– Words: Jason Hanif and Adam Bruce. Photos: MJ Digital.
It’s no secret that the number of people venturing out to track days is on the rise. If you attend any club track day you’re pretty much guaranteed to see an Evo hammering out quick laps. It’s completely understandable for people to be drawn to them – a simple family sedan during the week, and a menacing track warrior on the weekend. The recipe for a competitive Evo isn’t complex, and many Evo owners have walked similar paths with their cars. It takes some effort to build a really standout one. So when we saw this Evolution tearing down the straight of Eastern Creek, we knew that we had to meet the owner.
T-LD: We’re massive fans of your Evo. Could you shed some light on your history with the car?
Michael: The Evo has been in the family for four years and in my sole possession for the past two. The car was initially purchased by my Father whom at the time was due for a new company car. Instead of me purchasing a new car, he decided to purchase a car that we could both enjoy. I won’t lie, I was lucky in the sense that I drove an Evo on weekends but there were strict rules that I was obligated to follow. The most important one being ‘no modifications’. I’ll never forget the date we purchased the car – 11/11/06 (Remembrance Day), pretty sure it was at 11AM too.
T-LD: How did the first mods for the car come about?
Michael: Although I was strictly instructed NOT to modify the car, I was able to slip in a few mods that went unnoticed such as a MR BOV, Ralliart Air Filter and NGK R leads. It was all going well until I decided to purchase another part which was a little more obvious than the rest – a Titanium Exhaust. A few weeks went by until a few of my Fathers co-workers commented on his new Titanium Cat back Exhaust! Needless to say he wasn’t very pleased with my slyness. The car remained the way it was without any new modifications until I purchased the car off my Father about two years ago.
T-LD: What did you initially plan to achieve with the Evo?
Michael: Initially my goal was to reach 200kw and be content with that. Within weeks of reaching my initial goal of 200kw I was already looking at reaching 250kw. During the entire process, I was forced to complete several defence driving programs by my parents. I highly recommend this to everyone. This is when I first acquired the taste for the track. From then on, my focus was creating the ultimate street registered track car. With the expertise from Darren at Dashsports Motorsport, I began purchasing the ingredients required.
T-LD: How close do you think you’ve got to that goal?
Michael: The car to date is pushing just under 280kw@25psi on 98 and just over 300kw@23psi on E85, Scott from Insight Motorsports tunes the car and has commented that the ‘car is sort of in no-man’s-land’. It is a bit like a 350kw and 250kw setup in one. The result is good potential HP for later but not quite optimal for now. I’m currently content with the power the car is pulling and have recently completed a 1.06.6 at my second outing at Wakefield with the E85 tune. To answer your question, have I achieved my goal? I’d have to answer, no. I still feel that I haven’t reached the balance between power, handling and braking.
T-LD: What does the future hold for this car?
Michael: Currently I’m looking into new track rims to accommodate some wider tread and upgrading the stock Brembo callipers. Ideally id love to purchase a wide body kit and throw a stroker kit in there, but we will just have to wait and see.