Time attack racing in Australia has grown dramatically over the past couple of years. Names like Nemo, Tilton, Hammerhead and Scorch Racing have become famous in the car scene, with the sport getting serious attention from both major motorsport teams and solo enthusiasts alike.
This is happening for good reason too. Competing at the top end of the competition, teams can create cars in any way they desire. The lenient rules mean that team engineers and aerodynamicists can innovate and push the boundaries of their craft in exploring all the different ways to make a car go around a track really, really fast.
For everyday enthusiasts it’s a really great type of motorsport to get into. Entry into the sport isn’t dependant on having a huge budget, often the cars are built and raced by the same owner (with the help of a few good mates). The risk of getting clipped, or clipping someone else, into turn one and ending the race in the tyre barriers is almost nil too. It could also be an opportunity to ‘dip your toes’ into motorsport, as learning how to tune a car to go around the track for a perfect lap is an integral part of racing – qualifying.
Cue Chris Johnson’s R32 GTS-T. In 2012 he bought it as a rolling shell, almost a year later it was a 560+ horsepower time attack weapon competing at the 2013 World Time Attack Challenge in Sydney.
The story begins in October 2012 when Chris bought the car and stripped it down to the chassis. The sound deadening, interior, dash, and any excess weight were all removed. Almost a month later, the car was fully pressured cleaned, sanded down and all the mounts, bushes and ball joints were replaced when Chris said he bought Superpro’s whole catalogue of replacement parts.
Chris knew from the start that he wanted to create a time attack car. Ambitiously, he thought he could achieve this in only three months..
Next job was the engine (which we unfortunately can’t show photos of at just yet). With the help of his father, Chris set to work on extracting reliable and affordable power out of a forged RB25DET. The power unit drinks E85 through Bosch 2200cc injectors and pushes out 421kW and 950Nm of torque with the help of a Garrett GTX 3576 62mm ball-bearing turbine. The car features a 3-inch stainless steel dump pipe connected to a 3 inch straight through exhaust system – to put things simply, the barky note the car produces is awesome. The power finds its way to the wheels via an Ogura twin plate clutch and a Nismo 2-way LSD with a 4.11 ratio.
As this is a purpose built time attack car, suspension and handling hasn’t been missed. HSD coil overs keep the rubber on the ground, with the castor rods, lower control arms, sway bar, camber arms, and strut brace all upgraded, as you’d expect.
Braking performance hasn’t been ignored; huge 360mm 2-piece slotted and cross-drilled Willwood rotors, 6 piston calipers and BP10 race pads brings the front to a halt, while the rear features R32 GT-R discs, calipers and Project Mu pads. Braided lines secure the hydraulics. Staggered super light Enkei RPF1’s (18 x 9.5 and 18 x 10.5) are wrapped in WTAC’s control tyre, the Advan AO50.
Inside the car Chris has left just the bare essentials. He and his passenger sit on Velo’s Apex seats and he’s able to keep track of the car’s internals via a custom race dash with a set of VDO gauges. A lengthened gear shifter, Tilton pedal box and deep dished steering wheel keep him in control, while a custom fabricated cage from Walker Chassis ensures he stays safe if he loses it.
Every good race car needs war paint and this 32 is no exception. FT86 ‘Hot Lava’ paint perfectly accentuates the huge Viva Garage carbon wing and Viva Garage carbon doors, bonnet, boot lid and wing mirrors. Almost all of the original panels on the car have been removed and replaced, with only the roof, rear bar and pillars remaining from factory.
By this time the three month window had well and truly passed. Chris hoped to give the car a shakedown at least three months prior to WTAC 2013, this had also passed. In total, the build took him 11 months and 20-30 hours per week to complete. He got his first drive in the car only three days prior to WTAC at a local track in South Australia. Nonetheless, with the family and some good mates in tow he headed off to the event and (miraculously) managed to be out on track during every session.
Congratulations Chris on an epic build, we look forward to seeing him compete at more time attack events in the near future.
What’s next for the car? Chris says he’s going to develop some much-needed aero, including a full under-tray package. When asked what he would have done differently next time, Chris responded as any race driver would, expressing that he would want more power from a stroked 3L bottom-end and a Garrett GTX 3582.
– Forged RB25 DET (2.5 litre)
– Eagle rods
– CP pistons
– CP rings
– ARP head studs
– Cometic metal head gasket
– ACL bearings
– Lewis Engines restrictors
– Lewis Engines RB race pump with billet gears
– 3 x Bosch 044 fuel pumps
– Bosch 2200cc injectors
– Godspeed intake manifold
– 6 Boost exhaust manifold
– Garrett GTX 3576 turbo
– Haltech PS2000 ECU and Haltech PS2000 loom
– ISC intercooler
– Earls oil cooler
– AM Performance 3 inch stainless dump/front pipe
– Solid Engineering and Mechanical 3 inch stainless steel full straight through exhaust system
– Superpro undercar bushing and ball joints
– Eleventen Engineering engine mounts
– AZ Customs rear cradle mounts
– Turbosmart 45mm external wastegate
– Nissan RB25 manual gearbox
– Eleventen Engineering built transmission
– Lengthened shifter
– Nismo 2-way differential
WHEELS & SUSPENSION:
– HSD coilovers (10kg fronts, 8kg rears)
– Eleventen engineering front strut brace
– Cusco castor rods
– Lengthened lower control arms
– R32 GTR rear sway bar
– Walker Chassis rear strut brace
– ISC rear camber arms
– Willwood 2 piece slotted and x-drilled 360mm front rotors
– Willwood 6 piston calipers
– Willwood BP10 race pads
– AP Racing master cylinders
– Autosport front, rear and clutch reservoirs
– Willwood braided front brake lines
– Tilton firewall mounted pedal box
– Nissan R32 GTR rear rotors and calipers
– Project Mu rear pads
– South Glenelg Brake Service braided rear brake lines
– Enkei RPF1’s 18 x 9.5 + 15 front wheels
– Advan A050 265/35/18 front tyres
– Enkei RPF1’s 18 x 10.5 + 15 rear wheels
– Advan A050 295/30/18 rear tyres
– Toyota FT86 Hot Lava respray
– Viva Garage type D1 front bar
– Viva Garage type BN side skirts
– Viva Garage type D1 25mm front guards
– Viva Garage type D1 25mm rear guards
– Viva Garage carbon wing
– Viva Garage carbon doors
– Viva Garage carbon bonnet
– Viva Garage carbon boot lid
– Twin “Velo Apex” front and rear seats
– Custom race dash
– Eleventen Engineering extension shifter
– GREDDY gear knob
– VDO gauge set
– Walker Chassis “Tarmac Rally (level 2)” roll cage
– Revolution race gear external kill cable
– Internal kill toggle
– 421 KW, 950 Nm of torque