrashing a Civic around, I decided to import a R33 from Japan myself. I had spent too long watching from the pit lane as my boys battled their Supras and Evos around the track. The ’33 was regarded as the worst of the pack due to its weight, but I still had a sweet spot and we soon found out that this thing was special. I presented the car to the ever trustworthy and efficient Matt from F&E Autoworks. He was given full reign over the car as I wanted a quick track GTR that not only looked the part, but went the part! (Matt is one of the original boys that had the privilege of owning and working on a GTR for the last decade). Matt soon made the car do consistent 1:45s on radial rubber around EC (which would have seen a podium finish if the Gods had permitted at 2010 WTAC).
T-LD: What inspired you to build a time attack car, and what levels of modifications, preparations and testing can we expect to see in these upcoming months, leading up to World Time Attack 2011?
Steve: The fact that there was so much enjoyment in the lead up process for 2010 WTAC, and we were so close to the end, meant that I wanted to do 2011 for sure. But I decided that doing it in the chassis I always wanted would be best. I did not want to regret never owning an R34 GT-R, so I decided to import a stock one and use this as a platform for 2011. What Matt and I have decided to do this year is to have a reliable package that takes away any doubt of owning an RB26 and tracking it. Through Matt’s association with the engineers and builders responsible for the BSM GTR and the TILTON EVO, I think the car is in very safe and reliable hands.
My Philosophy is to ensure all modifications done to this car are functional and not insanely hard to replicate – so if you plan on ramping up your street car, go see Matt J. I have decided to cap the power to 400awkw for reliability and to reconfirm that a dry sump setup is still a long way away from being a part of the build. A greater emphasis will be made on suspension setup and geometry this year in addition to aero to aid my lack of steering experience. Full credit to Matt from F&E for maintaining, building, developing, storing and putting countless hours of work into this car! Also those crazy mofos that keep me motivated and my mind focussed.
T-LD: Sounds like you and the guys from F&E have a sound knowledge and plan for WTAC 2011, we wish you all the best in these upcoming months and look forward to following the build right up to WTAC in August.
Stay tuned as we bring you more on this R34 in the upcoming months, along with other vehicles preparing and testing for the 2011 World Time Attack Challenge at Eastern Creek, Sydney.
Specifications List (as of January 2011):
HKS T04z Turbo Kit
HKS 264deg Step 1 cams
Tomei Type B Springs/retainers/buckets
Oversized Valves and guides
OS Giken Cam gears
Port and Polish
Trust Greddy Pistons
N1 conrods shot peened
Tomei Oil Pump
N1 water Pump
ATI 1000hp harmonic balancer
Jim Berry Full monty clutch
Endless Single throttle plenum
HKS fuel rail with Sard 1000cc inj
Sard Twin pump surge tank
ARC water to air Seperator
Greddy Radiator/ Oil Cooler/Intercooler
Ikeya lower/upper/front/rear/ rods etc
Cusco Front/rear Sway bars
Cusco 1.5 way rear diff
Greddy 355mm 6 pot Front Brake kit
Safety 21 8 point roll cage
Bride seats with Takata Harness
Haltech Platinum Pro Plug in
Haltech IQ3 GPS dash with full data log
(Thanks to Haltech for all the support)
18×10.5 Volk CE28ns
285/30/18 Yokohama AD08s
Plenty more to come 🙂